50 year old ‘treasure trove’ of N. Sea oil exploration secrets to reveal new ways to cut costs

seismic-image-north-seaA ‘treasure trove’ of 50 years of historic seismic and oil exploration data from the North Sea is due to be opened in Aberdeen next week.

The historic exploration data has been forensically data-mined using the latest IT technology by Common Data Access, a subsidiary of Oil & Gas UK established to facilitate the sharing of well and seismic data by the oil and gas industry.

The aim was to show that modern data and analytical techniques can yield valuable insights in the search for hydrocarbons.

Nine companies –  Agile Data Decisions, AGR Software, Cray Inc., Flare Solutions, Hampton Data Services, Independent Data Services, KADME, New Digital Business, and Schlumberger Software Integrated Solutions – took part in the seismic treasure hunt.

Using the data, the IT and engineering experts were able to show how new N. Sea oil wells could be planned at a lower cost and how drilling risk could be reduced.

They also highlighted how prospective areas could be identified for exploration more cost-effectively and investigated the challenges of handling high volumes of vintage and current drilling data.

The companies’ fresh approach to extracting greater value from the extensive data resource could significantly advance the industry’s understanding of how data science, when supported by effective data management, can contribute to maximising recovery of hydrocarbons from the North Sea.

Malcolm Fleming, Chief Executive of CDA said: “The documents and data we hold on behalf of its members describe over 50 years of oil exploration and development activity.

“Through this application of current data science and machine learning techniques this archive has become an invaluable resource for exploring in a low cost, resource constrained world.

“Data science enables better, faster decision making, and can help our industry to go after the estimated up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas still to be recovered.”

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