Inside OPC - Issue 15

Page 1

Inside 2

Three year growth plan


Our people


Consultants corner


New contracts


On the road






Caption competition


Latest news

The latest news, vacancies, features and events involving OPC operations throughout the world

April 2013 Issue 15

New Board sets out 3 year growth plan Piers Johnson, Managing Director of OPC, has created a new board style management structure as the first milestone in OPC’s three year growth strategy.

Left to right: David Carney, Jim Ayton, Piers Johnson, Ada Bradfield, Barry Shaw


Twenty five years on from when Piers Johnson started OPC as an independent consultant offering well testing services, the company is now a diversified sub-surface technical consultancy with a flourishing Consultant Services division employing more than 150 consultants through six offices around the world. In order to effectively manage an operation of this size, Piers has formed a management board comprising Piers as Managing Director, Barry Shaw (Commercial Director), Jim Ayton (Technical Director), David Carney (Group Business Development Manager), Ada Branfield (Group Consultant Services Manager) and Bill Roberts (OPC USA President) who are collectively responsible for day to day operations. With the new management board in place, Piers has led a project to identify the potential growth opportunities for the business and the board have devised a three year strategy to double the size of the company in this time period. Piers Johnson said, “As the company grew, I found myself stretched too thinly. I was responsible for everything from managing the company, finance and legal, sales and marketing, opening new offices globally, whilst also having technical input on projects and lecturing in Well Test Interpretation. I have promoted talented staff and recruited expert individuals to look after key areas of the business and I am delighted that the day to day operation of the company is now safely in their hands. As a result I have been able to lead a project looking ahead to the future and we have put in place ambitious plans to double the size of our business over the next three years.”

While not giving away any commercially sensitive details of the three year plan, Piers outlined a few key areas of growth: “We will continue to focus on delivering expertise in our core subsurface engineering, geosciences and production engineering specialities, extending the scope and geographical coverage of these services. We will also expand the scope of our consultant services operation, opening up new markets and new clients for these services. But at the heart we are the same OPC – providing the right people, at the right time, with the right attitude to solve our customers’ challenges and make OPC a great place to work.“ Barry Shaw added, “The scale and quality of business that Piers has developed over the past 25 years represents a truly commendable achievement that would have never been attained without his unrelenting enthusiasm, commitment and professionalism. During my tenure as Commercial Director, I have been encouraged by the solid business philosophies deeply ingrained within the entire organisation, which place us in an excellent position to exceed our three year growth objectives. The management board is committed to driving OPC through a significant growth phase whilst always providing excellent quality of service to our clients. We will venture into new territories, excel at new disciplines and attract new clients. This is a truly exciting time to be part of the OPC team.”

OPC People We are pleased to announce the appointment of David Kitson who has joined OPC in the capacity of Principal Geologist. He will be key to providing the geological discipline within in-house projects and studies. A seismic shift in technical services capability David is primarily an exploration geologist with 27 years’ experience in the industry. He started his career in 1985 at Robertson Research as a Sedimentologist. He undertook both proprietary and multiclient regional studies from the North European Continental Shelf area, Continental Europe, North and West Africa and the Middle East, within the disciplines of both siliciclastic and shallow marine carbonate sedimentology. From 1992 to 1997, David was employed by Petec A.S. (now Roxar A.S.) as a Principal Sedimentologist and later as Senior Geologist. He carried out reservoir studies including, the development of static and dynamic reservoir models, Norwegian Continental Shelf Exploration License applications, regional studies of the Tertiary of the Viking Graben, geological evaluation of ‘farm-out’ offers and sedimentological modelling of the Tordis/Vigdis fields area (Brent Group fluvio-deltaic sediments). Between 1997 and December 2012, David worked as an independent consultant specialising in sedimentological, reservoir characterisation studies and prospect evaluations, in particular Cretaceous and Tertiary deep water sedimentary environments. Whilst continuing to work as an independent, in 2010 David joined OPC as a Consultant Geologist to work on assignments on a call off basis.

David Kitson, Principal Geologist, OPC

“David will significantly strengthen our technical services team. He has worked extensively in the North European Continental Shelf area, Continental Europe, North & West Africa and the Middle East. He has already brought his experience to bear on a Shale Gas project in Sweden and I am delighted to welcome him to OPC.” Jim Ayton, Technical Director


Consultant’s Corner

In this regular feature, we showcase an OPC consultant with a quick-fire five minute interview. For this issue we have Mark Young who first started working with OPC in November 2001.

