Unconventional reservoirs: It takes a village

In February 2018, ConocoPhillips brought together employees from the Lower 48 and Canada regions.

ABOVE:  Chief Technology Officer Greg Leveille chats with symposium participants.
by Jan Hester

In February 2018, ConocoPhillips brought together employees from the Lower 48 and Canada regions, Exploration and corporate functions to exchange ideas on how multidisciplinary teams can work together to explore for and more effectively develop unconventional fields. This second unconventional reservoirs symposium used workshops and networking sessions as an avenue for engineers, geoscientists, other petrotechnical experts and practitioners to share learnings and address challenges. The event also featured keynote addresses by company leaders, who joined in the networking sessions.

Judy Roper holding "Catch Box"
Judy Roper, principal reservoir engineer, Nonconventional Resource Excellence

Unconventional reservoir challenges require an integrated team approach to problem-solving. “This event pulled people from all disciplines and provided an opportunity for them to interact face to face,” said Williston Reservoir Performance Supervisor Nathan McMahan, former director of Unconventional Reservoirs Excellence. “The event helped to reconnect people across teams as well as create new connections.”  

Chief Technology Officer Greg Leveille emphasized the importance of reaching across organizations and disciplines to address challenges. “Unconventionals are critical to the company’s ongoing success, so it’s important that we learn to collaborate across the five unconventional assets (Bakken, Eagle Ford, Montney, Niobrara and Permian), Exploration and corporate functions. Every person can’t be at every meeting, so it’s important to get the right people together at the right time. Unconventional problems require a multidisciplinary approach and sharing of diverse ideas.”  

Nathan talking to colleague
Nathan McMahan, Williston reservoir performance supervisor 

Leveille sees the symposium as a gateway to more effective problem-solving. “The workshop format was impactful, with groups of people looking for solutions and sharing what they’ve learned. I see us moving from standard knowledge sharing to something much more collaborative. When each person contributes insight, we come up with a better solution.”