Energy Blog

Case Study: Enhancing Performance Evaluator to dig deeper in the Permian

The Permian Basin in Texas is currently the most exciting place in the world for upstream companies. Though the basin has been producing for many decades, the unconventional revolution has uncovered a whole new world of resources to be explored, delineated, and developed. The key to the excitement is not simply that the basin has tight oil, but that it has many different layers of tight rock- “stacked pay”- offering companies a chance to develop reserves not only geographically, but also vertically. Thus, companies are aggressively pursuing each of the possible formation “benches” and trying to find out what bench is good in what area, and how those benches overlap (Figure 1).

However, colleagues and customers of IHS Markit faced two hurdles as they tried to piece together the puzzles of the Permian. The first problem for IHS Markit customers is that operators do not divulge precise information about the bench from which they are producing. In fact, the reported data for many operators is often generic – or even wrong – about the general reservoir that a well is tapping. 

The good news is that IHS Markit has proprietary data that can be used to determine the bench with reliable precision. Assigning benches is no easy feat, and the data team has created a sophisticated program called ProFit to enhance the effort. For several months, they have been working county-by-county to decipher the vital information and allow us to identify the specific benches. 

The second problem is both external and internal parties had no way to obtain the data as the process moves along. This is where IHS Markit’s Performance Evaluator was able to play a role. Performance Evaluator is a data service that takes a summary snapshot of the US well and production database, structures that data, creates a layer of calculated and normalized “metadata,” and then embeds the entire dataset in cutting-edge visualization tools. The product has been developed by a small team, and when they learned that the Permian benches were becoming available, they were able to quickly integrate the new information into the tapestry of information. Now, colleagues and clients have a way to ask and answer a completely new set of questions about the benches and to compare and contrast the performance of operators and areas with much deeper insight (figure 2). This has been a boon to the consulting teams and has allowed the analytical team of the Plays and Basins – North America service to publish topical reports showcasing IHS Markit data.

Figure 2: Example of insights into Permian benches including performance of operators and areas

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Raoul LeBlanc is Managing Director, North American Onshore at IHS Markit.
Posted 1 June 2017

About The Author

Raoul LeBlanc is a Vice President on the IHS Financials team evaluating the dynamic North American onshore arena.  

As a veteran of the industry and a former partner at PFC Energy, Raoul brings 20 years of experience in strategic and industry analysis. Familiar with a wide range of corporate and market issues, he has extensive experience on issues related to North American independents, upstream assets, and natural gas markets. From 1997-2006, Raoul worked at Anadarko Petroleum. During his tenure there, he directed the company's Strategic Planning effort, which assumed responsibility for strategy formulation, portfolio optimization, scenario planning, and competitor analysis.  He also worked on the company's Mergers and Acquisitions team, evaluating and modeling financial results, operational performance and E&P corporate valuation.  

Prior to Anadarko, Raoul was a senior oil analyst at Energy Security Analysis, a market analysis consulting company in Washington, DC where he held responsibility for Asian markets and worldwide distillate fuels.  

Raoul has worked and studied in Japan, the Western Pacific, and Britain.  He holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Energy and International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University.