Special Interest Group: Oil and Gas

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Information Management for the Energy & Engineering sector: the right approach

By Jose Machado posted 06-29-2015 11:18

Managing information correctly is crucial for any industry. The Energy & Engineering (E&E) sector is no different. With changing oil prices and increasing regulatory and environmental pressures, information management is a powerful tool to keep operations lean, achieve compliance and mitigate the risk of unnecessary work, rework and financial losses.

As with most other industries, the E&E sector has been managing information the traditional way: choosing a Content Management platform, designing and implementing an object model (comprising object types, workflows, lifecycles, security model, retention policies, etc.) over and over again, varying only slightly, for each new project. 

However, this industry has some key characteristics with the potential to transform Information Management solutions. For instance:
The information model substantially repeats itself across different projects, since the operational and regulatory challenges are very similar.
The communication between Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC“) contractors and Owner-Operators usually happens in a standard way. 
The use of heavy file formats, such as AutoCAD, is commonplace.
Rich document commenting functionalities are usually a requirement.

As a response, Content Management vendors are delivering a complete Information Management solution on top of their platforms. Experience has proven the value of this approach in other sectors, and it is particularly worthwhile for Energy & Engineering. 

A complete solution delivers a template addressing these requirements. Initiating a new project can then be done in a matter of hours, instead of weeks. This saves important time during the project start since the application can be deployed at speed. Not to mention that the template reflects invaluable industry expertise.

This move among Content Management vendors is very welcome. As it evolves and matures, new sectors will be embraced. Such is the case with Life Sciences. It's an industry bound by similar characteristics (high regulation, well defined information lifecycle, etc.) for which there are complete IM products available in the market.

#EnterpriseContentManagement #energyandengineering #oilandgas


09-03-2015 03:44

Thanks for posting this - indeed the energy & engineering industry has specific challenges where content management can play a role. I encourage you to join our discussion forum as well, as I am sure other members are interested to talk about how we solve these common issues.

08-18-2015 04:58

Sorry for the late comment! I'm working in the energy sector, especially upstream oil & gas and I agree with your points. There is an IM community in Aberdeen, UK working on the evolution of IM for engineering. It is considering the application of techniques from Building Information Modelling (BIM), which is having a really positive impact on major civil engineering projects and life cycle. The CIFHOS project is expected to set out guidance for project to operations handover which may turn into an ISO standard this year. There is work on-going on IM for decommissioning, another important element in life cycle engineering. These things are being driven by the need for greater efficiency and have been accelerated by the collapse in oil price. The use of software tools is of course very important but getting business culture behaviour to change is key - to break down the old ways and move on. What will be most interesting is seeing how a data-centric model for engineering will develop in order to realise much greater benefits than the traditional documents and records approach.