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Technology start-up to transform resource management in oil and gas industry

Colin Manson
Colin Manson
UK start-up Xergy Group is launching a digital platform to transform how the upstream oil and gas industry resources projects and attracts talent.

Led by industry stalwarts James McCallum and Colin Manson, Xergy Group has launched Proteus, which will transform the way in which the industry sources and uses talent to resource and deliver projects with increased profitability.

A lack of talent, slow adoption of technology and social pressure are posing a combined resource challenge for the upstream oil and gas industry, which must deliver project to meet increased global demand for hydrocarbons, while delivering net-zero carbon emissions.

Proteus is a cloud-based work management system that allows companies to find the right people for projects, as and when they are needed.

The software platform, which facilitates working remotely within a working environment, will increase efficiency by removing fixed overheads and unnecessary costs, while improving utilisation rates and project management. At the same time, it will reduce carbon emissions from commuting and travelling.

Xergy is currently investing £2.3 million (€2.7 million) in developing Proteus, and has to date recruited 12 people with extensive upstream oil and gas experience, to work alongside a team of outsourced expert software developers to build and test the software.

The company believes it has the potential to capture a large share of the oil and gas gig economy, which is worth and estimated £9.6 billion (€11.4 billion), as well as a chunk of the £3.9 billion (€4.6 billion) enterprise and resource planning (ERP) market.

“As the oil and gas industry recovers from one of the worst recessions in its history, when it laid off 300,000 people, it finds itself with an ageing workforce and a lack of diversity, along with the added challenge of being deeply unpopular as a result of the climate change agenda,” explained CEO Colin Manson.

“When looking to resource projects, it is also constrained by geography and competition from other industries which don’t suffer from these negative perceptions. Equally, the brightest talent is now looking for greater flexibility with the ability to work when they want and where they want.

“At the heart of Proteus is a cloud-based work management system that, in itself, would be a massive leap forward for most companies. ERP systems are not new, but they are complex, not well-liked and expensive, often failing to make the efficiencies they were designed for.”

The software will connect all the key workflows used by most oil and gas companies, with the systems integrating seamlessly and accessible through an interface that has been designed to simplify every workflow.

“The beauty of Proteus is that it adds, what we call, the marketplace to the ERP system,” added Manson. “This marketplace connects companies with the best suited freelance contractors for the job. Individuals can search for projects and update their profile and status. Companies can post opportunities and search for rated freelancers and specific services.

“Embracing new technology allows greater flexibility and appeals to the emerging global workforce. Using this type of software can send a powerful message that the industry is truly changing.”
Colin Manson