Two crucial three year contracts were signed in the last month by Geoquest. They cover the provision of Worldwide Software, Hardware and Support Contracts to both Triton Energy Limited and to Mobil Technology Company. Both contracts have been awarded to the Geoquest together with Omnes, a joint venture between Schlumberger and Cable & Wireless plc. This venture was initiated to "provide a single source for communications and information technology solutions to the energy industry worldwide." Omnes, through seven regional offices, operates in over 50 countries. These agreements show the increasing importance of communications in geoscience computing. It is no longer sufficient to be "just" a software house, a solutions provider must be able to provide and support secure communications over the extended network that makes up the modern international E&P company. The Omnes joint venture is reminiscent of Landmark's alliance with Ross Perrot's EDS information services group featured in PDM's launch issue way back in July 1996.
Triton Energy awarded a three-year master agreement to provide geoscience applications, data management software, desktop computer hardware and software support, and field communications to some 18 Triton offices worldwide. "Quality software and timely, effective IT support are critical to the efficiency of our exploration and production teams," stated David Martin, Triton's director of information technology. "The unique combination of GeoQuest's advanced technologies and Omnes' global IT service capability will help facilitate the development of Triton's significant resource base and our assessment of new ventures." GeoQuest will provide four of its industry-leading reservoir characterisation and data management software applications to Triton offices worldwide.
Omnes will provide IT and communications support including remote desktop management and software deployment, data connectivity to remote Triton sites, and full-time on-site support at Triton sites in Dallas, Bogota and London. Omnes' ServiceDesk will provide a single point of contact 24 hours per day, 365 days per year for all Omnes and GeoQuest products and services to Triton users worldwide. "Together, the GeoQuest/Omnes team will deliver maximum value and service quality to meet Triton's global support needs," stated Magne Sveen, GeoQuest vice president of operations. "By outsourcing the geoscience and engineering information technology infrastructure, E&P companies worldwide are focusing on their core businesses while reducing support costs." Outsourcing non-core activities, such as the IT infrastructure, is a cost-effective method to successfully manage the continually increasing information load.
Finder the key
Triton Energy Limited is a Dallas-based international oil and gas exploration company primarily focused on high-potential prospects around the world. Triton has exploration activities underway in Colombia, Ecuador, Malaysia-Thailand, China, Guatemala, Italy and Oman, and is negotiating oil and gas opportunities in other countries. For Mobil Technology Company, Geoquest is to enter into a "worldwide enhanced supplier relationship", GeoQuest will provide its industry-leading Finder data management system, including the production management and AssetDB server extensions, to 13 Mobil locations in seven countries. Finder will enable Mobil to "maximize the value of their data assets, ensuring efficient data storage, secure accesses and rapid delivery of the data to Mobil's geoscientists and engineers".
Speaking at the Stephenson and Associates E&P Data Management '96 conference held in London last September, Mike Mrozek, Mobil North Sea Ltd., described the processes involved in making this decision in his paper "Finding your Perfect (data management) Partner". Mrozek described Mobil's prime business objective as being a 50% cut in Mobil's IT costs. This was to be achieved by drastically reducing the number of Mobil's suppliers. The prime technical objective was "to define requirements for a Master Data Store environment and recommend a single vendor partner for Mobil E&P globally." The decision as to the ideal partner was made on the basis of four criteria, business fit, economic fit, technical fit and strategic fit. In the last category the vendor was required to "share Mobil's vision, philosophy and near and long term plan for technical computing in E&P".
One crucial element of Mobil's philosophy historically has been a strong commitment to POSC, and POSC membership (at least) was a specific requirement for Mobil. Geoquest's strong recent "POSCturing" has been a gamble that has paid off in this context. Talking of the business drivers for the deal, Larry Bellomy, the IT business manager for Mobil Technology Company, stated that "The growth in the amount of data and information continues to pose challenges for Mobil. This partnership leverages standard tools and data management best practices through our partner GeoQuest, while allowing our people to focus on what they do best--using the data to develop new business opportunities." Services to be provided by GeoQuest will include data management consulting services, installation of software, migration of data from legacy systems as well as on-site support for data loading and database administration. Extensive training will be provided to Mobil's data administration and user personnel. "We are looking forward to building an enhanced supplier relationship with Mobil personnel worldwide," said Magne Sveen, GeoQuest vice president of operations. "Using the Finder data management system, Mobil's geoscientists and engineers will be better able to access and exchange information and data as they focus on E&P opportunities worldwide." Mobil Technology Company is responsible for providing research and development and consulting services for the global upstream and downstream business of Mobil Oil Corporation.
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