The 2011 Integrated Operations conference started today here in Trondheim and I’m taking advantage of the free wifi to refresh my memory of last years conference. Getting to know Integrated Operations tends to demand a brief familiarity with everything from drilling problems to organizational psychology and beyond. Therefore, at the IO conferences there’s a whole sub-genre of talks of the type “what can the oil industry learn from field X?” These tend to be among the best talks.
A classical example at IO10 was the “pumps & pipes talk” below, which discussed what oil and gas could learn from medicine.
In principle, blood vessels and oil pipes are both tubes that transport fluid from point A to B in an efficient manner. Both of them can clog and in both cases someone has to go in with a tool to fix it. The surprising thing is that this line of reasoning works! There really are both lessons to be learned and technology to be transferred between the two industries. For one, both do difficult computer simulations of a non-newtonian fluid flowing through a narrow pipe. But then again, math underlies everything doesn’t it?