Big Data is all around us today – in every facet of our life – from exercise to retail. But how does Big Data fit into the Oil & Gas world? Let’s take a look by first understanding what Big Data really means. Big data is best described by the four V’s:

  • Volume: The sheer quantity of the data in question.
  • Variety: Big Data includes both structured (spreadsheets, core system data) & unstructured (images, videos, word, invoices & emails) data.
  • Velocity: How fast the data will be analyzed, we want this information in real time.
  • Veracity: Data Quality – are you confident enough in it to make decisions based on its results?

Oil and Gas traditionally has had large amounts of data.  However, with the dawn of Big Data technologies we now have the opportunity to utilize this data in ways we were not able to before.

One of the ways Oil and Gas organizations are able gain value, is from real time data visualizations. Producing wells, for example, collect a massive amount of data per second that is stored, processed and later reviewed for relevant information.

By analyzing this sensor data in real time users can identify any fluctuation in normal operating conditions and potentially catch problems before they escalate.
In one specific example, let’s assume a well is experiencing a gradual rise in downhole pressure; in a legacy system users would not find out about this until the data was processed and analyzed. By that time, the pressure would likely have damaged the well and required additional expenditures to bring back it back online.

Leading field operators are now using technologies like big Data, machine learning, and mobile technologies to empower their field. With immediate alerts and dynamic routing, field personnel are routed to the highest priority assets and repair the well prior to damage. This improves the bottom line by preventing unnecessary spending on the downed well.

With this leading technology, the Oil and Gas industry has significant innovation to thrive in any market condition.  It’s a simple formula: Using Big Data leads to better predictions, and better predictions yield better decisions.