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Field Development Optimisation Project

Field Development Optimisation Project

The CSG Sustainment phase needs to deliver an average of 300 new coal seam gas (CSG) wells per year over the operating life of the project, at significantly less cost per well than the first 1,000 wells completed in the Development phase. One area identified for improvement was the process used to construct, complete and tie-in the new wells to the existing gas and water gathering infrastructure; one of the most complex aspects of the entire upstream project.

The challenge was to create a “right-sized” process that could support the well delivery rate and costs whilst maintaining safety, technical and quality standards. The revised process needed to be developed and implemented over an 8-10 week timeframe.

Nova Systems (Nova) was engaged to apply its Gas Field Facilities completions and handover experience, in concert with our systems engineering problem-solving skills, to the wells and gathering problem.  This began by challenging those areas of the existing process that contributed most of the inefficiency – the “sacred cows”.  From this work two key principles were identified to drive the new process:

  • Adopt a manufacturing-style acceptance process that leverages the repeatable nature of CSG wells rather than asset-by-asset acceptance; and,
  • Change to a system-based field expansion method (well clusters) that delivers the fastest gas-to-plant process path, rather than the ad-hoc geographical method based on land access.

With these principles agreed by the key client stakeholders the existing Wells & Gathering completions process was drawn up showing the flow of activities from early network design, through Construction to Commissioning and Handover.  An optimised process was drawn up for comparison based on Nova’s own experience in CSG development, and the key principles established. As with any complex problem solution, the revised process was iterated a number of times based on consultation with field staff to account for limitations in available tools, support contracts and field infrastructure.

The final agreed Wells & Gathering Completions, Commissioning and Handover procedure was approved by the Engineering Authority and became part of the FY2015/16 Field Development Plan. The process has reduced the CSG well delivery cost by approximately 5%. Just as importantly, the systematic expansion of fields by well clusters has minimised the lost opportunity cost associated with stranded wells.

Systemising the field and clearly defining the system boundaries must be the first step in any CSG field expansion. This activity needs to engage all teams involved in the delivery of new wells. Once established these systems should drive all subsequent activities – land access, drilling, design, construction and commissioning. Each team must work collaboratively to deliver a common system into operation. Small efficiencies gained in each step can lead to significant savings when aggregated across hundreds of wells.

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Key People

Bret Barton

Chief Executive - Asia Pacific

As the Chief Executive Nova Systems Asia-Pacific, Bret runs a division of Nova Group ...

As the Chief Executive Nova Systems Asia-Pacific, Bret runs a division of Nova Group which amalgamates our newer client sectors and locations with both established engineering professional services and emerging global technologies.

Bret is responsible for the growth and governance of a portfolio of progressive businesses and programs which include our:

  • Nova Singapore Business (Commercial and Defence services);
  • Nova New Zealand Business (Commercial and Defence services);
  • Australian Transport Program (rail and infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and ports); and
  • Australian Energy and Resources Program (oil, gas, mining, power, water and utilities).

Bret is a member of Nova’s Executive Leadership Team and has been a Manager within Nova for 12 years. Bret served 20 years in the Canadian Air Force and supported major test programs for the Canadian, United States and Australian Air Forces.

Bret holds Masters Degrees in Business Administration and Aeronautical Engineering and is an Engineering Executive with the Institute of Engineers Australia.

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Tim Anderson

Program Manager - Energy & Resources

Tim is responsible for program management of the Energy & Resources Program in the power, water, oil and gas ...

Tim is responsible for program management of the Energy & Resources Program in the power, water, oil and gas and mining sectors. In these sectors, Tim leads our client relationships, client solutions delivery,  client-led innovation and sector strategies. Tim has 30 years experience, working with clients in energy, resources, utilities and engineering sectors.

 

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Nick Kemp

Group Chief Strategy & Capability

Reporting to the Group CEO, Nick is a member of the Executive Leadership Team and is responsible ...

Reporting to the Group CEO, Nick is a member of the Executive Leadership Team and is responsible for the leadership and management of Nova’s Strategy, Capability and Marketing functions.  In this capacity, Nick works across the Australia and New Zealand business and is responsible for implementing Nova’s global capability framework.  Nick is an accomplished business leader with over 30 years’ experience across the defence, rail, utilities, medical device and civil aerospace sectors.

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