A completions consultant is typically a contract professional working on location on behalf of an E&P company who oversees all aspects of the completions operation of a well from rigup to installing a production tree. In protecting the E&P company’s interest, the completions consultant supervises the completions of a well, making sure things are done efficiently, cost-effectively, and according to the engineer’s completions design, procedure, and AFE whenever possible.
Some consultants are specialists in hydraulic fracturing, coil tubing, setting down-hole pumps and rods, casing, stick pipe, flowback, or in another area and therefore only work those specific phases of the operations. Other consultants have experience across the board and can handle multiple or all completions phases.
What are the responsibilities of a completions consultant? The responsibilities of completions consultants include providing feedback and recommendations to the completions engineers regarding the operations, acting as a point of contact for all those on location during the completions phases they oversee, signing field tickets, and composing completions reports throughout each stage. These reports are used by the E&P company’s completions engineers to monitor progress, predict potential issues, and refer to as historical record when needed.
Completions consultants spend most of their time supervising the frac, wireline, pump down, flowback, and water transfer crews as well as sand, chemical, and fuel delivery services. Hydraulic fracturing operations require large volumes of water, sand, chemicals, and fuel so it is imperative that the supply for each of these is never interrupted or delayed.
What is the required experience or career path for a completions consultant? Experience working with or on frac crews is usually required to become a completions consultant. Typically 20-30 years of experience is required, though with a technical degree 10-15 years of experience is sometimes sufficient. This could mean working one’s way from a lower position in a frac service company such as a service operator, supervisor, engineering technician, etc. up to a completions consultant. This position is often—but not always—held by someone with an engineering undergraduate degree. The path to becoming a completions consultant will vary depending on the degree held.
Where does a completions consultant work? Completions consultants spend about 99% of their time on location, only leaving for necessary groceries or errands during lulls in drilling operation.
What is a completions consultant's schedule? A completions consultant’s schedule varies depending on the schedule run by the service company, but common schedules for this position are (days on site/days off):
Completions consultants typically work 12 hours per day. Most often, there is one day shift consultant and one night shift consultant. Some companies, though, only run one completions consultant who is responsible for 24-hour operations. Short term jobs of around 30 days or less may operate without ever making a completions consultant change. A typical horizontal land completions will take 1-3 days for rigup, 5-8 days for frac, and 2-4 days for drill out and final completions.
Who does a completions consultant report to? The completions consultant reports to the completions superintendent, completions engineer, VP of operations, COO, or CEO depending on the size of the company (one would report to a COO in the smallest company and a completions superintendent in the largest company, for example)
Who reports to a completions consultant? Everyone on location during a completions operation is supervised by the completions consultant.
How much does a completions consultant make? Completions consultants may make between $1,000 and $2,000 per day depending on experience, specialties, location, and category of well.