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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 :smile:




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:

Oil & gas refining:

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


Have previous experience with Finance module or from Finance background


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


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


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



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:

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 Some also offer e-learning options which is cool :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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