Drilling & Completions Passion for Change Reservoir Engineering

Passion for Change: Bonanza Creek Energy

with Kyle Gorynski, Director Reservoir Characterization and Exploration at Bonanza Creek Energy 

Tell us about your background and what you do now.

I’m from Kansas and got my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Geoscience at University of Kansas, then moved straight out to Denver. Spent the first seven years of my career with Ovintiv, which was previously Encana, and had various roles, starting with mainly geology functions, and eventually working as a manager. I’ve always been interested in the technical side of the industry and novel approaches to petrophysics, geomechanics, and reservoir mapping, and how new data and new analyses can drive decision-making. It’s important that our decisions are driven through science and statistics and less through drillbit and opinion alone. I joined Bonanza Creek about a year and a half ago.

I’m the Director of Reservoir Characterization and Exploration. This role has two primary functions. One is an asset development function and the other is Business Development/Exploration. Asset development is the value optimization of our asset to maximize on key economic metrics by: 

  • understanding the subsurface to determine baseline performance
  • understanding key engineering drivers that impact performance 
  • applying those insights to modify things in real-time like spacing, stacking, completion design, well flowback etc.

At Bonanza Creek, one of the things our CEO Eric Greager likes to say is, “We’re unique because we have the agility of a small company, with the technical sophistication of a larger enterprise.” 

This allows us to respond to things that are changing quite rapidly, from the costs of goods and services to our own evolving understanding of the reservoir. By rapidly adapting, we’re able to maximize value and economic return.

That’s the main piece. The other part of the role is the exploration and business development function. We apply the same principles I just described to other assets inside and outside our basin and work with the greater operations and finance groups to determine an asset’s current value and what its potential future value could be.

How do you incorporate technology into your approach?

Technology is applied everywhere we possibly can. We have powerful technically savvy people who can develop tools and use tools to guide all our decision making. 

That’s where comes in. We need help building additional tools to make real-time decisions. That’s going to help us stay lean and agile but also make sure we have the right information to be making the most informed decisions. It comes down to the right data and the right people.

We need the ability to make decisions at multiple levels within an organization, so decisions can be made quickly without a top-down approach but with a high level of trust. We need to make sure the technical work is vetted and have a culture of best practices built-in for engineering and geoscience evaluation so we can have a lot of trust in our workflows. When that expertise is already built into tools—a lot of the equations, the input, the math—that helps us have trust in the inputs as well as the outputs and allows us to make those quick decisions.

How do you define real-time?

Our ultimate goal on the completions side is to be making real-time changes while we’re pumping – so minute by minute. That’s what motivated the project we have going with, to start turning knobs during the job, making sure the reservoir is sufficiently stimulated and not over capitalized. 

Let’s say we have sixteen wells per section permitted, but all of a sudden commodity prices drop and it’s at forty bucks, so we’ll only drill eight of those wells. Once those eight wells are in the ground, you’re stuck with that decision. Then maybe commodity prices go up, and we get a good price on sand or water, then we rerun the economics and what the type curves look like. Then we’ll make a new decision, for example, on the amount of sand or water or what the size of our stages are. 

We are making really quick decisions in terms of completions on a well-by-well basis. As price fluctuates and we’re teetering on the edge of break-even, we have to be real flexible in terms of trying to maximize the economics. 

Our next step with is using our 3D seismic data, well architecture, geosteering, and drilling data to understand what kind of rock we’re actually treating to make sure we’re putting a specific design for that specific formation, and we’re also reading the rock at the same time. We’re taking that information, which is mainly pressure response during the job, and trying to learn from that live.

Why do you have a passion for change in this industry?

I’m passionate about understanding the subsurface and the whole E&P industry and our evolving understanding of unconventionals. I’ve always been passionate about the big picture, trying to zoom out and understand how everything interconnects.

Change is a reality. It’s unavoidable. The pace of change and the path you take differs between organizations. The industry as a whole has been incredibly slow to adopt change. We’re now on the verge of a large extinction event. The E&P companies that remain will be in a better position to thrive once this is all over.

Unfortunately, something even as simple as generating a return on your investments has eluded many companies. For these companies, it is often the stubborn top-down culture that has resisted change and is their greatest detriment. It’s an exciting and scary time today. However, these events allow the best to survive and force others to adapt and change – for the better. 

Investments on a single well can be aprox. 6 to 10 million dollars for a 2-mile lateral in the U.S.. Investments on learning are 10s to 100s of thousands of dollars for an entire year. There’s a lot of capital destruction that could have been avoided by doing homework, collecting data, doing analysis, and connecting the dots from math to modeling to statistics all the way to a barrel of oil.

Science often ends up in a folder. It takes good leadership, management, and technical work to ensure that you’re making decisions with all your data and information. The point is to make better decisions and to make better wells. 

The conversation continues here.

