The Intelligent Oilfield (IOF), also known as the Digital Oilfield of the Future (DOFF), encompasses a collaborative environment (CEs) for communication, data collection, reporting and monitoring, and knowledge & information sharing. These environments, or physical workspaces, are intended to help people make more informed decisions and to take the appropriate actions across the enterprise. In addition, it enables alignment, focus, and a common understanding to help prioritize opportunities.

Innovations in various collaboration technologies are helping companies to make the intelligent oilfield a reality. One of the key implementation components currently attracting attention is the collaboration or remote surveillance center – a high-tech, communications, visualization, and audio-enhanced monitoring or control room. Although the facility is intended to create an atmosphere for improved communications, multifunctional work, and a means to help eliminate organizational barriers, the center itself is only the physical manifestation of the desired spirit of richer and increased human interaction.

There are currently two differing philosophies for the implementation of these centers – an asset-based center that services a single asset and a central hub that services multiple assets. Each approach has its own particular merits and potential pitfalls. Although there is no single right answer, certain considerations are recommended before construction begins that could assist in determining the most appropriate approach for the given circumstances. Factors such as corporate culture and employee skill base can have a huge impact on the success of the final choice. Without such an evaluation, many efforts will continue to be burdened or opportunities will be deferred or lost.

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