Building the Digital Oilfield

Big Data Solutions Executive

As I wrote in Part 1 of this blog series, big data and analytics can help companies develop the “digital oilfield”— integrated operations that unite operational technology (OT) with information technology (IT) to improve decision making and enhance operational and business performance. Adding empirical analytics to existing physics-based analytics can take the industry to a new level of business improvement.

Oil-Field.jpgIn the oil and gas industry, only a small fraction of data exists in relational format. The majority of data is in tagged, flat-file format or organized according to XML-based standards. Because there is such detailed characterization of wells, equipment, facilities and other oil and gas subject areas, there is no easy way to convert this data into a relational format.

With help from the IBM big data platform, oil and gas companies can collect, process, analyze and manage this large volume and variety of data. They can ingest and analyze not only structured data from relational databases but also complex, unstructured data that those relational databases cannot accommodate. The platform analyzes all of this data in its native format, without imposing a schema/structure. As a result, companies can bring together and use a broad range of data that might have previously been too expensive or complex to integrate and analyze.

Data consolidation helps streamline collaboration among interdisciplinary engineering teams that might have previously spent time assembling data for reservoir simulations or other purposes. Data existing in different formats, associated with different disciplines, can now be freely shared and analyzed without an expensive transformation to a relational database. At the same time, the platform enables organizations to conduct any transformations necessary to prepare that data for modeling and simulation.

With the IBM big data platform, organizations can continuously capture, analyze and cleanse data in motion to rapidly refine models and facilitate real-time, tactical decision making. Organizations can analyze data streaming in the drilling of wells or the operating of surface-facility equipment without having to first store the data. As a result, engineers can refine models, check the veracity of data and make operational changes at the speed of business.

The IBM big data platform enables organizations to conduct deep, complex analytics on large-scale data volumes, from the production data collected from wells to enterprise financial information.

Searching massive volumes of historical reservoir data or unstructured information, such as text-based drilling reports or competitive press releases, can take weeks or months, depending on the resources at hand. The IBM big data platform offers technology to shorten that time frame; now organizations have the power to search federated and consolidated repositories both internal and external to the enterprise. With secure federated navigation and discovery across a broad range of applications, data sources and file types, organizations are able to quickly find key information and enable rapid decision making.

The IBM big data platform provides a broad portfolio of solutions and capabilities designed to help oil and gas organizations capitalize on the potential of big data to optimize operations, improve business performance and facilitate effective, strategic decision making. The platform-based approach allows organizations to adopt fit-for-purpose solutions that address specific challenges or goals and then easily add capabilities in the future.

Learn how big data and analytics can help the oil and gas industry: