Data management and the shrinking pool of industry professionals are two of the primary concerns for the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. Coupled with the ongoing boom in unconventional exploration, these challenges put industry professionals in a tight spot – the need for expertise is combined with minimal time to implement it.
Tiandi Energy’s goal is to meet those demands in the limited time available. One area the company specializes in is partnering skilled personnel with the companies that need their expertise. Tiandi is also deeply entrenched in data management, offering tools to ensure accuracy in inventory, diagnosis, repair, and organization.
PennEnergy recently corresponded with Tiandi Energy President and co-founder Richard Ward, to discuss data management and “The Big Crew Change.” Prior to founding Tiandi, Ward held numerous positions within IHS Inc., and spent six years with Cambridge Energy Research Associates. There, he specialized in strategic issues concerning oil and gas technology.
Looking at the upstream sector, Ward says the unconventional exploration boom is taxing the pool of experienced professionals, creating new challenges for companies.
“Once dormant fields are being revitalized for shale development and offshore drilling continues to push the limits out farther and deeper than ever before - both requiring more man hours per barrel to develop.” said Ward, “While technology has made drastic advances over the past decade, there is no denying the shortage of manpower being experienced in North America, among other places. Just as the retirement rate of E&P professionals continues to rise, so does the amount of data that needs to be managed.”
Ward says the revitalization of these fields mean a greater focus on data, possibly very old data.
“What was old is new again as legacy data is dragged out of storage and dusted off to present a fresh look at an area’s geology and how new technology might make a play possible,” said Ward. “Historic data doesn’t do anybody any good unless there are qualified professionals capable of filtering through and capturing relevant components. In shale plays, new data is being spewed out of the 1000s of unconventional well sites faster than the oil itself. Harnessing the surge of new and legacy data has become a critical role necessary to maximize the value of a well.
“The old saying “those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it” could be rewritten for the oil industry as “those who do not learn from the past are doomed to pay dearly in time, money, resources, and lost opportunities.” As more and more companies are recognizing data as a corporate asset, the need for effective data management processes and governance will continue to grow.”
Meanwhile, as exploration evolves with the focus on shale oil and gas, the intricacies of data management have also undergone changes. Ward sees 3 significant changes in upstream data management over the last decade; real time data delivery, an end to paper, and the globalization of collaboration.
“While the industry has long had SCADA and other production monitoring systems,” said Ward, talking about real-time delivery, “the dramatic increase in the instrumentation of the oilfield has brought a significant increase in the need for Data Management teams to understand and adapt to the needs of real-time. Where real-time drilling was an exotic novelty 10 years ago, in some firms it is considered a baseline requirement for all wells.”
Regarding the (eventual) end of paper for data management, Ward said, “The industry has been scanning and digitizing documents for decades, but now we appear to be nearing the end point. Office closings, M&A, and retirements appear to be driving a number of projects and may soon result in the ‘paperless offices’ originally promised in the 1970’s.”
“The desire to get the most from their (remaining) people has driven the push towards collaboration between distributed and globalized teams,” said Ward, on Globalized collaboration. “Hand in hand, this has driven a need for high speed, redundant and flexible data management solutions that can support this type of environment.”
For more information on Tiandi, visit their website at http://www.tiandienergy.com/.