Oil Company Drill Rig Scheduling – $1B USD Saved

GreenData.io | Oil Rig Scheduling

How do you save $1bn through cost reduction and more efficient planning in a year?

Executive Summary

This top 10 oil company was all about improving drilling efficiency to reach new oil production capability, by improving the quality of scheduling, monitoring, and tracking of drilling activities throughout lease-holdings. Our team jumped in and established mechanisms, processes, and tools to create meaningful impact at a systemic level. This resulted in $1bn in budget savings in just the first year.

Business Case

The efficient management of hundreds of drill rigs across large tracts of land is a delicate dance. The waltz of the rigs relies on precise analysis of a wide variety of factors: physical location, time, and activities performed all must work in concert to reach optimal positioning. When a misstep can cost millions, the stakes are high. This top ten oil company decided to take action. GreenData was the perfect choice for their data forward future. The vision they had for this future was one of data-driven drilling, with specific actionable outcomes that would eliminate errors, from managing too myopically, and increase productivity, all while maintaining safe drilling practices.

Design Approach

Faced with the challenge of orchestrating an ever changing landscape of drill rigs, the team knew a large amount of data analysis, planning and management would be needed. Creatively approaching the situation, our consultants investigated scheduling tools designed for labor resources that could be revamped to meet this complex need.

Microsoft’s Project Online was selected as the robust and flexible tool for scheduling, planning, and management. This cloud-based project management tool excels at connecting disparate pieces of data for planning and management of complex interconnected systems. Project Online offered the ability to handle organization of drilling assets and tasks, as well as location throughout physical space. Analysis was also conducted with TIBCO Spotfire, leveraging existing data for new insights. The combination of the tools enabled the creation of powerful predictive analytical models to drive actionable insights that guided creative solutions. It also enabled the seamless creation of reports on past performance, influencing future strategic decisions.

Using an agile methodology, the team leveraged an iterative joint development process, to get to the flexible modeling the company needed. Custom models were put into place and the tools were configured, and later on implemented to solve this high impact business problem.


In the first year, this combination of processes and automations designed specifically for the firm, reduced their costs by one third of budget projections, a net savings of $1 billion. Leveraging existing data, increased productivity and efficiency dramatically. It also identified a myriad of opportunities to eliminate spending on less productive equipment. The drills easily hit production targets, the result of a masterfully performed dance, choreographed by GreenData consultants working in tandem with key stakeholders at this top ten oil firm.

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.

SQL Server Reporting Services


SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) provides a set of on-premises tools and services that create, deploy, and manage mobile and paginated reports. The SSRS solution was used to flexibly collect, combine and deliver insights from time and spatial data to ensure safe drilling.

TIBCO Spotfire


Enables visibility into where effort is most critical. It 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.

Office 365


TIBCO Spotfire is a powerful analytics tool, used to create time series reports for the drill rigs. The tool enabled time intelligence, used in both predictive analysis and to ensure that safety drilling standards were met.