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How PETRONAS improves data quality

Friday, April 4, 2014

PETRONAS has initiatives to improve the quality and completeness of its subsurface data - and make sure other oil companies active in Malaysia also do the same

Malaysian national oil company PETRONAS has initiated a project to improve the quality and completeness of its own subsurface data, and ensure that other oil companies active in Malaysian waters do the same.

Hassan B Sabirin, Subsurface Data Management Executive with PETRONAS, is involved in helping maintain completeness and quality of the company's subsurface data, he explained, speaking at the Digital Energy Journal Kuala Lumpur conference on October 8, 'E&P subsurface data management'.

Mr Sabirin is part of PETRONAS' Regulatory Compliance and Technical Assurance department.

There are multiple steps for adding value to subsurface data domain and its stakeholders. First is by reducing the time taken to gather data at the start of a project. The second step is implementing process improvement within the project itself. Lastly, optimization of data utility by establishing a single version of truth and enabling information re-use for future projects.

'Geologists spend up to 60 per cent of their time looking for data - well data and seismic data,' he said. 'This is before they actually start doing something with the project.

The aim is to 'reduce the 60 per cent to a number less than that.'

The best way to ensure data is complete is to put together the right workflows, he said.

It is common for people to work with the same data but with different workflows. 'By streamlining workflows you can save time and pick the most optimum workflow,' he said.

The second part of it is measuring the quality of the data and making sure everybody knows what the quality is.

The program has been running since May 2012. Mostly since then, the data quality team has been measuring data completeness, for example if all the data attributes of a well is present, such as the well header and well survey.

The program has also worked to find individuals who are able to take responsibility for the various data. 'Roles and responsibilities must be clearly defined,' he said.

You often also need to convince staff of the importance of data quality. Some staff think that they can get all the data they need from reports so don't see the point of having high quality data in a database. But then they don't get the advantages of having a database, he said. Therefore, change management is an important part of this initiative.

'Currently we are in the early stages of maturity with our data quality program,' he said. 'We are using the dashboard to show the current condition of the data and to initiate corrective action.'

Measuring data quality

To get good data quality, you have to be able to measure data quality, and tell people what their data quality is.

Data quality metrics should be a quantitative measure of data performance, he said.

There are a number of different ways of measuring data quality.

You can count the number of obvious inaccuracies, for example if one employee has been paid their monthly salary twice in a month.

You can count how many gaps there are in the final data.

You can check the uniqueness of the labelling, for example check you don't have two wells with the same name.

You can check all the data is within a reasonable range.

You can check associated data, such as well logs and well check shots, which should have the number of the well they are associated with.

You can quality check several databases at once. You can start with one query measuring one project database against one target, and then do multiple queries on different databases against different targets, and consolidate the metrics.

'We can have multiple levels of degradation from many databases covering different queries covering different business rules,' he said.

Finally you can produce a dashboard, showing how data quality has improved over time for a business unit, and what the current score is.

PETRONAS has made different dashboards, so you can see all the data with one owner, all the data in a certain asset or region.

Contractor data

PETRONAS holds all technical data generated by all other oil companies active in Malaysian waters (which it calls 'contractors'), and wants to check that the data complies to requirements.

As state oil company, PETRONAS runs all of the Malaysian oil and gas resources (as well as being an operator itself), and awards license blocks to other oil companies to produce.

'These contractors are required to do their operations according to PETRONAS' procedures and guidelines for upstream activities,' said Sharifah Dalila Syed Idrus, from the Regulatory Compliance & Technical Assurance department, Technical Data Petroleum Management Unit (PMU), PETRONAS.

'All data that from upstream activities belongs to PETRONAS and all contractors are required to submit a copy of the original data,' she said.

'This includes engineering data, seismic data, well data, drilling reports. They are also required to submit physical samples, such as drilling cores.'

PETRONAS wants the data to be available for use in future exploration and production ventures.

PETRONAS has a tool called 'contractor compliance index' to measure the compliance level of contractors.

The tool is used to recognise which contractors are complying with PETRONAS requirements and which aren't. 'We want to identify issues and challenges,' she said.

The components of the CCI are built from discussions with PETRONAS' in-house staff, who have provided feedback on what kind of information they need from the contractors and what quality levels they consider appropriate.

There are 10 components to the Contractor Compliance Index. Data submission is one of the components in the CCI. Companies get scored as to whether they have submitted the necessary data, and if they have the capability to manage it.

PETRONAS also expects contractors to make sure the data is high quality before submitting it, in which data quality is one of the criteria measured in data submission performance.

'Low quality data has a huge impact on the business. It also gives headaches because we have to go back and forth to the contractors until we get high quality data that is useful for future studies ,' she said.

PETRONAS also looks at company's behaviour, whether they admit up front if they know they will not be able to submit data on time.

'They can be proactive by coming to us,' she said. 'We will record this PSC [production sharing contractor] as being proactive and we will give them a better rating even though they are not able to comply 100 per cent. But we really hope for the PSCs to submit 100 per cent.'

Since the system was implemented, data quality has improved. 'For the first half of 2013 there is a huge improvement. This is maybe due to awareness level of the importance of the Contractor Compliance Index.' she said.

'We hope to receive more collaboration among PSCs in terms of resolving issues and challenges.'

Watch videos and download slides of the talks:

Hassan B Sabirin

Sharifa Dalila Syed Idrus

Associated Companies
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