For each well drilled on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) follows a significant amount of data. As an example, the authorities require the operators to report 38 standard well documents for each exploration well on the NCS. Imagine having to go through all this in the search for relevant information from thousands of wells. Will the explorationist manage to extract the “hidden gold” that is needed to make good decisions on where to apply for acreage in the next licensing round?
New digital solutions, advanced analytics, and machine power represent the opportunity to both maneuver more efficiently in large amounts of data and also, getting new insights. However, to get there, we need guidelines and standards in place for the data itself and to enable seamless data sharing.
For the small E&P companies, this is good news; with help from new solutions, explorationists can spend less time searching for and preparing data, and rather concentrate on the fun part; finding oil with to-the-point analyses and overviews extracted from easily accessible, standardized and efficient databases.
In the fall of 2018, several leading E&P companies initiated and formed the OSDU Forum (Open Subsurface Data Universe), with a focus on developing a standard data platform that will bring together exploration, development, and well data. The objective is to enable new cloud-native data-driven applications with seamless access to the full range of subsurface data as well as supporting existing applications and data frameworks.
For suppliers like Schlumberger and Bluware such data handling will be future shelf-ware. Or to be precise, it is already established shelf-ware.
Kine Johanne Årdal from Pandion Energy sees a clear transition from “The analogue geoscientist”, pre-1990, via “the digital geoscientist” in the 1990s to 2010s, to the present (and future) “augmented geoscientist”:
- We saw the need to build a subsurface data platform, to get better control of the data and creating solutions improving the exploration workflows. For us, the SmartSearch tool represents the start of the augmented geoscientist era, as it demonstrates how search algorithms truly empower the explorationists in their treasure hunt for oil & gas.
Important topic on DIGEX
Several E&P companies have started their subsurface digitalization efforts. At DIGEX, companies such as Pandion, MVest Energy, Neptune Energy, Equinor, Vår Energi, and Aker BP will share experiences, results, challenges, and reflections from their subsurface digitalization projects.
For the smaller companies’ digitalization can be of extra value, as it represents an opportunity to use a significantly larger amount of data in the evaluations, no longer constrained by human or manual capacities. With more data at hand and as a basis for decisions, new innovative oil and gas opportunities can emerge, and uncertainties reduced. This way, new digital solutions empower the explorationists in their treasure hunt and preparation for licensing rounds.
Text: TERJE SOLBAKK