The oil and gas industry thrives on data, the overwhelming majority of it generated during exploration-drilling-completion-production cycles. But vast amounts of publicly-available data can provide valuable insight to guide a producer’s economic and operational strategy. Today, access to a wide range of relevant data in the oil and gas industry is proving to be as essential to success as producing hydrocarbon resources.
Oil and Gas Industry Data Sources
Public data is available via paid subscription services from financial information companies like Bloomberg and Reuters, and free from government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Railroad Commission, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, and the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources in California, and even detailed regional data sources regarding the Wolfberry Formation, Permian Basin, and West Texas.
These and myriad other sources provide a panoply of oil and gas industry data. Public data can augment a producer’s own data sources to support better economic and production decisions such as:
- analyzing price differentials and market conditions between different regions like Utah and Louisiana to determine the best use of future infrastructure investments
- comparing the history of North Sea Brent crude prices against Chevron North America assets as a reference for future trends
- evaluating the economic impact of pending regulations such as well abandonments due to geologic changes, proximity to groundwater, or risk of litigation
Although much of the data are free, access and analyses of these data may require on-going investments and in-house technical skills to efficiently access, normalize, and evaluate. Some data sources enable easy downloading by providing it in a standard format—ASCII, XML, CSV. Other useful sources may require more technical finesse in harvesting and preparing the data for consumption and analysis.
Efficiently Access and Analyze Data in the Oil and Gas Industry
The volume of available data in the oil and gas industry presents both tremendous opportunities to improve decision making and significant analytic challenges. With the petabytes of data that could be harvested daily, how do producers efficiently federate, classify, and analyze the data to obtain the maximum value?
Software provides the answer for producers wanting to take advantage of the publicly-available data in the oil and gas industry. With open-source programming languages like Python, producers can create workflows that access relevant oil and gas industry data sources, download and normalize the data, and analyze it. Python scripts can eliminate the difficulty of searching through volumes of structured and unstructured data sources (pdf, .ppt, .docx, .jpg, .tif) to harvest the most relevant data for analysis.
Software like CoViz 4D can natively read and incorporate ASCII, AutoCAD, DXF, ESRI, and a variety of image file formats into the 3- and 4-D models visualization and analytic models it creates. CoViz 4D also offers the ability to query other downloaded data sources and incorporate that data into hydrocarbon assets models for detailed analysis by all members of asset teams.
CoViz 4D and Python Synergy in Visualizing Data in the Oil and Gas Industry
CoViz 4D works with Python to makes it easier to reproduce, support, share, and document workflows. Python can add a huge amount of data manipulation and analytical capability to augment visualization and collaboration provided by CoViz 4D. The combination of CoViz 4D and Python enables providers to conduct economic and technical analysis and analyze production trends for unconventional or conventional plays, as in these examples:
- Use publicly-available GIS data and economic factors (price of product, land costs, drilling costs, etc.) for scoping economic analysis for an existing or emerging play trend.
- Incorporate well surveys, logs, tops, and transportation routes (pipelines and rail) to determine optimum locations for surface infrastructure.
- Query an external database to obtain site-specific data to augment.
- Assess reservoir potential by analyzing production trends of existing oil and gas fields.
- Use geoscience and engineering technical data completed by state geologists in planning for new fields.
The wealth of publicly-available data for the oil and gas industry attains the greatest value when it can be easily accessed, visualized, and analyzed in context with other relevant hydrocarbon asset data.
The wealth of publicly-available data for the oil and gas industry attains the greatest value when it can be easily accessed, visualized, and analyzed in context with other relevant hydrocarbon asset data. Together CoViz 4D and Python enable oil and gas producers to take advantage of the most relevant oil and gas industry data sources—public and private—to maximize their return on assets.