Well expenditure represents a significant part of Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd's (PCSB) CAPEX where most of the cost comes from drilling. This has prompted the Drilling Department to continuously look for ways to reduce its drilling costs and be as efficient as possible. Back in 1996, PCSB embarked on a drilling initiative project so called DICE (Drilling Information and Communication Environment). The aims were to capture, store and analyze information relating to all PCSB drilling activities and operations. In support of this, a system was introduced whereby operations data were captured at offshore well sites and transmitted electronically to a central office database for drilling analysis and future reference.

More recently, the primary focus of the project was to make better use of the valuable well data and information that had been collected, with particular emphasis on the derivation of drilling performance and cost metrics. Key to this was the development of a set of standard queries to interrogate the drilling database, and to derive performance information such as Drilling Days per Thousand Foot, Well Cost per Foot, NPT and other trends. This also provided the opportunity to perform a thorough data quality check on previous wells and to standardize the operations time breakdown and cost coding systems to ensure reporting consistency.

Besides gathering drilling activities and operations information, steps have been taken to also capture knowledge (i.e. lessons learnt) using the same database. Various customized reports were introduced to ensure effortless daily monitoring of drilling operations and standardization of the PCSB reporting system. The major customization work involved the introduction of an improved, automated, Final Well Report (FWR). This has tremendously reduced the time taken by drilling engineers for the preparation of Final Well Report at the end of each well.

Overall, by enhancing its drilling data management system, PCSB has been able to better monitor its drilling activities and to more readily identify opportunities to reduce its operational costs.


Way back since 1992, PCSB has been considering the need to move towards an efficient means of managing Well Work Information. This was supported by the fact that the method used (then) for capturing, reporting, storage and manual data entry of information was often of a poor quality, inefficient and time consuming. With additional rigs going into operation, the demand for more information to be captured has strained resources even further, escalating the amount of time and manpower needed for storing, reporting and analyzing of well information.

After conducting several technical evaluations, PCSB first invested in the automation of their Well Work Information System in 1994. At that point of time, the system was an MS-DOS™ based product. In 1996, as part of DICE, the system was upgraded to the first MS-Windows™ version. Further upgrades have since been made to bring PCSB's system up to the latest version, as it currently stands.

Last year PCSB were keen to consider ways in which the valuable operational information captured in the database could be better utilized to support its well design and operation activities. Subsequent discussions concluded that the way forward would be to perform an assessment of the way in which the system is used currently, and to make improvements as required.

Business Challenges

From the assessment conducted, it was found that the system was under-utilized due to several factors. Although the system had been in existence for a few years, there were still a number of drilling engineers who were not aware of its full capabilities. These users mainly consisted of new drilling engineers, employees transferred from other locations and employees from other departments.

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