New Remote Collaboration Models for Oil and Gas
- Jonathan David Krome (IBM) | John R. Matson (IBM Business Consulting Services) | William R. Chmela (Sense Intellifield)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 11-14 November, Anaheim, California, U.S.A.
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2007. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 7.6.1 Knowledge Management, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc)
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 123 since 2007
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The Intelligent Oilfield (IOF), also known as the Digital Oilfield of the Future (DOFF), encompasses a collaborative environment (CEs) for communication, data collection, reporting and monitoring, and knowledge & information sharing. These environments, or physical workspaces, are intended to help people make more informed decisions and to take the appropriate actions across the enterprise. In addition, it enables alignment, focus, and a common understanding to help prioritize opportunities.
Innovations in various collaboration technologies are helping companies to make the intelligent oilfield a reality. One of the key implementation components currently attracting attention is the collaboration or remote surveillance center - a high-tech, communications, visualization, and audio-enhanced monitoring or control room. Although the facility is intended to create an atmosphere for improved communications, multifunctional work, and a means to help eliminate organizational barriers, the center itself is only the physical manifestation of the desired spirit of richer and increased human interaction.
There are currently two differing philosophies for the implementation of these centers - an asset-based center that services a single asset and a central hub that services multiple assets. Each approach has its own particular merits and potential pitfalls. Although there is no single right answer, certain considerations are recommended before construction begins that could assist in determining the most appropriate approach for the given circumstances. Factors such as corporate culture and employee skill base can have a huge impact on the success of the final choice. Without such an evaluation, many efforts will continue to be burdened or opportunities will be deferred or lost.
Collaboration Center Defined
Webster's dictionary defines collaboration as: 1) to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor, or 2) to cooperate with an agency or instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected. That said, the oil industry has been collaborating internally, such as a business unit with an R&D group, and externally, such as with suppliers, for years. What makes the recent CEs different from the collaboration in the past is the reliance on real-time data and information, with the intent of real-time analysis and decision-making, in a fixed, fit-for-purpose physical space. The degree of real-time action-taking, whether through remote control or other means, is much more variable for CEs, even within the same company.
The collaboration of today is also about interacting for a common goal. The main theme or purpose for installing collaboration centers is for increased "situational awareness?? - that is, the expedient understanding in an organization of what it is faced with and how to respond or exploit that particular situation. This alignment can be difficult given the autonomous nature of E&P organizational structures and governance models, combined with the numerous situations that require a globally diverse support network. Therefore, the new CEs not only represent a new physical workspace, but a new operating model that has many unintended consequences.
As an enterprise considers the value of a collaboration center, there are various factors and consequences (intended and unintended) in design, installation, and operation. The center itself is merely the physical manifestation of a spirit of data, information, and knowledge sharing within an organization. It should be noted that the benefits of this collaborative spirit can, ideally, be achieved without the physical space by virtue of well-connected, collaborative workforce. But, the new CEs may be the valuable first step in an evolution that leads towards real-time collaboration anytime anywhere.
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