BP’s Inglis—‘no demographic crisis,’ ‘oil is technology leader’

Andy Inglis minimizes impact of ‘baby boomers’ imminent retirement but warns of ‘capability gap.’

At the 2nd Annual Energy Industry Director Conference in Houston’s Rice University last month, BP’s head of E&P Andy Inglis gave a talk titled ‘The Changing of the Guard.’ Inglis stated that he does not agree with the proposition that an ‘insoluble demographic crisis’ is to be caused by the retiring baby boomer generation. A far bigger challenge is the ‘capability gap,’ a paucity of ‘technology, skills and know-how.’ Bridging the gap will be necessary if the industry is to respond to IEA forecasts of a 50% hike in energy demand by 2030. BP is working to attract graduate talent with its ‘Challenge’ program which currently has 1,200 ‘Challengers’ from all over the world.

Inglis also described some ‘misconceptions’ about the industry. Notably the idea that it is ‘low tech and out of date’ when set against other verticals such as IT, media and pharmaceuticals. According to Inglis, ‘Nothing could be further from the truth’.

BP has been honing its technology as a means to plug the capability gap. BP’s technology showcase is the Advanced Collaborative Environments (ACE) where real time data gathered from oil and gas fields is analyzed offshore and onshore simultaneously. ACE and its embedded integrated surveillance information system (ISIS) were discussed at the SPE ‘Intelligent Energy’ event in Amsterdam earlier this year (OITJ April 2008). Inglis’ presentation included a graphic showing ISIS as built around OSIsoft’s PI System with a constellation of BP-developed tools and third party applications including Matrikon’s ProcessNet (now OperationalInsight) and SPT Group’s Advanced Warning System. AWS tracks production data streaming to the PI System and compares it with model forecasts for a variety of monitoring and optimization applications. Inglis outlined an ACE case history when an estimated $3 million of deferred production was saved by the timely creation of an ad-hoc team of troubleshooters. Today some 35 of BP’s assets have ACEs.

This article originally appeared in Oil IT Journal 2008 Issue # 11.

For more information or to comment on this topic email here.