Q&A with John Darley
- John Darley (Shell Exploration and Production) | John Donnelly (JPT Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 32 - 34
- 2006. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Regarding the upcoming 2006 Intelligent Energy conference, why the term “intelligent energy”?
The provision of energy to meet the projected global economic growth in the 21st century will require our industry to continuously improve effectiveness in all areas of activity, from initial exploration to maximizing the ultimate economic recovery while incorporating necessary environmental measures. We need to adopt ideas and technologies—often information-technology (IT) related technologies, and sometimes from other industries—to achieve this goal. The term “intelligent energy” captures the concept of a new approach, harnessing new IT-enabled capability, to respond to the energy challenge.
What do you hope attendees take away from this conference?
First, we expect that participants in the conference will gain a good understanding of new technologies, which are currently being applied in the intelligent energy arena, to improve field performance. There are great examples of leading-edge applications delivering real value today, and the conference will promote the sharing of these experiences.
Second, we hope that delegates will also appreciate that the intelligent energy field is not simply a question of applying new tools and techniques. The real value is to be gained by changing the way we work, by more effective integration across various activities, by using real-time data in decision making, etc. Exciting ideas are still emerging in these areas, and we look for an active dialogue between participants to move the industry forward.
And, third, our aspiration is that the conference will help delegates, and their respective parent organizations, to build momentum to take the intelligent energy concepts forward with pace and determination. So far, we see ad hoc examples of successful applications. Real value will accrue to the industry with more wide-scale application and uptake of many of the ideas and technologies.
How well is the industry doing in adapting digital-age technologies to the oil field?
In some areas, the industry takes a leading-edge role in the development or application of new digital capabilities. Examples would be the use of advanced telecommunications to facilitate global communications and control systems (e.g., the real-time operating centers used by many companies to monitor, control, and optimize drilling activity), or the use of powerful parallel-processing and grid-computing technologies to process seismic data. At the other extreme, the opportunity to fully integrate oilfield activities, using IT capabilities in such areas as real-time data management, inventory control, and production optimization, is only sporadically applied, and there is scope for both broader and accelerated application of digital technology.
What is the industry struggling with in adapting or implementing these technologies?
The key challenge appears to be the integration of digital technology across the different work flows and areas of activity in the oil and gas industry. While individual applications are often successful, the ability to integrate data flows from the subsurface, through reservoir and well-production monitoring, and into surface control systems still proves a challenge in practice.
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