How Oil and Gas Companies Use Big Data to Improve Oil Exploration, Production and Safety
The oil and gas industry in the U.S. has changed dramatically over the past few years. According to an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, the U.S. may stop importing oil by 2037, as abundant domestic crude supplies push production to the level of consumption. Due to increased oil well production and a gradual shift to a technology and data-driven oilfield, the EIA predicts that oil production will increase to about 13 million barrels a day over the next two decades.
These dramatic changes in the oil and gas industry, combined with advances in how petroleum companies gather and use data for a wide variety of oil exploration and production activities, make it an exciting time for those in the oil exploration field. Considered one of the original sensor-based industries, the petroleum industry has long collected sensor data from thousands of sub-surface oil wells to monitor oil assets.
Now, oil and gas companies can leverage big data technologies such as the MapR Converged Data Platform to collect, manage and rapidly analyze seismic, drilling and production data. Oil companies can leverage this data to gain new insights that help increase drilling and production performance while preventing environmental/safety problems. In addition, MapR can help petroleum companies capitalize on big data in order to optimize their business operations, reduce costs, and increase their competitive edge.
Oil and Gas Use Cases
Oil Exploration and Discovery
There are several areas where big data can be used to benefit oil exploration:
Enhanced oil exploration: Seismic monitors generate large amounts of data during oil/gas explorations, which can be used to discover new oil deposits. In addition, weather, soil, and equipment data can be analyzed to predict the success of drilling operations and make more intelligent decisions about drilling sites, thus having a direct impact on cost and revenue. The MapR Converged Data Platform can be used as an Enterprise Data Hub (EDH) to aggregate and analyze data from these different data sources and make intelligent decisions about drilling operations.
New oil prospect identification: Oilfield managers need to analyze well data, seismic data, industry news and potentially social media to evaluate potential oilfields. They can also utilize that information to identify optimum oil drilling locations and bid on oil leases. The MapR Converged Data Platform can be used to analyze geospatial data and other oil/gas reports in order to bid on new oil prospects.
Seismic trace identification: The MapR Converged Data Platform can be used to store and process seismic data that can be used to discover seismic trace signatures that were previously overlooked.
Analyzing seismic, drilling and production data is important in order to enhance oil recovery from existing wells. This data can help production engineers figure out when to make changes in the oil reservoir over time, and when to make changes in their oil lifting methods. In addition, big data techniques can be used to forecast oil production at wells. If the forecast does not meet a determined production level for a particular aging well, that well can be remediated. The MapR Converged Data Platform can enable production engineers to bring together seismic, drilling and production data together in an Enterprise Data Hub (EDH) and increase throughput from existing wells.
In order to identify potential drilling errors or equipment failures, sensor data from equipment (drill heads, down hole sensors, etc.) as well as geological data can be analyzed to predict equipment failure and understand what equipment works best in which environment. The MapR Converged Data Platform can enable preventative maintenance by analyzing in real-time the data that various pieces of equipment generate.
Oil companies need to integrate real-time data into mechanical earth models (a numerical representation of the geo-mechanical state of the oil reservoir). By doing this, they are able to more accurately predict future oil availability and identify oil reservoirs and reserves. The MapR Converged Data Platform can help process and analyze real-time data from earth models and help develop a better understanding of the subsurface of the earth to develop safer and more sustainable drilling practices.
Safety and Environment
By using a converged data platform to analyze data from a variety of sources, anomalies in drilling can be identified in real time, well problems can be detected before they become serious, and drills can be proactively shut down in order to prevent environmental risks. The MapR Converged Data Platform can be used to increase the environmental health and safety of oil rigs and drills through identification of patterns and outliers before any catastrophic incidents take place.
Oil and gas companies need to identify events or patterns that could indicate an imminent security threat or cyber- terrorist act in order to keep their personnel, property and equipment safe. Predictive analytics is a central part of identifying patterns that can help detect these threats in advance. The MapR Converged Data Platform can help in identifying threats in real-time through machine learning and anomaly detection techniques and reduce the likelihood of such incidents.