February 2024

Using data to create new completion efficiencies

In the fast-paced world of upstream oil & gas data, innovation and a relentless focus on continual improvement is not a choice but a necessity.
Matt Tourigny / Deep Well Services Kennan Bieber / Deep Well Services

In 2023, Deep Well Services (DWS), a hydraulic completion and technology company based in the U.S with international operations, unveiled “BoreSite - Your Downhole Vision.” It is an innovative, real-time, data analytics platform (DAP) that provides new awareness into oil & gas operations and their key performance indicators (KPIs).  

Mission: Quality analytics & reliable engineering solutions. DWS set the tone for its endeavors with a clear and concise mission statement: "To serve our customers with quality analytics & reliable engineering solutions." With this mission statement driving the process, the BoreSite system was designed exclusively by the DWS Engineering & Analytics (ENA) department to capture and transform real-time wellsite data into actionable insight for operators within the Industry. 

The first concept of BoreSite was to develop a system that could become a proactive solution to driving new downhole and surface efficiencies on hydraulic completion units, also referred to as HCUs. These unique completion & intervention rigs have been used on over 5,000 wells across every major shale basin in the U.S., Argentina and Canada and specialize in high-pressure, long lateral mill-outs. Currently, HCU technology has broken numerous record North American lateral records, including the current onshore record of 24,500 ft LL, which the data provided by BoreSite® were instrumental in achieving TD, using a single bit in a single run.  

Drawing on the vast database of thousands of wells completed using HCU Technology, the DWS ENA team started developing new, innovative solutions to provide insight into completion operations. 

Planned vs. actual (PvA) KPI: Real-time insights for immediate improvements. The planned vs. actual (PvA) feature is a game-changer and an innovative way to view your operations. By comparing historical data with current operations in real time, operators gain immediate insights on true KPI benchmarks, enabling a proactive approach to increase on-site efficiencies.  

Benchmark KPI data for the well parameters are used to create a job profile, which is broken out by key operational steps. This ranges from Rig up, Rig Down, Trip in Hole, Mill & Wash, Trip out of Hole, etc. Then the platform uses various sensors that read and transmit essential data every second to overlap the KPI benchmark ghost line and provide a live overview of the rig’s performance, Fig. 1. Remote engineers, operations teams, and onsite reps can now see in real-time when the rig performance drops below benchmark averages to make immediate improvements. Additionally, in cases where the rig performance is better than the trend line, we can understand where, and how, efficiencies were created to replicate on the next well, Fig. 2.   

Fig. 1. The PvA graph, broken out by operational task, allows users to trend their on-site performance and make immediate proactive operational decisions. The Ghost line, generated through data from thousands of wells, is overlapped by live KPIs.
Fig. 2. A complete overview of the rig’s days on well (DOW) performance against the benchmark KPI forecast. Issues seen on the first well (1H) were corrected immediately, resulting in KPI improvements on the next well (2H).

Torque and drag modeling (T&D): Redefining efficiency. Unfortunately, in the mill-out industry, there are cases of copy-and-paste programs or passed-down tribal knowledge that no longer apply to today's operations. In many cases, the complete circulation of the wellbore, sometimes referred to as a surface-to-surface (STS), is dictated after removing a predetermined number of frac plugs or lateral feet that have been milled. However, there is no indication of how these milestone numbers were generated outside of the old slogan, “Just the way it has always been,” or “that’s just what the engineers have in the program.”  

The DWS ENA team challenged this by asking why we are stopping at these predetermined numbers/depths. What data supports this figure, which results in stalled ROPs and additional costs to circulate the wellbore clean using fluids and lifting gels? This challenge and unanswered questions motivated the team to develop an innovative solution. 

Fig. 3. The onsite operations team was able to determine when their real-time torque profile was getting on the high end of the modeled projections to perform a full clean-out sweep.

Within BoreSite, a patented torque and drag modeling (T&D) process takes center stage, revolutionizing drilling efficiency. By allowing live torque simulations to overlap with actual drilling torque, BoreSite brings proven cost-savings through enhanced chemical and fluid efficiencies, Fig. 3.  

The engineering team will first run the projected torque & drag simulation, based on the wellbore survey, which lays out a sensitivity analysis of different friction factors that dictate the condition of the wellbore. This typically ranges from 0.22 – 0.30 and factors in important data points, such as rotation, pressures, pipe grade, and casing properties. The forecasted data are projected onto the user’s BoreSite dashboard, with the actual live torque and drag data overlapping against the model data. This allows the user to understand better the conditions downhole and when risks are starting to become present.  

In the case where surface-to-surface and chemical sweep circulations are predetermined in the completion program, we can now use data to drive this decision. For example, the program may call for a surface-to-surface circulation to be pumped after five frac plugs have been milled out, which temporarily stops progress; however, the data show that the rig is only at a 0.18 friction factor and operating in optimal conditions, which does not warrant a stop in the operation to clean out the wellbore.  

In some cases, the opposite can be observed, where the rig will need to perform a clean-out before the pre-determined value has been achieved. In this scenario, the rig milled out four of the five predetermined frac plugs but is witnessing a 0.27 FF, due to dirty hole conditions that merit stopping early to start the surface-to-surface or risk getting stuck in the well.  

Overlapping true drilling torque vs. modeled torque provides insight into what is happening downhole. It allows engineers and crews to make data-driven decisions, resulting in measurable cost savings. 


Challenge. A new customer challenged us to improve their operations by reducing overall water and chemical usage while decreasing their well open to well close (WOTWC) times.  

