There are many exciting and effective uses of digital technology in modern oil and gas operations. From drilling to completions, mid-stream to refining many advances have been made that are increasing compliance, safety, efficiency, and overall profit for many in our industry. One area that has been slower to change is onshore production operations. Many digital solution providers that have experience in the oil and gas industry have fallen short of this segment's needs. Multiple exploration and production (E&P) companies have attempted digital initiatives that have seen limited success. This may be due to not understanding the data needs, consumption requirements, and overall digital and organizational landscape of production operations. This paper attempts to illustrate five key ways that onshore upstream production operations differ from other aspects of oil and gas, and give considerations and guidance to digital solution providers and E&P companies so that the needed digital transformation can truly take hold within this sector.
Devon Energy has made investments in the physical, technological, and human infrastructure necessary to improve its digital capabilities for production operations and all other facets of its business for many years. This paper draws on the observations and lessons from the author's experience working both alongside and within Devon's Production Technology organization.