Tracking Oil & Gas Field Performance with Visual Data Analytics


North America’s oil & gas production growth is the envy of the world. From the Alberta oil sands to shale plays across the US, we are getting down to business fueling our economy.  In the first five months of 2012 the US grew domestic oil production by 395,000 barrels per day to 6.2 million barrels per day. (See figure above.)

Think about that—395,000 barrels per day growth in production is equal to about 15% of the 2.6 million barrels per day in spare productive global oil capacity—the key metric in pegging oil prices.

New technology is enabling domestic energy production growth and solving the most vexing oil patch problems.  New regulations impact well operations requiring even more inspections, data gathering, reporting and validation that the rules are being followed. New technology is working on both fronts.

  • How do we get field data essential to monitor well operations into the hands of field crews in remote locations to assure production?
  • How do we gather and analyze field inspection and equipment readings to detect anomalies that cause performance problems, equipment shut-offs or safety or environmental problems—before they happen?
  • How do we verify that required inspections and field compliance data are being collected and reported to create an audit trail of our performance?
  • How do we monitor field expenses to assure good performance?

Fortunately, new technology is being applied on this front as well.  For instance, advanced data visualization, which is currently being used to leverage outputs from complex event processing (CEP) technology across a wide variety of applications from counter terrorism, to regulatory analysis commodities trading, is now available to energy and utility companies.  This cutting-edge analysis technique enables powerful insight and the resulting fast response required when field data gathered from multiple sites combines to identify potential problem areas.  Keeping remote field operations running smoothly is vital to oil field production growth.  A well-site out of service, through either operational or regulatory issues, is not delivering a return on the huge investments originally needed to bring it on-line.

Visual analysis of the complex data networks required to oversee today’s Oil & Gas production rely on sophisticated processing engines to assess remote field data readings gathered on rugged and reliable handheld mobile devices.  This enables the reliable and on-going capture of field data, along with the associated temporal and geo-location information, which can then be fused with real-time streaming sources (such as changing prices or transaction volume) to provide users a 360-degree view of current data trends compared against predetermined KPIs or historical averages. This full-spectrum data analysis results in significantly more efficient operations, more predictable levels of production and a reduced requirement for off-schedule well site maintenance and repairs. In addition, detecting anomalous equipment operations or unusual transaction behavior becomes much easier to detect and respond to than ever before.

TCLabs chose the advanced data visualization and analysis capabilities of Centrifuge Systems as the perfect complement to HotButton Solutions’ HotLeap remote field data gathering solution.  Combined, they form TCLABZ TRACKER for Oil & Gas field data collection and performance monitoring solution.

Combining the rugged field data capture capabilities of HotLeap, used in the Alberta oil sands, with the powerful visual analytics experience of Centrifuge Systems, at work today in the most demanding data analysis environments in the world, was a natural match. These two great products have now been integrated into HotLeap Tracker for the Oil & Gas industry.

Key Well Analytics

Analysis of Well site fundamental data components

Centrifuge Systems enables HotLeap Tracker to provide results in a number of easily understood visual formats, including link, time-series and geospatial analysis, diagrams and drill charts, among the most powerful information visualization techniques available, that leverage the valuable combination of both rich historical and up-to-the-minute real-time data inputs.

The value of this unique information visualization technique becomes quickly apparent when an end-user intuitively begins to slice, dice, select and filter across previously incomprehensible data with ease, effortlessly discovering and interacting with information that would normally have been invisible. For instance, the size, color, shape, thickness and position of a data node in a link chart all communicate important details about an individual item, as well as the data surrounding it.   Most people can learn to understand and interact with information presented in this way very quickly, even if it represents an underlying database containing millions of records.

The challenge for Oil & Gas producers today is to leverage the data available from regular inspection and monitoring efforts to identify operational issues which could impact production. When field data is consistently captured, then leveraged with these easy and intuitive visual analysis techniques, operational performance improves, yields often increase and the time saved can be more productively invested in ways other than worrying about regulatory compliance issues.  The complexity and uncertainty facing the energy industry in global markets has grown significantly. Consequently, ensuring that operations and reporting risks are managed in a systematic and reliable way is an essential component of a firm’s risk management strategy.

Contact TCLabz for O&G Extraction Performance Solutions at 617.278.1862