Oil Company Drill Rig Scheduling – $1B USD Saved

Use Case Profile

Business Case

The company schedules and conducts drilling throughout the Permian basis to reach new oil production capability. In order to reduce the budget and increase productivity, thought leaders at the company made the decision to explore solutions to improve the quality of scheduling, monitoring, and tracking of drilling activities throughout lease-holdings.

Design Approach

Exploring potential mechanics, processes, and tools to create meaningful impact at a systemic level, the team set out an experiment: “What if we used a scheduling tool designed for task and activity scheduling of labor resources as a means of scheduling and tracking drill activities?” Critical to evaluating the efficacy of the experiment, the team focused on the establishment of a series of reporting capabilities, data collection and organization capabilities, and activity sets to be used in scheduling. Following complete assessment and capture of relevant details of the proposed experiment, the team built a series of models in an off the shelf scheduling tool, alongside a series of reports in an off the shelf database management system to study and evaluate the potential of this approach. Ultimately, through the course of the first year of operation, the team focused on organizing a set of wells across two territories in order to establish an integrated master schedule of drilling activity with a focus on using the Pareto principle and geospatial awareness to select and drive drilling activities to maximize output per unit of time.


The experiment was a complete success. Not only did the oil company reduce budget cost by 1/3rd against plan, but that budget savings represented a net saving of $1 Billion US in expenditures for the first year of the experiment. Simultaneously, the company was able to achieve all of it’s intended production targets and to further identify opportunities to release unproductive equipment leases. 

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Technology Profile

Project Online

Key to enabling multiple vendors, contractors, and company personnel to focus on getting the job done. By connecting task management, project forecasting, and team communication, Project provides the pipelines necessary to maximize achievement of drill rig scheduling goals.

Power BI

Core to applying effort where it is most critical, Power BI provides leaders, managers, and contributors the data & insights to evaluate on-going performance, to look for gaps in the process and to identify blockers to success.

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