This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 208711, “Redefining Operations Reporting Codes to Support Digitalization of Well Operations,” by Theresa Baumgartner, SPE, Marcus Ridgway, SPE, and Cameron Bruce, SPE, Shell, et al. The paper has not been peer reviewed.

Under increasingly volatile market conditions, operators face pressure to increase performance and reduce costs through standardization of engineering, operations, services, and equipment. To this end, an operator has redefined the way it reports onsite operations through the development of a standardized set of reporting activity codes, designed as the backbone of a standardized and digital well-design and -execution process. The operator recognizes the value of industrywide standardization of fit-for-purpose operations codes and offers to donate the codes to the Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDU) project.

Background of Activity Codes

The use of operations codes (also referred to as activity or reporting codes) to classify detailed well-activity descriptions has been prevalent in the oil and gas industry since the introduction of commercial daily-well-operations-reporting software systems in the 1980s and ’90s.

A limitation of many activity code sets was that they were focused on drilling operations and were light on completions and, especially, well-intervention activities. Today’s well-engineering teams are focused on optimizing all well-operation types, not only drilling operations.

Activity-code sets support a range of coding levels, from simple single-level activity code systems to several hierarchical levels of activity codes, such as the code set the authors propose in this paper. The number of levels is determined based on operator or contractor requirements for tracking operations, regulatory reporting, and performance measurement or optimization requirements.

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