If we have learned anything from the amazing gains and re-engineering that has occurred in exploration and other industries, it is that information technology, when properly applied, changes the rules of the game. Venture capital firms are always looking for companies that can secure a "first-mover" advantage because these startups offer the best opportunity for maximum returns. Those who move quickly to take advantage of new opportunities benefit the most. However, studies show that other industries are innovating much faster than exploration and production (E&P).

Manufacturing and process industries, such as chemicals, automotive, and refining, have all been forced to adopt new ways of working as a result of business imperatives or crises. Much can be learned by studying the challenges already addressed in those industries and assessing their applicability in E&P, particularly in production operations.

The capabilities of existing technology far exceed production operation's willingness to apply it today. It has been said that producers are in a mad dash to be second. They believe an early mover advantage is in reality a "first-mover" penalty. This paper will examine some of the pros and cons of a first-mover strategy for E&P companies.

It is a widely held opinion that our industry is unique and, therefore cannot use proven solution approaches and tools from other industries. Process and manufacturing industries have learned to look beyond their borders and have found that solutions can be reconfigured and successfully adapted to their businesses; they have replaced outdated problem-solving approaches with new ways of working. Oil and gas should be no exception.

Standard or enterprise-wide solutions and best practices assume a degree of commonality across assets, and this is assumed to be problematical in E&P. However, other industries contain assets with a high degree of variability, yet they have still overcome these barriers to innovation and rolled out common solutions.

This paper explores drivers, barriers, attitudes, and ways to apply important lessons from other industries to the upstream industry by comparing them to E&P to identify ways to make oil and gas operations more "intelligent."

The survey data shared in this paper is intended to highlight issues for further research and was not designed for statistically valid sampling.

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