In large global organizations, experts who collaborate with their colleagues in the Digital Oilfield of the Future (DOFF) are geographically dispersed and mobile. Their time is precious and they cannot readily be distracted from their primary functions to participate in traditional knowledge-capture activities. Therefore, it is extremely desirable to automatically identify these experts, capture and codify their knowledge, and provide access to them from anywhere in the world at the time their knowledge is needed. This paper describes a new approach to this challenge.

We investigated a number of approaches including a prototype system to automatically identify communities of interest, capture and index the electronic documents relevant to the community of interest, and populate a globally accessible "knowledge space." This knowledge space provides a mechanism to access the relevant experts in real time using location-/presence-aware collaboration tools.

We evaluated this method in the context of establishing a Center of Excellence for Sand Control Completions. In establishing this Center, we began using conventional techniques. This initiative, however, was also viewed more strategically – as a vehicle for establishing "a new way of doing business," and it also served as a platform for testing approaches that would allow us to rapidly deploy the solution to other domains.

This exercise demonstrated that significant improvements can be made in collecting, organizing and disseminating actionable knowledge from a dispersed community of technical experts. It also provides a real-time mechanism for leveraging the implicit knowledge of these experts in a globally mobile workforce. This has significant relevance in the DOFF arena as it enables an organization to "know what it knows" with less effort than traditional knowledge management and collaboration tools.

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