GEO ExPro

The Custom Data Solution for Oil and Gas

Low-cost, non-proprietorial data solutions are needed to capture, organise and analyse oil and gas data.
This article appeared in Vol. 15, No. 6 - 2019

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The Custom Data Solution for Oil and Gas

Prospect production data visualised in bubble charts and graphs adds significant value to the data, which in turn is helpful to anyone who needs to understand their producing prospects. Source: Neuralog. Over the last 120 years building exploration prospects and data acquisition have changed dramatically. In the beginning, most technical professionals had no previous datasets, wells, formation evaluation methods, previous production, stratigraphic correlations, seismic, 3D models, logs or mapped horizons. Through observation and persistence, overwhelming amounts of data have been obtained to better understand and evaluate prospects in order to make better decisions. It used to take months or even years for a technical professional to build and understand a prospect which now only takes a few hours, thanks to software.

Software is great – so what’s the problem? Software rigidity is one. Software companies have built in restraints: import and export of specific formats only, old formats are removed, navigating seas of menus, lack of custom data importation, limited database architecture, lack of user permission management, tedious complex templates – and sometimes the lack of a database altogether.

Data obtained from some subscription-based companies is not owned by the company paying for it. Regardless, users put months of work into rebuilding the data through an internal quality controlled and quality assured process. However, these companies also put built-in restraints on software contracts and features meaning that, if users are not subscribed to their data farms, they must delete their hard work upon unsubscribing.

Archiving, Evaluating and Understanding Data in the Exploration & Production of Oil and Gas Resources

Field Data linked to Map. Source: Neuralog. Archiving hard work and making the next decision when looking at recorded data is ultimately the main focus of software. Technical professionals are required to obtain data from any and all sources, correlate, and finally evaluate which actions are best. They are required to find the ‘nexus point’ in the datasets.

Today, everything revolves around data capture and visualisation. Viewing large datasets in spreadsheets is important, but visualising that information is paramount. Seeing the results of data on a map adds depth and better understanding. Analysis using visualisation is particularly useful: an example of this would be viewing production data for each well during the analysis of a producing formation across a basin, field or region (see figure right). Multiple ways to view and associate data is imperative.

Customising Legacy Data Into Useful Digital Data

The answer to the future of software is through customisation of data and not restricting types of data for importation. A company that is looking at this future is Neuralog, which was founded in 1991 with one goal in mind: to convert legacy paper data into useful information in the form of digital data to solve problems in the petroleum industry through client-driven workflows and the application of emerging computer technologies. Neuralog Desktop, for example, is a standalone ESRI GIS-based interface which allows customisation and visualisation of gathered data, including configuration of user permissions per project. Data can be stored at many different levels: data and documents can be stored relative to the well, lease/owner, field, basin, state/county, country or custom created topics. Various types of data, such as PDF, Excel or SEGY, can be saved or created and stored in the entities or as a custom entry. Logs, documents, production, seismic data and all other ancillary well data can be organised by well, field, lease, user defined entity or spatially tied to shapefiles.

The custom Ascii and Excel importer in Desktop allows creation of new custom datasets, tables or document types in the database. Files can be associated in multiple databases across other software packages, organised or unorganised file folders, out on a server (structured or unstructured), and/or in numerous applications. Linking documents (e.g. legacy 2D seismic lines, theses and state reports) directly to shapefiles is spatially very convenient. Users can simply expose the classification type and open any of the stored data, which will invoke the native handler for that document type.

Whether building a simple log library, capturing well headers, tops, seismic or a research document database or all of the above, what is needed is customisation. Since Neuralog is not tied to a subscription-based company, it can help you archive your data and hard work to get you to that sought-after ‘Nexus Point’. 

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