Intelligent Fields Technology
I’m sure you’ve seen it very obviously happening all around us. Yet, looking at the details still surprises. While reviewing the papers published in the intelligent-fields area this year, I was struck by the contrast I saw compared with just 3 years ago. Novel and niche are giving way to systemic and pervasive. What only recently was the domain of academics and research types with larger operators and service companies has broadened to an amazing diversity of practitioners.
The papers mirror what I see and hear in many of the companies I interact with. Yes, our companies have hired more people with formalized training in data science, but what I find impressive is the number of people who were hiding in normal discipline jobs only a few years ago who are coming out of the closet with their Python scripts. And, it’s working. In many ways, order is coming to the mess, efficiency is coming to tiresome manual activities, and richness is coming to our decisions.
So, what changed that we are more rapidly seeing the promised progress?
I associate much of the acceleration to what I would call an open-source mentality, an approach that prefers to find an appropriate, available solution that is easily accessible, rather than developing or buying something fit-for-purpose. “There’s an app for that” has evolved to marketplace models, not only on your smart phone but also now in the Jupyter notebook on your desktop or in the marketplace of your cloud environment. As a result, or perhaps as a driving part of the changes, tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft are finding their part in the energy sector by providing convenient and efficient marketplaces supporting integration of open-source and proprietary technologies. Smaller companies and startups can deliver low-cost solutions to such environments, and cooperative developments such as the Open Earth Consortium will bring further efficiencies by delivering standard oil-and-gas-specific frameworks. Instead of armies of developers delivering the next generation over 5 or 10 years, a capable community is emerging that can deliver a multitude of small advances that build on synergies of existing capabilities.
I hope to see you at the SPE workshop on Smart Integration in Production System Modeling on 19–20 June in Galveston, Texas, USA.
This Month's Technical Papers
Intelligent Fields Technology
John Hudson, SPE, Americas Regional Support and Development Manager, Shell
01 May 2018
A Neural-Network Approach for Modeling a Water-Distribution System
The authors present a new data-driven approach to estimate the injection rate in all noninstrumented wells in a large waterflooding operation accurately.
Embedded Discrete Fracture Modeling With Artificial Intelligence in Permian Basin
Intelligent Completion in Laterals Becomes a Reality
A producer and a service company have collaborated to develop a downhole system to merge multilateral technology and intelligent completions to create “smart laterals.”
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