A Closer Look at Data Analytics

/Portals/1/Images/IEnergyImages/Publishing/CloserLookatData.jpgBy Dr. Clare Maher

iEnergy Editor in Chief, Halliburton Landmark



The oil and gas industry is well known for not making the most of its data, with industry experts estimating that organizations only leverage a disappointing 2 percent of what is actually available. The big question is, of that 2 percent of data how effective are organizations at generating insight and ultimately, extracting value? The answer in reality would vary significantly depending on the size of the organizations, their overall strategy, and how much they are prepared to invest in their digital transformation.

Aside from its work force, data is one of the most valuable assets that an organization possesses. Failure to manage and leverage data could result in interpretations and insight that are fundamentally flawed, presenting more significant risks, both in terms of health, safety and the environment (HSE) and financial investment. Fortunately, exploration and production (E&P) organizations have been progressively waking up to the fact that they have to get their house in order when it comes to data, how to manage it, and how to squeeze the last drop of insight from it.

An important part of that process is the successful application of data analytics. With the serious hit the oil and gas industry has sustained, in what can easily be considered the worst downturn in a generation, the intelligent application of analytics across the entire E&P lifecycle is more crucial than ever.


Despite the indisputable shockwaves that have permeated through our industry in recent years, the exploitation of unconventional resources has continued and now with fewer resources and reduced cash flow, hitting that sweet spot the first time is imperative.

Making the call on where to place a well is certainly challenging when targeting any play, but the subtleties and heterogeneous nature of the rocks associated with unconventional resources, introduces a whole new level of increased complexity when it comes to identifying that all-important sweet spot and optimizing the well placement.

It is on occasions such as these that the application of data analytics can be leveraged to ensure that we maximize the amount of insight, and in doing so, reduce the subsurface risks. There are many different ways in which data can be scrutinized but in this instance multivariate analysis (MVA) of geophysical, geological, petrophysical, and geomechanical properties is especially useful in explaining past successes and failures, facilitating new well placement even when data is sparse, and can even help estimate production quality.

A recent webinar by Jordan Yarus, senior geoscience consultant, and multivariate expert at Halliburton Landmark, provided valuable insight into how such methods can be applied to good effect, using the Eagle Ford shale play of southern Texas as an example. Regardless of the size of your datasets, this is worth watching if you are looking for practical means to make the most of your data. It can even be executed as a machine learning exercise saving even more time, leaving you to focus your efforts on the all-important decision making.

There is no shortage of E&P data for us to scrutinize. The challenge is to know exactly what it is we want to know and then finding the best way to analysis that data to get what we need. This takes time, but with machine learning (ML) set to play a more important role in our industry, we will be better placed to leverage more of the available data. It’s time we started to make all that data pay for its keep!


Watch Jordan Yarus’ webinar on “A Closer Look at Data Analytics” today. You will find out how leveraging MVA can provide valuable insight into past successes and failures and facilitate well placement!