E&P IT Benchmarking

Posted on Posted in Assess and Assure, Case Studies

Flare was engaged by a national E&P industry association, on behalf of their membership, to design and perform a benchmarking study on a subset of their producer members. The project was intended to understand the magnitude of resources and costs for IT and IM activities across a number of oil and gas company types and sizes.

It was anticipated that the results could be used to:

  • Recognize opportunities for immediate and ongoing cost savings and performance improvement
  • Understand the impact of current investment and spending trends on organizational performance
  • Identify opportunities to align spending with industry norms by conducting comparisons against unique peer groups and industry best practices
  • Leverage research to support decision-making processes (e.g., build vs. buy decisions, M&A, consolidation)
  • Recognise trends / emerging technologies that will enable organizations to achieve significant performance change.
  • Maximize efficiency through continuous measurement of key performance indicators within the IT portfolio
  • Identify best practices and opportunities to collaborate on IT initiatives
If successful it was anticipated that the exercise would be repeated in subsequent years so that trends could be identified.

Flare’s Approach

Working with a small steering committee comprised of IT executives from several of the participating organizations Flare developed and administered a secure electronic survey instrument spanning several dimensions including staffing, software, technology, organization and measurements.

The confidential survey responses were anonymized, compiled, normalized for revenues, production volumes and number of employees, and categorized by company type. A summary report showing overall ranges and statistics was developed, presented to the steering committee and selected elements subsequently published to the general membership.

Customized company reports were then delivered to the participating organizations and reviewed in confidential briefing sessions where individual performance could be compared with the industry statistics and opportunities for improvement identified.


The initial benchmark provided a base data set that allowed participants to rigorously compare their performance against industry peers. In a number of cases the results were unexpected with significant departures from the norm prompting subsequent root-cause analysis. Several opportunities for collaboration were suggested and taken forward to the association’s CIO forum.

The survey and benchmarking analysis was repeated in subsequent years with an expanded participant base and used to identify industry trends as well as relative improvement or decline in individual companies’ performance.