Under the title Integrated Information for Integrated Processes Wilson described a futuristic scenario in which a multi-branched exploration well could sidetrack and appraise on the fly, before being converted into a producer. Drilling technology is apparently up to it, but not the Exploration and IT end of things (although they're working on it - see the article on Schlumberger's InterAct in this issue). Paras are applying business process engineering techniques to the problem and showed the results of Role-Activity diagrams to the whole process of drilling, appraising and producing an oilfield. This study suggests that the traditional "generic" E&P architecture is no longer optimal for the task in hand. The current hierarchy for instance makes communication between the geologist who calculated the reserves and the facilities engineer who designed the platform difficult, and a potential cause of costly mistakes. The mapping of these innovations into an IT strategy is tough since reservoir models take a long time to build and are slow to update. The speed of moving data between systems is also cited as a barrier to implementation. Advocating a process architecture consistent framework for E&P IT, Wilson hopes that further work on a viable earth model by the URGENT consortium may hold the key.
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