Report highlights value of subsurface knowledge

Effective management and understanding of subsurface data brings tangible benefits to exploration and production says a report by Common Data Access (CDA).

Offshore staff

LONDON -- Effective management and understanding of subsurface data brings tangible benefits to exploration and production says a report by Common Data Access (CDA).

The report, based on research by Schlumberger, suggests that a quarter to a third of the total value generated each year from E&P activities can be attributed to improved analysis of subsurface geology.

Over 20 senior executives from oil and gas companies in the UK and Norway were canvassed for the report, which focuses on how companies value and apply their subsurface data to E&P. This information typically includes exploration data (including seismic surveys), production data (such as hourly flow readings), and interpreted data in the form of information that includes processed seismic and dynamic reservoir models.

The report examines the total value delivered each year by projects; the company’s balance between exploration, production, and development; the contribution of subsurface knowledge to these activities; and to what extent subsurface interpretation depends on the data.

The authors found that 70% of value in E&P is generated by subsurface understanding, which is derived in turn from the people, tools, data, and the processes applied to manage the data. The majority (38%) of subsurface understanding surface relies on data.

CDA CEO Malcolm Fleming said: “Enhanced understanding of data enables companies to increase the value of their assets by helping them increase production or reserve estimates or identify ways to more effectively develop an asset. Conversely, if it is not made available to those who need it, when they need it or if it is poor quality, then companies may not be making the most of the business opportunities before them.

“Companies can therefore heighten overall performance by investing in data quality, access and indexing systems, preservation, security, and data governance. Properly managed, data also provides benefits in the long term where the record shows that E&P companies can often re-use historic date to re-evaluate previous interpretations of reservoirs, leading to the development of new fields or the redevelopment of existing ones, thereby extending profitable oil and gas production.”

CDA is a subsidiary of industry association Oil & Gas UK.

02/17/2011

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