Kyle Gorynski is currently Director of Reservoir Characterization and Exploration at Bonanza Creek Energy.  Kyle previously worked at Ovintiv where he spent 7 years in various technical and leadership roles, most recently as the Manager of Reservoir Characterization for their Eagle Ford and Austin Chalk assets.  Although he is heavily involved on the technical side of subsurface engineering and geoscience, his primarily focus is on their practical applications in resource and business development . Kyle received his B.S. and M.S. in Geology from the University of Kansas in 2008 and 2011, respectively.
Data Science & Analytics Reservoir Engineering

Analytics Autonomy using Petrons

The most powerful concept, which instantly captures an engineer’s attention, is the Petron.  Petrons are the most intuitive, efficient, and natural way to interact with oil and gas data.  There is no need to combine spreadsheets, run JOINs in SQL, or create a specialized BI view to form an integrated dataset.  Instead, disparate data sources loaded into a Petron are auto-normalized, classified, and contextualized.   

The result is Analytics Autonomy. 

Do valuable work 

In oil and gas, almost every data source depends on the others: lateral length informs decline curves, completion intensity impacts well spacing, bit aggressiveness impacts failure rates.  Today, when an engineer wants to investigate an interesting question, most of his/her time is spent doing custodial work on the appropriate interconnected datasets.  With Petrons, data is delivered on-demand to users in an analytics-ready format. 

Add new data types 

There are a plethora of new measurement technologies on the market today: DNA tracers, electromagnetics, offset pressure gauges, etc.  The challenge lies in integrating these powerful new datatypes into a model that already exists.  Outside of images in presentations, it is extremely difficult to incorporate these new measurements into the analysis.  Petrons empower engineers to incorporate new measurements into their analysis with just a few clicks. 

Scale insights 

Engineers are perpetually identifying new areas for improvement and performing analysis to support their conclusions.  However, it is difficult to scale a single engineer’s work product in a format that is usable by others.  Petrons are a shared workspace that is automatically populated with each engineer’s latest models and work products.   

Accelerate time to value 

By eliminating analytics friction, Petrons are empowering engineers to 1) solve problems faster and 2) deliver new workflows to their peers.  Organizations can move new ideas from the whiteboard to the field faster than ever before, operationalizing high-value engineering insights in days, not months. 

By eliminating tedious, data normalization work while quickly delivering insights to the business, Petrons transform engineering teams from cost centers to profit centers. 

Data Science & Analytics Geology & Geoscience

SPE Permian Basin Data Analytics Kick-Off

Our VP of Analytics Kyle LaMotta is speaking at the SPE Data Analytics Kick-Off about large-scale properties of stress orientation, well orientation, and their combined effects on well productivity.

Originally scheduled to be in-person in Midland, the event will now be hosted by webinar on Wednesday, April 29th. Details and registration link here.

And check out this wonderful interview with Kyle and Ronnie Arispe, Data and Analytics Expert at Concho.

Business Intelligence Tools Data Science & Analytics

Connected Analytics

The world changes too fast to depend on top-down decision making.  Engineering teams must be empowered to generate, and act on, their own technical analysis. At the same time, modern technical challenges require cross-functional teams that may be distributed globally. How then, do fragmented teams of domain experts collaborate to deliver high-quality decisions?

The answer is Connected Analytics. 

Step 1: Merge subsurface and operational data delivers an industry-first environment for blending and interrogating 100+ operational and geotechnical data types: the Petron.  Petrons allow operational data types (e.g. WITS streams, frac van files, production volumes) to be contextualized by subsurface data types (e.g. directional surveys, SEG-Y, fiber optics).  Data blending and co-visualization is now as easy as a drag-and-drop. 

Step 2: Apply your own expertise to the work product 

After loading the appropriate data types into a Petron, you can begin to perform your own analysis.  Use previously developed models (stored in other Petrons), or uncover new relationships using’s inbuilt machine learning.  No need to create a PDF or upload a shared drive; your new Petron is automatically stored and updated across your team. 

Step 3: Collaborate with your peers 

Petrons provide a social workspace for experts to annotate data, share newly created models, and collaborate like never before.  Each team member can independently perform their own knowledge work, all from the same source – a shared Petron.  As new analysis is performed, the Petron and all dependent workflows are updated to reflect the team’s latest insight. 

Step 4: Build new value and start the next wave of optimization 

With the power of the Petron, engineering teams can focus their energy where it matters: making the next well more efficient and more productive.  By iteratively and fluidly incorporating new learnings, the possibilities are endless. 

Connected analytics is a new assembly line.  Rather than passing physical products to the next station, modern engineers are passing digital knowledge work to the next area of expertise.  This modern workforce must be able to interact with their peers digitally, expects a high level of interactivity, everyday tools to support remote work.  Incumbent software was not designed for the challenges of this century;, and the Petron, were born in it.