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Digitizing E&P: Accelerating the Pace of Change

The pace of change is accelerating on a global scale, and the agent of this accelerated pace is digitization. Digitization has had a profound impact on our personal lives. It has transformed and created industries and has creatively destroyed some existing business models. Certain industries, such as finance, automotive, aerospace, communications, and media, have led the way. Others have been slower to adapt.

The oil and gas industry is a major driver of high-performance computing development, particularly for upstream seismic processing and permanent field monitoring. The oil and gas industry currently has the highest refresh rate across all industry sectors that high-performance computing addresses. Yet findings from leading information technology research and advisory firms such as Gartner and AMR indicate that the exploration and production (E&P) industry is in the low quartile for digitization.

Realizing the Digital Vision

“Digital oilfield” is an umbrella term for technology-centric solutions that allow E&P companies to leverage limited resources and improve decision making to maximize production; minimize capital and operating expenses and environmental impact; ensure the safety of the people involved; and protect the integrity of associated equipment across the entire upstream process. It encompasses both tools and processes surrounding data and information management. Its success depends on capability, organizational alignment, and—ultimately—attitude.

The industry has crossed many of the technology barriers to enabling the digital oilfield. Remote sensing is available for almost all facets of drilling and production operations, and the number of choices for network transmission of data continues to expand. The industry has invested heavily in knowledge management systems, real-time operations centers, and collaborative decision environments. It has become adept at moving data gathered from field devices into software applications and using it to enhance some specialized field operations. However, the industry has not yet succeeded in achieving the cross-disciplinary data transparency, information sharing, process integration, and collaboration that are essential to realizing the ultimate vision and value of the digital oilfield. Examining other industries’ paths to digitization may help us in our quest.

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Digitizing E&P: Accelerating the Pace of Change

Archana Deskus, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Baker Hughes

01 February 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 2

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