Mark has had over 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry after obtaining a BA in Engineering in 1975 and an MSc in Petroleum Engineering from Imperial College in 1979. He was formerly a project engineer for Phillips, senior reservoir engineer for BP and international engineering manager for Sun Oil. In 1993 he co-founded Dana Petroleum and was managing director during its start-up years. Since then he has alternated between consulting roles and senior management positions, working for Sakhalin Petroleum, National Petroleum, OPC, Shell, Cairn Energy, Flex LNG and Pilatus Energy. In 2012 he returned to OPC and also became the founder and CEO of Heathfield Resources. Mark is a former chairman of the SPE Aberdeen Section and he received an SPE outstanding service award in 1992.



Mark Young enjoying OPC hospitality at Brands Hatch

What is your current role? Since June 2012 I’ve been a reservoir engineering consultant in the pre-developments team at Hess. Ada’s (Ada Branfield) call to suggest this role was perfect timing as I had just decided to return to technical consulting in London.

Can you briefly describe your project? The team is working on various interesting and challenging projects ranging from conceptual development plans for the Cambo Field in the UK West of Shetlands to Hess operated projects in Ghana, Kurdistan, Algeria and Libya. It’s a multidisciplinary team and I’m enjoying looking for ways to add value to projects through subsurface studies and alternative development options.

How were you introduced to OPC? I met Piers at an SPE meeting in London many years ago. He convinced me that consulting with OPC can be both rewarding and fun!



Why did you choose to consult with OPC? OPC have found me some really good jobs and I have always enjoyed working with the OPC staff. Other factors that are important to me are the company’s professional and technical standards and its repuation in the industry, all of which are high.


What has been the highlight of your time with OPC? There have been many highlights ranging from conducting the EBRD’s review of a Turkmenistan project, to a three week job for Shell that led to three years’ work, to my current role at Hess which is certainly a new highlight. The social highlight has been watching Piers motor racing at Brands Hatch with OPC hospitality. Brilliant, well done Piers!


New contracts

We are pleased to announce the following selection of new contracts awarded in the last quarter. This list is not comprehensive but representative.

Consultancy Services Contract for Reservoir Surveillance/Pressure Transient Analysis for the US operation of International Oil and Gas Major with production assets in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Master Services Agreement for Call Off of Subsurface Engineering and Geosciences Consultants for one of the world’s largest producers of major commodities including substantial oil and gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico, US onshore, Australia, UK, Middle East, Africa & Asia.

Master Services Agreement for Call Off of Subsurface Engineering and Geosciences Consultants for one of the world’s largest independent E&P companies to support their North American production and exploration operations.

Master Services Agreement for Call Off of Outsourced Reservoir & Petroleum Engineering & Training Services and Provision of Consultants under Client Supervision for the UK E&P business of one of the world’s largest energy companies. The MSA has commenced with Production Log Interpretation, Well Test Interpretation, Well Test Training and requirements for Production Technologists.

Consultancy Services Contract for the Provision of Geoscience Resources for European Shale Gas Exploration in Europe for the Chinese owned European subsidiary Upstream Oil and Gas Company with assets in the UK, Africa and North America.

OPC was awarded a new contract for a pressure transient analysis reservoir surveillance project, with a renowned major IOC in the Gulf of Mexico. Geological, geophysical, pressure and production data were analysed to arrive at a description of different possible flow regimes and flow barriers encountered in a deepwater sandstone oil reservoir.

OPC won a new project with an existing IOC client for water injection surveillance pressure transient analysis (PTA) in their field in Angola. The work includes monitoring and understanding the behaviour of injection water banks through the use of PTA.


Consultancy Services Contract for Call Off Subsurface Technical Support for Scandinavian Independent Exploration Company recently founded to exploit unconventional hydrocarbons in Scandinavia and internationally.

Master Services Agreement for Call Off of Outsourced Reservoir, Petroleum Engineering and Geomodelling Support for an International E&P company headquartered in Europe. Early scope of work includes; RE/PE support for production operations, DECC returns, well test supervision/interpretation and static modelling.

