This pilot was executed in Statoil, before the merger with Hydro, involving a drilling operation at the Åsgard Asset on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Onshore operational support for well construction is now a common procedure in StatoilHydro for each local operation. In the spring of 2007 StatoilHydro launched the Houston Integrated Operation (IO) pilot; its objective was to prove the possibility of a global networked operation, exemplified by a 24/7 drilling operations from three different geographical locations, exploiting the different time zones and thereby eliminating the need for employees working unfavourable nightshifts.

A global networked operation will induce a substantial transfer of knowledge and experience between the various international activities of the company. A set of daily tasks were selected from the common corporate work process of well construction for the purpose of proving the concept of global 24/7 operational support. The pilot scope was also to evaluate the possibility to expand the use of global networked operation to a wider range of processes.

The three time zones included in the pilot were Norway (GMT +1) the StjØrdal office and the Åsgard asset, USA (GMT-6) Houston, Texas office and China (GMT+8) "Lu Feng" this last time zone was fictitious and actually based in the Houston office. The professional staff tested out and verified various functions. They executed real-time drilling data services with quality control in the transference of data to project databases and they carried out real-time quality control of directional survey data and drilling efficiency services. While carrying out these functions the technology performance was monitored at all times.

The main objective of the pilot was to test the capability Global networked operation. While fulfilling this objective, the pilot would establish the Man, Technology and Organisation (MTO) elements that are required to create this capability. It was hoped that the pilot would prove that it is possible to achieve a working method for 24/7 operations, removing the need for evening and night shifts in Norway and establish and verify a technological platform that is good, simple and robust. The pilot would be used to recommend the way forward for StatoilHydro related to Global Networked Operation and establish guidelines for what is required to achieve successful implementation of this approach and working method.

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