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Reduce Cost and Schedule by Developing an Optimum Well Surface Facility Program

Cathy Farina presented her Reduce Cost and Schedule by Developing an Optimum Well Surface Facility Program paper virtually at the 2020 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference. The paper discusses proven methods that can be utilized to develop an optimum well surface facility program, which will reduce the overall program cost, schedule, and labor risk.

Well surface facilities are currently custom designed and constructed (with each design being slightly different), and as a series of projects rather than a single program. The custom design for each project increases the cost and construction timeline of the well site facilities. Although there may be slight production design differences in the sub-surface design, the surface facilities can be standardized by understanding the sub-surface production design ranges. The key to optimizing well surface facilities is to standardize the equipment and components within the facility and maximize the use of building blocks or modules.

The following four methodologies can be used to develop an optimal well site:

Standard Design Package and Catalog Development

This method involves developing standard design packages for the building blocks of a well site and generating a standard catalog for the well site program. This standard catalog will reduce the engineering hours on repeatable well sites and reduce the project timeline up to 75%.

Implementation of Standardized Tagging

Developing standardized tagging for the well site program will provide a system for equipment and instrumentation to be purchased without a specific well site location. This method promotes agility in the design, purchasing, fabrication, maintenance, and operations of asset procurement. In addition to procurement, it also allows for an effective asset management program for operations and maintenance, as both the tags and vendor data are standardized.

Program Level Contracting and Procurement

Developing a standard vendor data library will reduce the overall timeline required for equipment and instrumentation production cycles, eliminate duplicate information, and reduce data handling costs. This will create opportunities for phased delivery and bulk purchase pricing discounts based on the yearly requirements. Another key component of this method is developing subcontractor partner relationships that are aligned for program delivery.

Optimized Modularization and Construction

The standard design packages can be fabricated and assembled as pre-assemblies or modules. Site labor will be moved offsite, reducing labor risk, and pre-assemblies or modules can be standardized, fabricated, and assembled independent of the well site location. This method will allow for both program flexibility and mentality, as well as provide future flexibility to enable the relocation and reuse of modules from decommissioned sites to new sites.

Standardization and modularization methods have proven benefits for well surface facility programs that include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Reduced cost, including significantly reduced home office costs

  • Reduced schedule, including removing engineering, material, and fabrication from the critical path

  • Increased well program flexibility

  • Improved cost and schedule certainty

  • Strict Change Management and value improvement system

An optimal well surface program utilizing the standardization and modularization methods can realize the benefits described and reduce the facility total installed cost from 10% to 30%, depending on the extent of standardization utilized versus traditional project executions.

To view and purchase the publication visit the SPE website

If you would like to learn how to implement facility standardization or productization, contact DyCat Solutions at or visit our website at


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