How much does failure cost in your daily operations? In the oil industry, it can reach $200 million to drill a deepwater facility – so there needs to be enough hidden oil and gas to justify that spending. Because of data analytics and business intelligence, the odds of drilling a “dry hole” are declining and the options for locating reserves of hidden oil and natural gas are improving significantly. Within just the past 10 years, BI technology has enabled deeper and more complex drilling. Companies such as BP and Shell (disclosure: both are TIBCO Spotfire clients) have nearly doubled how deep they can go in search of energy resources.
The limits of offshore drilling only a decade ago were nearly a mile under the sea. The new Perdido platform began production in late March for Royal Dutch Shell PLC in about 8,000 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico – about 200 miles south of Freeport, Texas, and eight miles north of the international maritime border with Mexico. Data on seismic surveys, models of undersea floor in 3-D are just some of the tools oil and gas companies can use to separate winners from losers.
Hats off again to The Economist, which details the advances in subsea oil drilling and explains how data analytics is fueling discoveries that weren’t possible just a few years ago. The March 6-12 issue has a feature on how technology helps from discovery to deliver. The article describes “Measurement while drilling” or MWD that reports the pressure, temperature, vibration and other data — operational details where BI removes guesswork and errors.
A vivid description of the inspection and drilling preparation process describes striking an oil reservoir with a drill pipe as “like hitting a coin at the base of a building with a human hair.”
The offshore drilling we take for granted today only started in 1947 with the first oil well that was beyond sight of land – only 10 miles off the Louisiana coast. Today’s rigs drill deeper, farther away and in conditions that weren’t even considered possible. By reducing the chance of failure – an increasing the rewards of success, the oil industry is finding all sorts of proven reserves, a far cry from days when the oil business was considered a speculator’s game.
Spotfire Blogging Team
Image Credit: Microsoft Office Clip Art