Reinventing the E&P Organization: Research and Technology Development
The last decade has seen the closing of many of the major's E&P research facilities around the world. Does this mean that they no longer are supporting the development of new technologies relevant to the demands of today's business? Not at all. The old model of large research labs broke down when new technology got stalled in the lab and could not get rolled into the field. A different model has developed very naturally that harnesses the energy and drive of hundreds of small entrepreneurial enterprises. These small groups, often started by former employees of majors or major service companies, are usually purposely focused on a single idea and are driven to success by very real economic pressures. In addition, they can get the work done on a radically different expense structure than their former employers. These groups have been the beneficiaries of a significant amount of support from major oil companies and service companies alike. They offer a vehicle for getting practical applied research accomplished and delivered to the point of need at an attractive cost, and when one of these investments hits a home run, the supporting company ends up getting their investment back, perhaps even in multiples.