New study released on Upstream Information Management (April 1999)

Initially prepared for Total SA (now Total Fina), a benchmark study investigating Information Management in the upstream Oil and Gas sector is available from IT consultancy The Data Room.

The benchmark study of Information Management (IM) in the upstream sector of the world-wide oil and gas sector involved 11 units of international majors in Europe, Canada and the United States. Companies deployed IT-intensive solution successfully in areas of established E&P activity, but in frontier areas and New Ventures, more reliance was made of traditional library functions. Of particular note was the position of the participants in the business process cycle.

digital trap

Some of those having shed traditional library management functions during reorganization reported lost business opportunities as a result. Others, using Asset-focused business units, also reported problems managing data beyond the life-span of the Asset. Some companies reported running into a 'digital trap' whereby traditional library functions were disbanded before adequate digital management of data was assured. Neil McNaughton, Director of The Data Room commented, "What interested me most in this study was the fact that some of the simplest ideas had the most impact, whether this was a weekend spent indexing data from dusty cardboard boxes prior to a bidding round or capturing a minimalist subset of information from an asset prior to closure.

no 'big-iron'

In the area of New Ventures, none of the companies deployed 'big-iron' IT solutions to the IM problem. Successful companies were those that have either maintained traditional library functions, or those in a 'post BPR' phase of development, who were developing relatively light-weight solutions to recording the corporation's previous experience." Patrick Fréchu, Director of Research and Data Management with Total SA said "The results of The Data Room's survey have been integrated into our corporate Information Management strategy, providing a sound basis for our decisions in the fields of data management tool selection, investment arbitration and corporate policy".

The Data Room's study, originally commissioned by Total is now available for purchase by third parties and costs $2,500. More from

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