We are privileged to have the opportunity to work on digital technology innovation in the energy industry. We get to work on challenging and impactful problems, and now we also have access to a new and exciting digital technology toolbox. Just think about the billion-dollar decisions we make, in our industry, based on our detailed analysis of the geology many miles into the subsurface. Just think about the increasingly remote operation of complex processes and equipment in remote and challenging locations. Just think about the new energy solutions developed and deployed at unprecedented speed and agility.
With the launch of the global INNOVATION FACTORI network, we make it easy and convenient for companies anywhere to work and collaborate closely, using the breadth and depth of Schlumberger expertise to boost and accelerate their digital transformation. We give our customers unique opportunities to work closely with us to apply cutting edge digital solutions, such as the DELFI cognitive E&P environment, for immediate impact on their high priority assets and strategic initiatives. So, in other words, oil companies and energy companies work with INNOVATION FACTORI to drive their digital transformation forward and benefit immediately by applying the new solutions to their current high priority strategic projects.
In the INNOVATION FACTORI we assemble new digital workflows from a rich library of emerging and available digital technology. When required, we create brand new digital technology solutions together. Common to all projects is that we drive towards step-change-improvements in performance, not only to individual technology components, but also to make sure this translates to execution of the business workflows. And improvements in efficiency and accuracy of our industry workflow is just the right medicine for our challenging business climate with low commodity prices and changing energy landscape. Higher efficiency enables us to do shorten the lead time from analysis to production and to do more within our existing organizations. Better accuracy enables us to make better decisions and optimize production over time.
Delivering step-change-performance makes digital transformation an exciting enterprise to be a part of. In combination with deep domain expertise and established science, artificial intelligence and other digital technologies can bring our workflows to a level of performance not possible even a few years ago.
When we are working with our customers to explore possible innovation projects, we always start with the new technology solution's business goals. Executives sponsoring digital transformation typically want to see transformative efficiency improvements that allow them to do complete critical planning cycles faster, respond faster to critical real-time events (or ideally anticipating them), and augment their workforce.
Keeping an open mind is essential in order not to be locked in the status quo, and be able to jump to the next curve . New technologies need to pass the «test of fire» and this can only be achieved through deep collaboration with our customers, going beyond a simple lab experiment.
18 months ago, I believed my move would be a departure from geoscience but I now have a better understanding of the crucial role we need to play to bend that emissions curve.
Beyond scalability concerns, we need to ask ourselves how the resulting solution will transform the lives of the people using it:
And finally, perhaps the most important aspect, people. How can we make sure we build a joint team with the right expertise and the right incentives to rapidly build trust and work to achieve our common goals?
Nobody better understands the complexity and challenges of hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation than the energy companies themselves. However, to meet their digital transformation ambitions, the companies must find (the right) partners to work with. And there are many to choose from: startups, consultancy companies, AI companies, research institutions, and technology service companies. How do we choose a partner that can help deliver solutions that will make a difference and be around for a long time?
First, we must separate the companies that can deliver on their innovation promises from the companies that are just riding the digital hype curve. Due diligence is required (proof, references and track record for innovation and solution delivery). Making the wrong choice can be very expensive down the road.
Second, select a partner that speaks the same language, understanding your needs, pains and desires. We find this to be critical for success.
Third, select a partner that not only can adapt digital technology to solve an industry challenge, but that can also operationalize the end-product, going from experimental prototypes all the way to enterprise deployments. The vast majority of promising digital projects in our industry get stuck in the pilot stage without scaling and integrating to provide real value.
And last, but not least, select a partner committed to contributing to industry standards and open systems; to ensuring the freedom and flexibility needed for solutions to thrive in a rapidly changing digital landscape.
Schlumberger has a track record for delivering results and full commitment to its customers' success. Over 100 digital innovation projects over the last few years are here to prove it. We are committed to scientifically sound solutions that will stand the test of time.
