Tech 101 - Leveraging technology to win in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico Wilcox plays.
The focus of my past few years has been on a technology-driven play in the Lower Tertiary-Age reservoirs of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM). These Upper, Middle, and Lower Wilcox reservoirs represent a large resource base in an infrastructure-rich basin. Chevron-operated production will begin from the Wilcox reservoir in 2014, when the company’s Jack/St Malo subsea development is commissioned. In addition, Chevron’s two most recent deepwater GOM discoveries have been in the Wilcox, and the company continues to hold a very strong lease position for future exploration.
Technology Management System Across Chevron: The “Focus Area” Model
Like most integrated energy companies, Chevron has evolved a system of technology governance that suits the enterprise. To ensure the technologies critical to providing competitive differentiation are identified and advanced, the company developed a “focus area” model. Decisions are made by governance bodies composed jointly of energy technology company (ETC) and operating company representatives. Strategic drivers are identified and validated for the various Technology Focus Areas (such as exploration, reservoir management, or deepwater development), and technology initiatives are funded on the basis of a technology’s risk/reward profile and its alignment with the strategic drivers. These initiatives are managed by technology practitioners within ETC, ensuring that the technologies that are developed and the lessons learned coincident with early deployment are easily shared throughout the enterprise. Business units are allocated their fair share of the cost to develop each technology, and most development projects managed within the focus area process contribute to the common good (or at least the good of a significant sector) of the corporation.