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By Olav Cramer

Tight Oil &Shale Gas Well Site Facilities Design Western Canada 2014

I just attended the Tight Oil & Shale Gas Well Site Facilities Design conference Dec 9,10 in Calgary in the hope to better understand what our clientele is looking for from vendors such as OilPro.

The results: Very worthwhile; The quality of the speakers, such as Shonn Arndt (CNRL), Ian Gall (Talisman), Dusty Moi (Solaris), Jason Bickel (Swift), Toby Oickle (Harvest), William Avila (Brion), Joe Bubenik (Devon) and Jason Sabid (Northern Blizzard) was excellent because they each related to, and shared real-world problems they encountered in their respective companies’ operations and facilities maintenance, optimization, layout, installation and procurement processes.

The fact that engineers and technologists freely share their findings in the spirit of helping their peers, is why I like my job in this industry so much. People in the petroleum industry genuinely are passionate about doing things better every time. Although the newer generation of production and operations people have been dumped into a bit of a void created by the mass-exodus of experience over the last decade, there is genuine interest in finding better and more efficient ways to get the job done right.

OilPro as an organization takes the following to heart, as was emphasized in this conference:

1. Try to define our scope as tightly as possible, it will help our customers define their scope better and anticipate contingencies.

2.Delivery is key to helping producer stay on budget and on schedule. We will address this by being even more proactive about lingering approvals during fabrications, which in my opinion is the number one cause of delays.

3. Avoid unexpected expenses. We will make even more of an effort to show our clients what other items/design factors, they should also be considering. By sharing our experience on similar projects, we can help them shine.

4. Ask critical design questions to help our client narrow their scope but also to verify/qualify their project scope further, but most importantly to save them time.

5. We can help our clients save a lot of money by adding to our scope in the fabrication shop. Industry experts agree that for every dollar spent in the shop they would have to spend about three in the field for the same work. Makes sense given our industry’s constant labour shortages.

6. For big equipment, try to be part of the solution providers, by having lifting engineering questions, such as weight, lift points, Civil Engineering data available for the client during the planning stages.

7. As more facilities are designed in complex process design environments, if we can provide .DWG files for them to plug into, we can save them a lot of effort. They don’t care about our proprietary details of vessels or tanks, they really are only interested in the hard structural and piping points and the subsequent design considerations so they can keep things rolling faster.

In summary:

Try to anticipate what the customer needs as much as possible from inquiry through to delivery. Our company’s approach to a modular design philosophy is well-suited to this end-goal, and we will strive to improve on this front continually by having as many answers as possible after asking the right questions first.

This illustrates once again that although we spend a lot of our resources on stock equipment, our real assets continue to be our people.

Some of the presentations are available online at https://www.lbcg.com/event-downloads/c237/FEC14/

Access password: tightoil2014


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