Big data could improve well production by 8%

Utilisation would also help firms improve operational efficiencies

Using data could improve on-field operations.
Using data could improve on-field operations.

Oil and gas companies in the Middle East are being urged to utilise the competitive advantage of big data to create operational efficiencies and increase oil well production by up to 8%.

According to the findings of a white paper released by Booz Allen Hamilton in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) this week, the GCC region’s hydrocarbon industry must develop more sophisticated data strategies as it looks to mitigate an extended period of low oil prices.

Entitled ‘Securing and Enabling Data Driven Oil Fields: A look at the Key Drivers and Critical Success Factors of Operationalizing Digital Oil Fields’ the study – designed to support and inform the transition to data driven model – suggests that rapid advancements in processes have until now supported reliable and complex, if expensive extraction.

But in an age of increasingly volatile oil prices the capture and analysis of big data will offer tangible benefits across the value chain.

The paper cites Chevron’s i-fields project as successful model for a data driven oil field. The project is set to save the company over $1bn annually.

In addition, the research found that data driven oil fields can help defend the industry from a looming skills gap by automating processes and socializing institutional knowledge through management systems.

The paper references a study, which found that 75% of international oil companies felt staffing challenges were responsible for project development delays, and 59% of companies said the skills gap was a reason for greater industry risk taking.

In the Middle East, 50% of the region’s skilled oil and gas professionals are expected to retire within the next five to seven years.

“The oil and gas industry is a pillar of economic development in the Middle East region – particularly the GCC, and a primary source of employment and state spending,” said Atif Kureishy, Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton MENA.

“Securing the industry’s viability in a way that is sustainable and resilient to external factors such as falling prices and a shortfall in human capital will rely on technology and analytics.

“Less than 1% of the data currently available on a modern oil rig is currently being captured and analysed,” continued Kureishy, “meaning extractors and producers are leaving themselves increasingly vulnerable to low oil prices and a skills shortage.

“It’s important that we are not only capturing as much data as we can, but that the industry is able to identify the people and systems equipped to make sense of that data to inform better decision making.”


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Oil & Gas Middle East - June 2020

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