Analysis and optimisation of the operating functions responsibility pattern between field staff and Integrated Operations Centre


One of the largest vertically integrated oil companies of Russia. The Company is focusing on the geological studies of subsurface resources; exploration and production; hydrocarbons supply; oil, gas, and natural gas refining products sales. Company is working in more than 30 countries.

The project was started by the customer as part of the corporate Digital Transformation program which implies the concept of the field management business processes integration based on the high-performance data gathering systems and state-of-the-art analytics.


The establishment of an IOC as a new organisational unit on the Asset level has become one of the outputs of the corporate Digital Transformation program implementation. The scope of the IOC functions includes a wide range of analytical tasks such as field operations planning and scheduling, engineering support and production optimisation. To fulfil these tasks successfully IOC staff should have appropriate level of skills and knowledge. That is why IOC personnel was initially recruited from the Asset’s office functional departments and management personnel.

Among other issues, the IOC was established to achieve the “one-stop shop” principle in collaboration between field staff, and Asset functional departments and management personnel. Therefore, IOC should manage field activities, being responsible for planning and surveillance efficiency analysis of the field operations while field staff is responsible for physically doing the work on-site.

Upon the implementation of IOC, the area of responsibility for the field office engineering and management personnel was kept the same. Therefore, the tasks of forecasted oil and gas production levels fulfilment were reduplicated as for the IOC as for the field office. They appeared to double the responsibility and potential conflict of interests have become a bottleneck in effective field operations planning and analytical tasks solving.


  • To conduct an analysis of the current responsibility areas of the IOC and field offices.

  • To define the potential of optimisation by transferring responsibility and personnel from the field to the IOC level.


The customer defined three Assets of unique parameters to conduct an analysis of the responsibility split between field and IOC and figure out the potential of its optimisation:

  • The first Asset is located in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district and has 5 field offices. The Asset is characterised by relatively small distances between IOC and production sites (less than 30 km).

  • The second Asset is in the Komi Republic. It has 5 reporting field offices with a variation of distances between IOC and production sites in the range between 10 to 150 km.

  • The last one located in the Perm Territory and has 4 reporting field offices. The distances between IOC and production sites variates in the range between 135 to 670 km.

The scope of work started with conducting web-meetings with IOCs and field office’s personnel based on the prepared personified questionnaires. Additionally, all the regulatory documents were requested and analysed per each asset.

Based on the information gathered the Matrix of functions was developed and became a pivot for all the further analytics:


In addition to the Matrix of functions, the mutual comparison of the Assets was developed. The term of the Relative Field Age (RFA) was introduced and defined as a ratio of the total drilled well stock amount to the active production and injection wells stock amount.

The mutual comparison defines the asset located in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district as one with homogeneous distribution as in terms of the Relative Fields Age as in the range of the distances between IOC and production sites. Other Assets are characterised by the wide range of reporting fields RFA and their geographical spread across long distances.

The next step was a detailed analysis of the assets which gave an insight to the level of each field office and an engineer. As a result, the understanding of responsibility areas split detailed to the functions level was achieved. It allowed to characterise and measure current fields management systems in the holistic way, define their pros and cons.



As inherent advantages of the existing system could be considered its balanced state, sustainability, and succession of recent graduate’s career development as part of the decades old tradition. The last point was in the limelight during the whole project because of such an approach allows to develop all necessary skills and competencies a high-performance specialist is needed. However, among these pros some cons were identified e.g. the lack of standardisation and relatively long time for analytical and optimisation tasks solving on the IOC level.

Considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing system, the time slices model was introduced as a tool to clear-out the responsibility between the IOC and field, keep the advantages and offset the disadvantages.

In this case, time slices model principles intend keeping on the field side daily operating tasks requiring the capability to visit the production site in a prompt manner. The responsibility to do such tasks is considered for the «Field Engineer» position in the field office. The analytical tasks focusing on the week-month and above time horizons should be considered as a part of the IOC responsibility.


Such an approach allows to establish conditions for concentration and unification of the IOC analytical functions, functional plans quick reconciliation and non-contradiction of guidelines to the field side.

It would be the first company experience in the application time slices model principles. To minimise the risks, it was decided to start with an asset with the similar Relative Fields Age and small distances between IOC and production sites which is the asset in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district.


As a part of the time slices model implementation in the chosen asset, all the engineering functions performed in the Field office were reviewed and split in accordance with the aforementioned principles:

  • Functions that require the capability to visit production site in a prompt manner were kept in the field office as a part of responsibility of the newly introduced position of the Field Engineer.

  • Functions focusing on the analytical tasks and support of the field operations were transferred to IOC as a part of responsibility of the newly introduced position of the IOC Leading Production Engineer.

Labour intensity and rhythmicity of the identified functions were assessed to define the appropriate number of the field engineers per each field office and leading production engineers in the IOC:


The aligned business roles were identified and assigned in order to define the appropriate job descriptions:



All the required positions were occupied by the existing staff by rearrangement of existing field office engineering staff between fields and IOC.

As a result, the following was achieved:

  • Clear operating functions responsibility pattern between field staff and Integrated Operations Centre was established.

  • The decades old tradition of starting the career for recent graduates from the field as a requirement of the essential skills development was kept in place.

  • The number of engineering staff being in the field office was reduced driving the HSE risks lower.

  • The unified and standardised workflows for analytical and optimisation tasks were established on the IOC basis creating a sustainable basement for the further continuous improvement.