Nautec Energy Solutions (Nautec) was contracted to assist InterOil Corporation (InterOil) in building their internal capabilities to manage a large ramp up in drilling operations. As a small Cairns-based exploration company operating in Papua New Guinea, InterOil did not have the required resources to ramp up operations after Total completed a large farm-in to their acreage. They turned to Nautec to provide the resources and expertise to build their own internal capabilities.

The Client

InterOil is a Canadian listed exploration company operating in PNG

Until recently their head office was in Cairns (regional Australia), supported by a small operations team in Port Moresby who managed the drilling of one to two wells per year

After a large farm-in by Total, InterOil moved their office to Singapore and was required to ramp up operations rapidly to support six to nine wells per year

PNG drilling conditions are very challenging both from subsurface geology and the operating environment (remote jungle), requiring detailed planning to ensure operations ran smoothly

The Scope

Rapidly provide a drilling support function in Port Moresby to supplement InterOil’s current capabilities

Develop and implement a procurement and cost tracking function within drilling

Provide a Drilling Project Manager to sit in-house and manage the ramp up until they could resource their own

Set up an on-boarding process, including assistance with visa applications to facilitate the growth of the company

Assist in providing engineers, supervisors and project support personnel

The Challenges

InterOil was required to go from one operating drill rig to having three rigs operating in less than three months

They had a small team which was already stretched with no additional capacity for delivering the ramp up

They wanted to build their own in-house drilling capability but needed urgent support to deliver their project

They needed someone to help them build their internal capabilities while ensuring the wells were spudded on time

The Services

Provide overall technical management of the drilling program

In-country site assessments initial set up

Provide drilling engineering and geological services

Project management including planning, cost management, and reporting services

Procurement services including technical specifications, evaluations, award recommendations, rig selection and drilling contract

Ad hoc project support, such as logistic optimisation (heli-rigs), drafting of well management documentation and well integrity reviews

Field supervisory and operations management

The Outcomes

Nautec was able to guide and ensure that InterOil achieved their permit obligations with all wells spudded on time. This was done by assisting in the development of their internal resources and systems. Initially key Nautec staff were seconded to InterOil to support in the delivery of their drilling program. As InterOil’s capabilities grew, Nautec people were transitioned out of the project. Nautec’s Drilling Project Manager was replaced in September 2014 by InterOil’s own Drilling VP (Singapore) and a local drilling manager (Port Moresby). Nautec continue to support InterOil in non-core support functions such as cost tracking, procurement support and technical advisory work.