Oil and gas companies increasingly require environments that support real-time E&P business processes, where field information, applications, and experts can be linked with operational managers and decision makers so daily operational parameters can be viewed and decisions executed. Most companies believe that making decisions in real time while leveraging global resources and infrastructure will help to improve their field productivity while reducing costs.
Project team members are often collocated to ensure open communication and planning. However, since E&P activities often take place in remote and hostile parts of the world, global operations with dispersed personnel frequently require such operations support centers to be "virtualized." Reliable and secure information flow is central to ensuring success in the contemporary oil field.
A previous paper outlined the significant challenges of process, networking, security, hardware, and software infrastructure encountered in creating and supporting these integrated operations centers. Another paper reported on some of the progress in meeting these challenges, with particular focus on the actual applications that support oilfield operations.
This paper focuses on challenges and solutions encountered in actually using such integrated operations centers, with particular emphasis on people issues, including change management, training, and collaboration. Real examples from working centers are used to illustrate the issues and solutions.