From a Local IT Service Shop To a Global Business and Technology Consulting Company
Kolarsky Development Consulting (KDC) was founded in 1998 as a IT service shop in the oil industry. We built and maintained geophysical workstations for upstart independents from Louisiana and Texas, designed and maintained LAN and WAN data networks so that the head office in Houston or New Orleans could communicate with a field office or a drilling rig offshore.
1998-1999 were they years of the Asian currency crisis, which resulted in an oil price crash and an industry downturn. KDC saw this as an opportunity. Numerous upstart independent companies were springing up in Texas and Louisiana on the heels of the mega-mergers between Exxon and Mobil, BP-Amoco-Arco, Chevron-Texaco etc. These new businesses urgently needed outside help in the form of IT consulting, technical oil and gas subsurface work, production engineering work and civil engineering work.
Radim and Lisa Kolarsky both left their jobs with the oil Majors, seeing the industry downturn as a unique opportunity for KDC. Indeed, KDC found clients in New Orleans, Houston, Dallas and Lafayette, and provided them with subsurface geollogy, geophysics and reservoir engineering services. At the same time KDC moved from being an IT service company to being an IT consulting company, and established IT consulting as a parallel business stream running alongside with oil and gas.
There is a fundamental difference between "IT services” and “IT consulting”. An IT service person arrives to replace a bad network card in a workstation, configure an email client, or add hard drives to a server. An IT consultant, on the other hand, will take the time to understand the long-term vision and objectives of the business, develop a long-term technology vision for the organization, and charts a broad direction for the organization to take. In practice, this often starts with a document-management and procurement software system that streamlines the organization's day-to-day supply chain activities. This obviously rests on a foundation of a local- and wide-area that is best suited for the particular organization. Both the software and the hardware has to be scalable to stay effective and user-friendly as the organization grows. The next stage includes business software such as MS Office, MS Teams, Zoom, etc. that enables the organization to be effective as individuals while collaborating together as a team. All organizations, no matter what industry they are from, have to have this foundation in place. KDC worked with numerous upstart independents on designing and buildling networks, building servers, configuring workstations, and arranding and teaching technical software.
Technical software packages are the next stage. While every business in the world uses office productivity suites like MS Office, every industry has its own industry-specific technical software packages. In the oil industry, this includes geoscience and engineering workstations running suites of integrated software products used in reservoir lifecycle management. In practice this means powerful multi-screen desktop systems running either Linux or Windows operating systems. On top of that, the geoscientists and reservoir engineers use subsurface interpretation suites to map underground structures using seismic imaging, gravity and aeromagnetics surveys, and data from previously drilled wells to build 3D models of hydrocarbon-bearing structures in the subsurface. In a collaborative environment the subsurface team then builds a static reservoir model and runs a dynamic simulation predicting how and where the reservoir fluids are going to flow when production starts, leading to a fully-optimized field development plan. Drilling and production engineers are involved throughout this phase, because the placement of drainage points in the reservoir that is optimal from the standpoint of the subsurface team has to be doable from the standpoint of drilling the wells, and the placement and design of the surface production facilities. CAD software packages are used to design and visualize production systems to be installed on the surface. Immersive 3D visualization is widely used to develop and review the design before before it is send out to a contractor for manufacturing. The amount of cross-discipline - as well as cross-company - teamwork in this process is enormous and can be compared to puttin a Man on the Moon.
Many businesses struggle to define their IT objectives or determine how specific tools and technologies can help them meet broad goals. A good, visionary IT consultant can help enterprises get a handle on how IT strategies can be implemented and how they will make a difference.
While IT consulting designs the overal strategy for the organization, IT services deals with the specific details. IT consultants answer the question of what needs to be done in order for the businesses to achieve its goals, IT services get into the nitty-gritty of how these objectives can be accomplished. For example, in an oil company an IT consultant can designs the overal specs for professional workstation hardware and software, but both the IT consultant and the IT serviceperson have to work together on network design, selection of the fastest switches and routers, in order for the whole system work optimally, allowing the technical professionals to design and drill successful well that will make the company money!
KDC started to move from being an IT service shop to an IT consultancy in 2000 when it started collaborating with leading geophysical software manufacturers on software design and testing. Geologic, geophysical and engineering experience of KDC staff were being projected into how the software product will look, feel and function. Many of our designs are still running in seismic interpretation suites and geologic interpretation software packages today!
By 2004, KDC was already active as a provider of professional geologic, geophysical and engineering services, running in parallel with it IT consulting business. The company was hored to on a large natural gas development and LNG project in Nigeria. In 2007, the company was instrumental in providing leadership on a deepwater exploration project in Nigeria, resulting in an ultra-deepwater discovery offshore Niger Delta. In 2011, an oil discovery was drilled onshore Romania, based on work KDC has done in 2007-2008.
As the oil industry changed after the credit crunch of 2009, KDC adapted focusing on long-term projects for major oil companies in SE Asia, which had longer investment horizon than their Western counterparts and said through the downturn more easily.
After the next oil industry downturn following the 2015 price crash resulting from OPEC having flooded the oil market, KDC refocused again. This time, it was obvious that the downturn would be longer and the recovery slower than following the 2009 oil price crash. KDC focused exclusively on oil- and gas-field development and production, staying "close to the cash flow". KDC maintains this posture to this day.
During the years following the 2015 crash, KDC expanded into providing management consulting services, in addition to its oil and gas and IT business lines. KDC is now a diversified business-consulting firm engaged globally in projects covering energy (with focus on oil and gas), real estate, and IT. KDC provides businee consulting in the areas of strategy, management, risk and technology.
The real estate development line of business has been part of KDC since the very beginning. Run principally by Lisa Kolarsky, one of the two KDC founding partners, the company has been active the real estate market stage in Louisiana. In addition to marketing real estate, the company has been active in real estate development, and carefully selected renovations of unique antique homes.
The company registration and head office are in the U.S. state of Louisiana. KDC has associates in Prague, Czech Republic; Lagos, Nigeria; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and Singapore.