Digital oilfield experts from around the world have been challenged to take the next step forward in the continued evolution of intelligent energy solutions and real-time integrated operations.
The first day of the SPE Intelligent Energy International 2012 conference and exhibition in Utrecht, the Netherlands featured a series of thought-provoking presentations under the overall theme ‘Transformation – Time for Decisive Action’. The opening scene-setter session ‘Vision 2020’ transported delegates into the future to give them a glimpse of how breakthrough energy technologies can be developed through collaboration within the digital community. The full live session can be viewed online at www.intelligentenergyevent.com and clicking on the ‘Vision2020’ link.
Co-chair Derek Mathieson, President of Products & Technology at Baker Hughes, said: “We really wanted to take the audience outside their comfort zone and show them one scenario of what could be achieved. I think we did that. Some people might be thinking now that intelligent energy work is nearly done but we are saying that we are still at the start of the journey, not the end, so where are we trying to get to? The next two days will help us decide where we are going.”
Fellow co-chair Edwin Verdonk, Vice President of Subsurface Expertise and Technology Deployment at Royal Dutch Shell, added: “We can see that the technology is very important, and that it is important to get it into the energy industry more quickly. Through initiatives like targeted partnering, it can get the technology faster. We see a lot more open environments than ever before, and it’s the speed of the implementation of the technology that is vital.” He added that he saw a continuing need for the industry to be smarter about data management and knowledge, and what it does with its data.
A plenary session titled ‘Searching For Identity, or Preparing to Meet The Grand Challenges’ saw presentations by companies including Saudi Aramco, Petoro AS, Schlumberger, Shell and BP. This session explored the challenges for the industry of entering into the adoption cycle while technology continues to diversify, what the decision landscape across the sector looks like today, and what grand challenges are yet to be addressed with this technology.
Cross-industry learning on display
SPE Intelligent Energy is of course recognised for its ability to attract expertise from other sectors to facilitate cross-industry learning, with this year seeing two outstanding keynote speakers from other industries – one an innovative car maker and the other a world-class motor racing company.
Jay Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of US company Local Motors, gave a keynote address on the morning of Day 1 about his company’s achievements in making open-source cars. The company developed an online platform for crowd-sourced car design and developed a unique micro-factory for rapid local manufacturing. It is able to produce technologically-advanced cars at a fraction of the cost incurred by major car manufacturers when developing their new models. He stressed the importance of open-source collaboration in rapidly speeding up the development process and at greatly reduced costs.
A keynote speaker at the opening ice breaker session was David Salters, Head of Engine Development at Scuderia Ferrari. He gave a detailed insight into the pace of innovation within the world’s premier car racing class, and drew parallels with the need to innovate within the energy industry. He outlined how Ferrari has been at the forefront of its field in road car production and motor racing, employing innovative technology in an industry where 1/1000th of a second can be the difference between winning and losing. Ferrari’s technical partnership with Shell has been a key part of their success, he said.
Reflecting SPE Intelligent Energy International’s overall theme ‘Transformation – Time for Decisive Action’, he outlined how other industries like Formula One have already transformed themselves by taking decisive action, and adopting fast, continuous innovation as the only way to stay competitive. He pointed out that the need to constantly innovate is crucial. “We are very fortunate to have a very clear goal and objective in our business – we have to win,” he said.
Today’s conference (Day 2) will see a plenary session focused on ‘The Digital Engineer’, where delegates will discuss the technical and IT competencies required to make the perfect digital engineer. As we change the way we operate our business and as the knowledge base continues to shrink across the upstream, a new breed of engineer will need to emerge to meet the challenges ahead. This session will address the industry’s need to respond to the challenge. There is also a full conference programme on Day 3.
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Press & Media Relations, SPE Intelligent Energy International 2012
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