Data & Data Management Value

CDA 2010/11 Study

In 2010 CDA commissioned a report on how oil companies perceive and value information derived from subsurface data and apply it to their E & P activities.  Research involved the participation of more than 20 senior executives from oil companies in the UK and Norway in management roles covering exploration, asset, subsurface and production activities. In their estimation between a quarter and a third of the total value generated each year from their E & P activities could be attributed to the effective management of data in helping them to better understand subsurface geology.

The study considered four elements:

  1. the total value delivered each year by projects;
  2. the company’s balance between exploration, production and development;
  3. the contribution that knowledge of the subsurface delivers to these activities; and
  4. the extent to which interpretation of the subsurface is dependent on the data.

The study found that 70 per cent of the value generated by oil companies’ E&P activities relies on their understanding of the subsurface.  The factors influencing their understanding come from the combination of four factors:

  1. People;
  2. Tools;
  3. Data; and
  4. Work processes used.

Although people, tools and processes are integral to establishing an understanding of subsurface geology, the surveyed participants perceived data to be the most influential factor (at 38 per cent) with people, tools and processes registering 32.7 percent, 15.1 per cent and 13.7 per cent respectively. This study demonstrated that data, managed effectively, can add significant value to a company’s activities - often much more than is realised.  Properly managed, data also provides benefits in the long term.

The study report highlights the fact that E&P companies can often re-use historic date to re-evaluate previous interpretations of reservoirs, leading to the development of new fields or the redevelopment of existing ones, thereby extending profitable oil and gas production. This is particularly topical as the UK continues to focus on making the most of its indigenous oil and gas resources.

The findings of the study report back up CDA's campaign to ensure that the discipline of data management is recognised as a profession in its own right.

To read the full report, ‘The Business Value Case for Data Management’, please visit www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/datamanagementvaluestudy/