Can Saving Costs Cost You?

In my last blog post I mentioned performance improvement. It’s a buzzword that frequently appears when researching software systems for the oil and gas industry, but what exactly does it mean? To me, Performance Improvement is a blanket term for a range of important issues, ranging from operational efficiency, to automation, and data integration. However, the…

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Oil and Gas Price Factors

I recently attended a conference, hosted by KPMG in London, concerning the current state of play with low oil price and its effects on the world’s oil and gas investment markets. It was an interesting meeting with about 150 people in the audience, and a panel of four speakers. In the following post I summarise the presentations, how its not all doom and gloom and some tips for surviving the current situation. 

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Constant Service Improvement

As many of you know, we have recently refreshed large parts of our production service infrastructure. Parts of the existing hardware, while still running well, had reached three years of age, which represents the point where we deem the ROI on renewal to be about right. In a cloud based service the ROI is made immediately more attractive because the cost is shared between all the consumers of the service.

Also, there have also been a lot of advances in three years for hardware.

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How we can fix standards efforts in oil and gas

I’ve spoken at several conferences about the failures in standards efforts in oil and gas, and I’ve commented on the reasons for these failures. I’ve also highlighted the key characteristics of successful standards efforts in other industries. In the short version, this boils down to my well-worn aphorism “adoption beats perfection”. The longer version is contained in the seminal paper by Hanseth and Lyytinen (“Theorizing about the Design of Information Infrastructures: Design Kernel Theories and Principles”, 2004) which, despite its title, contains material that is relevant for all standards efforts. They identify five design principles:

  1. Design initially for usefulness
  2. Draw upon existing installed base
  3. Expand installed base by persuasive tactics to gain momentum
  4. Make it simple
  5. Modularize by building separately key functions of each infrastructure, use layering, and gateways

A cursory glance at the standards documentation from bodies like Energistics and PPDM demonstrate a failure to adhere to some, if not all, of these principles.

This has led me to consider the goals of standardisation in oil and gas, and what might help with their adoption.

I can see three obvious scenarios where standards could be useful. There are probably more, but let’s start with these three.

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