As part of a strategic effort in drilling computer technology1 , ARCO Oil and Gas Company is developing automated systems to produce drilling AFE cost estimates and allow detailed tracking of actual booked costs. Retrievals of booked costs from mainframe accounting databases, along with retrievals of drilling performance data from ARCO's Drilling Database System2  (DDS) are used to provide "calibrated" input to an automated well planning and cost estimating system. All AFE documentation is automatically generated by the system.

Historically the preparation of drilling cost estimates, associated AFE documentation, and the verification of booked costs has required significant time and effort within drilling organizations. Moreover drilling costs are a major portion of total expenditures. A consistent, calibrated cost estimating tool combined with an efficient cost tracking program improves well planning, estimating accuracy and cost control. On a work load basis, these systems also increase productivity by reducing the time and effort required to review booked costs and produce drilling AFE's, thereby freeing time for other important engineering, operations and business tasks.

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