For the past decade, oil and gas operators have been experiencing increasingly rapid and competitive regulatory and market changes. This is due to firms needing every last bit of insight for their production needs, fluctuations in global demands because of price volatilities, and the never-ending search for natural resources. What adds even more urgency for this industry is the need to address environmental, safety, and health risks.
Imagine having to sort through volumes of data that is growing exponentially and is extremely vital for business intelligence and productivity. This very challenge is what has made oil and gas companies realize there has never been a better time to formulate strategies to capture and manage information.
Global Enterprise Big Data trends
A report, which was compiled all the way back in 2013, had summarized what three hundred IT decision-makers thought about the O&G industry’s data problem. The report was named ‘Global Enterprise Big Data trends,’ and it was compiled by the analysts at IDC.
The report had found that oil and gas companies generated gargantuan amounts of data. This digital universe now holds a cumulative 2.7 zettabytes of data (1 zettabyte is about 1.1 trillion gigabytes). Due to this unbelievable amount of raw data, oil and gas companies are struggling to obtain, analyze, and store the data.
In this report, the IDC also found that about 62 percent of the global oil and gas operators have already crossed 100 terabytes of data on their own. 32 percent of these companies, on the other hand, believed that their vault of raw data would double within just two years. All of these companies believed that the ability to store these vast amounts of data was of utmost importance.
Opportunities Offered by Big Data
When all these 300 oil and gas companies were asked about their potential strategies regarding big data, the following opportunities were identified:
- 53% of these companies hoped to be able to analyze their vast amounts of unstructured data.
- 58% said they will be integrating Big Data with their existing tools for business intelligence.
- 62% of these respondents planned on developing real-time predictive analytical tools which also had the capabilities of data mining.
While these opportunities are materializing, a paradoxical issue has been noticed by the oil and gas industry. When Big Data was made to collaborate with process automation and production, data volumes were noticed to be growing much faster.
While this was true, many solutions were deployed which were specifically tailored for the purpose of oil and gas companies. A very prominent example of this was seen when Microsoft began helping oil and gas companies meet their Big Data goals. With the help of such service providers, the O&G industry just might be able to capture the full business potential of Big Data.
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.