Advanced Collaborative Environments (ACEs) were planned as an integral part of the Operator's new Aberdeen office. The move in early 2008 coincided with a major business re-organisation that prompted a critical reassessment of their scope and functionality. The selected approach is well suited to operations in a mature area. During the pilot project, three ACE implementation types were tested. One of these provided dedicated data feeds and visualisation tools within the normal work area, operating only during normal working hours. The others were asset-based onsite, 24/7 and outsourced models, each representing the business model extremes. The selected configuration was closest to the first of these models, with careful provision for future growth.
The results of the pilot studies supported the business case, but suggested that the realisation of many of the benefits would hinge on attitudes, behaviours and working practices. It was concluded that steady growth, based on demand and keeping pace with the changing habits would give the best return. Detailed plans were created for each of the people, process, technology, environment and organisation components of the operator's ACE model. The new building design and layout has greatly enhanced the overall working environment. Other activities included the upgrading of fibre links, the introduction of an operability laboratory to test the compatibility of data feeds and systems, extensive human factor studies, contract re-assessment and the introduction of a dedicated ACE support team. By June 2008, seven rigs were being supported simultaneously, including monitoring the progress of a wired-pipe trial in Trinidad. All this has been achieved during a period of outstanding drilling and completions performance. This measured approach has delivered results, helping to win hearts and minds whilst avoiding over-stretching resources. The paper includes details of the pilot project, implementation and the progress and challenges to date.