Optimizing performance

During 2016, we remained focused on maximizing long-term value creation from the Kingdom’s hydrocarbon resources while making tactical adjustments to meet the challenges of the market downturn, aiming to lower costs, improve performance, and enhance efficiency. For example, we made substantial achievements in drilling through a number of programs and initiatives:

  • Our cost optimization initiatives included negotiating lower costs for rigs, materials, and services. We introduced a program to recondition equipment and materials, resulting in significant savings, and we deployed an offshore floating hub to supply tools and materials. These efforts enabled a reduction in overall well costs compared to 2015.
  • Measures to improve performance included introducing new drilling bits and driving mechanisms, and applying optimum drilling parameters to achieve an increased drilling rate-of-penetration and lower cost-per-foot. Contractors’ nonproductive time was also reduced compared to previous years. 
  • Initiatives to boost efficiency included enhanced well design and the introduction of technologies that reduced drilling and completion time and improved well delivery. We also set world records in pipe recovery operations, sidetracking, and wireline tractor use — all of which enable faster and more efficient operations.

Our efforts to boost efficiency in upstream operations were bolstered by corporate programs, such as Operational Excellence and Total Plant Reliability Management.

In 2016, we drilled more wells and produced record levels of oil and sales gas while optimizing expenditures and manpower levels.

Hawiyah Gas Plant

A team of young employees at our Hawiyah Gas Plant, in collaboration with our Process and Control Systems organization, pioneered the development of a breakthrough hydraulic turbine electric generator, or turbocharger, which converts hydraulic energy that is traditionally wasted at the plant into electrical power.

The technology achieves significant cost savings and lightens the greenhouse gas footprint of the plant. The turbocharger is being monitored and if deemed a success, may be rolled out across other company facilities. 

Maximising energy

The turbocharger — the first of its kind in the world — was deployed in a pilot demonstration in early 2015 and performed to expectations with an average output of 300 kilowatts.