AGR Petroleum Services Pushes Boundaries With Launch of Hi-tech Group

AGR Petroleum Services (AGR) has launched a new collaboration to develop cutting-edge computer technology to dramatically reduce costs during oil and gas projects.

The company has joined forces with North East IT firm Codify to consider ways of using multi-touch computers to revolutionise the energy industry. The working group, called Envision, has been set up in response to a major lack of software applications for the computers which only became available on the UK market in March.

Multi-touch computers, such as Microsoft Surface which the company has recently acquired, are groundbreaking computers which respond to natural hand movements and real-world objects. Without a need for a keyboard or mouse, they encourage people to interact with digital content in a simple and intuitive way.

Ian Burdis, vice president of well management at AGR, said: "This is incredibly new and exciting technology and we really want to push the boundaries with it. It's much more than a gadget coffee table - it has the potential to transform our activity.

"We believe that multi-touch computers will have the same impact the Internet had 15 years ago and totally change the way we work. That's why we've established the Envision Working Group with Codify to find ways to incorporate multi-touch computers into our everyday lives."

A key focus of the group, which also plans to work closely with students from Robert Gordon University's IDEAS Research Institute, will be to develop a new tool which will allow engineering teams to step away from a computer screen and instead take a hi-tech hands-on approach to interacting with information and data. It is anticipated the technology will provide a real alternative to expensive visualisation rooms which engineers currently use during planning stages of projects.

The Envision Working Group is coordinated by AGR's Vice President of Information Technology, Chris Ferrier and Codify's Managing Director, Mark Griffiths, with support from AGR's subsurface and well management engineers and IT experts as well as input from Codify's programmers.

They will be creating bespoke software applications for Surface which will provide a cost effective solution to visualisation rooms while ensuring engineers have all of the necessary information at their fingertips. The technology is expected to become a key tool for AGR's own engineers with a view to rolling it out to the market place at a later date.

Mark Cook, AGR's Director of Reservoir Management in the UK, said: "Multi-touch computers have huge implications for our subsurface reservoir study work. Having the ability to use advanced visualisation technology at our own office will greatly improve the way our teams work, integrate data and share knowledge." The development process is already underway with the first software application expected to undergo trials by spring next year.

Ian Burdis added: "We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of new techniques and embracing new technology. We have pioneered the concept of Rig Campaigns and launched groundbreaking risk management software. We want to now build on that and Surface provides an excellent way for us to remain at the forefront of our sector.

"Developing tailor-made applications for multi-touch computers offers huge potential for us to significantly raise the bar in all areas of our activity. We are very excited about the prospect of working with Codify again and look forward to seeing the outcomes of our collaboration."

Mark Griffiths, Managing Director of Codify, said: "It's fantastic that AGR has recognised the value that this new technology can bring to the energy sector and we look forward to developing software options with them. We have worked closely with the company for almost five years and have helped develop a number of applications for them in that time. This latest project will enable us to draw on our extensive understanding of their activity to produce applications which could significantly improve collaborative projects within the oil and gas industry."

AGR specialises in providing engineering and geosciences excellence. It provides support to oil and gas companies throughout the lifecycle of petroleum assets and is particularly active in prospect generation, exploration drilling, field development, field operation and field abandonment.

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