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The recent crash of crude oil prices is causing exploration and production companies to cut costs wherever possible. They should increase rather than cut IT spending, especially for real-time data and analytics technologies.


  • IT investment can help upstream companies manage through the crude crisis and emerge from the slump stronger and more agile than they were before it. Furthermore, IT investments are affordable relative to the industry’s massive capital spending requirements, and they can pay for themselves quickly. Producers should make an exception in their cost-cutting strategies for IT investments that can rapidly pay for themselves and help them to manage through the crisis.
  • Three types of IT investment can be particularly fruitful: technologies that provide new operational visibility, tools that turn visibility into insight, and tools that enable action or provide control.

Features and Benefits

  • Describes the tactical and strategic goals that producers should be aiming to address with IT.
  • Provides examples of the three types of IT investment where producers should focus their attention.

Key questions answered

  • Why has the oil price crash been especially hard on US shale oil operators?
  • What are some examples of the three areas of IT where operators should focus their investment?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Shale operators must exploit drilling data and analytics to cut costs and regain profitability
  • The market may worsen before it improves
  • Producers must recognize that IT investment is both a tactical and a strategic weapon


  • Further reading
  • Author

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