Click here to learn more about Burney’s company and here to check out his book.

Mark: Hey, folks let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.

All right. Today, we have a very special guest via Skype. We have Burney Waring.

How are you doing, Burney?

Burney: Hey, I’m doing good, Mark.

Mark: Now, Burney you did something really cool, you actually – we’ve never met in person, you actually found me online, didn’t you?

Burney: Right.

Mark: Yeah. And then, you have a long history of doing process automation out in the field and you decided to kind of share that knowledge and you wrote a book.

Burney: Right. I’m a production engineer. I spent a lot of time doing production system optimization. And I did a lot of it over my whole career and ended up – I work for Shell last and I ended up working there as a – as an expert in that and I decided after sitting around awhile and doing some other stuff, why don’t I write a book. So, I wrote – it’s right up here like they do on TV,  Practical Optimization for Production – Petroleum Production Systems. So, anyway, yeah, that’s what I did and I’ve got a course that goes along with it.

Mark:  Yeah. And, just so everybody knows, I read the book, isn’t that great?

Burney: Which is great. That’s really good.

Mark: And it is very well written. And it’s a technical book, but for me as a layman it was actually very easy to understand. And, in this low crude price environment I can’t think of a single book that should be in the hands of more people in the field than this one right here.

Burney: I can’t – I’ve teased the oil industry a lot and when the price is high, nobody cares about getting anything more efficient out of the fields when they’re making plenty of money. When the price is low, they just cut back to absolutely nothing and they don’t do – they don’t do what they should do which is try to find the cheapest oil possible. Really, they should do that every day, right?

Mark: You would think so?  I’ve been saying the same thing. I was lucky about a year ago I had – me and a group of people had lunch with the CEO of Noble Energy. He was talking about they’ve driven almost 90% efficiencies or costings in the field by getting rid of trucks and building pipelines and I’m thinking why didn’t you do that when times were good where you had cash everywhere.

Burney: Yeah, exactly.

Mark: It doesn’t make sense.

Burney: Yeah. So, you know, a lot of people don’t understand like, you know, well, the price of oil is $20 a barrel I can’t make any money now. But, I have actually done a lot of consulting and when I worked for Shell also where you would go in and reconfigure be it pump well or gas lift well or do an after job or find a pipeline that was plugged or change the compressor wheeling or something like that and, you can get your oil for 6 cents a barrel.  I mean it’s almost unbelievable, but if you think about it, all the parts are already in the field, right? Everything is sitting right there, you just change them a little bit, it doesn’t cost very much money and here comes the oil.

Mark: Yeah. It’s sounds it’s amazing that efficiencies if you have the right person that understands the whole universe, right?

Burney: Right.

Mark:  The drive by looking at the big picture and figure out what are the constraints.

Burney: Right. Right. Yeah. So, I ran into all the problems I think that you can have with these kinds of things, so I wrote the book. You know one of the – of the problems people always say is I love to do optimization, but I don’t have time for surveillance and I love to do surveillance, but I don’t have the best data. So, I put various chapters in the book that talk about how to get the data that you really need, how to make sure that people pay for it and then you have it available to you, what to look for in surveillance and all the different tricks that you can use.

So, a lot of people think surveillance is about just looking at the chart and go, “Hmm, what does this mean?” But, surveillance is everything from interviewing the people in the field knowing kind of like how to have conversation what to look for, when to drill down, when  to – when to, you know, push harder, when to stop pushing harder. And like modeling, you know, how – I have a whole section in the book where we talk about how you – every time you model anything like a well or pipeline or whatever, what you’re really doing is surveillance.

Mark: Yeah.

Burney: So, if you have actual data and you match the data – the model to the data, that calibration of the model is surveillance if you do it in a right way. So, yeah, you can get a lot of information out of some process like that that you do overtime. You can see, you know, what the – what the trend is doing in the calibration itself and that will lead you to  to do good surveillance which is about finding anomalies that things that don’t – don’t add up don’t make sense, you drill down you go, “Aha! This pipeline is half clogged with something. If I clean it out, there I make oil. Oh, what would that cost me? I got that oil for 50 cents a barrel. Oh, there it is.”

Mark: Yeah. Fascinating stuff. Great guide, great book. So, if anybody out there wants to learn more about what you’re doing, how you can help with optimization, where should they go?

Burney: Probably the easiest place just go to On that site I’ve got links to course to the book. The book is available on Amazon;,, everywhere.

Mark: Yeah. And so, folks we’ll throw a link the show notes, so you can just click and go check it out. But, I’m telling you if you’re an operator or if you’re a service company that helps those operations, low crude price, go check out Burney’s book.

Burney, thank you so much for your time today.

Burney: Thanks, Mark.

Mark: Yeah. It’s been great. So, folks I hope this helped. We will see you next time.