A Norwegian company, Ziebel AS, says it has completed what it believes to be the largest-ever collection and transfer of data in the oil and gas industry. The collection, carried out on behalf of major operator on wells in the North Sea, was completed over an eight-month period. The volume of data gathered was 1,708 terabytes.
The worldwide hunger for energy has put enormous pressure on the oil and gas industry to search out new fields and to extract every last resource from existing ones. This pressure is exacerbated by rapid changes in the technology of extraction, changing market forces, and an ever-tighter regulatory regime. The shifting sands of the industry mean that firms must collect more data than ever before in order to make informed, responsible production decisions.
Meanwhile, advances in investigation and collection methods mean that the volume of oilfield data is expanding at a phenomenal rate. Industry experts believe that the sheer amount of data collected is growing by a factor of five every year. This results in new problems of data transfer. The data can’t simply be sent as an e-mail attachment or handed over on a USB stick. Instead, specialist equipment capable of temporarily storing and then transferring massive volumes of data to a client is essential.
During a recent operation in the North Sea, Ziebel collected data from a number of wells as part of an ongoing well monitoring regime. Ziebel utilizes a fiber-optic composite rod technology to access and visualize wellbores in real time. The system is able to capture information applicable to well flow optimization, integrity risk control, reservoir modeling, and enhanced oil recovery, with interruption in production kept to a minimum.
The data gathered was then compressed and transferred onto five of Ziebel's NAS servers, each of which comprises 36 hard drives. Each server measures 6.88 in. (17.5 cm) by 18.89 in. (48 cm) by 27.93 in. (71 cm), and has a capacity of 120 terabytes. Four of the servers were filled to capacity, with the fifth approximately half-full. The data will be kept on these servers until the customer has uploaded it for analysis, whereupon it will be used to manage and develop wells in the future.
Based in Stavanger, Norway, Ziebel provides specialist well intervention services to the global oil and gas industry. The company also has offices in Houston, Texas, and Aberdeen, Scotland.