If you’re interested in learning more about the cutting-edge subjects of data mining and predictive analytics in oil and gas, tonight’s reception to launch the new SPE technical section Petroleum Data- Driven Analytics (PD2A) might be just what you’re looking for. It will be held from 1930 to 2200 at the Iron Cactus Grill on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Speakers include Matthew Denesuk, manager of natural resources modeling and social analytics, IBM Research Partner, IBM Venture Capital Group, and Fareed AlSayed Abdulla, SPE Regional Director, Middle East Region, and senior vice president (Bab & Gas) of Abu Dhabi Onshore Oil Operations.

Abdulla said he is delighted with the launching of the PD2A Technical Section. “The appropriate use of data has been historically one of the greatest challenges of our industry,” he said. “Now more than ever.”

“Our industry acquires and generates an extraordinary amount of data every day,” he said. “On its own, the task of handling and warehousing this data safely is significant. Even so, data in and of itself has limited value. Only when we use that data and turn it into information and knowledge can we benefit from it.”

“Paradoxically,” he continued, “the very process of converting data into knowledge generates its own data—or metadata—that must also be analyzed, classified, and understood to yield further insight.”

Converting Data to Wisdom

Including 3D and 4D seismic data generated during exploration and data generated every second from thousands of sensors during drilling and operations, the oil and gas industry is accumulating enormous amounts of data. The challenge is converting these data into insights that can be used in decision-making, perhaps even in some cases reaching a point at which decision-making can be fully automated.

The following are examples that illustrate the breadth of the opportunity PD2A technology has to impact E&P decision-making processes:

Drilling and Completions—Data mining, neural networks, and expert systems can use data captured during drilling to oversee the drilling operation in real time, detect potential issues, alarm and provide potential solutions, or even take corrective action.

Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility—Surrogate models can be used to study air pollution and water pollution dispersion patterns. The application of such technologies will help in predicting loss of containment of hydrocarbons and potential impact on the environment.

Management and Information— Data mining, artificial intelligence, and surrogate models can be used to optimize how water injection is distributed in a waterflooded reservoir. This is a key factor in maximizing the value of waterflooding in upstream operations.

Projects, Facilities, and Construction—Intelligent algorithms using simple models can be used to optimize the size of facilities, taking into account the full field development life cycle.

Production and Operations—Making no assumptions about the complex physics or the geology of a field, large quantities of easily obtained production and operational data can be used to identify wells that are candidates for intervention, using diagnostic and prognostic capabilities that indicate the health of the well or facility.

Reservoir Description and Dynamics—Production data can be used to develop full-field reservoir models to identify production and injection infill locations faster and complement existing reservoir modeling to reduce uncertainty in model results.

PD2A’s Auspicious Launch

According to the PD2A Technical Section chairperson, Shawn Shirzadi, program manager for the Data Analytics Program in Field of the Future Flagship at BP, the launch is an auspicious occasion. “This is the first time the technical section has been introduced widely to SPE members,” he said.

It could be an opportunity to become involved in an important wave of the future—PD2A—whose mission is “To foster the application of data-driven modeling, data mining, and predictive analytics research, development, and practices in upstream oil and gas, resulting in improved decision-making in our industry.”

In addition, one could join in furthering PD2A’s purpose. “The purpose of this section shall be to facilitate the development and implementation of this emerging technology by ensuring it is appropriately represented across all technical disciplines in the society’s activities, including Advanced Technology Workshops, Forum Series events, Distinguished Lecturer program, and conference technical sessions. Key objectives also include liaising with others in the oil field and promoting activities in SPE publications. The section will support initiatives to communicate the technology, standardize its nomenclature, and help define its value proposition. In addition, the section will identify lessons learned and best practices associated with the accelerated uptake of ‘Data to Action’ and, if appropriate, facilitate the development of standards.”