Business intelligence applied in the upstream petroleum industry as the means to decision making based on a single version of the truth. Upstream oil and gas exploration and production is a skill-based industry made up of highly trained individuals, and its use of advanced technologies and computerization is unmatched. Yet there is pressing demand in the upstream, as in other industries, to move away from point solutions and over-reliance on spreadsheets.
This need is exacerbated for the upstream by increasing volatility in supply, demand and prices; the need to tap into difficult-to-access reserves; and the need to increase recovery from existing wells.
It's news then, but not entirely surprising, that oil and gas professionals are increasingly drawn to the idea of performance management based on a common business-intelligence platform.
"What we've seen," says Paul Hoy, industry director, IBM Cognos Software, "is that the petroleum industry, like a number of others, is in a state of transition, moving from automation of day-to-day transactions to the strategic use of information as a means for driving optimized business operations."
Performance-management applications include business intelligence (BI), which can be said to describe a decision-support system that relies on historical, current and predictive views of business operations based on data gathered from disparate sources. In production-driven industries, performance-management applications—by integrating on-site process monitoring, operations decision-making, and business functions—allow better decision making based on a single version of the truth.
"IBM Cognos is used today by petroleum companies for performance management," Hoy says, "to control costs, improve customer service, maximize productivity and manage all elements of their upstream operations."
IBM Cognos makes it easier for the oil and gas industry to benefit from performance management by providing tools, including a pre-defined industry-based data model. Such tools ease implementation and furnish industry-specific applications. Companies tend to engage with the system based on the need to solve a specific problem, then, based on its benefits and flexibility, deploy it in other uses throughout the organization.
Access this Alert to learn uses, methods, and benefits of performance management and business intelligence based on a common platform, especially as applied to upstream oil and gas.