I keep hearing this every now and then:

“I am new to SAP and I want to learn about SAP IS Oil”

“Can anyone guide me what certifications I should do to get into SAP IS Oil module?”

“I have a good background in ABAP, can you guide me to enter SAP IS Oil functional area?”

“I have done SAP MM for past few years and now interested to learn SAP IS Oil.”

I must say by asking such questions to anyone or even to yourself is an absolute necessity for anything new you ever want to do. There is nothing wrong to be fresh and still look for something advanced so early on, as some would disagree with me. I always believed being young and fresh (not in terms of age but in terms of thoughts) always gives you that extra bit of energy to perform at your best, to learn and adapt something new.

Over the years I had the opportunity to mentor few of my co consultants to answer the above queries and successfully too. I will use this forum to help answer these questions; though it is just the beginning I would be enhancing this space with more info.

“No matter how tough the goal is, if we have the will and have proper guidance we will achieve it.” I don’t know who said that, but it’s true. So assuming the readers have the will let me guide you through the steps.    

The first and foremost is to understand what are you getting into. “SAP IS-Oil” is a very loosely used term by many newcomers to identify SAP’s solution for Oil and Gas industry. But the solution has many areas which helps other major industries as well such as Shipping and Mining to give a few examples. I would be focusing on the Oil and Gas for now.

Apart from the solution, the Oil and Gas industry itself is very huge and comprises mainly Upstream, Downstream and Midstream operations.

Upstream operations consists of exploration and production of the crude oil or gas. Starting from geological survey this covers extraction of oil or gas from the reservoirs.   

Downstream operations consists of refining of the produced oil and gas and making it more commercially viable.

And midstream operations involves transportation of the oil and gas products via different modes of transport, with pipeline being the most common one, intermediary storage and retailing. 

ℹ Here are some links from Wikipedia to give you more info. Its easy to dwell to other interesting links but do remember to come back to this blog 🙂

Upstream: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upstream_(petroleum_industry).

Downstream: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downstream_(petroleum_industry).

Midstream: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midstream.

ℹ For the more inquisitive ones who wants to dig further here are some more links, ❗ but be aware this may cause a great deal of time and may divert you from the actual topic. Hence not recommended, if you are up against time. You may keep this saved as favourites, since this will be very-2 useful as a backup knowledge when talking to the clients.

Oil well drilling: http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/oil-drilling.htm

Oil & gas refining: http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/oil-refining3.htm

There are other aspects of the oil and gas business which are equally important to understand such as oil and gas pricing, how does that work?, oil and gas distribution challenges etc. I won’t be covering these topics for now but a homework on these topics could be very helpful when dealing with clients.

Now after a deep dive into the oil and gas business, lets come back to SAP’s solution to cater this business. SAP is one of the most successful ERP application today which can cater the ERP requirements of an oil and gas industry and as well as integrating that with various third party applications. SAP’s solution IS-Oil (Industry Specific – Oil & Gas) is tailor made for oil and gas industry, this is a result of industry experts with years of experience and vision, and it is still evolving.

Like in actual business SAP IS Oil too has specific solutions for Upstream Downstream and Midstream operations. With downstream and midstream being more logistics based, upstream has more financial traces. So when guiding new comers this becomes the basis of recommendation. If you have done a bit of work in SAP or even in other ERP systems which deals with logistic modules like MM (Materials Management, Procurement, inventory), SD (Sales and Distribution), then it makes more sense to pursue with SAP IS-Oil Downstream. Here’s a quick and dirty reference table:

Selection Criteria

SAP IS Oil Downstream

SAP IS Oil Upstream

Have previous experience with Logistics module like MM, SD etc

X

Have previous experience with Finance module or from Finance background

X

Targeting the most used product and most popular in terms of work

X

Living in countries with maximum imports of Crude Oil and own refining facility

X

Living in countries with maximum exports of Crude Oil with less refineries and imports products.

