Deming's principles of management are often regarded by individuals in the petroleum industry as being applicable to manufacturing operations, but not to E&P activities. The argument usually asserts that E&P activities are so varied that Deming's method of analyzing "the system" can't be used in the oil & gas business.

The experience of one small, independent company shows quite the opposite, i.e. that Deming's methods are indeed quite useful in many areas of E&P operations and they can lead to greatly improved operations. A specific example regarding the inability of getting wells drilled according to a budgeted schedule serves to illustrate how several of these principles applied to the problem resulted in vastly improved performance.

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