Where it all begins...

By Peter Duncan
Founder & Co-Chairman

I am spending a great deal of my time these days pondering how we communicate the value of our services to clients. For much of my career, the selling of geophysical services has been based upon improving resolution, reducing turnaround time or reducing price. Most often this turns into selling features of the service rather than the real “value”. How do we know when we are talking about “value”? As long as one can ask “so what does that mean to bottom line?” after the description of the product or service, you haven’t conveyed the value. For example, as we make real-time recommendations to our customers on how to frac their wells, we have to make sure the recommendation comes with a value statement. We can’t just suggest pumping for an extra hour to yield a “bigger” or “more complex” SRV. We must say something like “If you pump an extra hour, it will cost you $100,000 but you will, to a reasonable degree of probability, produce $500,000 in additional hydrocarbons.” Now that’s value!  In point of fact we must be able to put a return for dollar spent on the microseismic services we provide as well. We are again changing the industry by moving microseismic from a descriptive service, telling the operator what the frac looks like, to a prescriptive service, telling the operator how to make a better frac. In this realm we will be expected to quantify results and provide recommendations based on real economic value and return on investment.  That is what FracRx™ is all about.

Having told you where my head is these days, I was brought back to a different reality this morning by a tremendous statistic reported by Geoff Pettinger in our weekly operations meeting.  Geoff told us that we are closing in on having completed one million man hours of work without a lost time incident in the field. That is a tremendous accomplishment and it put me in mind of just how important our field operations are to what we do. All the superior  algorithms  that Dr. Thornton develops and all the ingenious SRV modelling that Jon, Carl and Kash  construct amount to nothing but fantasy if the data going in is worthless. You know ….. “garbage in, garbage out”. “So what does that mean to our bottom line?” you ask.  The value of our analysis is nil if the data going in are not high quality. And what is the value of doing it safely? Priceless! To both us and our clients the cost of unsafe operations is devastating to the bottom line and will put both of us out of business.

This week I will have the privilege of spending a few hours with a fair number of our field folk who are in town for the annual operations roundtable. I will be telling them how proud I am of what they do in the field, how important it is that they continue to be the best in the industry and how valuable it is that they do it safely. The field is where it all begins and we don’t say that enough.

Peter