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Interview - DDNS 2018, Neale Stidolph, Business Development Director, Sword

 

Can you tell us a little bit more about the company and the services you provide?

We work in upstream oil and gas, particularly the energy market and we're here at the show with two of our partners. One is Venture who work on subsurface data and tend to specialise in engineering data and the other is PhusionIM. They're working with us on a number of projects.

Data is obviously a huge focus for this event, for you how important is that for the industry and what impact is it having on operations?

Everybody is talking about digital transformation, how to work safer, produce more and such and they're trying to apply really clever technologies which is great but we are saying if you don't put good quality information into it you've got real problems. So, the benefits are all very clear. They’re want safer operation, more production, more efficient maintenance, sparing strategies, logistics etc, but you can't really do that with a lot of these assets that have been in place a long time. The information is degraded over time or isn't suitable to use with modern tools. It's still on paper or hasn't even been scanned so how do you liberate that data so you can make value from it.

I spoke to you a little earlier about the oil and gas industry specifically and how perhaps, it's slightly behind when it comes to other industries utilising digital data. How can the oil and gas industry improve?

I think there are learnings from other industries, We've seen it in automotive and aerospace different projects. Everyone else is trying to do the same thing, operate safely, get things done on time and on budget and that just relies on data clean ups, but some of this is not culturally part of oil and gas. People who haven't been working in that way, can feel quite a closed industry that it maybe needs more people coming through as graduates with data science backgrounds. All other industries are getting heavily disrupted but oil and gas has quite resisted that. I think now even the sceptics are saying this is unstoppable, this is really desirable but we maybe need some different culture and behaviour to unlock it.

Events like this are helping to showcase this type of technology, how are you finding the DDNS event so far?

It's great, there's a good bunch of people here and often we get directed towards the IT guys because it's to do with data and applications and such, but we're always wanted to get in front of the business people who run operations or major capital projects, drillers and look at their challenges, their real-world problems, their business issues and say that's all we're around fixing, that's what we do and then just show them how that can be put into effect. It's great to be into those business guys at this type of event.

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