Solution. To help the new customer improve efficiencies, our Deep Well Services Operations team examined our historical data, as referenced in the graph below, and compared it to the current customers' data, utilizing BoreSite. Specifically, we focused on circulation patterns versus torque values at critical points throughout the wellbore. The findings were that the circulation frequencies on the previously examined historical data were significantly lower, contributing to a more efficient drill-out and less time on the well.  

To ensure similarity in well design, the Operations team compared the historical wells to the new customer’s wells data. In this case, the fundamental well parameters examined were TVD, MD, LL, formation, geographic location, and SICP. 

After comparing the data sets, it was quickly identified that the reduced circulation intervals on the historical wells did not result in significant torque increases, nor did it create a risk of becoming stuck. Using these fact-based data, we were able to recommend decreasing the amount of circulating between plugs to their new customer.  

Results. For the purpose of this case study, the wells completed prior to the drill-out in question will be referred to as Historical Well 1, Historical Well 2, and Historical Well 3. The wells for the new customer will be labeled as Current Well 1, Current Well 2, and Current Well 3, Table 1.  

After presenting the findings to their new customer, DWS was able to verify that reducing the amount of surface-to-surface circulations would not increase the risk of becoming stuck downhole and would increase the ROP. Throughout the operation, the mandate to fully circulate the well started reducing from every five plugs to every 10 plugs. The customer is estimated to save roughly $25,000 per well throughout the operation merely by circulating less and utilizing data to back up the decision-making process. 


Fig. 4. BoreSites real-time automated plug tracker improves data accuracy, provides plug-by-plug KPIs, and eliminates pen-to-paper data collection during the frac plug drill-out operation.

BoreSite is rebuilding the way data are handled by vendors and customers from the ground up. A great example is the recently released Certified Plug Sheet, Fig. 4. A traditional plug sheet is created by having operators call out milling parameters on the radio or having a toolhand physically present in the red zone. The toolhand will keep a written log of the parameters he/she believes they observed, then enter that information into a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is then submitted sometime later, either at the end of the shift or at the end of the well. Each step of this process is prone to errors and delays, resulting in a huge variance in the quality and format of the final deliverable.  

The Certified Plug Sheet is generated continuously and autonomously during the job and includes a powerful quality control UI that provides an immediate lookback at raw data from the DataVault system.  

Once the data for a plug have been reviewed, the toolhands can certify the plug with the press of a button. This will mark the plug with the toolhand's digital signature and place the plug into read-only mode. A hash of the data is included with the plug, allowing downstream analytics to be driven only by properly handled and signed plug data. These data are available immediately and in perpetuity on BoreSite and can be customized and exported with any readings or user submissions that are important to a job plan. If there is an analytics infrastructure in place, the finalized plug sheets can also be delivered automatically to a data warehouse or quality management system.  


Many of the lead DWS engineers who developed BoreSite came originally from the operator side of the business and understood that not all users would be interested in specific data points or have the same criteria for operational alarms. With this in mind, they set out to develop a fully customizable dashboard in which alarms & reports can be created and customized by the user for as many data tags as they would like.  

Fig. 5. Engineers review live job data via the BoreSite interactive dashboard.

BoreSite users can set when they are notified that the alarm threshold has been reached and how the alarm is communicated to them, including email notifications. Users can also set their dashboards (Fig. 5) with built-in data analytics, providing access to current & historical well KPI reports, After-Action Reviews, NPT reports, rig comparisons, and other key data sets to drive continuous improvement.  

With these built-in features, users can now view the data that matter most to their business and have them delivered the way they want it. 

Maintain full internal control of data through the BoreSite® Data Vault. This feature is a modern re-envisioning of long-term operational data storage. Its flexible design allows an unlimited number of parameters to be stored and does not require consistent sampling intervals or timestamps to overlay data. That means you can look at real-time sensor data, third-party data, daily shift updates, hourly alarms, and high-frequency asset well data, all in the same view without going back to the drawing board for every new source. 

All data stored in the vault are write-only, meaning the core data cannot be modified or destroyed after their creation. This ensures an ultimate source of truth, where data modifications and corrections can only be done through a verified, observable and reversible process. The Data Vault gives you the absolute trust needed to drive analytics and automation. 

The Data Vault uses secure AES-256 cryptographic keys to securely store all data in transit and at rest, making it fully compliant with international security standards, such as GDPR. Data are stored with time-based partitioning and are densely compressed, allowing decades of operational data to be available at any time with virtually unlimited scalability. 


Deep Well Service's patented data analytics platform, BoreSite, was exclusively designed to capture and transform wellsite data into valuable insight for operators in the upstream oil and gas Industry. The live feed data offer real-time visibility into operations worldwide while providing customizable alarms, real-time automated plug tracking, KPI analysis, built-in data analytics, and user reports to empower operators to understand on-site performance and make immediate corrections. 

About the Authors
Matt Tourigny
Deep Well Services
Matt Tourigny is the chief marketing officer at Deep Well Services, based out of Pittsburgh, Pa. He has over 20 years of upstream oil & gas experience, including being a key member of the operations team that completed the once-longest onshore perforated lateral in US onshore history at 20,800 ft, LL. Mr. Tourigny holds a U.S. patent around optimizing well-drilling operations and has published several international whitepapers for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) on completion technologies.
Kennan Bieber
Deep Well Services
Kennan Bieber serves as the applications architect at Deep Well Services, bringing nearly a decade of experience in designing and developing software solutions for various completion-related applications. Throughout his career, he has excelled in crafting intuitive data collection, visualization, and control software, leveraging cutting-edge web technologies to streamline workflows and enhance operational efficiency.
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