Digital Oil Field, Computer Assisted Operations, Smart Fields and iFields are some of the names coined by different E&P Companies for processes that promise to use real time Information Technology to radically change the way the Oil and Gas business is run and is so doing enable significant business benefit.

The Digital Oil Field(DOF) has been the subject of much publicity and further development over recent years. However, there was also much DOF-related activity over prior decades, in which oil companies made their operations' progressively smarter using a combination of IT, instrument engineering, telecommunications and change management.

The intent of this document is to chronicle some of the learning's from DOF's history, initially from a Shell E&P perspective, as this is the author's bias. However, it is hoped that this will spark similar historic learning's from other Shell individuals and other E&P companies and that these thoughts and lessons be used to "grow" towards a more comprehensive view.

Winston Churchill said "Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets." Looking at DOF through the lens of one person's experience is hardly history, but may give some clues regarding how to do "it" and how not to do "it."

This paper will trace DOF historic developments from the author's personal perspective and tease-out the issues then and now, providing an insight into where we have been, where we are now and what can be practically achieved.

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