Tag Archives: Business Intelligence

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!!!

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.

How technology changes us: Canada in 10 years

The theme of the Ideaca Blogging network for month of August is a very interesting subject. Certainly technology changes the way we do things on a daily basis significantly, not only in Canada but also globally. There could be some specific cases in Canada such as Green technology to combat climate changes. However most of technology changes impact us globally specially in more advanced countries.

The first thing that it comes to my mind is technology will enable us to convert Zettaflood (10 to the 21st bits, or a thousand exabytes) of data to meaningful information which we are very dependent. Like it or not, business intelligence already has an increasingly important part of our life. The challenge will be how to deal with the explosion of data coming from all types of gadgets and smart technologies because value-based intelligent information helps us to get things faster, better and easier. The speed of rising adoption of cloud, mobile, real-time applications and social technologies and exponential data growth is a big challenge of staying current.

How technology solve this challenge? Some of the biggest improvements have been around networking. We will be able to move more data faster from many sources and applications to where is needed. We wont have any restriction in terms of capacity, scalability and processing speed. Organizations will be able to leverage the three “V’s”, volume, variety and velocity of data to augment the value of data for their decision making. Powerful in-memory technology such as SAP HANA enable us to design complex Predicative and Preventative models for all type of data from structured and unstructured like Audio & Video files. Next generation of Data visualization and Intelligent Reporting tools empower users to slice & dice information any way it is demanded. We will be able to tell stories with data by connecting millions of data points to get a bigger picture. Big data will change our world and it will blow our mind by providing us tons of opportunities. It will make our word smaller and we will be all connected.

I believe in the next 10 years, another significant change will be human and machines interaction. It seems that human interaction, communication and relationships will be more efficient, faster and stronger through smart technologies. Also, we will be able to have better understanding of Machines behaviors and Machines have a better understanding of ours. Ideally humans and machines will work alongside each other and hopefully not replacing human with machines. Although there are ongoing development and opportunities to replace human with machines, but it’s required to consider all potentials dangers and associated risks.

Personally I’m very excited to see how technology will enable us to access information easily, increase our potential and creativity, improve our lifestyle and promise of longevity and improve communication and social networking. On the other hand I believe we need to keep things in balance with respect to human identity and our social behavior. For example, neuroscientists are concerned how modern technology is making us not to use our brains to their full potentials. Based on the evidence the loneliness and depression is increasing and people are less happy in modern society. It’s been observed that newer generation equipped with all kind of smart technology are less effective in terms of communication skills and human interaction.

The bottom line is we use technology to change the world to suit us better. The importance is to control it so it doesn’t destroy human intelligence and social interaction. For instance, it will be great to get a relaxing massage after a long day by our smart robot which already took care of house chores. However nothing will replace a nice face to face talking with our favorite person or give a warm friendly hug to someone. I don’t think we could replace our human connection with human-robot connection.