Speaking at the 2006 Lehman Brothers’ Energy conference, Schlumberger CEO Andrew Gould reported that 2006 is forecast to see a record level of E&P spend at $260 billion, a 20% hike over last year. Offshore activity is constrained by the lack of rig capacity, high prices and a lack of trained professionals. Gould noted the continuing trend towards exploration—with high oil prices making previously impossible plays attractive. Digital systems are enabling experienced staff in operations support centers to interface with a number of remote operations.
Gould referred to the ‘ambitious claims’ made for real-time reservoir management which ‘will undoubtedly happen at some point in the future’. Today, Gould’s focus is on the ‘digital enablement’ of data streams in E&P operations. Schlumberger’s center in Aberdeen can monitor up to 28 concurrent drilling operations in the North Sea. A similar facility exists in the Gulf of Mexico. Such centers come into their own on complex projects where ‘centers of expertise can be directly linked to the well site in real time to allow the interaction between geoscientists and drillers’.
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