When Captain Kirk from the "USS Enterprise" gave the command "Bean me up, Scotty" to his transporter chief in the science fiction television series, Paramount Pictures Corporation's "Star Trek®," he may not have realized that he was a frontrunner in introducing a new way of working that soon will be reality in the exploration and production (E&P) industry.

With continued growing demand for energy foreseen in the future, the E&P industry has to face, and will continue to face, significant challenge as it moves toward delivering these energy needs. These challenges include growing global demand, declining mature fields, and entry into remote, harsh, undeveloped and geopolitically-challenging environments requiring teams to minimize travel and collaborate across disciplines (reservoir engineering, production, maintenance) more efficiently.

To meet these challenges, the industry is re-shaping its way of working, adopting collaborative operating models and smart technologies. The industry is transitioning away from thinking of silos and moving toward multidisciplinary teams working collaboratively. This movement is designed to ensure that the reduced workforce and work processes are effectively utilized in combination with the existing and future tools to insure improved capability for efficiently managing its assets. The primary solution for addressing these challenges, and enabling this collaborative operating model, is the deployment of collaborative work environments. At the moment, most collaborative work environments and their concurrent collaboration models are set up locally. However, the rapid evolution of workforce and technology changes are forcing this industry to look toward the next generation of collaboration that must take place beyond borders.

This paper reflects the state of collaborative work environments today and explores the future role of collaborative work environments (CWEs), outlining how the CWE solution must evolve to address key challenges over the horizon and enable a new global and virtual collaboration model.

The E&P industry is faced with a difficult reality: Real change requires a real mindset change. Are we ready for it?

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