OFS Portal Presents Oil & Gas E-Commerce Lessons, Solutions to European Business Leaders: Company Says Industry's Commitment to Standards and Processes is Fueling E-Commerce in Upstream Oil & Gas

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Dave Wallis from OFS Portal, a global member-based group of oil & gas suppliers and service providers at the forefront of oilfield e-commerce, detailed how the upstream oil & gas industry has overcome obstacles and created a proactive strategy for e-commerce at the European conference "Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Interoperability: Key to International Business" held last month in Warsaw, Poland.

The oil & gas industry is learning its e-commerce lessons well

    As OFS Portal's Europe-Middle East-Africa representative, Dave Wallis delivered an in-depth e-commerce presentation to an audience of 200 high-ranking guests including officials of the European Commission, representatives of the Polish and United States governments, top representatives of the standardization arena and representatives of the information and communications technology industries. Wallis also sits on the advisory board of the European Commission e-Business W@tch group.

At the conference, Wallis explained that trading partners in the oil & gas industry face unique challenges when adopting e-commerce for purchasing, billing, payment, invoicing and document exchange. Among the biggest challenges at the start were the oil & gas industry's size and global reach and the industry's lack of shared vocabulary or structure for business processes. Also on the technology side of the e-commerce equation, competing standards and security concerns once hindered companies' interest in and ability to deploy e-commerce solutions.

To show how the industry addressed these issues, Wallis described how organizations such as the American Petroleum Institute and its PIDX committee (Petroleum Industry Data eXchange) and private companies like OFS Portal worked cooperatively to develop, establish and apply standards that meet the oil & gas industry's specific interoperability challenges.

According to OFS Portal CEO William LeSage, the company has more interoperability agreements in place than any other entity operating in the oil & gas industry. That means oilfield service suppliers and their oil & gas operator customers can conduct more business electronically. The prize for implementing e-commerce is big - OFS Portal estimates that for a $1 billion company with $500 million of expenditures, e-commerce savings can amount to $35 million in process efficiencies and $50 million per year in the cost of goods.

Wallis' presentation on "Interoperability: Key to International Business" is a further demonstration that OFS Portal has earned international recognition for its service to upstream oil & gas companies implementing e-commerce.

"The oil & gas industry is learning its e-commerce lessons well," says Wallis. "Pilot deployments and road-testing new and emerging e-commerce standards have been critical to its success. As the industry's adoption of e-commerce progresses, it has learned to balance the specific requirements of specific cases with the need for a platform that's accessible to all trading partners."

Referring to the conference's theme of global interoperability, Wallis added, "Global interoperability among operators and suppliers presents challenges that go beyond technology, and the industry recognizes that. However, oil & gas industry leaders are committing themselves to e-commerce, as demonstrated by API's PIDX and the success of OFS Portal. The drive to interoperability takes a lot of fuel, but we will get there."

About OFS Portal

Headquartered in Houston, OFS Portal, LLC is a global member-based group of upstream oil & gas suppliers and service providers at the forefront of oilfield eCommerce. With eCommerce focused on helping buyers to digitize their supply chain, OFS Portal delivers cost-effective ways to make eCommerce a reality for both buyers and sellers. OFS Portal works with global standards organizations to converge or develop open and non-proprietary eCommerce standards for use in the upstream oil & gas industry.

Electronic data is provided in standard format at no cost to OFS Portal members' customers. OFS Portal operates with a non-profit objective. Success is measured by the members' ability to reduce costs, increase internal efficiencies and optimize customer service. OFS Portal members include: Baker Hughes, BJ Services, Cameron, FMC Technologies, Greene, Tweed & Co., Halliburton, M-I SWACO, Trican Well Service, Schlumberger Oilfield Services, Smith International, Vetco Gray, and Weatherford International. Membership is open to any oilfield supplier with activities in the upstream oil & gas sector.

About PIDX

The Petroleum Industry Data Exchange, PIDX, is API's committee on Electronic Business Standards and Processes. PIDX was formed in 1987 to develop and promote the implementation of electronic standards for the oil and natural gas industry. The PIDX mission is to provide the process, technology, and information standards to enable seamless, efficient electronic business within the petroleum industry and its trading community.

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Laura Wang
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