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OE17: We have big data - let's use it

Written by  OE Staff Thursday, 07 September 2017 04:37

Upstream has fallen behind its “poor cousin” downstream in terms of performance, according to Simon Flowers, Chairman, Energy and Chief Analyst, Wood Mackenzie. 

“Over the last six years (2010-2016), upstream has had shocking performance, down 39% (throughput) whereas downstream is up 7%,” he told yesterday’s keynote: Describing a Future E&P based on Innovative Digital Solutions and Big Data. “The success of downstream has led to its leaders taking over the industry (think ExxonMobil’s new CEO, a former downstream head).” 

“Using data and predictive analytics, operators can maximize output from the assets,” Flowers continued. “The refiners built the detailed understanding of the processes and systems and the root causes of losses. Then, with the supply chain management, it helped the understanding patterns of consumption, using supply chain data to understand and manage supplier performance. If we can get this right in upstream, then the industry can boost production through operational changes and incremental investments, and release capital that could be better deployed elsewhere.”

Most upstream companies have the data, the sensors, and even the storage, but it is pulling the data together to paint the larger picture that is still yet to be achieved.


Indeed, “There’s more that you can do with data than what it has been designed for, said Eric Abecassis, Chief Information Office, Schlumberger. Abecassis said that, in 2012, Schlumberger decided to break down the silos separating its data and bring it all together, to see how to leverage it across the company. 

He says Schlumberger is on a digital journey. “First, we have to store, then analyse the data, and then automate the process. That’s not the endgame,” he said. “We need to rethink the process itself. We can move into real-time for certain activities, an upgrade the skills for the people using it. Equip people with the right technologies. Things we were doing manually are disappearing.”

Abecassis showed a video of a drone, being flown manually, with a view to automated flying, operating over a hydraulic fracturing storage material site. Using machine learning and infrared technologies, the drone is able to identify risks and malfunctions on site, and detect the level of inventory that remains within a silo, he said. 


Ragnhild Ulvik, vice president, Innovation GSB Corporate Strategy and Innovation, Statoil said while digitalization is not new, “What is new is the speed with which everything in ramping up. The cost of storing data has been reduced, but the volume of data has exploded.”

Statoil has ramped up its efforts in digitalization, establishing a digital competence centre and a six-pronged digital road map. She said that Statoil Expect to invest NOK1-2 billion (£100-200 million) from now until 2020, in addition to current IT investment the company is making.

“We have a vast amount of data and we only use a small fraction of it. The amount of data increases 25% each year. We have so much data that we don’t even know what we know,” Ulvik said.

Statoil has many reasons to jump into the digital fray, she said, listing:

  • 96% reduction in data storage cost from 2005-2015.
  • 40x increase in global data volume expected by 2025.
  • 90% of all data available today has been generated in the last two years.
  • 20 billion devices will be connected online (IoT) by 2020 
  • 42% annual growth in IoT sensor market from 2016-2022

Statoil is hoping to collaborate with other partners to have data available in a cloud-based system. One key element, Ulvik said, is to create one IT platform. And, since the cost of data has decreased the industry can use all the data.  

“We need to collaborate as an industry. We believe in open source and open platforms and sharing our data in order to do that,” Ulvik concluded.

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2018-08-21 04:08:23am