Big data and the Internet of Things are sky high on the buzzword charts lately, but a look into how ConocoPhillips uses both to increase natural gas production shows why these concepts are more than hype.
ConocoPhillips, the No. 2 company on the InformationWeek 500 ranking this year, put more sensors on its natural gas wells and took readings much more often -- about every minute, rather than hourly or daily. The company tracks pressure and temperature data at different parts of a well to spot those that aren't producing efficiently.
ConocoPhillips needed to overcome obstacles to make this idea work, such as:
- Spreadsheets no longer cut it for data sharing and collaboration, so it created performance dashboards for every well.
- Connectivity was difficult to some remote wells, so it needed to build its own radio and WiFi towers where there wasn't cellular coverage.
- Cultural change has been as important as the technology, as the IT team worked with to get well operators to use the new dashboards effectively.
I'll interview ConocoPhillips CIO Mike Pfister live Tuesday, December 17 at 2:30 p.m. EST/11:30 a.m. PST about these ideas and about broader IT leadership issues. Please register here to listen live on our site, and bring your own questions, which you can ask via text chat. You also can catch the archive version. (On the registration page, if you're already a registered member of InformationWeek.com, just click the login link at the top of the form. Once registered, if the audio player doesn't appear at first, please try refreshing your browser.)
We hope you'll join us on Tuesday, December 17, for the third in our series of radio chats with accomplished technology leaders. Our previous radio chats were with UPMC CIO Dan Drawbaugh and Penske Truck Leasing's senior IT VP Bill Stobbart and interactive marketing VP Ann Walsh.