X

  

Now that you have a fair bit of an idea on which way to go, let’s see what is in offer from these modules:

SAP IS-Oil Downstream:

  •      HPM – Hydrocarbon Product Management
  •      TDP – Tariffs, Duties and Permits
  •      EXG – Exchanges
  •      *TD – Transportation and Distribution
  •      *MAP – Marketing Accounting and Pricing
  •      MCOE – Marketing Contracts and Order Entry
  •      MRN – Marketing Retail Network
  •      BDRP – Bulk Distribution Requirements Planning
  •      SSR (Service Station Retailing)
  •      *TSW (Trader’s and Scheduler’s Workbench)

SAP IS-Oil Upstream:

  •      *PRA – Production and Revenue Accounting
  •      *JVA – Joint Venture Accounting
  •      PSA – Production Sharing Accounting
  •      *RLM – Remote Logistics Management

The one marked with an “*” can work as an independent expertise.

ℹ More on these solutions can be found here in SAP’s help portal: http://help.sap.com/saphelp_oil472/helpdata/en/67/bfa73ad9ccf101e10000000a11402f/frameset.htm

Now that you know what is an oil and gas industry is all about (partially at least), what solution does SAP has to offer and a fair bit of an idea on which direction to go to, you can now decide for a start. You can either go for a certification or try get lucky with an oil and gas project implementation and work there as a rookie for a while under some able guidance (recommended). SAP has regular certification exams for IS Oil solutions, ℹ you can find the details in their education portal here https://training.sap.com/us/en/search?query=oil. Some also offer e-learning options which is cool 😎 .

So all the best, let me know if you have any specific question by giving your comments. As I wrote earlier I will be enhancing this space as and when I feel necessary.

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13 Comments

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  1. Rahul Nayak

    Nicely composed blog covering the doubts that most of the people have when it comes to learning SAP IS OIL. I have also seen such posts from our fellow members and also received some emails regarding that in my personal email asking for material or guidance. As we all know that formal training in SAP is expensive, but in the case of IS OIL, the structure of the course and duration is also quite short. This creates a certain element of doubt in the persons’ mind to select the course.

     

    I believe the best way to start learning IS OIL is the help.sap.com documentation provided in SAP. Although it is tough when it comes to self learning, but it will create a sound base conceptually. Anyways it is expected that the learner is quite familiar with the SAP landscape and knows a certain level of SAP MM/SD/FICO. So it is not that difficult to learn the basics of IS OIL thru documentation. To practice the concepts and get a feel of IS OIl features, i usually suggest to rent an IS OIL server for some time. This will enable the person to learn and practice at the same time.

     

    Ultimately, the skills can only be tested once a person actually works either in an implementation or support role. No matter how much we study or practice, only once we start working in an environment, we get to learn and appreciate the system.

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    1. Anubhav Kaviraj Post author

      Thanks for your comments Rahul,

       

      Agreed with your views in starting with help.SAP, I have myself benefited from it hugely. Again as you have mentioned in your last paragraph, help.SAP’s magic will work best when you are able to relate that to the real business.

       

      Moreover, given the fact that nowadays, IS Oil consultants lack business language, more and more clients are not feeling comfortable in communicating their needs. Hence I feel its very important that one should gather as much business knowledge as possible before putting that consulting cap.

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  2. Azeez Mohammad

    Hi Rahul,

     

    You have given a very good information.

     

    I want to do certification in IS-OIL and GAS.

     

    If you have certification material like TIOG10, IOG100 , IOG340.

     

    Kindly share it to my email id : msg2mohd@gmail.com

     

    With Regards

    Azeez Mohammed

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    1. Syed Abbas

      Dear  Azeez,

       

      Have you got the certification materials?

       

      I am also looking for material for is oil downstream to write certification. can you share documents to my mail id abbas.sap@gmail.com.

       

       

       

      Thanks,

      Syed Abbas.

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  3. maalik maalik

    Hi Azeez

     

    Have you got the Certification Materials.. as mentioned by you?

    if so Can yo share the same……to me if possible…. and give me reference path….

     

    Thanks

    maalik

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    1. Syed Abbas

      Dear  Maalik,

       

       

      Have you got the certification materials?

       

       

       

      I am also looking for material for is oil downstream to write certification. can you share documents to my mail id abbas.sap@gmail.com.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Thanks,

      Syed Abbas.

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  4. yashmit s

    Thanks for your suggestions. Can you please send FAQ for SAP IS OIL and GAS (Downstream) in TSW, TD, RLM and HPM ? Please send me an email to yashmit_s@yahoo.com.

     

    I googled it but i did not find any interview questions for the above modules.

     

    Yashmit.

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    1. Syed Abbas

      Dear  Yashmit,

       

       

      Have you got the certification materials?

