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Start-up aims to solve upstream industry's talent issue

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Oilfield Technology,

A start-up company, led by oil and gas stalwarts James McCallum and Colin Manson, is launching a digital platform that aims to solve one of the most pressing problems facing the upstream oil and gas industry.

Start-up aims to solve upstream industry's talent issue

A lack of talent, slow adoption of technology and social pressure are coming together to pose a major resource headache for an industry which must deliver projects to meet the global growth in demand for hydrocarbons, while delivering net-zero carbon emissions.

Xergy Group has unveiled Proteus, which, it believes, will transform the way in which the industry sources and uses talent to resource and deliver these projects with increased profitability.

The brainchild of Xergy’s chief executive, Colin Manson (pictured), Proteus is a cloud-based work management system that allows companies to find the right people for projects as and when they are needed.

A software platform that facilitates working remotely within a working environment, Proteus will greatly increase efficiency by removing fixed overheads and needless cost and improve utilisation rates and project management, while reducing the carbon emission from commuting and travelling.

With offices in Aberdeen and Dubai, Xergy is investing £2.3 million in the development of Proteus and has already recruited 12 people with extensive upstream oil and gas experience to work alongside a team of out-sourced, expert software developers to build and test the software.

Xergy believes Proetus has the potential to capture a large share of the oil and gas gig economy, worth £9.6 billion, and a portion of the £3.9 billion oil and gas ERP (enterprise and resource planning) market.

Manson explained: “As the oil and gas industry recovers from one of the worst recessions in its history, when it laid off 300 000 people, it finds itself with an ageing workforce and a lack of diversity, along with the added challenge of being deeply unpopular as a result of the climate change agenda.

“When looking to resource projects, it is also constrained by geography and competition from other industries which don’t suffer from these negative perceptions.

“Equally, the brightest talent is now looking for greater flexibility with the ability to work when they want and where they want.

“At the heart of Proteus is a cloud-based work management system that, in itself, would be a massive leap forward for most companies. ERP systems are not new, but they are complex, not well-liked and expensive, often failing to make the efficiencies they were designed for.”

Proteus connects all the key workflows used by most oil and gas companies. From finding opportunities through to closing out invoices and everything in between. The systems integrate seamlessly and are accessed through an interface designed to simplify every workflow.

“The beauty of Proteus is that it adds, what we call, the marketplace to the ERP system. This marketplace connects companies with the best suited freelance contractors for the job. Individuals can search for projects and update their profile and status. Companies can post opportunities and search for rated freelancers and specific services,” explained Manson.

By adopting Proteus, as a new way of operating, the working culture in oil and gas can be transformed, claimed Manson.

“Embracing new technology allows greater flexibility and appeals to the emerging global workforce. Using this type of software can send a powerful message that the industry is truly changing.”

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