Fueling a culture of innovation

Seven groups receive special recognition for their groundbreaking ideas in 2019

It’s a cultural thing. For ConocoPhillips employees, the search for innovative ideas and concepts is deeply ingrained. People bring their best ideas to the table in large business units with thousands of employees, and in the smallest corporate functions with less than 50 people. To fuel that culture of innovation, each year ConocoPhillips rewards the top performers.

To identify this year’s special recognition recipients, the company considered four performance dimensions: aspiration; potential; progress; and a commitment to building a vibrant innovation culture.

The following seven groups rose to the top of the rankings.

Canada: Daring to try drives continuous improvement

The Canada team leveraged its ‘Dare to Try’ culture to drive continuous improvement and transformational changes. They created a call to action — the Canada Challenge — to improve the business through a focus on base production, cost discipline, technologies to improve efficiency and reduce emissions, and a commercial strategy to improve the netback price. The Dual Diluent project created flexibility for the Central Processing Facility to use either condensate or synthetic crude as a diluent. This significantly reduced cost and provided valuable optionality.

2 workers outside at Oil Sands facility

GOW&P: Visionary Operating Model — Bringing the future to today in tangible ways

Global Operations, Wells & Projects (GOW&P) stepped away from its typical business unit support role by creating a vision, or North Star, with tangible examples of the company’s future operations. Five-year roadmaps interconnect global operations, empowering the workforce with real-time data to drive maximum enterprise value. GOW&P’s efforts demonstrated that, through a common framework and consistent language, adopting digital technologies will drive significant improvements with a lasting positive impact on ConocoPhillips’ performance.

Airplane landing on runway

Lower 48: Focusing on continuous improvement and emerging digital applications

The Lower 48 business unit launched a platform to capture innovation from idea creation to implementation. The business unit conducted dozens of drone pilots with emerging digital technology, including successful use of software to capture live video of operations in 4K detail; high elevation equipment inspections and surveys; and scoping methane detection and quantification. An HSE Essential Tasks app visualizes high-risk work occurring real time. And the group completed game-changing enhanced recovery field pilots. The team continued to drive drilling and completion improvements and data transformation in the Permian Basin.

Worker wearing hardhat operating drone with tanks in background

Alaska: Aggressive technology pilots drive development and operations

Alaska transformed itself through innovative programs. Its innovation pipeline captured more than 1,200 ideas in 2019, and 29 pilots were executed to prove future opportunities. Extended reach drilling in Alaska continues to set records. A first-of-its-kind exploration well, CD4-595, utilized an optimized four-string design to drill the highest angle long-reach well on the North Slope. Engaging with Amazon Web Services, the business unit established the first cloud data-lake and analytics environment.

Group of 12 workers in front of rig holding banner

ABU East/APLNG: Pioneering artificial intelligence in operations

The Australia East business unit (ABUE) advanced the use of deep reinforcement learning by teaching artificial intelligence to analyze and optimize overall LNG plant production, resulting in higher efficiency, lower fuel usage, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. When leveraged across the global Optimized Cascade® Process portfolio, the process could create a new revenue stream for ConocoPhillips. ABUE also rolled out its Data Visualization three-year roadmap, progressed the Advanced Process Control project, and developed a look-back tool using data mining to provide insights to APLNG personnel.

Aerial view of APLNG plant in Australia

Malaysia: Leveraging compressive seismic imaging to pioneer advancements

The Malaysia business unit applied a machine learning algorithm to fault prediction on compressive seismic imaging, accelerating interpretation time by weeks. Malaysia is championing this superior tool across the company and pursuing the application of deep learning to pre-stack seismic data, the first of its kind for ConocoPhillips. Malaysia also is developing novel techniques for shallow water seismic acquisition by combining 2D and 3D data sets.

Screen view of seismic data

Commercial: Partnering with business units to create value

LNG Technology & Licensing personnel developed an equation oriented (EO) optimization model with AspenTech. The two companies are discussing development of an EO subscription agreement to optimize plant operations. This approach may be offered more broadly to Optimized Cascade® Process customers generating incremental revenue. Commercial also worked closely with ConocoPhillips Surmont operations in Canada to expand the market for heavy crude and helped secure approval for the Diluent Recovery Unit.

Commercial floor - room with workers at computers and ceiling monitors