Consultancy Services Contract for Competent Persons Report and Review of Owners Field Development Plan. Scope of work include the CPR and review of the FDP with a view to recommending additional studies which would improve the production profile and reserves for the development.

Master Services Agreement for Call Off of Outsourced Technical and Training Services for one of the world’s largest investor-owned energy companies with assets across Europe, Russia, and North America and with global developments. OPC will be supporting their Upstream E&P activities commencing with Well Test training.

Consultancy Services Agreement for Call Off of Well Test Supervision for International Oil Major. Scope of services includes maintaining a dedicated pool of Well Test Supervisors for deployment on exploration drilling campaigns in Africa, Australia, SE Asia and Eurasia. Responsible for well test planning, witness testing of equipment and test supervision.

Consultancy Services Contract for the Provision of Drilling Engineers and Supervisors for Japanese/ GCC Joint Venture Company engaged under a Production Sharing Agreement and the further development of the field.

If you would like to know more about OPC services and how you can work with us either as a services provider or client with a need for support, please contact our Group Business Development Manager, David Carney. +44 (0)20 7428 1111 +44 (0)7824 877 685 opc-dc


On the road

We take an active role in supporting events which promote the industry to graduates and we attend commercial conferences in order to understand the latest developments in our industry as well as network with current and potential customers. Imperial College Student is Well Tested! Congratulations to Imperial College London graduate Percy Obeahon, winner of this year’s OPC Well Test Analysis Award. The annual Well Test Analysis Award of £500 is offered by OPC to the Imperial College MSc Petroleum Engineering student whose thesis most impresses Department Chairman Professor Alain Gringarten and OPC. Percy, now a Reservoir Engineer at Shell Exploration and Production Companies in Nigeria, focused his thesis on history matching for the heavily-faulted Egret Field, in the North Sea. In recent times, fault seal breakdown is seen to have significant impact on recovery. The ability to predict these impacts on well productivity is critical to optimal well placement, reservoir management and field development decisions, particularly for HP/HT deep water developments.

Percy’s thesis fills the knowledge gaps in dynamic fault seal modelling by presenting a new concept on how to characterise the sealing nature of reservoir boundaries and achieve history matches in reservoirs where seal factors change dynamically. This was achieved using pressure transient analysis, production analysis and the deconvolution method. The report demonstrates that using well test interpretation results and a systematic approach to fault seal analysis results in a history-matched model that explains how fault seal breakdown can be constructed. Piers Johnson, OPC Managing Director, said: “I have a longstanding relationship with Professor Gringarten, as we’ve been doing well testing all our lives. OPC is pleased to continue to offer this prestigious prize and we wish to congratulate Percy, whose thesis was chosen as being a significant contribution to reservoir characterisation from well test interpretation.” Professor Gringarten, Director of the Centre for Petroleum Studies at Imperial College London, added: “We are grateful to OPC for their continuing support. They are an example of what companies can do to encourage and reward excellence at universities.”


SPE Intro attracts a Full House OPC’s Maiden Outing as Exhibitors in Petex 2012 PETEX is a biannual conference and exhibition organised by the PESGB (Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain) which is the largest subsurface-focused exploration and production event in the UK. The event took place at the Earl’s Court, London, from 20 – 22 November and saw 3,400 delegates visit more than 150 exhibitors and listed to more than 60 technical papers. The main plenary debate on “Obtaining a Social Licence to Operate” saw leading figures from both the Oil & Gas industry and environmental protection organisations openly discuss this key hot topic. OPC exhibited for the first time and David Carney, Group Business Development Manager commented, “Exhibiting at major industry events such as PETEX is a step change for OPC but we felt the time was right to publicly showcase our expertise here and we are pleased that we did. We were fully occupied each day talking to a variety of current and prospective clients, work seekers and other service providers. This meant we didn’t get time to attend any of the Conference oral presentations but we certainly got good value out of the 3 days and plan to return in 2014”.

