Using Integration to Mitigate Uncertainty

A strategy gaining force to reduce risk and improve decision-making in recent years is “integration,” the practice of combining disparate teams to complete single projects. Integrated teams are increasingly common in the energy sector, where single business units include geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, engineers and other professionals who work on a common project.

Image Caption

Afadjato (local dialect for “Mount Afadja”), located in the Agumatsa Range, near the villages of Gbledi and Liati Wote, in the Volta Region of Ghana at the border with Togo.

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Integration to mitigate uncertainty
Petroleum exploration and geology have always been exercises integration since the early days. A field geologist always looked at remote sensing/ photogeology, sedimentary and palynology lab reports and gravity/magnetic/seismic and well data depending on their availability. However, integration by and large is the task of management because it's natural as well as desirable for a petrophysicist to attribute primacy to log data, a geophysicist to seismic survey outputs, a sedimentologist to field/ well cutting samples and a reservoir engineer to pressure/production data so on and so forth. If everyone tries to integrate the loss in detail would do eat away the gains of integration. It's for the exploration managers to see that the final interpreted model is integrates the diverse specialised ways of viewing the same thing. Their fear of looking uncertainty before higher management and financiers leads many cherry picking the data they want to give precedence to. The oratorical skill of one group often defeats another worthy team because, as Arnab Ghosh says, even after doing good work, some people " also may struggle with properly stating their own view with facts and examples..". One anecdote...My boss in exploration geology once said, 'Incorporate laboratory data if they support your model, otherwise, keep them aside.' Recalling these golden words of Mark Rowan (Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Awardee of 2018) won't be out of context. “The ideas don’t have to be correct, although it’s nice if they are more correct than not! The main goal is to get others to think more deeply about these topics, how they relate to other aspects of the larger geological picture, and the implications for hydrocarbons or any other practical angle,..." What nature has done through millions of years is often a matter of learned conjecture. Following Rowan we should be courageous enough to say, We don't know exactly but, this is the model our team prefers to go with.
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11/19/2018 2:45:41 AM

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