Digital Transformation Is Helping Meet New Challenges Within The O&G Sector

Guest post by Mark Ferman, Sr. Oil & Gas Analytics Advisor

Big Data, Cloud Technology, And Multi-function Analytics Are Driving Innovative Thinking

With the Oil and Gas Industry facing some unprecedented times and challenges with the price of crude oil, a slowing economy, and a forecasted decrease in the global market demand, there is a greater focus on a margin-based than production-based business.

To address these constant challenges, new ways of thinking must be adopted to improve operational efficiency. Big data, cloud technology, and multi-function analytics allow businesses in the O&G space to improve essential functions such as strategic planning, geological and reservoir analysis, and operation management. 

In this blog, we’ll look at some of the ways big industry players can meet the challenges of tomorrow, using intelligent, integrated tools and modern digital infrastructure to reinvent and improve business efficiency.      

Why Data Intensity And Volume Is So Critical In The Oil And Gas Space 

The volume, velocity, and sheer scale of time series data within the Oil and Gas sector make the ability to access and analyze information quickly critical to making effective decisions.   The volume of data will continue to increase as companies adopt more digital transformation practices in the future. Industry data sources include a broad range of disciplines including subsurface (Geosciences and reservoir information), operational (drilling, completion and production operations), and financial (planning, marketing, and hedging) information. 

These disparate sources have associated interdependencies which in a traditional model can lead to information silos and create a lack of data availability and reporting across lines of the business. 

Companies in the space have experienced high turnaround time and costs associated with the delivery of new data, due in large part to volumes and lack of organizational capacity. This, in turn, impacts business agility to solve issues and introduces greater expenditures. 

Having a data partner that understands the industry challenges, an effective data strategy, and the applicable architecture for real-time data ingestion, is vital to increasing visibility across the organization. 

Conventionally within the industry, there have been a number of key issues surrounding the use, availability, and quality of data analytics and insights including:

  • Data can be siloed across disparate internal and external systems
  • Lack of a holistic view of the organization’s data that is accessible in a timely manner 
  • An inability to effectively automate workflows for enhanced operational efficiency 
  • Limited  predictive and prescriptive analytics for operations

Companies that embrace digital transformation at scale are better able to adapt to meeting these challenges and solving the issues faced by the wider sector. 

Businesses must move toward a unified data strategy that increases agility and provides C-suite and managers the insights to make more informed decisions. 

Key Benefits Of Digital Transformation Within The Sector

Analysis is fundamental to effective decision-making along with a holistic approach to perform complex studies. This approach is essential to conduct critical industry analysis such as well performance, equipment maintenance, microseismic studies, fracking technique effectiveness, and petrophysical analysis. 

Industrial IoT technology can also provide insights into the status of field assets in real-time, allowing firms to develop predictive maintenance strategies based on automation to prolong asset life and improve effectiveness. By reducing equipment failures, firms can also minimize the considerable costs of unplanned downtime.

Similarly, breaking down information silos and providing better access to data across the business can allow for deeper analysis of petrophysical properties, reservoir characteristics and fluid analysis to inform more nuanced decisions in the field. 

The results can be significant, a recent study in the UK by the Oil and Gas Technology Centre found that adopting data analytics and digital technologies for asset maintenance and operations could increase production and lower maintenance costs worth £1.5 billion (US$1.76b) annually.   

How Cloudera’s Expertise And Technology Delivers For The Oil And Gas Sector  

Cloudera is the enterprise data partner of choice for major businesses across complex industries including financial services, telco, healthcare, technology, and more.

Our Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) runs seamlessly with Microsoft Azure allowing O&G companies the flexibility and precision to approach digital transformation planning with confidence, at every stage in their current development cycle. 

We offer hybrid and multi-cloud capabilities for total business flexibility and we understand the complexity of the unique data challenges faced by the sector. Oil and gas end-users like scientists, engineers, and geologists continually modify their studies/models as more information and insights are acquired. Therefore, having a true solutions partner to assist in teaching companies the fundamentals to build their own deliverables is paramount. Other technology companies offer a “black box” solution, which builds dependencies upon third-party development and slows down the understanding and development process.

With CDP and Azure, businesses can add new analytics, monitoring, and security capabilities to production-grade workloads including Azure Data Lake and Microsoft Power BI. 

The result? Deeper integration, faster access to high-value data insights, and a complete overview of operations, assets, and production environments, all in a single, secure, and easy to use platform.  

Businesses that run the Cloudera Data Platform can manage, control, and analyze data anywhere, whether that is on-premises, or in multi- or hybrid-cloud environments, and within an Oil and Gas sector context this means greater visibility of real-time series data in the field, across a variety of disciplines. 

Our platform is built on open-source Apache Impala, significantly increasing flexibility and bringing high-performance SQL analytics to big data for much faster, more in-depth reporting. 

Costs and turnaround time of delivering and analyzing new data are reduced too and because we’ve built deep integration between Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub and Microsoft Azure, businesses can expand data processing capabilities and increase data portability. 

This helps break down silos of data across OT, IT, and external systems, increasing visibility and supporting decision-makers at every level of the business. 

Discover how we can help develop a data-led strategic approach for your business that leverages the power of Microsoft’s Azure, drives digital transformation targets, and delivers results.

Click here for more information about CDP on Microsoft Azure.

Mark Ferman
Sr. Oil & Gas Analytics Advisor
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