Companies turn to software to help weather low-price environment
August 30, 2016
As the lower for longer sentiment has grown, so has the number of demo requests and software inquiries received daily by Calgary-headquartered oil and gas software maker, Energy Navigator. The drivers behind the inquiries are varied, but there is a common concern: oil and gas companies are operating with fewer people in an effort to contain operating costs. Key individuals and significant knowledge resources are gone, but the work still needs to be completed with a high degree of accuracy and data confidence. This quest for more efficient, flexible, and reliable software and support has helped Energy Navigator secure several new clients recently for its Value Navigator® (Val Nav®) engineering and reserves software, including Canadian companies Paramount Resources and PrairieSky Royalties Ltd., international operator Gran Tierra Energy Inc., and California-based Oxy spin-off California Resources Corporation.
“The down-cycle means every E&P company is evaluating the way they work, and looking for efficiencies that will not only help them today, but carry them forward as things turn around. We’ve definitely seen a shift in the market,” said Energy Navigator VP of U.S. Operations, Bill Agee. “The number of demo requests we receive through our website alone has tripled in the last year. In 2015, we would get 4 to 6 Val Nav demo requests per month. That number is 12 to 15 per month now. They’re looking for ways to get the same amount of work done with fewer people, and ways to manage data more efficiently, with better security and audit trails. Also, with downsizing there are a lot of people who are now working in areas where they haven’t had a lot of previous experience, so they need to know that their software partner is willing to provide ongoing training and technical support without a lot of extra costs or hassles.”
Clients who have recently switched software packages, or selected Val Nav as part of a new reworked reserves process, agree that efficiencies and time savings are essential. It’s no longer acceptable to take two weeks to run prices sensitivities the old way when the right software tool can make the same job possible in a matter of a few hours. “By choosing Val Nav, we were able to move away from an old legacy system that forced us to work harder and manage many databases,” said Elizabeth DeStephens, VP, Reserves & Corporate Development with California Resources Corporation. “Now we have a flexible process that lets us work smarter, with a small reserves team, and only one transparent database for all our technical forecasts, approvals, audit tracking, reporting, scenarios and analytics. Our team members have more time for technical evaluations, rather than pushing data to/from several different programs. With Val Nav, you need fewer licenses and can redirect staff time towards value creation. It’s just a better way.”
According to Michael Woofter, Reservoir Engineering Manager, Paramount Resources faced a similar challenge with a legacy system. "Value Navigator provides Paramount with a platform to leap frog ahead in terms of software technology. This advancement allows us to align our practices and work flows internally and to better coordinate planning processes and stakeholder engagement. This is particularly important to us as we grow further into Unconventional Resource development."
For companies like PrairieSky and Gran Tierra, the flexibility and openness of Val Nav’s fiscal modelling tools was one of the biggest draw. As a company that manages the largest ownership of royalty lands in Canada, PrairieSky needs to be able to quickly and easily model and manage a wide range of royalty agreements. “We wanted something that would be less of a black box than other software on the market,” stated PrairieSky’s Todd Keenan. “With Val Nav’s fiscal modeler, I can quickly set up my own custom regimes and see how the calculations are done. Working with competitors’ software required having them custom build the functionality into a standard release which could take up to a year, while the calculation would still be behind the scene and I would not be sure how the final numbers were derived.”
For Gran Tierra Development Engineer Alex Schmitt, the fiscal regime modeler in Val Nav is a key feature that allows him to do more work in less time. “As a company with international interests,” says Schmitt, “we work under a range of fiscal arrangements that can vary widely from country to country and region to region. From our perspective, Val Nav’s flexibility and transparency in the way it models unusual and sometimes complicated fiscal regimes is very useful and a key advantage it has over competing products.”Return