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July 24, 2014
North American independents and unconventionals: Is the back office the bottleneck?
By: Valerie Jalufka

As the North American unconventional oil and gas market continues to boom, upstream independents are seeing increasing pressure on the back office resources, systems and tools required to support this unprecedented growth. Finance and hydrocarbon accounting teams—as well as technology and processes—are struggling to keep up with the complexity of the rising number of wells, changing regulations, attentive royalty owners, aggressive drilling programs and increasing workloads. The old ways of working are no longer enough.

What will the midmarket independents need as they work to maximize returns on existing plays such as Eagle Ford and scale the next wave of development in unconventionals? People, processes and technology must be effectively aligned and leveraged to efficiently support top-line growth. Specialized hydrocarbon accounting skills, the third leg of the people-process-technology triangle, remain a challenge across the North American market with managers straining to keep pace with the volume of work, retain experienced staff and develop new talent. Additionally, obtaining accurate and timely production data in the fast-moving unconventional energy space is a pressure point for finance and hydrocarbon accounting.

Growing independents will need insight into up-to-date production, cost and revenue data that will help them deliver better business outcomes, maximize return on investment and improve the bottom line. This will require affordable, scalable and fit-for-purpose solutions that leverage standardized, integrated business processes and technologies to not only streamline back-office operations and manage costs and headcount, but also support bold growth agendas.

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