Finding and producing oil and gas is a technically and economically challenging process. Most oil and gas operators have not been able to maximize the potential output from their assets. Efforts are ongoing on an urgent basis to improve their efficiency, even when the oil prices have remained low over yet another year. The industry needs new technologies to produce low cost energy while reducing the impact on the environment.
Data and the Industry:
Like every other industry, the petrochemical industry has a lot of moving parts. There are people, assets and logistics everywhere. There is a lot of data floating around- data from operations, drilling, completion, etc. The availability of data is changing the oil and gas industry. Advances in process automation and instrumentation make even more data available such as sensor data, seismic and weather data, geo-location data, etc. These data combined with human generated data such as market feeds, social media, text and images can be utilized to give predictive analysis and data optimization for a better performance.
Oil and gas companies have been urgently looking for analytics tools and techniques that can assist them to operate their assets at maximum capacity. The performance of the oil and gas industry depends upon optimizing the production potential of complex, capital intensive processes. Operators have been investing in the best available technology to get returns from their investments. Applying advanced oil and gas production analytics software can capture huge returns on capital and transform the fundamental operating model of the industry.
It has been observed that in the conventional models of operation, there is a glaring performance gap between the outputs of the highest and lowest performing control room crews. To bridge the performance gap the operators must work with advanced analytics to find superior solutions to complex production optimization problems. The analytics are applied in combination with other avant-garde engineering and computing tools.
Pre-Requisites for using an Analytic Tool:
There are certain pre-requisites for an oil and gas company to embrace the power of advanced analytics. These are:
Availability of Data- Most oil and gas companies have vast volumes of data which acts as a fuel for the data analytics.
Infrastructure for Analytics- The market for analytic solution customized for the oil and gas sector may yet not be fully evolved but there are plenty of offerings and services available in the market that can be customized for the oil and gas sector.
Analytic Skills– It is important that the oil and gas companies invest in creating their own data center to develop, implement, and train to train data analytics. They have to develop skills and capabilities to turn analytics into insights to improve efficiencies.
Business Driven Work Models and Governance- Advanced analytics aim to identify and eliminate any inefficiency and transform the operating models, keeping the end user in mind. A clear vision must be gained as concerns the gains through analytics and a model is created based on this.
The Power of Analytics:
The oil and gas industry recognizes the power that lies in breakthroughs using the large amounts of data that is generated, in a smart manner. There are more than a million oil and gas producing wells in the United States alone. Many data captured creates images of the Earth’s structure and sub-surface layers. A lot of data describes the activities around the wells such as machinery performance and oil flow rates. The data is growing daily. All companies need integrated data analytics and technology throughout the life-cycle of the well. Using all the data that the industry generates can help to automate simple decisions while guiding through more complex ones.
In today’s world, extensive machinery and cutting edge technology is used in finding and producing hydrocarbons. The machinery, devices, and the personnel involved in these processes together produce a landmine of data- videos, images, and structured data that holds the potential answers to many key questions facing the oil and gas industry. Most of the analysis in oil and gas is done within technical disciplines and over a small geographical area. The results and insights gained in one area can be extrapolated and applied to the other areas.
Data analytics will be the key to reducing risks and inefficiencies in the oil and gas industry. It is important to identify critical data from a plethora of information and make operational data relevant to reduce operating costs and improve recovery rate. The oil and gas industry must focus on producing hydrocarbons in economically viable and environmentally friendly ways.