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Managing Information in the World of the Virtual Oil Company


 Mike Larsen1, Alan Smith1

(1) Paras Consulting, London, United Kingdom

 Technological change has been one of the key drivers of business evolution over time. The current business climate is again being profoundly influenced by a technology, especially the Internet. This changes the value structure in many industries. The oil and gas industry is no exception.

The spirit of competition between oil companies, suppliers and the regulatory authorities is becoming one of shared risk taking, collaboration and co-operation.

There is a global consolidation in the supply of E&P information, with purchase and delivery of information updates via the web now common place. The information vendors will supply their products in ‘analysis-ready’ components that ‘plug & play' with each other and common software packages. Increasingly, the 'bits & bytes' management of base data is something more efficiently done by service providers than in-house.

'Heavyweight' Information Management no longer provides competitive advantage. What does provide advantage is the ability to rapidly create a decision-making environment where the E&P professional is provided with just the right information and analysis tools.

With application and data delivery over the net, the commercial models will also change. Fixed licenses will have to be replaced by “pay as you go” and data may not just be bought once at a high price, but instead be paid for when actually used. This in turn will significantly increase the flexibility of the oil companies and allow them to focus on efficient evaluation of the best opportunities.