Noah Consulting Helps Companies through Shale Boom and Crew Change

From October 7th Houston Business Journal Energy Blog
"Energy information management companies help ease shale trends and "crew change"
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The fast-paced world of the domestic shale boom and the increased emphasis on more efficient well production is occurring simultaneously with the so-called "crew change" and the loss of a retiring generation of oilfield experts.

So the emphasis on retaining institutional knowledge and moving toward more analytical and electronic business practices is rapidly growing. Companies that focus on information management in the oilfield, such as Houston-based Noah Consulting LLC, are positioned to take advantage of energy companies that need help with both the wave of upcoming retirements and the evolving upstream trends.

Minus a blip during the Great Recession after Noah Consulting was formed in 2008, co-founder and President John Ruddy said, "There's definitely a bit of being at the right place in time with the right services."

So many onshore wells are being drilled quickly and with ever-increasing efficiency needs, Ruddy said, so real-time data and electronic content management are more important than ever. About 90 percent of Noah's business is with unconventional upstream producers, he said.

"Even the shale boom is kind of transforming now," Ruddy said. "It was all about drilling fast. Now, it's about a focus on profitability.

"They're trying to get more repeatable with more automation from one (well) handoff to the next," he said.

The industry is no longer about seasoned oilfield veterans just trusting their experience and judgement.

"All that institutional knowledge is sitting in people's heads or desk drawers," Ruddy said, so that is why companies are switching more to electronic management systems where they can easily look up regulatory information and downhole schematics in the same place.

As such, companies like Noah have grown rapidly in recent years with more than 250 percent revenue growth over the last two years. Ruddy said he expects 40 percent growth for this year by the end of December. Noah also has a Calgary office and is looking to expand in western Europe.

Noah now counts about 100 full-time employees, 64 of whom are in Houston, and another 50 contractors.