Land Management Technologies 5-Part Q&A Series (Part 1)

UK-based Gastech News interviewed me in 2015 for a short 5-part Q&A series on how land management and information technologies can be used to maximize activities in the gas industry.

Although the questions focused on the gas industry, the answers apply to the entire oil & gas industry.

Here is Part 1…..

What are your main considerations on land management and information technologies to maximise activities in the natural gas industry?

Having worked for leading independent oil and gas producers and an industry-leading energy software provider, I’m quite thankful to have experienced land management as both a user and a provider of information technologies. While there are many key attributes that need to be considered when evaluating information technology to maximize activities and provide value, at the top of my list is whether it can be ‘trusted’ and it must be ‘intuitive.’

Key Attributes for Land Administration & Management Technologies

I’ll cover trust more below when discussing key challenges [Part 2] and having a “single version of the truth.” In short, if a technology cannot be trusted then the information it provides will always be questionable and will be of no value to me.

That said, even if you have the best and most trusted technology available on the market but it is not intuitive enough for your users to navigate and understand, then in a very short period of time it too will become mistrusted and decrease in activity and value. Why? If a technology is not simple to understand and easily accessible then users will become frustrated waiting on high latency times, they may unknowingly enter the same data differently, they may forget to enter data in all the necessary places, and critical time will be spent discussing discrepancies and performing ‘clean-up’ projects.

Meaningful insight can only be derived from useful information, and that information itself starts off as raw data entered by a user or converted from another land management system. If that data becomes mistrusted anywhere along the way then that information becomes useless, the insight is then meaningless and no value is created from all those activities. Simple sells.

Along with a trusted and intuitive land management system, there are other considerations needed for a successful land organization to maximize activities. Land is not a ‘silo.’ There is constant interaction with other organizations (e.g. brokers, accounting, geology, records management, etc.) and interfaces or integrations with other technologies (e.g. mapping, production, imaging, financials, etc.). For all this collaboration and cooperation to work, trust and simplicity must be extended to how we communicate, how we educate and how we create value for our customers (fellow employees, clients, consumers, shareholders and stakeholders).

It’s a balancing act, really. We need to promote standardization while maintaining regional awareness (e.g. different states, different laws). We need to encourage knowledge sharing without overwhelming our employees. We need to provide adaptive learning opportunities for more people with fewer resources and even less time. We need to attract the eager millennials and maintain the industry veterans. We need veterans to pass along their industry experience and knowledge as they mentor the millennials. At the same time, we need millennials to collaborate with veterans and inspire us to think outside the box…to do a little ‘wildcatting’ of our own and develop creative solutions.

With these considerations we can use land management and information technologies together to provide a solid base upon which we can build a successful organization.

What’s your opinion? What are your main considerations when evaluating land management technologies to maximize value?


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