OPC were again the proud sponsors of the Annual Intro to Exploration and Production organised by the SPE London Continuing Education Committee. Now in its 8th year, this increasingly popular event has continued to attract large audiences, which reflects the general growth in the upstream sector. The seminar is aimed at people working in an E&P environment, who are new to the industry and would benefit from a basic understanding of exploration and production processes. This year’s attendance broke all records with a full house at 176 delegates with a further 15 delegates on the waiting list. Aside from sponsorship, OPC staff greatly contributed to the day. Piers Johnson, OPC Managing Director opened the seminar with his Welcome Speech, as he has done for the last 5 years. OPC Technical Director Jim Ayton presented the Reservoir Engineering portion of the seminar for the first time. OPC also provided goody bags on the day which included a USB stick containing the presentations from the day. Feedback from attendees included comments like “Really informative for people relatively new in the O&G industry.” and “Very useful and interesting. It gives a good overview of oil & gas. It is also adapted to all types of people (engineers and nonengineers).”


New horizons at the Africa Oil and Gas Summit 2013 OPC decided to branch out of more familiar upstream events and was an exhibitor at the Africa Oil and Gas Summit 2013. This event was a two day oil and gas conference, from 28 – 29 January at the Lancaster Hotel in London, exploring the latest developments, strategies and opportunities within exploration and production in African oil and gas producing countries. The seminars centred around opportunities in East, West and Southern Africa sectors with presentations given by African NOCs, IO’s and Key Government Ministers and Institutions from across Africa. David Carney, Jim Ayton and David Kitson were in attendance to man the stand as well as mingle with other delegates many of whom were senior managers working for operators. David summed up his experience over the two days, “The intimate nature of this event allowed David Carney, OPC Business Development at Africa Oil & Gas 2013 us to spend quality time with delegates and we made some excellent contacts amongst African NOCs and IOCs. Expanding into the Africa region is part of our 3 year plan and this event helped us to understand better the latest developments in the region.”

Upcoming Events 9th May 2013

SPE 7th Annual Women in Energy OPC is the main sponsor for this prestigious event, held at the London SouthBank University this year

22nd – 23rd May 2013

SPE 2nd Annual Conference – ‘Managing Oil and Gas Portfolios in Uncertain Markets’ OPC is the main sponsor and will be exhibiting again for this event taking place at Savoy Place.



Lecturing and training courses enable OPC senior staff to share their expertise with the industry In February 2013, Piers Johnson, Managing Director of OPC, celebrated 15 years of lecturing to the prestigious Masters course in Reservoir Geoscience and Engineering (RGE) at the Institute of French Petroleum (IFP) in Paris. With more than thirty years of experience within the field, Piers is recognised as one of the world-leading authorities on Well Testing and he has been imparting his knowledge and expertise to students at the IFP since 1999.

from all over the world and is a regular event on the OPC Calendar. Both Piers and Bill also lecture at other leading international educational establishments including Imperial College, London as well as giving tailored commercial training courses for OPC customers throughout the world. Piers commented “I really enjoy passing on my knowledge to a new generation of professionals and it’s refreshing to meet talent joining our industry who are keen to both learn the theory of accurate well testing and to implement Bill Roberts President of OPC USA with IFP students the methodologies in a work situation. But it’s not just new students who can benefit from training. Earlier this year I ran a training course for some very experienced oil company engineers and they realised that they had been using an inaccurate method to interpret well test data for the last three years!”

In recent years, Bill Roberts, President of OPC USA has joined Piers as a lecturer on the 3-week IPF course which takes place in the first quarter of every year. Piers and Bill run two courses each, covering the theory of well test interpretation and its application within practical situations. The students have to complete a project analysing well test data to originate realistic well and reservoir models. Piers sets the exam for the students, which is marked by IFP staff, and scores their projects once completed at the end of the course.

“This course has really been very educative, as the OPC professors have been very practical and very interactive. They have helped me to build a very firm foundation in well testing analysis.”

This popular course attracts international students

OPC offers a limited number of “Lunch and learn” taster training sessions each quarter – the first three enquiries received by from this newsletter will get a free “lunch and learn” session at their offices for up to 10 attendees.

Piers, Bill and other senior members of the OPC Technical team run training courses throughout the year both at OPC offices and on-site at client premises. Courses can be tailored to meet the needs of specific audiences.

OPC Training Courses include: • Reservoir Surveillance • Well Test Analysis (basic and advanced) • Integrated Reservoir Management • An Introduction to International Petroleum Economics • Petroleum Economics & Risk Analysis




Frac Supervisor, Planning and preparing execution of fracturing of 3 wells in Southern Algeria, followed by a further 13 wells.


