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To be profitable in a low-margin, low-oil price environment, US land shale operators place significant emphasis on footage drilled per day through better well plans, drill bits, and innovative bottomhole assemblies (BHA) as solutions.

Often overlooked are the minor off-bottom activities that add up to achieving certain footage per day, such as weight-to-weight (W-W) times. The traditional way to measure these key performance indicators (KPIs) and identify operational inefficiencies are manual, time-consuming, and after the fact.

Performance analysis

Baker Hughes, a GE company, was providing drilling services and data to an operator in the Marcellus shale play when the operator asked BHGE to provide an analysis of its operational performance.

To increase overall drilling performance for the operator, BHGE leveraged its WellLink™ Performance analysis service combined with real-time advisory service to identify operational inefficiencies.

WellLink Performance is a web-based application using industry-standard wellsite information transfer standard markup language (WITSML) protocol for automatic real-time drilling performance KPI monitoring and advisory services to focus on standardizing operational performance and reducing invisible lost time.

The application calculates real-time KPIs such as average rate of penetration (ROP), ROP while sliding/rotating, W-W and connection times to automatically detect the performance of a rig or crew without manually importing data and analysis through spreadsheets.

The focus of this study was average W-W time improvement, operational consistency, and crew comparison on two rigs while drilling 32 wells from seven pads.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Identify operational inefficiencies in shale drilling program by analyzing and measuring key performance indicators in real time


  • Improved weight-to-weight time benchmark goal attainment by 50% on one rig
  • Improved overall average W-W time by 19%
  • Saved operator 54 hours of rig time over the course of the drilling campaign
  • First time BHGE has delivered performance improvement through a digital solution in US Land