Big Oil Goes Mining for Big Data

9. May 2012

Date: 09-05-2012
Source: Technology Review

As petroleum production gets trickier, digital innovation becomes more crucial.

Mission control: Engineers view data feeds from around the world at Chevron’s new real-time drilling optimization center in Texas.

The world isn’t running out of oil and natural gas. It is running out of easy oil and gas. And as energy companies drill deeper and hunt in more remote regions and difficult deposits, they’re banking on information technology to boost production.

Data, in this case, really is the new oil. “It’s pretty sweeping,” says Paul Siegele, president of the Energy Technology Company at Chevron. “Information technology is enabling us to get more barrels of each asset.”

Oil companies are using distributed sensors, high-speed communications, and data-mining techniques to monitor and fine-tune remote drilling operations. The aim is to use real-time data to make better decisions and predict glitches. Read the rest of this entry »