The well's Advanced Collaborative Environment (ACE) Community of Practice (CoP) was formed in March 2009 at BP's senior management request, to share good practice and promote standardisation in this area. Its mandate was one of self help and leveraging scale, but working through influence and consensus, with management support rather than by direct authority. It was also required to adhere to company IT standards and technology strategy.

At the time of the CoP's formation, collaborative environments had been commissioned in various company locations worldwide, including Aberdeen, Baku, Houston, Stavanger and Tangguh. In the absence of any unifying well's concept, each of these centres had been developed independently, strongly influenced by local ideas, needs and resources. The approach was typical of the innovation stage referred to in the conference programme, but it was evident that connectivity between the different locations and with other disciplines was lacking and that effort was duplicated.

Today the CoP has over 30 members, spanning wells, subsurface, IT and wells technology from 12 locations worldwide. It meets virtually, involving the widest possible membership in the different time zones. It has been instrumental in progressing and communicating standards, supporting the introduction and use of common tools and technology, leveraging its knowledge and expertise and helping start-ups in new areas. Overall the CoP has been a great success. The paper describes the CoP's evolution, from its formation to the present day and critically examines its achievements, shortfalls and future goals.

In a rapidly changing technical environment, achieving and maintaining alignment between the diverse stakeholders in a medium to large organisation can be challenging. The CoP has earned its credibility and has proved to be an effective means of sharing experience and making good use of scarce resources, both keys for adoption at scale.

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