CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Information Technology – a term that strikes fear in staff who work for the majority of oil and gas operators in downtown Calgary, if not in North America. Whether it be for not allowing people to visit their favourite social media websites, disabling the USB ports on computers, misspelling names on email addresses, shutting down their most-used applications for maintenance at the most inconvenient times, or having grumpy staff at the Service Desk, there is always something that makes non-IT staff run for cover when the word IT is mentioned.

The IT gurus at Calgary-based PetroSchmakken Energy have recently imposed a restriction that has taken enterprise security to unprecedented levels. The group’s plan: to change all Windblows network passwords, and not disseminate new passwords to any staff. In other words, to restrict staff from logging into their machines.

Our shop uses Macroshaft Windblows, and despite its advanced security measures, we are seeing more and more viruses make their way through our firewall and onto employee machines. The 2-person task force assembled to discuss possible solutions, lead by me, figured the most effective solution was to not allow staff to log into their Windblows machines. And so far, it’s working like a charm. Shminder Bharphat, P.Eng., VP of Information Technology

The solution, that the IT Department calls End-User Lockout, means that staff is only allowed to do work on devices that run on iOS, BlackBerry, and Android, since hackers do not heavily target these operating systems.

guy on iphone
Ricky Barton

This isn’t too shabby. I pretty much get to “work” on my iPad all day long. And when I say work, I mean play. And when I say play, I mean surf streaming adult videos. But seriously, the GeoScoop and Accucrap iOS apps aren’t the greatest, but they work, in a much more inefficient way. I’m currently in discussions with my supervisor to fork out the $0.99 for the full version of the apps, that allows me to actually see the wells.  Ricky Barton, geologist

A vendor equipping a carrier pigeon with petrophysics files to send to PetroSchakken’s chief petrophysicist. There is no telling whether the SD card will make it to its destination, or whether it will be found near an arbitrary park bench.

In cases where PetroSchmakken staff and any vendors need to communicate rather large files to each other, the IT Department has devised yet another ingenious system: carrier pigeons.

Mr. Bharphat continues, “We feel that carrier pigeons completely eliminate the risk of communicating computer viruses to our computers, as a secondary measure considering that employees are unable to even log into their machines. That’s what we do in IT – we make doing effective work damn near impossible! Sure the success rate for getting the files across is somewhat low, but they are birds for Pete’s sake – they are easily distracted. What can I say? If staff has problems with carrier pigeons goings astray, we have setup a new service desk with a former Ornithologist turned service desk representative who well call the Bird Whisperer.”

Twenty seven per cent of staff have left the company since the new IT security measures were implemented 2 weeks ago, and the company expects to see more go.

An insider close to PetroSchmakken Information Technology leaked to a 2P News reporter that the personal computers that are freed up from the employees leaving are being transferred to the building’s basement to create an even bigger network of Doom.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here