Few would disagree that the philosophy of intelligent energy permeates through a large proportion of Upstream operators and service companies. Programmes of work to realise this philosophy are now mature. Collaboration, information visualisation, integration of information to aid decision making all feature as commonplace activities. However, the philosophy is largely siloed within parts of the subsurface community and a general intelligent energy culture does not exist throughout the E&P community. This is especially pronounced when we examine the changes, or lack of changes, that have taken place within operational surface teams over the last ten years.

This paper investigates the extent to which day to day decision making, aimed at optimising production at an acceptable cost, is fully integrated between sub-surface, drilling and surface operations and examines the value that can be generated through this level of integration. Taking surface equipment as an example, it goes on to examine the pre-requisites and integration points required to make a composite picture that means decisions are made taking into account all production constraints. It contends that reliance on automated data is insufficient and that everyone concerned with production activities, even down to operator and maintenance technicians, need to see themselves as key information providers into the production decisions that constantly need to be taken. Citing specific examples of where this has happened, positive cultural side effects can be seen. The paper concludes by looking at the pros and cons of transparency of information between sub surface, drilling and surface operations, effectively making all personnel information consumers and allowing them to input into optimisation decisions.

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