All companies, both big and small, in the oil and gas industry produce massive amounts of production, operational, and accounting data. Historically, some data was collected and analyzed and decisions were based only on what was readily available.
Today, innovative information technology allows oil and gas companies to easily collect and analyze everything they need to make decisions that will keep them profitable and efficient.
Operators have expressed that having innovative, integrated solutions like PetroBase Pro have changed the way they look at and approach their business. Being prepared is a strength, especially during uncertain times.
Although this all sounds well and good, we know that new technology can be a bit intimidating for some. In this blog, we will discuss how oil and gas data management works and how it can be used to improve business processes.
How Oil and Gas Data Management Works and Who Has it Right
Data Management Systems operate by collecting and organizing data based on the needs of the company. Simply stated, these systems collect, prepare and distribute the information necessary for the company operations to be carried out and for corresponding management and control activities.
Where is Data Collected?
Before we really dig in, let’s talk briefly about the two areas where data will be collected: in office and in the field.
Field data is collected by a field personnel i.e. production foremen, technicians or pumpers. They gather individual pieces of information on an oil and gas well pertaining to its operation and production.
The pieces of data collected here could include, but is not limited to:
- Field measurements
- Production fluid levels
- Well tests
- Drilling activity
- Workover activity
- Wellhead measurements i.e. tubing pressure and casing pressure
- Gas meter measurements
- Oil tank gauges
- Tank runs
- Water hauls
- Chemical usage
- Failure reports
Office Data is usually collected by accountants, geologists, engineers, and office support staff.
The data collected here could include, but is not limited to:
- Expense and revenue information
- High-level analysis resulting in recommendations
- Geological reports
How the Data is Organized
Most operators currently have a mixture of systems. Data may be entered in spreadsheets while other pieces of important information will be filed away. Handwritten notes may also exist on a well log or dropped in a file. Even though this is the norm, it does not make this method ideal.
Here are common ways oil and gas companies manage their data in the industry:
- Operators who store well information, production, and expense/revenue data in physical well files.
Those with physical well files run into issues when it comes time to do any type of analysis or research. They find themselves having to look through a file cabinet, locate a specific (possibly poorly labeled) manilla folder, shuffle through papers, check with the pumper for current production rates, etc. and sometimes, the information they need hasn’t been recorded
2. Operators who store well information in pdfs and have spreadsheets for production and expense/revenue data.
This is definitely a step up from point number 1 but you can still run into problems with this method of data organization. Having different pieces of data digitally stored does allow the information to be readily available to a greater number of people. However, similar to the operator with a physical well file, when a project is started on a well where research and analysis needs to be performed, it can require a significant amount of time to locate the necessary pieces of information.. Some data may also still be in physical files waiting to be updated in a spreadsheet or out-of-date.
3. Operators who use some level of database software and digital well files, but haven’t centralized their data.
These operators are close to where they need to be and could be collecting all the right pieces of information at the right time. However, if the data they are collecting is decentralized because production is found in one system and the expense/revenue data is only available to the accountant then rigorous cross-analysis cannot be performed without manually moving the data into a spreadsheet or another tool.
4. Operators who have been able to centralize all data aspects into a single application like PetroBase Pro.
Streamlined data flow and ease of access is where these operators find hidden treasure. They save time, money, and energy by having all of their data organized in one place. Doing more for less. The playing field is ever-shifting, but the goals remain the same…optimize production and reduce costs.