It is a knowledge base established through shared experience, by the learnings passed down from old hand to new arrival. Maintaining the continuity of that process has never been more important.
Because challenges to critical technical areas such as well construction are coming from all directions – shifts in the shape of the workforce, post-Covid economic realities, an increased focus on energy security and competition across the energy transition.
In this environment, every effort must be taken to facilitate knowledge transfer, thereby mitigating any potential impacts across projects, fields and basins, and to protect the very real expertise that drives our industry.
Oil and gas is changing. The people who built the industry, the army of field engineers with 30 or 40 years of hands-on experience and expertise honed in the harshest of conditions, are now handing over the reins to a new generation.
According to the most recent Global Energy Talent Index, more than 40% of the oil and gas workforce is 45 and older with a full 20% more than 55. The numbers represent a collective wisdom that is perhaps the industry’s greatest resource.
That experience must find a new home. And it will be in different kind of workforce in a new kind of world, a post-pandemic economy where remote and hybrid working are the new normal, where digital solutions enable next-level achievement, where career paths will jump, pause and accelerate across different sectors and multiple disciplines.
Competition will magnify the challenge; energy is no longer just about oil and gas – renewables, electrification, emerging technologies and adjacent sectors mean that expertise will depart, merge, overlap and fragment.
More than 80% of oil and gas employees would consider moving to an adjacent energy sector within the next three years, according to GETI, with 70% prepared to consider leaving the industry altogether.
Protecting the wisdom
Knowledge transfer has always been a priority for oil and gas – a way to maintain momentum while safeguarding the nous, nuance and finesse that can be the difference between success and failure. But it is more important than ever amid a shifting, evolving workforce.
This is particularly true in technical areas including well construction – for enhanced operational safety, increased project integrity and efficiency, and prevention of non-productive time events.
It is about maintaining, across the industry, the highest-level ability to make the right decisions, based on decades of experience and operational inputs, supported and sustained by next-generation tools that preserve the magic inherent in this industry.
The keys to successful knowledge transfer are continuity, collaboration, efficiency and facility. The process must collect and faithfully represent experience, it must preserve accumulated expertise at scale, it must meaningfully relate in real time to a new generation.
And any package has to be simple to use, must leverage the power of big data from multiple platforms whether in-house or third-party, and be tailored to dovetail with the day-to-day realities.
Typically, operators’ key objective is to drill and deliver a well quickly and safely, without any incident. Costs are then saved. In a highly competitive industry, this objective needs to be achieved not only once or occasionally, but consistently.
Consistency is often the most overlooked factor. True value comes from an operator’s ability to learn from both success and failure, apply lessons learned, share experience and demonstrate successful well delivery repeatedly. It’s therefore essential for operators to focus on technologies that enrich multidisciplinary teams, enable cross-disciplined collaboration and provide insight as well as elevate worker productivity.
Well Advisor leverages such technology – SiteCom – to acquire full value of the operator’s global knowledge base by making it immediately available to any operation at any time, irrespective of location.
Enabling knowledge transfer with Well Advisor
Kongsberg Digital’s SiteCom is an industry-proven technology that creates a globally enabled vendor-independent solution with the ability to integrate data from multiple sources into an overall picture of the drilling and well construction operation.
SiteCom is widely used as a central, standardized, knowledge store for historical, planned and live wells, all within an operator’s control and oversight. SiteCom’s ability to collect, contextualize and share data in a common platform enables companies to break down the traditional silos between different expert groups.
Well Advisor enables the whole team to conduct pre-well studies, post-well analysis and review. Playback for the entire operation in either elapsed or accelerated time can also be made available to ensure the operator’s experienced domain experts can discuss all aspects of the past and current campaign, as well as using real-world data for experience transfer and training of junior staff.
Furthermore, Well Advisor empowers operators to transform human knowledge and skills captured during years of operations into automated intelligence, switching from subjective decision based on perception and previous experience, to objective decision based on real-time data that is supported and analysed. This can be utilized by an entire organization for critical and timely decision-making. A dynamic environment for real-time decisions typically saves rig time, improves wellbore construction performance and mitigates operational and financial risk.