Responding to a Changing Environment

by Philip Williamson

CEO, DK Energy


As Malaysia’s first independent Oil & Gas (O&G) Exploration and Production Company, Customer 'H' was incorporated in 2007. In 2010 they converted to become the first Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) in South-East Asia, listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad with a focus on the development of small to medium sized oil and gas fields in the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and Oceania, regions.

Oil & Gas Companies operate within big budgets, and are able to man their offshore assets with replicated teams of highly skilled and expensive engineers. These highly skilled engineers ensure the task of reaching hydrocarbon targets is delivered on time, on budget, and with no additional risks to manpower health and safety, whilst minimizing the effect of operations on the environment. Industry reports recognise that approximately 63% of all projects experience budget overruns, through the high cost of cross-drilling, the cost burden of non-productive time (NPT), and with the end of the era of ‘easy oil’ which heralded the challenge to drill deepwater wells in excess of 12’000 feet, in even more hazardous conditions. Globally, the National Oil Companies and Oil Majors have struggled to backfill the skills gap left by an ageing workforce, and the knock-on effect is that it has become necessary to reduce the number of onsite, onshore and offshore resources, in favour of a centrally located remote-accessing team of senior experts.

The profile of an O&G SPAC is such that they need to operate within the same boundaries and key drivers as the traditional O&G Companies, but that is where the similarities end. SPACs exist and operate with significantly lower budgets; they are driven by the strategy to only participate in Low to Medium Risk ventures, while always maintaining a lean and efficient organisation. A single stuck pipe, cross-drilling requirement, or ongoing NPT situation could effectively wipe out the budget for drilling a well, and jeopardize the viability of the Company.

Best Practice Model

DK Energy were engaged by Customer 'H' in June 2012, and as a result of an in depth O&G IT Consultation, we were tasked to help them to develop a “best practice" model, deliver a secure software solution that could connect seamlessly to a myriad of data sources and vendors, that empowered Customer 'H' to achieve their goals of maintaining a lean and efficient team of highly skilled senior Engineers, to manage and monitor global Exploration operations from their head Office in Kuala Lumpur through the creation of a custom-built Real Time Operations Center (RTOC), and to shorten the time planned to reach their hydrocarbon targets. Any solution would need to be WITSML, PRODML and RESQML compliant, contain dynamic workflows and have the potential to add additional modules in the future, e.g. Production & Production Optimization, Project and JV Accounting, and Field Service.

The solution is Black Sun™, our next generation multi-modular, and real-time strategic information application for the Oil & Gas industry met all of Customer 'H'’s needs.

Wide Ranging Benefits

With the benefit of having Black Sun™ implemented; Customer 'H' is now able to lease rig assets manned by contract staff, guided and monitored in real time by their senior team of engineers at their global center of operations, in Kuala Lumpur. The data visualised via the application Portal provides a clean, crisp, and customisable user interface, accessible in their RTOC environment, as well as on their laptops and desktops, and with full motion on 95% of the world’s mobile tablet devices.

Their Petroleum Engineers are now equipped to remotely monitor the Logging, Drilling, and all operational data streaming out of the active wellbore, and strategically steer this critical activity in real time. The senior executive team is now able to exploit detailed project accounting information as and when costs are dispersed, and budgets are better managed with a singular and truthful set of figures.

As a result of Black Sun™’s risk mitigation and process consolidation properties, Customer 'H' can connect any number of geographically diverse assets to their RTOC, they have effectively shortened the time planned to reach oil, and have significantly reduced manpower costs while enhancing efficiency and profitability.

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