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Subsurface computing and competitive advantage

Organised jointly with British Computer Society - what sort of computing works best for subsurface?
£25 for next 20 registrations
Gavin Bain
» British Computer Society Aberdeen branch
Alan Smith
» Principal consultant
» Luchelan Ltd
Steve Harrison
» project manager
» Scottish Enterprise
Duncan Irving
» Oil and Gas Practice Lead (EMEA/APJ)
» Teradata

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Aberdeen Treetops

We often hear that geologists and geophysicists could do much more with more sophisticated computing, IT and software systems - better tools to access, integrate and analyse data, in order to help their company drill more profitable wells.

At our conference in Aberdeen on May 4, we'll explore what sort of subsurface computing systems will help oil and gas subsurface professionals help their company achieve competitive advantage.

The conference is organised jointly with British Computer Society Aberdeen Branch.

This conference is designed both for subsurface professions, who want to learn ideas and share their views about what sort of computing systems could help them to do more, and for IT / computing / data science professionals, who want to learn about what kind of systems can help subsurface professionals make the biggest contribution.

We are exploring very new ground with this conference - because with better understanding between IT / computing professionals and subsurface professionals, it might be possible to achieve a big step change in how companies work with subsurface data. If you think this idea is worth supporting, please register to attend.

In particular we'll explore Gartner's ideas of 'bimodal IT', that within a corporate environment, IT should be split into two, with one sort of IT looking at stability and other sort looking at agility and helping the company achieve competitive advantage.

We have 50 free tickets available for BCS members - if you are a member of BCS, please register using the voucher code BCS

This conference follows a partner Finding Petroleum event we ran in London on Apr 18 exploring a similar topic more from a geophysicists' perspective, "Transforming Subsurface Science"

We look forward to seeing you in Aberdeen on May 4!

What does competitive advantage computing look like from the perspective of a geophysicist, geologist or seismic interpreter?
Read some ideas by David Bamford, Digital Energy Journal columnist


8:30 Welcome coffee
9:15 Gavin Bain -
British Computer Society Aberdeen branch
Chairman's introduction and overview


British Computer Society Aberdeen branch
Aberdeen is one of the society's four Scottish branches, and serves both North-East and Northern Scotland. The role of the branch is to provide local representation for IS professionals, and help promote IS to the wider community. We achieve this through a varied annual events programme which include lectures, seminars and social events. In addition, the branch also acts a forum to enable networking between IS professionals. We also provide local support for the BCS's nationally-managed competence and professional standards services.
9:30 Alan Smith - Principal consultant
Luchelan Ltd
Faster data systems - how it helps geophysicists achieve competitive advantage

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Talk Description.
• It is possible to deliver bulky seismic data in a matter of minutes
• Example of the technology which enables this
• Changing the paradigm - take your application to the data.
Alan is a former Principal consultant, Energy Department, Prime Minister's Office, Brunei Darussalam and a principal consultant, Shell. He works as an interim manager at CIO level specialising in strategy development and planning in the oil and gas E&P industry. Experience includes Data Management, Information Management, Knowledge Management, Business process analysis, system selection and implementation management, project and programme management.

Specialties: Expert knowledge of E&P industry systems and processes, Interim management roles undertaken as IS Manager / Departmental CIO in E&P organisations

Luchelan Ltd
Interim manager at CIO level specialising in strategy development and planning in the oil and gas E&P industry. Experience includes Data Management, Information Management, Knowledge Management, Business process analysis, system selection and implementation
10:00 John McLaren - account director
Introducing BiModal IT to support Digital Transformation within subsurface to achieve competitive advantage

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Talk Description.
New digital technologies are enabling oil and gas companies to recover more hydrocarbons, increase operational efficiency and reduce risk. As “digitalization” moves from an innovative trend to a core competency, enterprises need to understand and exploit ‘digital’ platform effects throughout all aspects of their businesses. Not doing so will threaten their ability to deliver as well as have their products/services perceived as non value-adding by customers both internal and external to the enterprise. In addition, their ability to attract and retain talent will be placed at risk. Independent industry surveys show that digitalization is intensifying. In the next five years, digital process are anticipated to rise from 42% to 77% and digital revenues are expected to grow from 16% to 37%.

The deepening of “digital” means that lines are becoming increasingly blurred, and boundaries semi porous — both inside and outside the enterprise — as multiple networks of stakeholders bring value to each other by exploiting and exploring platform dynamics.

The organization has always wanted to be agile, to react gracefully to uncertainty, to be faster and more flexible. But up to now, that desire has been like a New Year’s resolution — where one creates laudable goals only to fall short of them when day-to-day pressures set in. In IT, effective and sustained execution often suffers because there’s no real urgency, or commitment to the cost and management engagement required to be faster and more agile. Bimodal IT helps CIOs overcome this inertia and efficiently develop the speed and agility their organization needs to meet digital challenges. If they are successful, they ultimately bring the whole enterprise along.
John McLaren is an Account Director for Dell UK Ltd, focused on delivering business solutions utilising Dell’s broad portfolio of software and technology capabilities to the Oil & Gas industry. With a passion for technology driven innovation and business transformation, John has been working with CxO’s and business leaders for over 25 years, helping them improve the performance of business, people and their processes through practical, efficient use of Technology. A qualified Electronics Engineer, he has a career that spans Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Supply Chain Management and Information Technology.

