posted by on February 25th 2015 in Oil and Gas with 0 Comments

Click here for the full article I wrote for the Society of Petroleum Engineers magazine ‘The Way Ahead’, here is a snippet below.

“Industrial computing and modelling is taking the early footsteps of a renaissance period. The world now

sits at a coffee shop and is able to
get the same data that it could only access at its desktop terminal 8 years ago. To put things in perspective, 40 years ago, the world’s most advanced computer was the size of a car and could perform 80 million floating point operations per second (FLOPS). Today, an iPhone zips along at 76.8 gigaflops. That’s 962.5 times faster in 40 years. In 10 years’ time, a computer that is the size and dimension of a silver dollar will be powerful enough to power a manned mission to the moon or beat
a chess champion. In those 40 years, technology in oil and gas has also come a long way, but are we seeing the same ratio of improvement? Is the industry adopting technology at even a quarter of this speed?

In relation to modeling, not only can we read wellbore trajectories and drilling and reservoir reports on our phones and tablets, but
to a greater degree, we can also examine and predict scenarios, avoiding costly and dangerous

situations before they happen. We now rely on dynamic data and more increasingly, predictive data. But, where is the state of the art for these two interdependent disciplines of drilling and reservoir engineering? Where is the technology leading us? And more importantly, why is cutting- edge technology finding it hard to reach the wider industry?

Human Capital

The industry faces a never-before seen shortage of trained personnel entering the industry. It’s the
“graying of the oil industry.” The reasons for this are left for a different article, but I strongly recommend referencing a Wipro report. The main thing we can take from this report is that the oil and gas industry is looking to software to try to maximize efficiencies by the smaller workforce.

A survey by Rice University and Ernst & Young (http://www.starktalent. com/2011/09/oil-and-gas-companies- talent-shortage-is-a-major-concern/)

found that 88% of human resource managers at the world’s top oil companies agreed that the existing persistent shortage of people will slow down financial growth and performance in the industry over the next 10 years. So when we continue to talk about technology for oil and gas modeling, we need to keep in mind the practical requirement for advancement—allow less people to do more.

Looking Back to Look Forward

The late 1970s saw the beginnings of personal computing; Apple was on
its way to making its first computer, and James H Clark and some Stanford graduates would start Silicon Graphics (now called SGI), focused on high- end hardware and software for 3D graphics computing. …..more