Smart technology kick-starts oil and gas revolution

04 March 2008

Smart field technology will ‘accelerate massively’ over the next decade, according to Malcolm Brinded, executive E&P director at Royal Dutch/Shell in a presentation at Intelligent Energy 2008.

Oil Refinery
Oil Refinery

The RAI venue, Amsterdam, welcomed 1,655 attendees through its doors from February 25 to 27 and has been hailed as a success by organisers, Reed Exhibitions and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Brinded illustrated his assertion with examples of projects where Shell had seen previously uneconomic fields becoming economic because of the rise of intelligent technology processes.

Andrew Gould, CEO of Schlumberger, referred to the importance of working with companies from outside the oil industry to speed up the process of technology development. He pointed out that the upstream industry could use technologies and learn processes from, for example, the aerospace sector.

‘If Boeing or a company like that are designing a new aircraft, they get Rolls Royce or GE or other contractors involved from Day 1… Sometimes adaptation of technologies from other industries can be a much faster way of developing technology than an industry bringing it along itself.’

The co-chairmen of the Intelligent Energy executive committee, Satish Pai, President of Europe, Africa and Caspian at Schlumberger and Sjur Bjarte Talstad, senior vice president for subsurface technology at StatoilHydro, set the tone at the start of the event by demonstrating some intelligent energy capabilities when they connected live and simultaneously on screen with individuals working on facilities in Azerbaijan, Holland, Norway and Brazil.

'We wanted the audience to see some real facilities that have adopted digital technology in the last few years and hear from people working there,’ said Satish. ‘It was a very good example of how intelligent energy is working today.’

In his concluding remarks at the close of the event 3 days later, Sjur added: ‘I think we are on a journey that has just started with Intelligent Energy. The general feedback here has been very good, people have been very happy to be here, and they have picked up a lot of good information.

'It is clear also from the technical sessions that we have come a long way since the first show in 2006. Now it is not so much a focus on issues of technology but on people, process, organisational issues, collaboration and awareness. It is no longer so much about should it be implemented but how it should be done.'

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