Incremental Improvement

I recently attended an Oil & Gas UK Business Outlook Breakfast Briefing, where the phrase of the day was ‘cautiously optimistic’.

We’ve seen in the news that North Sea operators are reviving, the biggest story being the recent Hurricane Energy discovery near Shetland. The briefing figures showed that unit costs are down and profits/projects are on the rise. People seem to be getting better at doing more with less.

Indeed, the atmosphere at the breakfast was far more convivial than the last I attended back in December 2015.

All very positive, however, we still have a long way to go. So, how do we go forward from here?

In her address at the briefing, Deirdre Michie, Oil & Gas UK CEO, said that people had to ‘stop looking for the silver bullet’.

Deirdre is talking in a more general sense, but it echoes the sentiments of EnergySys’ Managing Director, Dr Peter Black, who in a recent presentation discussed the three lessons he learned from reviewing the Digital Oilfield (watch the full video of his review here). He said that companies should focus on incremental improvement, instead of wasting time on mythical silver bullets like Digital Oilfield, that over-promise and under deliver.

In the above clip, Peter uses the every day example of data exchange between partners, stating it is often a painful process, with some even sending their data via PDF. As he says, this is an IT issue and, more to the point, is a relatively easy fix. So, why then, is it still an issue?

Traditionally, production allocation and reporting solutions are cumbersome, and difficult to change or upgrade. Rather than trying to fix the issue, most people opt for a work around, or use spreadsheets to supplement the deficit, until its no longer workable and they have to invest in a complete system overhaul.

This simply does not have to be the case anymore.

Cloud solutions, like EnergySys, can be configured by the end user, allowing them to make the changes they require quickly and without expensive consultants. The platform imports most data formats, therefore significantly cutting down the amount of time it takes to gather partner data. In fact, if you use EnergySys, you can automate the entire process, further reducing costs and time constraints on your team.

As we can see from this example alone, we should be looking towards new technologies that give control back to the user, giving them the ability to make changes quickly and efficiently.

Incremental improvement is just one of the three lessons that Peter explored in his Digital Oilfield review.  In future blog posts, I’ll discuss how ‘freeing the porcupine’ and ‘moving the needle’ will help transform your business.


If you’d like more insight on this topic, watch Dr Peter Black’s full ‘Digital Oilfield: 10 Years On’ presentation (www.energysys.com/a-focus-on-the-future) or download his latest whitepaper ‘The End of Corporate IT: Revisited’ here: www.energysys.com/inform/the-end-of-corporate-computing-revisited