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Field Data Analysis – Driving Business Value for Oil Companies

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In a bid to offset production and operational inefficiencies, Oil and Gas companies are embracing data analytics to make proper use of field data and derive business value.

Technological trends have engulfed quite a few industries and Oil & Gas is no exception here. Over the last three years, geopolitical and economic situations in different parts of the world have had an adverse effect on the Oil & Gas industry in no minimal terms; the impact has led to heavy losses across companies. The Upstream segment, in particular, has been heavily hit owing to the kind of dependency on various operations required to explore, find and extract oil. But of late, companies have found some solace thanks to technology that is helping redefine field operations and thus ensuring efficiency.

Embracing Data Analytics  

The field operations are central to the well drilling and oil extraction process and one way to ensure these operations run efficiently is to have access to relevant real-time data, remotely. As we speak, data analytics is creating a huge difference to companies across industries and Oil & Gas companies are readily embracing big data analytics in a bid to outdo themselves.

A survey conducted by Accenture and Microsoft among Upstream Oil & Gas professionals showed that 66% of them believed analytics to be one of the most important tech trends required to transform their companies while only 13% confirmed that they currently have fully mature data analytics capabilities. This of course reflects a huge gap but promises a certain focus to adopt analytics.

Another interesting insight from the same report was that the number of professionals who were interested in adopting Internet-of-Things (IoT) grew to 44% (2017) from a mere 25% in 2016. The interest on IoT automatically shifts focus towards analytics simply because IoT and Data Analytics are closely aligned with mutually dependent technologies.

How is field data analytics driving business value? 

Redefining Operations: Analytics plays an important role in redefining the operations of not only upstream but also of midstream and downstream companies. Oil companies are finding significant improvement in their operations thanks to valuable insights derived from data analytics. Analytics provides a better view of the processes and helps detect issues and apply remedial measures in a timely manner. This in turn helps in decreased downtime and a more fluent operational process.

Analytics also helps offset the increasing operational complexity as Oil companies explore newer locations in an attempt to find hydrocarbons. Such explorations and extractions demand the higher level of data processing and analytical capabilities, sometimes to the extent of over 200,000 streams of data which is made possible by field data analytics.

Asset Utilization: Data Analytics helps monitor and control equipment, machinery and rig operations and in doing so directly enhances the utilization of assets under operation. Access to data on status of assets helps supervisors and operators cater to requirements in a timely manner and this in turn results in enhanced performance of these assets.

Enhances Human Resource performance: Availability of data at the click of a button helps resources have a comprehensive view of the status of wells, assets, and other equipment. This in turn enables better performance as resources need not run around looking for data and expend precious time. Analytics also helps resources make better judgements and quicker decisions which results in increased productivity and performance.

Another interesting way analytics helps is that it cuts down the time required to induct and groom new resources into their respective roles. Tons of relevant information required to help newcomers groove into their jobs are made available at the click of a button.

Connecting the un-connected world: Oil & Gas is traditionally an un-connected world between the three categories from Upstream to mid and downstream. But this is changing at a good pace as emerging technology trends such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud computing coupled with analytics ensure that the entire value chain is connected. Even within each category, say Upstream, for example, big data and analytics are creating a seamlessly connected network where data is shared across various segments of the Upstream value chain.

A classic example of where analytics plays a crucial role is that of drilling platforms using submersible pumps to keep the production continuous. Any gap or stoppage in production could result in losses to the tune of 100,000s of dollars on a daily basis and analytics helps monitor and control the functioning of these submersible pumps so there is no gap in production and operations.

Conclusion 

Far from too long, Oil & Gas industry has been at the mercy of the external geo-political-economic factors which have constantly kept the companies second-guessing on the business outcomes. But technology in the form of field data analytics is looking to boost the efficiency and productivity of operations and drive relevant business value by helping companies have better control on and manage their field operations.

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