Pursuing an all-around vision of the future
The division, one of the newest in the company, is all about innovation and efficiency, with a focus on continuous improvement applied horizontally to constructing pads (the special locations where wells are drilled).
Set up in 2018, when work was just beginning at Fortin de Piedra, the new division was named the Well Construction Project Department (known as the Pad Department, for short). This was a highly innovative development not only for the company but also for the industry as a whole, as it broke many of the paradigms current at the time. The chief difference about this department was that it sought to integrate and streamline all the sectors responsible for building each group of wells, taking a horizontal approach to the whole process and fostering a different outlook on the rationale of each department, bestowing a uniquely cross-sectoral style on the operation.
Faithful to its founding spirit, the Pad’s current managers, Adolfo Raed, in charge of Pad and Processes, and Patricio Valls, Sr. Pad and Operational Planning Manager, are still very much focused on deepening this path of innovation for the company which will serve the region as a whole.
The first objective of the sector was to carry out monitoring, programming and coordination tasks in the area of well drilling, completion and start-up as well as provide support for a range of decision-making processes to implement improvements. Adolfo explains that: “Right now, our job is to act as a support for all aspects of the construction process. We articulate the tasks undertaken by the different sectors and provide a comprehensive horizontal view of the process from the productive unit working on each pad. In addition, we are also working with the other sectors to implement our new Process Management system, which began with our Fortin 2 program.”
Evolution, not revolution. According to the vision of its current managers, who took over in November 2021 (Patricio) and February 2022 (Adolfo), the work carried out before set a high standard in terms of how things are done, raising the bar regarding the way in which future challenges are tackled. This includes improving operational efficiency by implementing the principles enshrined in Continuous Improvement, Process Management, and making sure they can learn from all these processes at the same time so that they can improve them.
Agustina Martín, Pad Coordinator and one of the initial members responsible for its design and creation, says that “The Fortin 2 program helped to lay the foundations for Process Management. Our objective is to apply this Industrial Model throughout all the stages by documenting and standardizing these so that they become the core of the execution process. We started with very specific objectives aimed at improving certain tasks and we’ve evolved accordingly, developing a methodology along the way that has also changed and improved, as we fine-tune our way of working and techniques.”
Patricio agrees and talks about what’s next: “One of our next challenges is to reduce the times between the different phases of a pad’s construction. This involves deepening, modeling and standardizing the execution of SimOps, which is short for operations undertaken simultaneously by more than one sector in the same location to manage and minimize the risks for people’s safety. The Process Management approach helps us to find the best way of carrying out this interaction between sectors for the pad as a whole.”
Agustina explains that, “Our vision of managing by processes is about building and shaping something that, once underway, becomes an integral part of Tecpetrol's culture.”