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I often have thought that what oil and gas companies actually do to discover and produce hydrocarbons must be a mystery to many people outside the E&P community. Nor do they fully appreciate the large sums of capital put at risk. They may not even realize that it is in production operations that all the upstream efforts of those companies turn into revenue, into money. Still, that simple view fails to account for the value generated by almost countless numbers of people that provide the services, materials, and capital vital to successful E&P ventures.
As authors Bill Leffler and Martin Raymond point out in this book, more than 80% of the money that oil and gas companies spend goes not to their own engineers, scientists, and operating staff, but to service companies and suppliers. And that doesn’t even count the support services within the oil and gas companies. I don’t doubt that in those specialized companies and support groups there are many, many people who want to and ought to know more about the processes of producing oil and gas.
And I am also convinced that if they did, both they and the companies they support would achieve continuously increasing levels of efficiency and effectiveness. This book by Leffler and Raymond is a broad leap across the gap between the mysteries of production operations and the need for better understanding by those who help make it happen. This book won’t tell engineers and operating people how to do their jobs, but it will make clear to people who have to deal with them what those engineers and operating people are trying to achieve-and why.
Martin Raymond’s long career in production and Bill Leffler’s broad oil and gas background and credentials as a writer make them the right team to create this essential book. Who? To petroleum engineers and geologists, the basics of oil and gas production are virtually second nature. That’s what they do. But what about the rest of theworld-the mud salesman, the information technology specialist, the environmentalist, the accountant, the facilities engineer, the seismic crew member, the… well, you get it.
All these people have to deal with petroleum engineers and geologists, providing the goods and services. How do they get a grip on the challenges of extracting oil and gas from the ground? How do they relate announcements about new technologies and innovations to what their clients are currently doing? And how does another group, those abruptly thrust into the industry-a landowner, a royalty-interest owner, or an incrediblylucky heir-eatch up? We wrote this book with all those people in mind. Some are engineering graduates.
Many havc only a vaguely related technical education. Others don’t even have that arrow in their quivers. So this book attempts to reduce the technology to understandable prose. Oh, there are one or two sections that have formulas, but that’s all. There may be complicated charts and diagrams, but everyone has an easy explanation-even though we acknowledge that production is a complicated business. What? The meat of this book is in the second two-thirds. But at any proper meal, an appetizer, soup, and salad should come first.