ConocoPhillips’ renaissance engineers

Multi-skilled operators and wireless control system connectivity for San Juan business unit.

Back in the day, when ‘digital energy’ was new, there was an expectation that combining engineering and IT would breed a new kind of ‘renaissance engineer.’ Patrick Currey, writing in the Q1 2015 issue of ConocoPhillips Spirit Magazine reports that these do now exist in the form of ‘multi-skilled operators’ or MSOs.

MSOs are at work across the San Juan business unit where ConocoPhillips operates some 10,000 natural gas wells. Recent upgrades to smart control systems make it possible to make changes to individual wells wirelessly from the central integrated operations center (IOC). MSOs can also operate controllers in the field from a laptop. Currey describes hardware and logic as the field’s ‘neurons,’ but the optimization technicians and MSOs are the ‘muscle and blood’ that give life to the high-tech platform of the IOC.

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