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January 3, 2020

Big Data offers competitive edge to oil and gas firms by enhancing data management

By GlobalData Energy

GlobalData’s latest thematic report, ‘Big Data in Oil & Gas,’ shows how oil and gas companies are adopting big data solutions to manage the large volumes of data generated from day-to-day operations.

The oil and gas industry creates significant volumes of data across upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. Data management is difficult and often made difficult by a lack of any enterprise-wide data management strategy. Consequently, operators can fail to identify a critical issue due to delays in data management and analysis. Oil and gas assets are increasingly fitted with a multitude of IoT sensors, causing exponential growth in data. This, in turn, increases the need for the adoption of data management solutions that collect, sort, rank, cleanse, store and analyse this data for improved operational visibility. It can also help to identify bottlenecks in operations and uncover patterns and relationships across diverse entities.

Oilfield service companies, including Schlumberger and Baker Hughes and tech giants such as Microsoft and Amazon, are developing industry-specific big data solutions to help companies such as BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil in data management tasks.

These solutions can be customised for different operational processes and functions as per the requirements of the oil and gas companies. Data management is a very complex process, particularly given that much of an oil company’s upstream data is created on remote assets and often stored in disparate, disconnected infrastructure. Additionally, the midstream and downstream sectors need to regularly collect asset performance data. It enables operators to streamline asset monitoring to increase annual throughput, improve maintenance scheduling and boost profitability. This is especially more pertinent to the monitoring of pipeline infrastructure that is spread over thousands of kilometres around the world. Moreover, there is a paucity of data scientists with a working knowledge of the oil and gas industry. Big data in the oil and gas industry will experience incremental growth once it overcomes these barriers.

The growth will be further accelerated by concerns such as falling profit and future uncertainty from renewables. Some of the leading oil and gas players in the big data theme are – ADNOC, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Gazprom, Rosneft, Repsol, Royal Dutch Shell, and Woodside.

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