The application and adoption of collaboration centers in the E&P industry has increased significantly in the past decade. The benefits of collaboration center utilization have been clearly identified including the delivery of cost-effective and fully integrated multidiscipline field, reservoir and well management decisions.
Saudi Aramco has established a number of collaboration centers that directly capitalize on large scale, multidiscipline, value added technical and business collaborations. These centers, for instance, cover areas of Exploration, Geosteering, Real-time Drilling, Field Development, Production and Intelligent Field Management. Tangible economic and technical benefits of such collaboration encompasses: improved recovery, improved technical workflows, technology innovation, enhanced staff skill set development, and significant reduction of critical field development study cycle times. This paper outlines Saudi Aramco's experience from 5 years of utilizing multidiscipline collaboration workrooms with a focus on facility design, technology (software and hardware) support and lessons learned.
Advances in interactive, high performance technology solutions (hardware and software) and easy to use visual communication technologies present additional opportunities to extend and enhance the value added impact of collaboration centers, including virtual collaboration. The need for physical, localized centers will be discussed, compared and evaluated in the context of virtual collaboration center potential. The paper presents a "checklist" methodology for collaboration center design, layout, support and maintenance incorporating the challenges of continuous technology advancement and multidiscipline project complexity.