The days of easy oil have gone. It is harder and harder to replace world oil reserves, requiring all the skills possible to find and extract hydrocarbons. Now, more than ever, decision making is critical to the success of exploration and production. And decisions made by experienced people who understand the complexities of each situation, colored by their years of activity and exposure to global conditions are the best suited for making those decisions. The expertise that they bring, coupled with a nuanced view of their current environment allows them to make better decisions, bringing reserves online faster with less cost, and improves ultimate field efficiency.

But the people with the best skills and experience, the ones that can best make those decisions at the point of activity are becoming scarce. Additionally, an expertise gap exists between the experienced workers who are getting ready to retire and new workers the industry has hired. This gap, plus shortages of rigs and crews to support the rigs are requiring new ways to staff them, a way to "virtualize" the expertise by placing them in centralized operations centers and have them support multiple physical operations.

So this brings us to the overarching question: "How do we connect the experts to the problem, provide them with complete awareness of the remote environment, and let them collaborate and share information in real-time with those who need that expertise?"

The answer to this lies in the ability to create a platform of connectivity that enables you to bring the problem to the expert, provides a complete picture of the context of the situation, and ensures seamless collaboration between participants regardless of their location. We call this platform, Unified Communication…the ability to transform the collaboration experience and provide real-time access to expertise.

This paper will explore that capability and provide examples of how exploration and production companies are leveraging convergence in communications to allow data voice and video collaboration between experts and explore the value that it brings. Specifically:

  • Improving ad-hoc interaction by identifying expertise in real-time, connecting with them in the context of the operational workflow

  • Extending transactions to interactions to allow transformation of workflows that have person-to-person collaboration inherent to their performance

  • Introducing real-time decision making and new business models by leveraging this new platform of communication and collaboration

This paper will include various case examples of where exploration and production companies are creating these experiences, as well as examples from other relevant industries.

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