GEO ExPro

Invest in Big Data

The business value to transform subsurface data into a digital format is tremendous, and well worth the investment.
This article appeared in Vol. 16, No. 6 - 2019

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Invest in Big Data

In a typical oil and gas digital transformation project, ten terabytes holds the equivalent of 35,000,000 pieces of paper full of text and images. That is roughly 16,000 boxes of paper. Add another terabyte of subsurface maps and seismic sections: that is an additional 15,000 images and 350 boxes of paper. Just the storage fees for all of those boxes could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds annually.

Fuelled by the demands of artificial intelligence, ten terabytes is what some data management companies are processing each month in support of the new digital transformation world, and that number is growing. Katalyst Data Management, for example, globally stores 40 petabytes or 40,000 terabytes of data. As you can imagine, 40 petabytes is a lot of data:

  • 140,000,000,000 pages
  • 60,000,000 TIF images
  • 65,400,000 boxes
  • 75,000 semi-trucks of paper data
  • 10,000 man-years of scan and name time (at 3 seconds/page)


Talk about big data! Consider the fuel cost and people involved in moving and storing all of that information. The business value to transform all of this subsurface data into a digital format is tremendous, and well worth the investment.

Further Reading on Big Data in Oil and Gas

Digital Technology Trends in the Oil and Gas Industry
Dean Baker, RISC Advisory, RISC (UK) Limited
As companies look to increase efficiency, what are the key digital technologies that will shape the future of the oil and gas industry over the next decade?
This article appeared in July, 2019

Digital Transformation to Boost Oil and Gas Production
Patrick Meroney, Katalyst Data Management
In the upstream oil and gas industry, digital transformation is changing how companies do business. According to Booz Allen Hamilton (December 2018), digital transformation of E&P proprietary data could save the industry as much as $1 billion each year while boosting hydrocarbon production by up to 8%.
This article appeared in Vol. 16, No. 3 - 2019

Big Data in the Oil and Gas Industry
GEO ExPro
Ahmed Hashmi, Global Head of Upstream Technology, BP, talks about the big data future.
This article appeared in Vol. 14, No. 5 - 2017

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