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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

12/28
2009

Chevron “Blind Faith” Counts On Analytics and Business Intelligence To Fill Your Tank

j0422357 150x150 Chevron “Blind Faith” Counts On Analytics and Business Intelligence To Fill Your Tank Next time the price of gasoline has jumped or fallen a few pennies, you might pause a moment to consider the years of planning, billions in investment and the role of analytics and heavy-duty data and computing that made your transaction possible.  Chevron Corp. (disclosure – a Spotfire analytics client) has several videos and interactive illustrations explaining the path from oil discovery to well construction to actual production – a journey that can take as long as 10 years.

“Blind Faith”  isn’t a strategy – especially when you have best-in-class enterprise business intelligence and years of data.  That’s the name of Chevron’s largest oil/gas platform, now in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.  It uses serious analytics to study oil/gas drilling results and spot patterns or locations where optimal conditions exist.  It took years to build the project team and just to plan the logistics of Blind Faith – with analytics to review sites for drilling, pipeline routes and chart the underwater conditions.   The equivalent of 29-story building, the rig itself has components built in Norway and Louisiana, assembled in Texas and then taken out to sea.  Variables such as weather and tide conditions are just a few of the details you can’t predict – even with the best software and engineers.

I’ve been out to a deep-sea platform in the Gulf – reachable only by ship or helicopter from southern Louisiana.  Standing on a narrow ladder hundreds of feet in mid-air over the water, with a 360-degree panorama surrounded by nothing but blue ocean is at once thrilling and terrifying.  And seeing the people who support each rig — from cooks to engineers, chopper pilots to data-analyzing meteorologists is to watch an incredible coordinated team effort.

It may not stop the grumbling when we have to pay more at the pump, but it’s a lot harder to take for granted.

David Wallace
Spotfire Blogging Team

Image Credit: Microsoft Office Clip Art

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