Cost controls, project planning and business development dominate data usage in Canada’s oil and gas sector – New DOB survey results

Creating value in an era of volatile pricing, tight capital markets and investor caution dominates decision-making for today’s oil and gas operators.

Capital discipline, cost reductions and increased productivity are vital measures of success, and for those producing at lower costs, growth via acquisition may be attractive.

For oilfield service companies, concerns remain over contract pricing, declining field activity and a shrinking market. To remain relevant, they must identify business opportunities quickly and deliver significant productivity gains.

Timely, accurate, comparable and actionable data that can be analyzed and visualized to deliver results is essential to help navigate such a tough environment.

To gain a deeper understanding of how data is being used by oil and gas companies, geoLOGIC systems ltd. partnered with the Daily Oil Bulletin to survey industry professionals.

The survey results are detailed in a new white paper available for free download here.  

“It is important to understand completely what is driving value creation in the industry,” said David Hood, geoLOGIC’s chief executive officer. “We need to know what data and what analytical and visualization tools are being used and for what purposes. We need to understand how data is being accessed and integrated into workflows to ensure everyone who requires access has it via a platform that meets their requirements.”

The survey results demonstrate that operators remain laser-focused on managing costs, improving project planning and ensuring capital is deployed where it can deliver the most immediate return. Clearly, focus is tightening on core assets and high grading drilling targets, improving drilling and completions, and optimizing field productivity. E&P companies are also using data to identify large acquisitions and adjacent, bolt-on opportunities.

By contrast, oilfield services companies are more focused on business development as their primary requirement when using data. However, there are some important nuances. The key ‘data goal’ for exploration and development-focused suppliers is operational efficiency to meet customer pricing demands. Production-oriented suppliers, meanwhile, are focused more on using data to drive new business.

More than two-thirds of the total 330 survey respondents access data and visualization tools from multiple sources. ‘Lighter’ data users may need access to just one or two data sets. ‘Heavier’ users — such as geoscientists, engineers and project planners — need to integrate multiple data sets within a platform.

Heavy data users represent over half of all E&P data users and around one-third of oilfield service data users within the survey. Around 20 per cent of these heavy data users commonly integrate subsurface geological and engineering data with surface data and company asset data.

Nearly 70 per cent of E&P data users incorporate some third-party data in their workflows, with one-third of data users almost always leveraging third-party data. Oilfeld service data users are slightly less likely to integrate third-party data into workflows; around 60 per cent almost always use outside data to drive business decisions.

Many heavier data users report challenges in managing and integrating different data sets and intelligence tools into their workflows. Less than one in ten said all data and tools they need are integrated and readily accessible. One in six said data and tools are mostly in silos and difficult to access.

“This is a key survey finding for us,” said Terry Jbeili, geoLOGIC’s president and chief operating officer. “We are launching a new product — gDC Cloud — to address these realities. The gDC Cloud is available via a web browser and is scalable so users across the spectrum of use cases can access the data and tools they need for their workflows in a more flexible way, without the need for significant IT infrastructure. For heavy data users, the gDC Cloud will make integrating different datasets and tools into their workflows almost seamless, eliminating the silos that cost time and money.”

The white paper, entitled Strategies for data-driven value creation within oil and gas, is available for free download here.

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