The oil industry is straining. It isn't from the lack of technology resources, but from a lack of people resources.
Much of the talk and discussion among the participants at the American Association of Petroleum Geologist's convention in Dallas, Texas, this week is about over-stressed professionals trying to do much more with technology to compensate for the lack of in-house staff to get all of the work done. This need is producing opportunities for service companies that can provide specialized consulting services tailored to a company's problem of the moment.
Outsourcing is not a new phenomenon, but the expanded scope of what the oil industry is willing to outsource is new. Landmark Graphics yesterday announced a new Services and Consulting division that extends its traditional training and software support services to include technology deployment, consulting services, and managed services.
As an example of its expanded services, Landmark says it filled asset teams and brought special expertise to bear to rejuvenate a client's older fields that were scheduled for abandonment. The oil company involved had its geological and engineering resources focused on new opportunities and was in a harvest mode on a Gulf of Mexico gas property discovered in 1966. The oil company did not recognize the field value it was about to walk away from until it brought in outside help to do work that in an earlier era would have been done by in-house professionals. After analysis and reworking, the field experienced an 800% production increase. Landmark said it has done over 500 consulting projects that cover this and other aspects of exploration and development work.