Ah, for the good old days in the oil business, when drilling shallow holes in locations where oil was seeping to the surface was the way it was done. Things were pretty simple then.
Things are different today. Very different. Extremely sophisticated equipment is used to locate small formations miles and miles under the earth (and ocean) with pinpoint accuracy. 3D seismic and long-lateral horizontal drilling combined with geo-steering and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing are examples of major milestones in the march toward exploration, drilling and completions effectiveness.
Compared to the remarkable changes in the ways that oil is found and wells are drilled, the production part of the upstream industry has not changed much over the years. Until recently, that is. In these early-twenty-first century days, an Integrated Operations (IO) approach to production-related processes can usher in improvements of similar magnitude to those that have taken place on the exploration and drilling side of the house. Among those improvements are operating expense reductions, enhanced reservoir recovery, accelerated production and an improved safety, health and environmental profile.
Integrated operations is a transformational methodology, a way of thinking and acting, that combines oilfield and information technologies in support of improved and integrated work processes across the upstream value chain.
To achieve the improvements mentioned above, IO programs are focused on:
- Designing new ways of working, while enhancing real-time monitoring and optimization across assets
- Fostering integration and collaboration, across multiple functions, work processes and data sources.
This takes time, and it is important to pay attention to the personnel touched by the program. While the primary focus of IO methodology is on process improvement, it is critical to consider the impact of process changes on the people performing them in order for improvements to be sustainable.
Embrace Complexity to Get a Big Benefit
IO programs are comprehensive by nature and are therefore complex, reaching across many functions in an organization. This means impacts to large numbers of stakeholders, complex technical and data management requirements and changes to working practices.
The full benefits of the IO approach will only be realized by taking a long-term view by accepting that there is a degree of ambiguity in transformational programs of this nature, developing a vision and roadmap, and then executing the initiatives on the roadmap in a way that delivers incremental value while driving toward to ultimate vision. A single project targeting a single process or discipline will not demonstrate the compelling business value of IO, even though it may indeed deliver improvements for a specific workflow. The IO approach targets multiple processes and disciplines in the program plan; as a result, improvements accelerate geometrically as integration across traditional functional silos is successfully implemented.
Stay Tuned for More…
My perspectives in this area, along with those of fellow members of the Wipro team that specializes in IO program management, are based on experience with multiple oil and gas companies over nearly two decades. In this blog series, I will share how this experience has shaped our approaches to program management, solutions architecture, technical architecture, and deployment for IO programs.
Collaboration,drilling,Fostering integration,geo steering