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Big oil, big data

21st May 2015

Ziebel completes largest ever oil & gas data transfer

Ziebel, a Stavanger-based provider of specialist well intervention services, announced 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.

Complex Industry Requires Complicated Data Collection and Storage

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.  This is where the expertise and technology of Ziebel comes to the fore.

Expertise and Capability Demonstrated

During a recent operation in the North Sea, Ziebel collected data from a number of wells as part of an ongoing well monitoring regime.  The data was collected using Ziebel’s unique Z-System, which uses fibre optic composite rod technology to access and visualize wellbores in real-time. The Z-System is able to capture information applicable to well flow optimization, integrity risk control, reservoir modelling, 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 inches (17.5 cm) by 18.89 inches (48 cm) by 27.93 inches (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. 

“This highly valued customer came to us with an interesting challenge,” said Roger Sambrook, Global Account Manager for Ziebel.  “They needed to collect essential data from a network of wells in the North Sea, and then store and transfer that data in an efficient, accessible way.  What made this operation unique was its sheer size – I doubt that a bigger transfer has ever been carried out in the oil and gas industry.  Its size did not overwhelm us, however.  I’m delighted that we were able to demonstrate our ability to not only collect, but transfer data of this volume and type, especially because these challenges will soon become commonplace in our industry.”


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