CANCELLED Special ERL/EAPS Seminar: Donald Paul (USC)

Donald Paul (USC)
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

MIT Earth Resources Laboratory and Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences host a special talk by our alumnus Dr. Donald Paul, Executive Director of the Energy Institute and William M. Keck Chair of Energy Resources at the University of Southern California.

“Digital Oilfield 2.0: Digital Transformation and the Oil and Gas Industry”

Oil and gas operators and oilfield service companies were industrial leaders of the first digital age in the 1980s and 1990s. Long before phrases such as Digital Transformation and the Internet of Things (IoT) emerged, the industry was making use of super-computers, 3D digital graphics, and advanced process control technologies. The implementation and application at scale of such technologies led to significant advances in exploration and development capabilities, enabling the discovery and development of new hydrocarbon resources. In the late 1990’s, a new paradigm emerged for production operations, the “Digital Oilfield”, built on rapidly advancing digital capabilities in sensing, distributed computing, and wireless communication.

Fast-forward to 2020. The leaps in digital technologies are bringing ashore a second major wave of Digital Transformation to all industrial sectors, and specifically to the oil and gas industry in the form of “Digital Oilfield 2.0”. Major advances in digital technologies and platforms, such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), machine intelligence, Deep Analytics data models, robotics, and more are intersecting the changing business environment for oil and gas. This is reshaping the operational and technological structure of the industry, including the re-alignment of business models and partnerships. Oil and gas companies, oilfield service companies, and technology suppliers are all impacted. Universities and industry professional societies, such as SPE, are also forced to rethink some aspects of the traditional educational model for petroleum professionals, and are moving to adapt to the impacts of Digital Transformation on geoscience and engineering education, workforce development, and evolution of professional petroleum careers.

In today’s lecture, we will examine four specific dimensions of this transformation:
- Business and technical motivations for Digital Oilfield 2.0;
- The evolution of oil and gas operations and the implementation of the IIoT paradigm;
- The impact of data models and machine intelligence on O&G decision processes;
- The adaptation of university petroleum and industrial education programs.