Diamond Offshore eases data management challenges.
by John Papageorge
Oil and gas companies typically are large global organizations with extensive budgets that must continually deal with huge amounts of data. According to Michael Heagney, research director at Energy Insights with over 30 years of industry experience, the need for a scalable infrastructure to manage information overload is one of the biggest challenges facing the oil and gas industry. Firms need to begin implementing smart analytics tools coupled with a robust database to solve data management problems.
Michael Trahan, CIO of Diamond Offshore Drilling, agrees with Heagney that access to more and better information has become a critical issue. His company is exploring new Oracle solutions, such as Oracle Content Management and Oracle Self-Service Human Resources, while continuing to utilize features from Oracle products that it already owns—such as Oracle Financials and Oracle Human Resources Management System—as well as upgrading to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 and the newest version of Oracle Discoverer, and moving to Linux.
Learn how Oracle has enabled Diamond Offshore Drilling to become more efficient by providing one set of development tools. As a partner, Oracle also can help oil and gas companies minimize risks by implementing an enterprise resource planning system that can handle complex problems related to sophisticated compliance issues and tax laws that differ from country to country.
Many oil and gas companies are global organizations with larger budgets than most countries, but mobile offshore rigs suffer from both a lack of IT infrastructure and resources to manage an enormous amount of information and complicated data that can range from the measurement of seismic processes and pressure to the monitoring of temperature gradients. To make matters worse, these complex variables must all be available in real time.
According to Michael Heagney, research director at Energy Insights and a veteran of the oil industry for more than 30 years, the need for a scalable infrastructure to manage the problems associated with information overload is one of the greatest challenges facing the oil and gas industry. Heagney believes that the question of how to get the right data at the right time is more critical now than ever before. Compounding the weight of dealing with information overload is the scarcity of people with the skills and knowledge to implement solutions that can manage the overabundance of data.
"Because of the difficulty in finding people with the right skills, many oil and gas companies no longer have integration staffs. As a result, technology solutions must be both comprehensive and well integrated to fit enterprisewide business needs," says Heagney. "They don't want Tinkertoys in a can; they want something that's already fully assembled. These companies do not want a solution that takes a team of people to figure out."
A Critical Need for Information
Michael Trahan, CIO of Diamond Offshore Drilling, agrees with Heagney that access to more and better information has become a critical issue, and a big part of that challenge is the task of finding and keeping qualified information technology (IT) people during profitable cycles. But Trahan also emphasizes that it's an issue not just within the data center but throughout the company and the industry. Because of the influx of new people in all parts of the organization, companies such as Diamond need to be particularly sensitive to issues such as ease of use, consistency, and flexibility.
"The oil and gas industry is currently having trouble keeping its qualified people," says Trahan. "Because Diamond has had enormous change in people due to promotions, relocations, turnovers, and new hires, many people are finding themselves in unfamiliar situations. We need to have information and business systems that are consistent across locations, especially if those locations are spread across the globe."
To deal with content overload and rapid changes in employee location and status, Trahan says that Diamond is exploring new Oracle solutions, such as Oracle Content Management System and Oracle Self-Service Human Resources, while continuing to leverage advanced features from Oracle products that it already owns—such as Oracle Financials and Oracle Human Resources Management—as well as upgrading to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 and the newest version of Oracle Discoverer, and moving to Linux. Trahan says most of Diamond's international offices in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Egypt are scheduled to implement Oracle Financials to achieve more enterprisewide synergy among the groups by ensuring clearer, more-detailed information. "As we move people internationally, the global groups are demanding that we expand the resources," says Trahan. "Oracle's global capabilities make it a company that's well suited to solve these issues and maximize the effect of limited human capital resources."