Subsurface Information Management Strategy

Defining an integrated, holistic IM strategy.

Subsurface Information Management Strategy

A major Houston-based upstream operator, was looking for ways to improve and unify its subsurface information management capability following a significant business reorganisation. Flare was engaged to work with their subsurface IM team to develop a globally-consistent information strategy, tightly aligned with concurrent subsurface excellence and IT rationalisation initiatives and supporting a dynamic and rapidly evolving business strategy.

Flare’s Approach

A short consulting study looked at IM across the client’s global business units. In interviews with hundreds of managers and professionals, a number of key issues were consistently articulated, indicating a common level of recognition and concern. The study identified capability gaps, outlined an IM vision and proposed how the elements of a more effective overall E&P IM environment could be realised. Selected staff subsequently verified the preliminary findings and gave support to an IM vision and approach consistent with a Flare-developed IM Framework. The proposed approach was designed to create an IM environment that facilitates improved end-to-end GG&E business processes, supports growth and minimises the risk of poor business performance.

During the engagement there was a close collaboration with other teams focused on subsurface excellence and IT rationalisation in order to ensure alignment, maximise overall value and minimise disruption to the business.

Using the Framework for guidance, a number of internal global teams were tasked with identifying and defining specific IM elements such as governance, standards and architecture as a basis for a holistic, integrated and consistent future-state and a roadmap of subsurface IM projects was subsequently constructed.


The study identified a common desire for effective and durable IM capability that should include:

  • Governance, defined processes & structure, standards & conventions
  • Guidelines when to publish work-products, where and how to file them
  • A reliable way to find historical information and previous work
  • A mechanism for knowledge capture
  • Effective tools to enable the process – simple enough so people can use them

The resultant corporate vision for Information Management was developed and agreed with all stakeholders and formed the basis for an IM strategic plan designed to:

  • Improve business management capability
  • Increase compliance and auditability
  • Reduce business risk
  • Increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness of IM capabilities

In addition, a number of high-value opportunities and pilots that could bring immediate benefits to the organisation were identified and projects initiated. The virtual teaming approach promoted by Flare allowed the IM strategy to be completed in a very compressed timeframe and in a highly efficient and cost-effective manner.

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