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More about Oilfield Data: Everything is Important Pt 2


Continuing from where we left off in last week’s Big Data or Small Data – in Today’s Oilfield Everything is Important, we will share more about how we make the colossal amount of data we process available to you.

What you see

Data2-1 oilfield dataThe largest collection of data that Drillinginfo has is currently what we internally refer to as DIV1 – what you normally access by clicking on “search” from the logged-in home page. Customers see this as our classic product. It consists of hundreds of tables, millions of records and ranges from well data, lease data, production data and links to other files and documents as well as a storage area for customers and DI to place their own data to share called DNA.

DI 2.0 is probably the second largest collection of data. It contains much of the data from DIV1 with the added benefit that some of it has been cleaned up and better organized. However, it also contains new things that DIV1 does not such as directional surveys and other map layers.

DI Desktop is a production database accessible to customers using our desktop application. It contains US and international production. DI Desktop uses much of the same data sources as DIV1 production but additional/different processing, allocation and calculations are done on this data. This data can also be seen on the web, and if you go to 2.0 you will see it in the production layer.

DI International is a large collection of well, land/contract/bids, scout, seismic surveys, pipelines, financial and field information covering much of the world. The international team collects current information as well as historical information.

And we’re not standing still in terms of our delivery of data – in a few weeks we will release a new browser-based interface that is faster and sleeker. Stay tuned for that.

How we put it together for you

Drillinginfo has 7 main processing centers where data is collected, processed and/or ingested.

Austin – headquarters. Most of the digital US data put into the database is processed from this location. They also do most of the GIS activities from this location including spotting leases, lease polygons, pipelines and any other specific map collection project. Additionally, the Austin and Littleton, CO offices are the main centers for high level analytical and geological analysis.

North Austin is now the center for lease, permit, completion, directional survey and a host of other information.

Mexico – is a processing center for a lot of data that comes into Drillinginfo including special projects. They work closely with the North Austin office ensuring data is processed in a timely manner.

The largest paper collection of data probably exists in the Dripping Springs office. It predominantly consists of logs and scout tickets. The facility is a processing location where much of this information is being turned into digital images for eventual inclusion onto the website.

South Texas is the center that processes well logs converting them to LAS files (digital values of the curves). The logs are set up and finalized in Kingwood with the curve creation being done in Matamoros.

Our Grand Prairie, Texas office processes our county lease documents allowing customers to view them online instead of having to travel to the county courthouse.

The UK Office – Located near Stroud in Stonehouse. This office is responsible for the collection, processing and ingestion of all data outside of the United States (with the exception of production). They collect, process and ingest scout, well, contracts (lease/land), operator activities, fiscal, legal/government and transportation/pipeline data. Our scouts that live and collect data around the world report their data to the UK office.

What you know is what you collect – know everything

Think about it. I wouldn’t begin to think about collecting information on heart transplants. I don’t know anything about it and if I did collect information it is very possible that what I did collect would be useless to the person needing or trying to analyze the data.

I can do a much better job collecting information on something that I already know a lot about and know how to analyze it.

I’m going to indulge myself a bit and tell you a story that happened to me that helped define what it means to know this industry.

The Oil Rig oilfield dataI got invited to our world scouts/editors meeting a couple of years ago. We do this every year by bringing together all our scouts and editors that cover the industry from all parts of the world. One late afternoon’s recreational event was Oil Trivia where we grouped into teams and competed to see who knew the most about the industry. I was fairly confident, I’ve been in this industry a long time – my team was going to do great. One of the early questions was a picture of an offshore rig. “Name this rig?” Two of my teammates instantly named it. What, I thought to myself, who knows the names of drilling rigs just by looking at a picture? “Name the oil minister of India?” Again several people knew it – except me. It was fun but for me it was a spectator sport. OK I knew a couple of answers but my teammates were clearly the stars. The moral of this story is – no one knows everything and it usually takes a team of really bright people that have their own specialty to come up with the right answer. Data collection and interpreting it correctly is the same thing.

A tiny example

Elevations are really important. Knowing the correct elevation can mean the difference between drilling an oil well or a water well. Elevations can be gotten from a variety of places – completion reports, activity reports, etc. Question: Where is the best place to get the elevation of a rig? The answer is obvious – inside the doghouse. I recall seeing the actual surveyors report showing the elevations of the ground, KB, DF, etc. taped or pinned on the wall in the doghouse. The information directly from the surveyors report should be about as good as you can get.

OK, it is impossible for me to get the elevation from the doghouse on a well that was drilled in 1993. The next best place is probably the log header. The geologist has the most skin in the game if it is wrong. When I worked as a geologist and I happen to have been out on the well at the time it was logged I always verified the data on the log header matched the data in the doghouse. (Even when I wasn’t out on the well and it was my well, I always verified the elevations after the logs came in and before the final prints came in). A person not familiar with the industry might assume that pulling the elevations from the completion report or an activity report might be the best place because they are official forms required to be filed with the state. However, experience has shown me the log is probably the most accurate place to find the elevation.

Wyo Comp oilfield data

Above is a screenshot of a completion report in Wyoming. Since the tallest point on the earth is about 29,000 feet, a rig sitting on the ground at 486,932 feet seems very unlikely.

Your Turn

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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John Fierstien

is the Director of Data Inventory. He has worked as a geologist for several E&P companies and as someone who has been helping to create some of the best tools for geologists and geophysicists to help them find oil and gas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Geology from Central Michigan University and his Master of Science in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh.