This paper summarizes the findings of the SPE Forum held in September 2005 on "Making our Mature Fields Smarter". Participants in the Forum have granted permission to present this paper on the basis that the authors are neither representing the views of the SPE nor of the participants’ companies.
We are delivering smarter fields in order to add value to our business - there are many facets to this value beyond reservoir, well, process and production management. What may not be so clear is how to apply these smart technologies to mature fields with a legacy infrastructure and long production history. Participants felt that maturity in itself made a challenge for deployment and enforces the need for effective Change Management. Deployment and Change Management are seen as the major challenges facing the creation of Smart Fields.
During the Forum it became apparent that companies do not have a common vision of what a truly Smart Field will look like and this contributes to the difficulty of assigning a value to "Smartness". There is a tendency to assign value to discrete technologies as opposed to the holistic full project value associated with the business process that has been improved by the application of that technology.
The essential foundations for a Smart Field are: People and Skills, effective Data Management and Industry Wide Standards, appropriate Hardware and Systems Architecture. High quality data is a fundamental building block of Smart Fields and it needs to be treated as an asset, managed effectively with staff assigned to ensure the integrity of the data management systems.
The key processes are built on this foundation and deliver the business result. These processes are supported by detailed workflows with corresponding enabling technologies. The business processes and workflows required to manage a mature field appear to be similar for many operators. The majority of the technologies that we require to create Smart Fields are already in place although we did identify seven specific areas where technology advances are recommended.
Collaboration and visualization technologies are enablers and are required in order to integrate across the core business processes and permit people working with these processes to assimilate the huge and diverse volumes of data and information.