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Geologix - using data to understand production

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Geologix, a company specialising in analysing and working with E&P data, built a system to help an oil company better understand the reasons for production not achieving target on certain wells.

Geologix, a company based in the UK, US and India specialising in working with E&P data, built a system for an international oil company to help it better understand why its production was not achieving its target on certain wells.

The client's head office was in Houston, with a drilling project in Africa, and a development team in Asia. So three different time zones, and three different cultures.

The client's objective was to maximise production - and if targeted production was not achieved, to be able to understand why, and to put measures in place to improve the situation.

'This was the requirement given to us. No design, no methodology, nothing. We started the product development from that stage,' said Piyush Pandey, director of Geologix, speaking at the Digital Energy Journal forum in Kuala Lumpur.

Geologix developed a system which the well managers could use to monitor production from every well in real time.

There was a colour coded system where wells on track to achieve targeted production were marked green, wells which were not were marked red. So production managers could easily see if they were on track to reach targeted production.

This does not reveal anything about the underlying problems. But it is useful to get earlier warning that production in certain blocks is unlikely to reach target, Mr Pandey said. You can bring up data from specific wells, and see if the production rate is declining. You can compare it with wells nearby.
You can examine the well with declining production further, for example to see what the pressure is downhole in the well.

The causes for lower production can be unusual. With one well which was not achieving targeted production, Geologix discovered that a local company was given responsibility for collecting and observing the production data. This company would then communicate with the oil company's maintenance team when it observed a problem, so they could try to fix it. But there was quite a long time lag between a problem, such as low pressure observed at the bottom of the well, and a solution being implemented.

Geologix's system provided real time production data directly to the production department, so problems could be identified much faster, and solutions put in place to fix them much faster.

Value in data

Behind projects like this, a lot of thinking is needed into what data provides the most value to a company and how to present it in the most useful way, Mr Pandey said.

It is very common in oil companies that large amounts of data is generated about wells, and people keep records about problems, such as losing a drill bit, or not achieving targeted production. But they don't work out how to use the data to better understand the cause of a problem, and so prevent it happening again.

For example, the data could show that a certain drill bit does not perform very well in a certain geology. If the company is drilling through that kind of geology again, and is aware of this problem, it may choose to stabilise the drill bit so it has less vibration, Mr Pandey said.

Any data has three dimensions to it. The point in space or the objects it derives from, the point in time it derives from, and what business value it could provide to the company, he said.

Lots of data is gathered and stored, but much less is analysed.

Geologix offers a range of cloud based business data aggregation and analytics services. It is developing new data visualization technology including with augmented reality, and digital transformation projects.

It is getting involved in decommissioning projects, which can turn out to have the same data management problems as production - because you need to get a good understanding of wells before plugging and abandonment, Mr Pandey said.



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» Geologix
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