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Can big data revitalize the oil and gas industry by increasing overall efficiency?

Aug 31, 2017

The oil and gas industry is facing major challenges as the cost of extraction is on the rise and current reserves are depleting gradually. The emergence of green energy is also questioning the sustainability aspect of oil and gas industry. In a bid to remain competitive in the energy market, oil and gas industry is turning towards big data analytics to supply a low-cost energy source to the people across the world. The concept of big data is quite familiar to the oil and gas industry players. Natural gas exploration, development, and production activities generate a large amount of data including a model image of Earth’s structure, oil flow rates and pressures, and machinery performance. Here’s a look at how big data can revolutionize the oil and gas industry:

Locating Oil Reservoirs

Oil reservoirs are located 5,000-35,000 feet below the Earth’s surface. Geologists and petrophysicists use 3D seismic data that provides the picture of Earth’s subsurface; thus, eliminating the need to drill a hole to explore the rock contents. Hundreds of gigabytes of seismic data are generated, which are then processed through algorithms that create an accurate picture of the Earth’s surface.

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Increasing Process Efficiency

An increase in process efficiency can result in major cost savings in the oil and gas industry. One way of doing so is by generating accurate production forecasts to determine the output of the reservoir to allocate resources optimally. The other aspect concerns using big data to analyze data gathered from machinery to ensure uninterrupted workings and minimizing breakdowns. Such equipment is fitted with sensors to collect data on its performance, which can then be compared with aggregated data to improve machine efficiency.

Optimize Distribution Network

Big data is being used by oil and gas industry players to streamline the transport, refinement, and distribution of oil and gas. All data points such as production cost, economic indicators, and weather patterns are processed using complex algorithms to determine demand, allocate resources and set end consumer pricing.

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