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Lean is the Key to Success in Shale Oil and Gas

 
Bakken formation, N.D.

We Focus On Eliminating Waste and Continuous Improvement

Our growth in the exploration and production of shale oil and gas, in North Dakota’s Bakken formation, for example, is a direct reflection of our business strategy to balance our portfolio.

We entered the Williston Basin in the 1950s and our strong reputation has paid dividends as we continue to grow our Bakken program. Hess holds some 615,000 net acres in the Bakken play, and prides itself on a lean manufacturing approach and an advantaged infrastructure position.

In the Bakken, and in other shale oil and gas plays, our framework for achieving success is the application of lean production. This approach includes standardizing, managing and improving processes, reducing waste and increasing the speed of execution. Adopting this manufacturing approach to our business will enable us to safely and quickly move opportunities from capture through production.

Lean manufacturing was pioneered by the automotive industry. It looks at the work flow inside a company or operation and through systematic analysis uses it to eliminate excess and waste.

Simply put, lean is a production practice that questions the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value. The goal is less waste and continuous improvement. In other words, it's about getting people to work safely, productively, economically, and more efficiently by introducing process improvements that eliminate waste.

Hess launched a lean manufacturing approach in the Bakken program in 2009 and has been benefitting from improved production ever since.

As Hess employees familiar with the concept explain, it's not just about working faster or cutting staff to make do with less. Rather, lean challenges everybody to think about the work they do, identify things that waste time, money or effort and make the company more successful by decreasing or eliminating that waste. It’s about continuous improvement that adds value.

Lean, at the most basic level, is synonymous with efficient. It's a way to introduce structured, continuous improvement to analyze and improve business processes. But perhaps more importantly, it is also a way of thinking.

Lean is a key part of the Hess commitment to Operational Excellence, and North Dakota is one of the places leading the company's future growth.