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Unconventionals

We help clients optimize their business to capture the potential of tight gas, shale gas, and light tight oil.

Unconventional developments have achieved enormous technical success, yet their economics remain challenging. Well productivity is declining as prime locations are drilled out and operators move to less productive basins. Drilling performance and costs vary widely within the same asset and even the same operator, revealing substantial scope for improvement. These issues take on new meaning and urgency as our clients tackle swings in commodity cycles.

In an environment where improving efficiency and reducing costs are paramount, some of the biggest opportunities we have identified lie in eliminating waste and variability in fracking, materials logistics, drilling, and rig mobility processes; integrating planning across the field to optimize materials management and resource use; and ensuring that information on well productivity flows to the people who need it.

What we do

We launch a new client project in onshore upstream unconventionals every three weeks. As trusted advisors to independents, majors, service companies, and investors, we have developed unrivalled industry knowledge.

Our investments in proprietary research, benchmarking, modeling, and capability building ensure we bring the best thinking to our clients, taking a full lifecycle value approach, including Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) considerations.

With extensive support from independents and majors, we recently completed the first benchmarking effort in Marcellus shale, producing a pioneering database to help clients raise performance through a deeper understanding of cost and operational best practices.

How we work

We help operators capture the potential of tight gas, shale gas, and light tight oil through better insight into:

  • Operations excellence: Reaching best-in-class performance in the speed, accuracy, and economics of drilling, completions, and field operations; optimizing surface equipment design for efficient, timely, and safe subsurface access and reservoir production; and building lean, agile organizations to thrive in a fast-growing industry.
  • Market outlook and strategic implications: Understanding the outlook for supply, demand, and other macroeconomic factors; gaining insight into emerging market strategies; and developing a portfolio strategy by stage of development.
  • Midstream perspectives: Evaluating supply and flow shifts in differentials and netbacks; understanding how they influence producers' decisions; and assessing midstream requirements to optimize investment and ownership models throughout the life of lease.
  • Emerging-basin entry: Developing country- and basin-specific strategies and innovative operating models for new regions such as China, Latin America, and Eastern Europe to take account of economics, access to preferred basins, and the competitive landscape.
  • Technology and equipment: Finding the pain points in the value chain that trigger issues with costs, the environment, and the social license to operate, and identifying technological trends and innovations to take performance to the next level.

Examples of our work

We supported a North American onshore operator in applying our design-to-value approach to pad design, delivering safety improvements, a reduction in site prep time, and savings of $400 million in total cost of ownership across basins.

A large operator was facing cost pressures despite strong operational performance. We helped it implement best practices in procurement and contracting to optimize its supply chain, delivering capital-expenditure savings of $500 million per year.

An engineering and construction firm was seeking growth opportunities in the North American unconventional oil and gas value chain at the regional level. We worked with it to identify three growth strategies and targets capable of boosting revenues by up to $1 billion per year.

Featured capabilities

We have developed a portfolio of proprietary tools to provide clients with a uniquely comprehensive view:

  • Our North American Supply Model covers 118 basins and incorporates all major sources of supply.
  • Our North America Midstream Model simulates all regional refineries and transport infrastructure and determines crude flows and potential bottlenecks.
  • Our Energy Insights specialist unit brings together our analytical models, benchmarking capabilities, and proprietary insights to enable energy players to make critical decisions on strategy, investment, and performance.

Featured experts

Parker Meeks

Partner, Houston

Bob Frei

Senior Partner, Chicago

Joe Quoyeser

Senior Expert, Houston

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