Rethinking Completions, Nine Raises the Bar and the Bottom Line

Challenge: Optimize efficiency while minimizing risk on on plug-and-perf operations in the Permian.

Solution: Engage Nine Wireline to achieve and maintain operational efficiencies.


  • 45% less NPT
  • 0.5 more stages/day
  • 2 additional wells per year

Pursuing Perfection

Perforating may be a smaller percentage of the overall well cost for the operator. But if it’s not done correctly or efficiently, it can also be one of the most expensive. Any significant wireline related issue will likely occur downhole. While some issues can occasionally be remediated with horsepower, it will more than likely require an expensive coil tubing intervention and delay production and revenue for the operator.

In addition to downhole failures, there are other avenues for wireline to significantly raise the cost of completion. All of the ancillary services—trash, trailers, personnel, logistical support—all come with a daily price tag. The longer an operator’s completion is delayed due to slow swap-times, equipment issues, or other forms of NPT, the bigger the hit to the bottom line.

When Every Minute Counts

In the recent past, efficiency ratios (misruns per total stages) were the main metric for assessing wireline performance. But with the widescale adoption of addressable switches and plug-and-play technology, misruns have been largely eliminated. Consequently, these efficiency ratios no longer serve to differentiate quality wireline providers. In turn, efficiency minded operators are focusing on a wireline company’s per-job NPT and their overall impact to the average number of stages per day.

Nine is intent on continually delivering well-site performances with zero NPT and zero safety incidents. Our high-accountability training program ensures each wireline engineer is equipped with the knowledge and expertise to operate safely and efficiently. Operations are aided by fleet-specific Field Service Managers who ensure rigorous adherence to Nine’s quality assurance standards while simultaneously mentoring crew personnel, and providing field-proven recommendations on wireline related problems.

Attaining absolute efficiency requires more than just quality personnel. Nine has a robust preventative maintenance program for all field equipment, on-staff hotshot drivers, e-techs, and mechanics, so that equipment arrives on time and works as expected. Strategically placed satellite yards with back-up equipment serve to minimize NPT when problems inevitably arise. An in-house gun bay operates 24/7 and is capable of accommodating almost any on-the-fly change to perf design.

Less Is More

Nine’s focus on eliminating NPT has resulted in an appreciable difference in performance. In a recent side-by-side comparison of Nine Energy wireline with a competitor, when running identical plug-and-play gun systems, Nine accounted for 45% less NPT. And, when coupled with the efficiency of Nine’s systemized surface operations, this resulted in approximately 0.5 more stages per day – Nine Wireline completed the 4-well pad a full 24 hours before the competitor.

By year end, Nine’s fewer days on location will have saved the operator $300,000 and enabled them to complete 2 additional wells. Less NPT – more savings, more wells.

Additional Resources

Permian Basin Case Study

Download a printable version of this case study.

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