With thousands of domain experts, helping customers meet their operational excellence ambitions Schlumberger has a fundamental understanding of the challenges and opportunities that our customers face every day. The past few years has seen petro-technical expertise evolve into petro-digital combining data science and domain expertise. Operators do not have to spend months teaching generalists about our industry; we can get straight to the point to deliver meaningful solutions.
Investments in R&D and technology development is a founding principle of our company. Bringing technology from research and innovation to enterprise solutions is what makes us who we are.
Additionally, Schlumberger is fully committed to open and flexible solutions. Most recently, this has been demonstrated by milestone donations and commitments to the OSDU industry-wide standardization and open-source initiative. This contribution was not a one-off. Schlumberger is deeply engaged and will keep delivering additional data models and related APIs.
The INNOVATION FACTORI network is truly global and aims to give access to expert resources to drive digital innovation to our customers where they are . INNOVATION FACTORI centers in Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Oslo, Houston, and Rio de Janeiro make digital transformation opportunities accessible everywhere.
The INNOVATION FACTORI gives our customer access to emerging and cutting-edge digital technology solutions to assemble new digital workflows and evaluate impact to set future business performance expectations.
We run projects across the energy workflows ranging from data mining and discovery, data curation and quality assurance, automated interpretation, automated modeling and simulation, planning and optimization for drilling or production and much more.
When we create new technology, the pilot projects play a crucial role in validating and demonstrating the new technology. We develop and deploy in short cycles to ensure that we always learn, always improve, for the best possible outcome. We leverage a portable technology stack to adapt to business constraints and address our customers’ needs.
Solutions can be bespoke and tailored to a single customer’s needs, but they can also achieve a higher purpose. They can define the way the industry will work for the next decade. Co-development partnerships with customers will bring us to the next curve. We work and co-invest on digital projects with industry players of all sizes and across all disciplines to accelerate, implement, validate and deploy the solutions of the future.
So, what are typical deliverables from innovation projects?
First, it is the digital solution itself, a solution that enables a new augmented way of working. In many innovation projects, this will be a prototype or proof of concept. In other projects, this will be a deployable solution or enterprise solution that can be put to work in the organization.
Second, often the project will include an analysis of the impact of the new digital workflow or solution. This analysis will compare traditional workflow and technology to the new workflow and technology solution, setting new benchmarks as well as future performance objectives to achieve.
And third, the results of applying the new digital workflow and solution to an important energy company pilot project, asset or study. This can be an interpretation model, a field development plan, a good workover strategy or a production optimization analysis.
Finally, being part of a digital innovation project team can be a fantastic way to quickly boost competency and expertise in developing and applying digital technology. Hands-on innovation projects can be much more effective than any training course as it forces us to bring theory to practice immediately for accurate results.
Engaging with the INNOVATION FACTORI is easy. It starts with contacting your local Schlumberger representative or by visiting our INNOVATION FACTORI site. We are ready to work with you to make it easy to create the project that will work best for you and your organization with access to the resources needed to succeed and deliver.
We offer the full range from short hands-on workshops to innovation projects and programs. In such workshops, we bring the best things together—from people to digital toolkits to solve the toughest business challenges. This is an opportunity to collaborate with the best people from both organizations, leveraging the field knowledge, domain expertise, proven technology tools, and building blocks. Together we can go from theory to practical implementation in days and weeks to create results we can be proud of and make a business impact.
Author information: Morten has worked with software development for Schlumberger in Norway and internationally for more than two decades. In the early years, he rolled out agile software development practices for the company and managed multi-discipline projects with global coordination. He managed the software development centers in Oslo, Stavanger and Bergen dedicated to the development of industry leading technologies such as Petrel* subsurface modeling platform and the Ocean* open software development framework. He established and led the Software Technology Innovation Center (STIC) in Silicon Valley, California, dedicated to the digital transformation of Schlumberger products and services, before returning to Norway in 2017. In his current role Morten has global responsibility for digital innovation projects in collaboration with key strategic customers to accelerate innovation and adoption of Schlumberger digital technologies.