Decision Quality for exploration well path optimization - a case study from the Vienna Basin, Austria

    • Authors: Walter Kosi, Ralph Hinsch, Jost Püttmann, Kent Burkholder, Hanns Peter Schmid (OMV) (Decision Frameworks)

    • Abstract:

    • OMV is a Vienna based energy company with an Upstream division and Exploration & Production activities in 13 countries. In November 2023 OMV faced a complex challenge when they commenced drilling a 5500m deep well, Strasshof T17, in the Vienna Basin, Austria. The project aimed to explore a complex subsurface structure, poorly imaged on seismic data. The initial plan involved drilling an expensive pilot hole before the final sidetrack to mitigate subsurface uncertainties.

      To address this challenging situation, OMV applied a Decision Quality (DQ) framework which they executed on the critical path within one week. The workflow included defining stakeholders, framing the problem, establishing the drilling path, evaluating different subsurface scenarios, and presenting findings to the decision board.

      The application of DQ analysis allowed to optimize the drilling strategy resulting in cost savings of 25%. Beyond the cost benefits, the DQ process fostered effective team building and alignment among diverse disciplines. Additionally, the systematic analysis approach yielded previously unavailable insights, validated long-debated assumptions, and garnered attention at the senior vice president (SVP) level, demonstrating its effectiveness and scalability.