By Jess Sinclair
Fred Ljaljevic is all about efficiency. Trained as a petroleum engineer in his native Serbia, Ljaljevic worked for some of the Alberta oilsands’ major players before founding Wellsite Masters in 1997. After years of shuffling paper and dealing with unwieldly maps of sites, he realized that there must be a better way to record and integrate onsite data.
The future he imagined was digital.
“At that time, many companies still used a large map on the wall to track their rigs—some still do,” says Ljaljevic. “Basically, different-coloured dots would be affixed to the map to designate a wellsite and where it was at in its lifecycle. Most wells have seven or eight phases, so you’re stacking multiple dots, one atop the other. It gets a bit messy and cumbersome. Some dots fall off. Some site supervisors get frustrated and end up pulling them off. It’s really far from the ideal situation.”
Ljaljevic designed various software applications to track a well’s lifecycle, water-usage, sumps and site orientation. Not only did this provide his initial clients with a clearer picture of which wells were operating more efficiently, it made billing contractors and adhering to government regulations easier.
Wellsite Masters initially operated in the conventional milieu, but by 2001 the company’s focus shifted to the needs of oilsands producers.
“Technology was moving very quickly at that time, and it was a great opportunity to start something new,” Ljaljevic notes. “There was a lot of excitement around making things run in a way that maximized return on investment and placed Canada on the cutting edge of technological innovation [in oil and gas].”
Today, the company offers even more capabilities, allowing producers to organize and monitor a site’s life from spud date to completion. Ljaljevic’s years spent in the industry prior to founding his company allowed him to amass a wealth of contacts in a number of different service areas, many of which are now integrated into his technology. From camp accommodations to communications, Wellsite Masters gives supervisors a clear picture of what is happening on site days before they would have received physical reporting in the past.
For example, if one rig is lagging behind others in terms of casing speed, often this will be a matter of human error. A supervisor will not have to wait until a project is finished to gauge the productivity of a rig. He or she can look at the Wellsite Masters data in close to real time and make the necessary recommendations or adjustments. The same applies to conserving natural resources per government regulations. Wellsite’s software can make sure that water and sump levels are consistent with one another, thereby avoiding using too many water resources and eliciting overage fees.
Wellsite Masters is a prime example of what can happen when an individual realizes that there is a gap in what is currently available in the industry—whether this is in-house or offerings from other contractors. Ljaljevic has built a successful niche business that has grown considerably to expand its offerings and saved his clients time and money in the process, and, most importantly, improving safety and environmental outcomes.
Starting in October 2017, Wellsite Masters will release a new software package where Tour Sheet passed CAODC ETS 3.0.4 standard and export is compatible with WellView (Peloton) WV9 and WV10.
For more information, visit www.wellsitemasters.com