       

      I am also looking for material for is oil downstream to write certification. can you share documents to my mail id abbas.sap@gmail.com.

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Thanks,

      Syed Abbas.

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  5. R. Baranidharan

    A very nice blog about learning SAP IS-oil module and in my opinion one of the best piece of information in that is you don’t have to be a expert in all the 3 streams to be an IS oil Consultant and developing expertise in the ones marked with “*” itself sufficient to do the launch and thereafter.

    For example in Mining and Metals implementation  F&A pricing in MAP and TD Shipments are key areas of implementation.

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  6. saee sai

    SAP ERP installation are in lakhs, we know it, and there is huge career scope,

    do you have any idea on on how many IS oil installation are there,

    will there be in 1000’s but that many O&G companies are not there

     

    so it will reduce the career scope of SAP IS O&G consultants ?

    any thoughts ?

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  7. Alfredo J Eloy

    I am an experienced data management consultant on the Upstream (or Exploration & Production – E&P) sector of the O&G industry. I am familiar with ERP manufacturing systems but not with the “SAP software world” so I am currently training myself on it.  I would like to the excllent ones provided by Anubhav Kaviraj. As he mentions, the O&G is complex and you do not need to become as petroleum engineer or geoscientist to become an “SAP O&G Consultant.” However, the more you know the best your chances to line up O&G consulting engagements and understand O&G client problems, issues and needs. Let me try to give you some additional knowledge and insights they hopefully will help guide your O&G career. The E&P Business (or Primary) Value-Chain is defined by management has made up of three (3) distinct subsectors (sub-processes): Exploration, Exploitation and Production. This terminology is not standard as some companies combine the business processes of Exploitation and Production and just call it Production. Exploration, deals with the discovery, identification and buildup of oil or gas (hydrocarbons) reserves. The work in this sector is done mostly by geoscientists (geologists and geophysicists) and drilling engineers.  The primary business objective of exploration is to build a portfolio of prospects – areas-depths with the potential to become oil and/or gas fields – and estimate the reserves for each prospect. Exploration responsibilities normally end when an exploration-well is drilled. The outcome of it is either: (i) a dry (non-producing) well, (ii) a well with non-economic reserves or (iii) a producing well. Exploration work for a geographic area where wells have never been drilled, requires 2-3 years to determine prospects and their economic value. Exploitation includes all the processes dealing with the economic development and management of oil fields where hydrocarbon reserves were identified via the exploratory well. Each producing well identified in exploration, becomes a field and additional wells are planned and drilled to define more accurately the volumes of hydrocarbons and the production strategy. In depth the fluids are producing from what is known has “completions”. Most wells require pumping to produce the fluids and every well requires a complex sub-surface pipe structure (known as casing) to bring the fluids to the surface. (Typical development costs – drilling, completions and casing – are 40% of the annual budget of an O&G company.) Once completions are done and casing is set, a very complex system of chokes, pumps, valves and control units (SCADA) is installed at the surface. This is known as well-head. From the well-head fluids flow into pipes known as gathering lines and then into pipelines. The work in this sector is done primarily by engineers: petroleum, drilling, chemical and mechanical, with support of geologists. The primary objective of this sub-sector is to develop/produce economically the reserves by drilling development wells and bring the hydrocarbons from the sub-surface to the surface. iii) Production, on Land (or on-shore) deals with the surface facilities and in most companies include: the gathering (pipe) lines, separator plants (to separate oil, water and gas), gas compression plants, tank farms (groups of tanks), and (long-distance) pipelines: oil, gas and water. Offshore facilities are considerable more complex and numerous but their objective is the same: carry the fluids from the well-head to an offshore terminal for loading into ships or into a regional pipeline. The work in this sector is done primarily by engineers: petroleum, chemical and mechanical. The primary objective of this sub-sector is to transport economically the fluids from the well-head to the transportation facilities or refining (midstream/downstream facilities) Note: Even though Drilling is a major cost item in E&P it is considered a Support Process and not part of the E&P Primary value-chain. E&P mission is to find and produce oil and gas economically (not to drill.) I hope this will be of some help to you. I have many other comments that I may post if these initial remarks are well received.  If you are interested in my background please consult Linkedin portal at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alfredo-j-eloy-93673228. Best regards to all. Alfredo J. Eloy

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