Well Engineering Team Leader Leadership role in the Wells Major Projects Organization accountable for the planning and delivery of Wells inputs to major projects. Leading a team of drilling and completion engineers to ensure delivery of high quality frontend well engineering & planning activities.

Senior Well Engineer Design Prepare optimized well designs and detailed programs according to agreed design proposals, for which you will have provided input. You’ll ensure that these programs are optimized with respect to well quality, Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) considerations, and cost efficiency. You’ll always continually strive to improve HSE performance through influencing well design aspects and through coordinating with wellsite personnel in the execution of well operations. In some cases you may be required to spend time at the well-site supporting field staff and ensuring operations are performed in full compliance with company procedures, policies and guidelines.


Exploration Geophysicist To work alongside OPC’s Staff Geologist in looking after our client’s North Sea interests leading up to the next licensing round.


Senior Well Completions / Well Interventions Engineer Manage a team of Well Completion & Intervention Engineers and Supervisors in their planning and execution of work programmes. You will implement controls and processes to safeguard the technical integrity of well completion and intervention activities, at the same time as driving performance improvement by using appropriate “limit methodology” tools and techniques (eg. Realise-the-Limit: RtL).

Production Technologist Well performance and well management. Production optimization per individual well production limits, completion type, and process capacity constraints. Short term production and injection forecasting. Preparation, planning and supervision of well intervention programs for maintenance, surveillance, stimulation, water and gas management. Well integrity management / daily monitoring of well. Well performance modelling. Development of well intervention programs



Drilling Engineers

Well Testers For international projects with major operating companies.


Responsible for the drilling engineering input to major projects, providing high quality front-end drilling engineering & planning activities including generation of well options, basis of design documentation, project well cost estimates and well delivery schedules for a redevelopment project.

Reservoir Surveillance Engineer To participate in reservoir studies using appropriate dynamic and static techniques within a multidisciplinary team. To provide reservoir engineering input into failure reservoir management and surveillance to support operations in production planning and control activities. MUST have Emeraude, Prosper and Saphir experience.


Drilling Supervisors Manage all operations associated with the well, including planning and scheduling, resource allocation, cost control and clear and concise reporting of all well site activities and events.


Geomodeller Build 3D stochastic geologic models. Experience of carbonate reservoirs, cell and object based modelling techniques and incorporating discrete facture networks into geologic models. Preferred software experience - PETREL, ZMAP or CPS3 and Stratworks / Openworks.


Completions Engineer / Petroleum Engineers / Reservoir Engineers Major field development project in Iraq to double production to c3 million bopd. Focus will be on asset production operations and field development Production Geologists / Petrophysicists.

Any of these vacancies suit you or somebody you know? Please email your current resume to: We are always looking for talented individuals with 10 years + experience in E&P so if nothing here matches what you’re looking for, still feel free to send us in your details or call us on +44(0)20 7428 1111. 13

Caption Contest

Win $100 of Amazon Vouchers! Our caption contest this month uses a wonderful photograph taken by OPC contact Cees Kok and shows a breath-taking view of the OPC office in Doha, Qatar.

Send us a caption for the image below, it should be no longer than 140 characters - the funnier the better! Please ensure it reaches us by 31st May 2013. Email with your entry. Best of luck! The competition will be judged by the OPC staff and the winner will be announced in the next issue along with their winning entry.

OPC have had an office in Doha since 2006, the primary focus of which is to support the technical services and consulting services contracts we have in the gulf region with NOCs and IOCs.


Latest news Stuart Hart has been appointed as Manager of OPC Middle East based in Doha. Stuart takes over from Chris Bayly who is returning to our Technical services consulting team. Stuart joined OPC in 2009 and was originally responsible for managing Consultant Services in the Aberdeen office. Stuart moved to Doha in 2012 to oversee business development activities in the middle east and now takes on full responsibility for OPC activities in the region.


We hope you have enjoyed this newsletter. Let us know what you thought and what you’d like to know more about. Next edition due in July.

OPC Limited 1-2 Apollo Studios Charlton Kings Rd London NW5 2SB T: +44(0)20 7428 1111 F: +44(0)20 7428 1122 London, Aberdeen UK | Doha Qatar | Houston USA | Atyrau, Astana Kazakhstan