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September 5, 2016

Empowering Geoscientists and Engineers with Real-Time Insight

Suresh Aswani

The extraction of natural resources is one of the most critical, costly, and time-consuming endeavors in the oil and gas industry. But thanks to advancements in remote visualization and Big Data analytics, exploration success rates have improved significantly. Today, geoscientists and engineers are leveraging 3D modeling to effectively harness geodata in order to optimize the placement of wells, reduce production costs, and speed time to market.

Real-time analytics is the driving force behind energy exploration in the digital age. From land acquisition and visualization to seismic, yield, and risk analysis, processing data in real-time has become essential to accelerating drilling and extraction and boosting revenue across the board.

In a 2015 survey of oil and gas leaders, respondents named “operational efficiency of existing projects” as one of the top industry concerns for the next two years. In order to satisfy this demand, companies in the oil and gas sector are striving to obtain insights from immense volumes of information in real-time, enabling geoscientists and engineers to conduct accurate simulations and streamline the production process. Organizations that are able to quickly and accurately harness Big Data will be positioned to make more profitable, data-driven decisions and realize cost efficiencies. Additional benefits of Big Data usage include:

  • Real-time data streaming from disparate locations to accelerate business decisions and lower operating costs
  • Rich statistical and analysis packages for data mining, discovery, and reporting
  • Combined enterprise data, including financial and back-office intelligence, with up-to-the-minute production data to deliver new insights to operating groups
  • Better precision in predictive analytics and optimized drilling, production, and asset integrity using modeling and simulation tools

While real-time modeling and analysis present tremendous opportunities for growth, many companies lack the technology necessary to handle the constant data deluge. With information streaming in from sensors installed in oil wells, digital logs, drill bits, and other measurement devices, a single raw seismic dataset can contain hundreds of gigabytes, which poses massive challenges for legacy IT systems. In fact, the market for Big Data solutions in the oil and gas industry is so significant, the IDC Energy Insights’ Worldwide Oil and Gas IT Spending Guide reports that the global market for IT services in oil and gas totaled $15.1 billion in 2013. This IT transformation is expected to grow to $19.1 billion in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%.


In order to enact the full power of complex data, geoscientists and engineers are looking to scalable, high-performance solutions to support more precise data interpretation and modeling. The adoption of remote visualization technologies allows companies to process data in real-time from a number of field locations, enhancing exploratory operations and promoting more accurate and profitable business decisions.

Investing in a system with best-in-class analytics capabilities is no longer negotiable for companies looking to compete in today’s aggressive marketplace. As the industry continues to evolve at a staggering rate, the ability to visualize and interpret critical information in real-time is key for oil and gas companies to more efficiently identify potential drilling sites, extend production, and drive business growth.