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Upstream oil and gas industry still wrestling with information overload

Oilfield Technology,

Upstream players are calling for a simpler and more unified computing environment to help them manage information overload, according to a Microsoft Corp. and Accenture survey released today at SPE’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in Florence. 64% cite a simpler and more unified computing environment as very valuable to their job performance. And more than one-third see an industry wide collaboration of oilfield products and services providers, IT providers, industry IT standards organisations, and upstream operating companies as most capable of bringing about the needed improvements. Most often cited benefits include easier access to information, more accurate information and enhanced collaboration.

In related news, the Microsoft Upstream Reference Architecture Initiative, an effort by Microsoft and its industry partners, continues to move forward to define and expand a common reference architecture as the ‘unifying language’ and a force for productivity and integration in the industry. Since the initiative’s launch in June 2010, six industry players have announced their participation in the initiative including Esri, Idea Integration Corp., Neofirma Inc., NetApp, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and The Information Store Inc., bringing the total number of initiative participants to 25.

Computing trends survey findings

The Microsoft and Accenture Upstream Oil & Gas Computing Trends Survey 2010, which polled 172 upstream oil and gas professionals within national, international and independent oil companies and service and supply companies worldwide, found that for 44% of respondents, the upstream data explosion continues to have a negative effect on their ability to get their work done. They most often cited the following challenges:

  • Data appearing in unstructured forms not easily captured or archived (44%).
  • Data stuck in individual repositories and not easily shared across disciplines (43%).
  • Too much redundant and/or unnecessary data available (35%).

In particular, respondents state that more extensive upstream IT standards (57%), a service oriented architecture approach (57%), cloud computing (30%), and social media (30%) hold the most value for providing enhanced computing. Yet, company adoption of these technologies lags behind worker interest. Fewer than one-quarter of professionals polled said their company has fully implemented these tools.

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