We promote innovation by encouraging and celebrating a willingness to take risks and advance novel ideas.
Innovation Differentiates Devon
At Devon, creativity and technology enable and drive innovation to help us deliver results. Many of the traits we look for in our employees – such as a passion for improving the business, creative problem-solving and eagerness to challenge the status quo – create an environment where technology and innovation thrive. We promote innovation by encouraging and celebrating a willingness to take risks and advance novel ideas, while collaboration, individual initiative and recognition support our commitment to innovation.
Innovation at Devon encompasses both game-changing technologies and incremental improvements that, over time, lead to transformation. We’ve always been open to trying new ideas to enhance performance, such as when Devon was among the first to produce natural gas from coal seams and the first to drill horizontal wells with hydraulic fracturing in shale. In recent years, we’ve been ramping up our investments in technology to become a leader among our peers. We’ve integrated advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotic process automation into our operations. Leveraging technology is essential to our “2020 Vision,” and to our plan to thrive and outperform our peers in any commodity price environment.
Every day, Devon acquires, analyzes and uses billions of data points, which taken together have significant value in our planning and decision-making. Our recent focus has been on technologies to improve results for the subsurface (drilling and completions), production operations and water management.
Based on our operational results, we believe that our technology strategy, investments and innovations are improving the economics, production rates and lifespans of our oil and natural gas wells. Our improved completion designs have contributed to a 40 percent reduction in drilling and completion costs since 2014, and the initial 90-day production rate from our wells has increased 450 percent since 2012.
A systematic approach to innovation
In 2017 and early 2018, Devon evaluated our technology efforts to ensure they support our strategy. This led to scaling back some projects and establishing new governance to ensure we focus on projects that have the greatest impact to Devon’s business. Our governance structure includes the Enterprise Project Planning team that oversees the allocation of capital for technology projects and the Innovation Action Council that monitors our projects and strategic partnerships. These groups have broad membership from all levels of the organization.
We developed and introduced a variety of technology tools in 2017 and early 2018 to save time, reduce costs and improve efficiency. For example, we rolled out an advanced data analytics tool that helps estimate reservoir depletion in minutes instead of days. As Devon’s first “big data” application that incorporates geospatial mapping, it will give us a time advantage when we’re competing with other companies to acquire properties.
We also cut completion times and costs with a new data-driven best practice for removing fracturing plugs before flowback. The technical and process changes allow staff in our Well Construction (WellCon) Center and at the well site to monitor real-time data and make adjustments to avoid stuck pipe that can add significantly to well-completion costs.