Andy Shaw, VP and Managing Director, Australasia, Baker Hughes (Page 2 of 4) 22 Oct 2014

What do you think are the major challenges the oil and gas sector has yet to face in the short and long-term?

For me the greatest challenge and greatest opportunity revolves around Human Capital. Building the experience required to deal with more and more reservoir complexity, where we can no longer support time served as a measure of ability, and where we must rely on the competency of those executing is key to how the sector evolves, and the sustainability of the industry.

Where do you see Australia heading in resources?

Over the next 3-5 years Australia’s resource base, in parallel with the rest of the world, will continue to expand resource plays into that unconventional space – into the rocks that when I was in school we called source or cap rock, and now a reservoir.

What do you believe separates high performing companies from their less successful counterparts?

Two factors.

  1. Adaptability. Accepting change as a normal state and using it as a catalyst for growth rather than a crisis.

  2. 2) Diversity – where our work force is diverse, both from a gender and culture perspective, business strength is measurably better.

How important is research and technology development for service companies in today's industry?

Research and development into innovative and creative technologies has become both the life blood and the domain of successful service companies – it is the source of value creation, and how we help our customer’s meet production and recovery goals.

For more than 100 years we have been pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible in Well Technology, and we continually redefine the technical limits in this sector, as it is at the heart of our customers’ primary interface with and access to the reservoir. We are pursuing growth opportunities in the broad area of production, building on our leadership position in artificial lift and chemicals.

Many of our customers’ challenges in production require a multi-disciplinary approach which has enormous potential for applying Baker Hughes’ diverse technology portfolio.

What is the most significant technological advancement you have experienced in your career to date?

I’d like to pick two technologies to highlight. First, for me, as a wireline engineer, the technology advances that have occurred in our formation sampling and testing capability have been extraordinary. From 26 years ago when taking a few 10 cc pressure tests, and perhaps one sample, on wireline, was a challenge, compared to today when irrespective of conveyance method – either wireline or in a drill string – we are able to take tests and samples to provide estimates for production capability, fluid type and composition, fluid-phase behaviour, production-facility design, and flow assurance. Today we can get a complete description of reservoir fluid type and its behaviour and capture the necessary reservoir fluid sample required for detailed pressure, volume, and temperature analysis.

The Baker Hughes name comes from the inventor of the roller cutter drill bit, Howard Hughes senior, who more than a hundred years ago (in 1909) pioneered our product development. Last year I was amazed to see an innovative and new drilling technology hitting the market in the form of our Kymera hybrid drill bit. It combines roller cones and PDC fixed cutters into a single, patented design that essentially drills much faster in the most complex applications. With the rock-crushing strength and stability of roller cones and the cutting superiority and continuous shearing action of diamond bits, the drill bit survives highly interbedded formations with performance consistency. We’ve been using the Kymera bits here in Australia and seeing great performance.

What technology will provide the next step change—in your opinion?

There really is no one technology that will provide a step change – I could list 20 – but I'll pick one example.

We are just introducing an electrical submersible pumping, or ESP, system that passes through tight radius curves to improve production - designed to pass through the bend section in deviated and horizontal wells. This industry-first technology will allow users to improve production because you can install the ESP system deeper in the wellbore, closer to the producing zone.

 The FLEXlift Curve tight-radius system allows an ESP to pass through buildup rates of 15° per 100 ft. (Click here for an enlarged image)