For many years, oil and gas operators have relied on traditional methods of drilling and exploration to produce conventional oil or oil typically sourced from the ground. However, in recent years, unconventional oil has made its presence known in the industry, with an increasing number of exploration and production (E&P) companies gravitating to sourcing oil through diverse means to keep up with the global demand for petroleum.
Unconventional oil requires the use of advanced methods to produce oil, which can end up being quite costly and more complex. As a result, companies are constantly on the lookout for new technologies and tools that would help locate oil at a faster rate, increase the efficiency of extraction, and improve their processes. Data cataloging and solutions company, PETROWEB, is one company that is providing E&P businesses with the tools they need. PETROWEB recently launched its data curating platform which provides E&P companies with access to continuously updated data catalogs of third-party data sets containing well data, seismic data, and studies and reports. Jeff Wadsowrth, CEO of PETROWEB, expands on how PETROWEB’s data platform and other technologies have assisted E&P companies in locating unconventional oil and the future for data technologies in unconventional oil exploration.
With unconventional oil production already being a complex process on its own, PETROWEB wanted E&P companies to have a more streamlined way of locating and analyzing data. “With so much data at hand, E&P companies need a curating platform to locate, automate, standardize, and make sense of it all,” says Wadsworth. As a result, PETROWEB developed a data curating platform containing a wide range of datasets to assist E&P companies with their oil exploration ventures. “Our platform allows future-forward companies in today’s market conditions to make larger, faster strides by taking advantage of the continuously up-to-date catalog of available E&P datasets around the globe.”
Since then, PETROWEB’s data curating platform has provided many benefits to E&P companies looking to improve their data analysis and enhance their unconventional oil methods. “Our curating platform provides a means for locating and identifying essential datasets that make it more useful for users engaging in data discovery and analysis,” Wadsworth explains. PETROWEB’s platform operates in an efficient manner, collecting data from diverse sources and integrating them into a standardized repository, thus creating a more holistic dataset more valuable than the independent datasets. “PETROWEB facilitates the process of collecting and managing the data that all stakeholders can make use of in each of their respective ways. In a matter of time, without a data curating platform, it will be unimaginable to locate, access, process, and make sense of the enormous amount of data available to E&P companies.”
With a significant amount of data floating around in the oil and gas industry, it has become almost essential for E&P companies to possess some type of data software to organize and efficiently use data to support critical field missions. As Wadsworth explains, “The industry’s ability to create, accumulate, store, and analyze this data from a technology perspective has continually increased, but this has created problems with identifying and acquiring the mission critical data sets needed with such vast quantities of data sources available now.” Technologies, like PETROWEB’s data curating platform, are helping gather critical information, essential to E&P companies’ exploration efforts, under one hub. “The primary technological focus has been on the analysis and storage of data sets, not on the means to identify, organize, and acquire those critical data sets. That is the gap the PETROWEB data curating platform is bridging.”
In order for E&P companies to continue exploring for unconventional oil—and oil in general—successfully, their data needs to be well-organized and accurate. “In today’s market, data technologies are a key ingredient to the success of both conventional and unconventional plays. For these plays to be successful, E&P companies need better data to optimize their extraction efforts,” Wadsworth explains. According to Wadsworth, it is important that E&P companies incorporate data detection and data acquisition into their plans. Such efforts can significantly improve the current exploration and production processes of many companies. “They need to know the data required and how to get it to solve problems and optimize efficiencies,” he says.
E&P companies who have incorporated data software and technologies, like PETROWEB’s platform, into their operations have seen positive results in their unconventional oil exploration efforts. “Our data technologies allow E&P companies in unconventional plays to continually locate, acquire, and use data to find answers to complex unconventional problems. Most importantly, expanding the view of available data sets beyond company data silos will contribute to their success in the fast-paced unconventional world,” Wadsworth explains.
With the oil and gas industry seeing an increase in demand for petroleum and with conventional sources becoming exhausted, the need for unconventional oil production has become more apparent. This means E&P companies will need to modernize their methods, improve current data, and actively pursue unconventional oil exploration to stay aligned with the industry. As Wadsworth states, “Companies that wish to remain competitive will need to develop new strategies. With that being the case, having quick access to accurate information and data sets is essential to developing those new strategies. More and more companies are recognizing this, and we [PETROWEB] believe there will be a strong push across all energy companies to embrace a standardized curating platform in the next few years.”
Unconventional oil is taking the industry by storm; therefore, E&P companies need to be operationally ready to locate and extract unconventional oil sources efficiently and successfully – even on a global scale. “E&P companies have and are investing heavily in big data; yet we find that most companies are aware of and have access to only about 30 percent of the pertinent available data. Data remains scattered in external silos and varied sources across the globe,” Wadsworth explains. Although there is a vast amount of data in the industry, it comes at a price, and often it is up to E&P companies to decide what data they need and what data is worth purchasing. “With data volumes growing exponentially, along with the increasing selection of data sources, getting the data companies need for analysis has become a costly and time-consuming process.”
Fortunately, data solutions companies like PETROWEB are continuously helping gather critical data on a global scale, making it easier and more affordable for E&P companies to access the data they need to further their unconventional oil exploration and production efforts and accomplish their missions. “A standardized data curating platform allows companies to spend less time and money on data identification and preparation and more time answering critical business questions,” concludes Wadsworth.
Tonae’ Hamilton has been a contributor and associate editor to the magazine for two years. She has been writing professionally for almost four years. In her free time, Tonae’ likes to spend time with her three pets, cook, and binge-watch Netflix shows. Tonae' has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from McDaniel College.
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.