The E&P industry is a highly technical and complex world which is inhabited by skilled professionals of many different specializations and backgrounds working all over the globe. In order for an organization to perform effectively, it is very helpful to have a shared view of that world and a common vocabulary to describe its artifacts, processes and challenges.

Over the past two years, we have developed a multi-faceted taxonomy that describes the realm of technical services in the upstream E&P domain. It comprises the areas of E&P disciplines, application methods and environments, technical services, and problem diagnoses.

This taxonomy is finding wide use within our technical communities and has been embodied into computer-based applications in the areas of collaboration (workspaces and wikis), knowledge capture, expertise identification, field technical support and "smart" enterprise search.

This paper discusses our methodology in establishing and reviewing the E&P taxonomy within a large technical community and how we are applying it to solve real-world business problems.

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