Integrated Operations can be defined as using information technology opportunities to change work processes to achieve better decisions, to remotely control equipment and related processes, and to move functions and operations personnel onshore as stated in the Norwegian White Paper, number 38, 2002 (St.meld. nr. 38, 2001-2002, Ministry of Oil and Energy)

Integrated Operations are often characterized by operational concepts where new information and communication technologies are used in real time to optimize offshore oil and gas exploration and production resources. This enables large volumes of data to be measured, sent to users via high bandwidth computer links that are shared amongst a broader user audience, and data that can be used to form better decisions.

Integrated Operations cover all aspects of business activities from Exploration to Drilling to Production though this discussion will focus on the Drilling aspects. For ConocoPhillips Norway (COPNo.) to employ this technology there has been a need to re-organize operations, to investigate new work processes and a need to establish a willingness to share information.

According to a study by the Cambridge Energy Research Associates in 20031 , the increased use of new and emerging digital technologies could potentially boost world oil reserves by 125 billion barrels over the next 5 years. Petoro A.S. of Norway has estimated the added value of applying eField and Integrated Operations (IO) on the Norwegian Continental Shelf to be NOK 150 billion2 . A more recent report by the OLF (Norwegian Oil Industry Association) indicates that the value of IO to Norway could be NOK 250 billion3 . In summary, industry studies indicate that the potential benefits of IO are significant.

Five key digital technologies will substantially improve the oil industry's ability to see reserves more clearly, plan optimal drilling and production strategies and manage operations more efficiently. They are:

  • Remote sensing

  • Visualization

  • Intelligent drilling and completions

  • Automation, and

  • Data integration.

This paper outlines the industry-leading experiences of the COPNo. drilling and well service group over the last 5 years from field-wide Integrated Operations.

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