Can too much of a thing be a problem? Even for a veteran data generator like the Oil & Gas (O&G) industry, the growth in data is posing serious questions. Luckily, this also offers plenty of opportunities to explore new avenues of growth.
Long before big data was making headlines in the tech cosmos, O&G behemoths were hoarding all kinds of data. Loads of data - such as 3D earth models, videos, historical seismic data from deep probes, well log data, temperature registers, chemical analysis reports and sensor data from all kinds of machines and production data that aids technical decisions and drilling strategy. The O&G industry has fairly matured business intelligence systems however due to technology and cost constraints, this analysis was often performed in isolation on comparatively smaller set of enterprise data - less than 10%, hence limiting enterprise’s ability to come up with meaningful and actionable insights for better business outcomes.
With recent advancements in big data technology, enterprises can build cost effective scalable platforms to process and analyse the ocean of data captured real-time from a variety of enterprise sources. Big data and advanced analytics technologies have ample scope in both upstream and downstream O&G sector. Understanding and leveraging the data for upstream (exploration and production – E&P) has helped uncover new business opportunities and improve performance through fast, agile analytics aimed at modelling and simulating business performance. Similarly, in downstream, big data has improvised planning and forecasting results, maximizing and enhancing maintenance and production.
Many O&G enterprises have put their bets on these technologies in areas such a digital oil field, predictive and preventive maintenance and energy management to gain competitive advantage. Leveraging data, even a 1% improvement in performance of pumps to pull out oil from wells can deliver close to a million barrels oil per day1. With such encouraging results, it’s apt to comment that ‘data is the new oil’ – leading to actionable insights for better business decisions.
Currently, the O&G industry is at varying stages of big data and analytics adoption. A maturity curve is emerging and some early adopters are visible. One of the earliest stages in that maturity curve is connecting operating assets, performance monitoring and problem diagnosis. By introducing analytics and more flexible production techniques, the industry, for instance, can boost their productivity by as much as 30% - which is a phenomenal result.
The bottom line is that the O&G industry has to improve its ability to leverage data to build actionable insights to optimize their performance, for which they require new integrated planning and operations tools to coordinate and focus resources. Advancements in open source technologies provide creditable cost effective solutions. Now is the right time for the O&G industry to use open source as a spring board to take a deeper dive into data.