North American Shale intelligent well pad

HSEC Awards

The team at Petroleum recognised an opportunity to significantly improve the safety and productivity of shale assets with the Intelligent Well Pad (IWP) program. 

The team at Petroleum recognised an opportunity to significantly improve the safety and productivity of shale assets with the Intelligent Well Pad (IWP) program.

When BHP Billiton first acquired the Eagle Ford shale assets in 2011, almost all well and production data was gathered manually. Technicians had to drive on average 7,000 kilometres every month to visit all the wells they managed and maintained. Some of these visits included climbing onto equipment to collect information and measurements, creating potential health and safety risks.

Through the IWP program, existing well pads were retrofitted with accurate and reliable instrumentation, cameras and improved IT and telecommunications systems. This provided the quality data needed to get work done in a smarter way.

Over the 12-month period following deployment, the team has saved 5,500 hours and 443,000 kilometres of driving, and reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 113 tonnes. Production is improving through reduced downtime and cost through an increased well count per operator.

The program is highly scalable and has been deployed to all producing onshore assets in Fayetteville, Haynesville and Permian.