Providing Specialized Oil and Gas Services on an International Scale

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Specialized service providers in the oil industry can help large companies prepare to expand offshore drilling across international borders. Image Credit: Flickr user Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

A shift toward deepwater drilling on an international scale is an expected industry trend for 2017. Some of the oil industry’s biggest players are looking beyond their national borders to invest and expand into previous unexplored regions. To prepare for offshore drilling on an international scale, many of these large companies get help from companies that provide specialized services. One such company is Fugro, which provides marine site characterization and design for oil and gas companies.

Fugro recently announced plants to expand its services into Guyana. As part of this effort, they plan to consult with Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Ltd, an engineering consulting firm based in Guyana, and also to train technicians in the field.1 That way, as big companies look to invest in new drilling sites in the region, Fugro will be in a strong position to provide thorough characterizations of possible marine drilling sites in the area. For companies like Fugro that are offering specialized services for large oil and gas companies on an international scale, electronic lab notebooks can ease communications and ensure regulatory compliance.

Trends in Offshore Drilling So Far

Already this year, BP has invested in the Zohr gas field off the coast of Egypt, and many companies are considering drilling sites in the Kashagan reserves in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, offshore drilling prospects are looking particularly positive in areas off the coast of Latin American countries.

Not only are there promising drilling sites, but the regulatory environment in many countries is also improving. As a result, a recent deepwater drilling site auction in Mexico drew successful bids from multiple international players, including the Offshore Oil Corporation of China, BHP Billiton of Australia, Total of France, Inpex of Japan and Chevron and ExxonMobil of the United States.2

Easing International Communications

For specialized service providers in the oil and gas industry that operate on an international scale, streamlining communications is key. Regardless of their location, it is important for researchers to be able to easily share their data with relevant parties, both within and outside the company:

  • Communicating within the organization

In the field, marine site characterization experts explore subsurface geologic features and evaluate soil content. Much of the data they collect must be sent back to the lab, where it can be thoroughly analyzed and used for geologic mapping and the engineering of site-specific drilling technologies.3 Electronic lab notebooks streamline this data transfer, even if the lab and the drilling site are thousands of miles apart.

  • Coordinating with local consultants

When specialized service providers work with local consultants, it is crucial for engineers and technicians from both companies be able to quickly share data, so that all scientists remain on the same page regarding the progress of the project. In some cases, it may also be helpful for engineers to provide data from previous projects to international consultants, in order to provide perspective on the the current plan. This could be extremely complicated if the relevant information is stored in a paper notebook in a different country, but with electronic lab notebooks, accessing old data is fast and easy.

  • Advising major oil companies

As specialized service providers start generating results, like geologic maps and equipment design possibilities, they will need to transfer the information to large oil companies that are planning to invest in the drilling site, so that they can start making business decisions related to their expansion efforts. Electronic lab notebooks can make it easier to share digital data across organizational lines and national borders, facilitating open discussion between scientists and business leaders.

Complying with International Regulations

Offshore drilling regulations vary between countries, and, as previously mentioned, the regulatory environment is changing across the board. Electronic lab notebooks can make it easier to ensure compliance with all regulations, regardless of the location of operation. This can be especially helpful for companies like Fugro that are supporting economic development in countries like Guyana by training new technicians. Since the technology makes compliance tasks less complicated, trainers can focus on educating technicians in the scientific aspects of seabed exploration, rather than legal documentation requirements.

BIOVIA Electronic Lab Notebooks can support companies that provide specialized services in the oil and gas industry, such as marine site characterization, even if they operate across international lines. This technology makes it easy to access and share data, which is critical when multiple firms are involved in a new offshore drilling effort. Contact us today for more information about how this and our other software innovations can support your company’s work.

  1. “Fugro boosts specialist oil and gas services in Guyana,” March 29, 2017, http://www.worldoil.com/news/2017/3/29/fugro-boosts-specialist-oil-and-gas-services-in-guyana
  2. “2017 Oil and Gas Trends,” 2017, https://www.strategyand.pwc.com/trend/2017-oil-and-gas-trends
  3. “Marine Site Characterisation,” April 7, 2016, https://www.fugro.com/media-centre/fugro-world/article/marine-site-characterisation