Some Oil IT housekeeping, a Noble sentiment and an IT survey

A few words on past and future conference reporting from editor Neil McNaughton. Oil IT Journal endorses the endorsers. A puzzling facet of the annual Accenture/Microsoft survey of oil and gas IT.

As the actualité has crowded out my editorial space this month I thought I’d provide some succinct housekeeping news. As you probably noticed we have been ‘managing’ the news from our conference attendances such that it is only now (mid May) that we are reporting on the SPE Digital Energy conference that took place in March. The reason for this laggardly behavior is that we only have the space and resources to cover one major show each month. Moreover each of these shows merits our main ‘centerfold’ slot and there is only one of these per issue. So we stick to one comprehensive in-depth conference report in each issue.

So far this year that has meant on-the-spot reports from American Business Conferences’ Wellsite Automation (Houston), SMI E&P Data Management (London) and the SPE Digital Energy event (see page 6). Our next ‘live’ report will hail from the 2015 SAP in oil and gas event held in Berlin last month. After that we will report from the 2015 EAGE conference in Madrid. I expect to see some of you there. Looking ahead the crystal ball is a bit cloudy but we will likely be attending Ecim in Haugesund in September, the SPE ATCE in Houston and a couple of others to be announced.


There is something err.. noble about the sentiment reflected in Noble Energy’s presentation at the IQPC Oil and Gas Cyber Security conference (see this month’s lead). It is refreshing to hear a company presentation that unequivocally endorses a commercial product. This is in contrast with the game that is too often played by oils and societies whereby ‘commercialization’ is to be avoided at all costs. Some folk actually believe that software is ‘commodity’ and that the true value add comes from a savant’s manipulation of the mouse.

With PNEC kicking off next week (sorry I won’t be there, off on a biking holiday) I thought I’d check the program to for endorsements. I am happy to report that at least five presentations clearly associate software with a client. It is possible to organize a conference where the presentations are genuine attempts to get an important and complete message across. It is as important to steer clear of blatant commerciality as it is to avoid obfuscation. We will of course do another ‘virtual’ report from PNEC after the show.

Our annual aunt Sally, the Accenture/Microsoft ‘survey’ of oil and gas digital technology and trends puts happy face on an otherwise dire situation. ‘Despite the fall in crude oil prices, most companies … plan to invest the same amount or more in digital technologies.’ The trouble with surveys, as psychologists and politicos will confirm, is that they are devilishly difficult to design without revealing inconsistencies of a more or less embarrassing nature. Asked ‘Which digital technologies is your company investing in?’ 77% replied ‘None of the above’ and 71% replied ‘don’t know.’ Support for other technology options was all in the 60% plus range. Accenture MD Rich Holsman explained, ‘Respondents were allowed to select any or all of the options. They first selected technologies that their companies was investing in. Those who selected ‘don’t know’ possibly meant that they were not sure which other technologies were in use.’ Decipher the enigmatic responses yourselves by downloading the survey results.


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