SAP’s Digital Oilfield

SAP has announced a new ‘industry value network’ to leverage its NetWeaver platform in oil and gas. Members of the new ‘ecosystem’ include HP, IBM, Accenture, LogicaCMG, Quorum and Triple Point.

The logic behind the ‘digital oilfield of the future’ (DOF) would have it that increased systems integration and cross discipline collaboration will significantly enhance production, improve economics and reduce costs. The idea is compelling but begs the question, who, among the many stakeholders, will hold the keys to the DOF? Hitherto we have seen contenders from the geoscience, engineering and process control communities. But a recent announcement from the ERP behemoth SAP, makes a credible argument that the ‘bean counters’ will be in charge.


SAP’s new ‘ecosystem’ a.k.a. the oil and gas industry value network (IVN) currently involves independent software vendors, systems integrators and technology vendors along with executives from SAP’s oil and gas customer base. The oil and gas IVN is SAP’s eighth industry-centric collaboration venture. Previous IVNs have targeted inter alia, banking, chemicals and the public sector.


The IVN builds on SAP’s Oil & Gas Global Industry Advisory Council whose chairman, Conoco Phillips’ Bob Martin said, ‘Achieving leading-edge innovation requires the input of more than one business entity and IT vendor. The Advisory Council sees collaboration through SAP’s IVN as the way forward—leveraging a web of expertise, solutions and capabilities to address our most pressing business challenges.’

Digital oilfield

Initially the IVN is to direct its efforts to digital oil field and the hydrocarbon supply chain, with solutions for integrated exploration and production, land lease management, real-time gas allocation, asset life-cycle management, distribution and terminal management, trading, and price optimization. The aim is to deliver ‘pre-integrated, standard, end-to-end’ solutions and services based on SAP’s web services platform, NetWeaver (OITJ Vol. 8 N° 1). Packaged solutions from the IVN will help customers ‘avoid costly integration projects.’


The Advisory Council comprises 17 companies, notably Conoco Phillips, Petrobras, Statoil and Tesoro. The service side IVN includes Accenture, HP, IBM, LogicaCMG, Quorum Business Solutions and Triple Point. Early work has found the DOF to be ‘both a solution and a problem,’ as it produces more data than ever before. SAP and Accenture are working to accelerate well delivery and maintenance operations. The future will see more DOF applications leveraging LogicaCMG’s Prodis Upstream, NRX Asset Center, Meridium’s maintenance solution, Quorum Land, TechniData’s environmental reporting and e-ESE solutions and Triple Point’s trading package.

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