Dell make the Internet of Things real. Today.

Dell takes a pragmatic approach to the Internet of Things (IoT) by building on the equipment and data you already have, and leveraging your current technology investments, to quickly and securely enable analytics-driven action. At Dell we architect for Analytics. Dell's analytics, data management and infrastructure solutions provide the power to ensure your IoT solution enables analytics where it makes sense - at the edge, in the data center or in the cloud. In addition, we think Security first. With award-winning security tools and expertise, and a holistic approach, Dell helps ensure your infrastructure and data remain safe, secure and private. Finally, we povide choice and flexibility. Dell's broad portfolio of key IoT technologies, combined with a rich partner ecosystem, allows you to build the right IoT ecosystem for your unique needs. With a comprehensive solution portfolio, and pragmatic approach, Dell reduces the complexity, lowers the risk and increases the speed of deploying IoT initiatives. Visit for more information.

Dell makes the world more productive with predictive analytics

Data analysis can reveal interesting trends, but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be useful to your business. Good data and sophisticated analytics only get you so far. For your best decisions, you must be empowered to interpret and act upon your data trends in a manner relevant to your business goals, customized for your company, in your industry, in your town, with your government policies and your business rules. With Dell Statistica, you can forecast, plan and anticipate quality issues like never before. You can provide scoring solutions, meet supplier demand and develop strategic options with unmatched business relevance, all with defined user roles and accompanying privileges company-wide. Dell Statistica Solutions for the Oil, Gas and Energy Industries meet a wide variety of need unique to this domain, including the ability to optimize operations including increased flame temperatures, improved efficiency and performance of equipment, stabilization of operations, accurate predictions of demand, appropriate estimation of risk, and reduction of emissions. Solutions provided by Dell Statistica have been proven to be accurate, provide rapid ROI, increase profit and reduce unnecessary expenses and all while costing less than other alternative solutions. Visit for more information.

Dell makes Enterprise Integration easy

Digital transformation requires companies to create end-to-end business processes by developing, managing, and rapidly deploying various types of integration flows across their best-of-breed cloud, on-premises and mobile applications. Dell Boomi AtomSphere makes this process much faster and easier to accomplish for our customers and partners. Dell Boomi delivers the first and only multi-purpose Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), Master Data Management (MDM) and API Management, and enables customers to integrate any combination of cloud and on-premises applications without software, appliances or coding. Organizations of all sizes, from growing mid-market companies to very large enterprises, enjoy rapid time to value as a result of drastically reduced implementation times and substantial cost savings over traditional integration, MDM, and API management solutions. Visit for more information.
10:30 Steve Harrison - project manager
Scottish Enterprise
How Scottish Enterprise believes that IT can help improve competitive advantage in the North Sea

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Scottish Enterprise's aim is to stimulate Scotland's economic ambition - creating an innovative, high-wage and highly productive economy with a competitive, international market presence and a focus on high value opportunities.
11:00 Coffee
11:30 Duncan Irving - Oil and Gas Practice Lead (EMEA/APJ)
Improving G+G & IT collaboration

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Duncan Irving is the Teradata Industry Consultant for Oil & Gas in EMEA. Duncan joined Teradata from the University of Manchester where he instructed in geophysical interpretation and geocomputational methods for the last seven years. He was involved in consulting and research projects involving user interactions with massive subsurface datasets and more general upstream data management, and he continues to maintain research links as an honorary lecturer. One long term project was with Teradata and he drove the development of Teradata's capabilities in the Upstream Oil and Gas area. This time provided him with a deep understanding of the capabilities of Teradata and how they can best be used in the petroleum industry.
He is a geophysicist and also has a PhD in glacial geophysics and geotechnical engineering (why frozen ground moves faster during climate warming and how this affects infrastructure). Duncan lives in the hills outside Manchester with his wife and three children. He is a mountaineer, fell runner and is a card-carrying member of the CAMpaign for Real Ale.

Teradata helps companies get more value from data than any other company. Our big data analytics solutions and team of experts can help your company gain a sustainable competitive advantage with data. Teradata helps organizations leverage all of their data so they can know more about their business and do more of what's really important. With more than 10,000 professionals in 43 countries, Teradata serves top companies across oil and gas, utilities, automotive, financial services, healthcare, communication, sconsumer goods, and more. A future-focused company, Teradata is recognized by industry analysts for technological excellence, sustainability, ethics, and business value. Visit
12:00 Paul Cleverley - Researcher
Robert Gordon University- RGU
Using machine learning to stimulate ideas for geoscientists: Using text analytics in enterprise search to surface the unexpected.

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Paul is a Geoscientist and Computer Scientist by background. He has worked for numerous companies in the IT and energy sectors over the past 30 years. Based in Oxford in the UK, Paul founded the disruptive Tech Startup Infoscience Technologies Ltd in 2018, pioneering Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms for the Subsurface and Geo-Resource sectors. The company was recognised nationally in 2022 by the British Computer Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In 2023 the company received the King’s Award for Enterprise Innovation. He has several unpaid roles, including serving as Visiting Professor of Information Science & Technology at RGU in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Robert Gordon University- RGU

12:30 Multiple -
Panel Discussion
Discussion for all morning speakers

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Used for panel discussions

Panel Discussion
This is part of our agenda where Finding Petroleum has a panel discussion.
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Close
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