Monthly Archives: August 2014

How big data and new technologies such as SAP HANA changes oil and gas industry – Part 1

In previous blog “Big Data: a mysterious giant IT buzzword”, I refer to Gartner’s definition of big data which covers 5 V’s with focus on some specific characteristics of the upstream data;

  • Volume – Seismic data acquisition
  • Velocity – Real-time streaming data from well-heads, drilling equipment and sensors
  • Variety
    • Structured: standard and data models such PPDM, SEG-Y, WITSML, PRODML, RESML, etc.
    • Unstructured: images, log curves, well log, maps, audio, video, etc.
    • Semi-structured: processed data such analysis, interpretations, daily drilling reports, etc.
  • Veracity (Data Management practice to provide accurate and good quality data)
    • Pre-processing to identify data anomalies
    • Run integrated asset models
    • Combination of seismic, drilling and production data
  • Value
    • Faster decision and enhancing production
    • Reduce costs, such as Non Productive Time (NPT)
    • Reduce risks in the areas of Health, Safety and Environment
    • Forecast and planning using predictive analytics

The oil and gas industries generate significant data volume through exploration, development and producing hydrocarbons. The Oil and gas industry conducts advanced geophysics modeling and simulation where 2D, 3D & 4D Seismic generate significant data during exploration phases. Thanks to new technologies, we’re able to gather, integrate and interpret data received from thousands of data-collecting sensors to track any activity happening almost real-time or near real-time (NRT). It means structured, semi-structured and unstructured dataset is growing daily.

The oil and gas industry started to recognize the importance of getting access to accurate data faster to make decision quicker. So far most of the analysis has been done the same way it was historically used within technical disciplines and a relatively small geographical study area. Now, we observe huge potential using in-memory technologies such as SAP HANA and big data to learn much more from the data. We need access to the appropriate technology, tools, and expertise to integrate and synthesize diverse data sources into more manageable format and derive insight from these datasets. With big data analytic solutions, we’re able to manage and control the data volume, the complexity of the data and break the barriers of geography and disciplines to see the big picture. Currently there are handful of companies have adopted big data such as Chevron and Shell, however the future looks promising and we’re expecting a big demand for big data, in-memory technology and analytics solutions. Let’s say it will happen eventually!!!

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What is the primary application of BI in oil and gas companies?

Business intelligence (BI) is a broad category of applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions. These days to run a competitive business one needs to manage its supply and demand very effectively. Some of the primary goals have been to shorten the time required to create reports and analyses, improve the accuracy of information and create a single reporting repository. BI Performance Management Solutions help organizations to identify and interpret business information to gain a better view of, and control over the key drivers of high performance for Upstream, Midstream and Downstream.

BI Solutions address three different levels of requirements;
• Strategic – Such as optimizing the locations and sizes, partnering with distributors and customers
• Tactical – production, transportation and inventory decisions
• Operational – daily production, source planning, inbound/outbound planning, production-to-supply level planning

As Enterprise / Solution Architect, we design BI solutions to help oil and gas companies to consolidate operations, monitor the current progress, forecast the future very effectively and cut costs. Oil and gas products are commodities and competitive based on price. This makes the industry cost-conscious and highly dependent upon the price of commodity such as crude oil.

The most common application areas for BI have been to provide daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly financial reports and support business operations with a special focus on ERP. For example, BI could provide significant value for areas such as distribution network configuration, distribution strategy, trade-offs in logistic activities, inventory management and cash flow management (Supply Chain Domain). Some the KPI(s) of Supply Chain which might be considered for Dashboard / Scorecard are; Inventory turns, Manufacturing Metrics, percentage of units sold under a specific period, percentage of total stock, etc. Some KPI’s related to oil and gas in general that might be of interest are; Meters drilled per day, drilling costs and quarterly exploration expenditure, strategic zones held under exploration license, percentage of market share of exploration expenditure, etc.