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Enhancing Operational Efficiency by Providing Data Insight &Automation

William Standifird

It’s no secret that oil and gas is a boom-and-bust industry. Production is currently up, projected to increase to 13.7 million barrels daily in 2024. But this won’t last forever. Whether production is up or down, the key to maximizing production, optimizing efficiency, and taking advantage of increased profits is innovation, digital transformation,and automation.For stakeholders looking to deliver safer, more efficient, and cheaper energy, innovation and automation must be a top priority. Those who fall behind in the race to innovate, ultimately, run the risk of losing market share. 

Oil & Gas organizations are always looking for operational efficiencies as this equates to cost savings and/or increased revenue – production is faster, safer, and cheaper. Because of this, completion operations are becoming more complex with more wells per pad, longer laterals, simultaneous operations, and the addition of new technology. 

Calgary-based Intelligent Wellhead Systems’ solutions address these challenges in several ways. First, to understand where there are opportunities for efficiency, operators must be able to see their operational data in a manner that provides insights. Intelligent Wellhead Systems’ data and cloud solutions, such as the inVision Electronic Completions Recorder™ or iECR and inVision® platform, provide acquisition, aggregation, and visualization so that data coming from many sources such as wireline, frac, or coil tubing is made meaningful – giving the ability to identify issues, NPT, and other areas of improvement. Second, Intelligent Wellhead Systems’ valve management digitalization and automation solutions offer their customers the ability to digitize and automate their operations at their own pace.

This saves time and money and increases safety as all digitized and automated movement is validated before moving. This unique combination of hardware complemented with cloud and software technology provides the optimal solution for completion operators wanting to improve operations – making them safer and faster.

A Unique Company

Most organizations in the completions space participate in one of two areas – data or hardware. Intelligent Wellhead Systems has a diversified portfolio, making it unique as it covers both sectors. The company’s diversified products focus on valve management solutions; data management and cloud solutions; valve management controls, automation, and digitalization; and integrated wellsite management. They acquire, aggregate, and visualize operational data using hardware and software and work with their customers, taking them on a journey of automation at their desired pace. They are also vendor-neutral, meaning their solutions work with other providers’ hardware, unlike most others in the market. This gives Intelligent Wellhead Systems’ customers the flexibility to use their hardware vendor of choice. The company also uses a Digital Handshake®, which provides validation to move forward with a process – meaning it is safe, and parameters for movement have been validated.

Today, operators seek faster, safer, and cheaper solutions that drive more production. However, the workforce with the most oil and gas operational knowledge is diminishing, and fewer new entrants are entering the oil and gas sector. Operations are also becoming more complex. Automation is the next big step, reducing the need for human decision-making and making processes consistent, safer, and, in some cases, faster – ultimately producing more in less time. Intelligent Wellhead Systems’ solutions bring digitalization and automation, addressing these trends head-on. “We understand there can be hesitation and concern with change and automation. Our solutions are tiered to allow a customer to slowly automate based on their comfort level and ability to introduce change,” says William Standifird, President of Intelligent Wellhead Systems. “We like to say we are able to let our customers crawl, walk, and run at their own pace, introducing the level of automation they see fit for their organization at a specific time. We see this introduction of automation as a journey, and we are the catalyst to help make it happen.”

Under the aegis of William, Intelligent Wellhead Systems has grown company revenue and a culture of passion, drive, and accountability. Bringing his military background as a former Army veteran, he brings discipline coupled with process and efficiency – something that must exist within a growing company. He constantly challenges the norm in a quest to be the best. This passion to succeed is now the backbone of Intelligent Wellhead Systems. In addition, he has built a culture of empathy and compassion from his close family ties. He also strongly supports DE&I, raising a daughter who is now a successful Region Operations Manager in the oilfield.

The Future is Here

By implementing the company’s solutions, William and his team have gathered data to show time and cost improvements. One example is based on well swap times. Before Intelligent Wellhead Systems’ solution was implemented, this particular customer had an average well swap time of about 7.5 minutes. After implementing the solution, it dropped to about 3.5 minutes – an improvement of 4 minutes. This may not seem like much, but if there are 50 stages per well, that’s about $80,000 per hour in cost savings. An average 4-well pad would save about $1.1M, with a 10-well pad saving about $2.7M. Huge financial savings! In addition, there was an increase in safety, with no incidents occurring during the company’s time on location. Automation also brings consistency, so Intelligent Wellhead Systems sees fewer swings in the process.

Partnerships and collaborations are essential for Intelligent Wellhead Systems. As a first initiative, Intelligent Wellhead Systems created a Customer Advisory Board comprising operators and service companies in oil and gas. This Board had its inaugural meeting in November 2023 with the vision to create change in the industry and discuss future technology needs to move the industry forward. Having in-depth discussions with operators looking to better their operations has been instrumental in helping drive their technology roadmap. “In addition, we are facilitating industry changes as this group comes together to solve larger industry challenges that have been around for many years. We are super excited about this group’s impact on moving the completions industry forward and thankful for their participation,” William adds.

For the days to come, Intelligent Wellhead Systems will continue to bring more automation to their clients and the industry. Automation is critical to addressing the challenges of the industry. In addition, they are adding more technology to their portfolio. One example is machine vision and tying operational data with visual alerting. William and his team are excited to add this capability as it adds another level of automation and safety to the wellsite. “We will also continue to focus on data providing varying levels of data solutions. Our entry level data acquisition and aggregation solution, the inVision Electronic Completions Recorder or iECR, is an entry point for those wanting to better understand their operational data,” explains William. “We are also investing in further enhancements and development of our inVision platform which provides visualization and analytics to operational data including enhancing our inVision NPT Insight tool.”

"We will also continue to focus on data by providing varying levels of data solutions. Our entry level data acquisition and aggregation solution, the inVision Electronic Completions Recorder or iECR, is an entry point for those wanting to better understand their operational data. "

William Standifird


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