by Jay Parks, Elizabeth Coppinger


As the global threat to energy companies from terrorists and hackers has increased, so has the importance of field site security. An audit of a large North American oil and gas company revealed significant vulnerability because it operated well-control systems on the corporate network, which was not sufficiently secure. The company engaged Point B to help design and implement a segregated control network across the U.S., all during a time of change and turmoil for the organization.

Going the extra mile—in flame-resistant gear

Point B began by conducting a detailed stakeholder analysis. We found that analysts, engineers, and leadership at headquarters were concerned about retaining their access to well data and reports. In addition, field employees across nine autonomous operating sites had a strong culture of local control and a longstanding fear of corporate initiatives that change processes or technology.

Early on, Point B team members worked with leadership, IT and the business to define requirements. In addition, the Point B team suited up in flame-resistant clothing and visited each field office and multiple well sites to learn requirements from the people who work on the front lines. In the field, the team spent time soliciting input on the new system and understanding the field employees’ needs. This voice of the customer was a key factor in the successful implementation, leading to a design and roll-out approach that minimized the impact to operations. The extra effort created a level of confidence across the business and field teams that made Point B a trusted partner and integral part of the overall team.

To drive a successful roll-out, we developed a detailed support and transition approach. Point B training subject matter experts shared their expertise developing detailed documentation and support materials for both training and reference. During the roll-out events, Point B deployed a large team to the field for in-person training and technical support.

Building trust in the transition

At a time of massive change for our client, Point B managed a smooth transition that gave the company the security it needed, maintained management’s access to key data, and allowed the field the same control they’d always had—all while proactively meeting a potential regulatory requirement. Corporate and field leadership expressed their appreciation for the careful planning, execution, and hands-on approach that made the transition seamless and successful.