Most of the existing drilling and completions engineering applications in use today were designed to compute snapshots at a single point in time for one user, rather than presenting the acceptable operating envelope and its associated constraints over time and supporting interaction of multi-disciplinary teams in collaborative environments.
The massive increase in data now available from real time sensors can make identification of critical factors more difficult and can hinder, rather than enhance the decision making capability and response to alarm conditions. Currently, interaction between individual team members is cumbersome and it takes place outside the applications. Teams are increasingly multi-cultural, which places additional demands on the human-computer interface and cultural and linguistic preferences need to be considered, particularly where collaboration centres span international boundaries. The applications are also part of a growing portfolio, including office and knowledge management tools. Their usefulness and efficiency depends on successful integration. In turn, this depends critically on standards. The working practices emerging from the use of these environments means the earlier applications are no longer optimised for the circumstances in which they are to be used.
The paper contains a discussion of these changes and the new functionality required of the applications using a popular model in industrial psychology. It draws on practices from other industries, observations in collaborative environments and other, earlier work within our own industry that appeared before their time. It is concluded that new applications are needed for this new era and that some may bear more resemblance to gaming software than raw calculating engines. It also concludes that a number of the constraints may be self-imposed, by our failure to keep pace with the rapid and continuing developments in information and communications technology and the business models developed for the virtual world.