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Importance of Data Management in the E&P industry

E&P industry

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

E&P industry


Historically, data collection has played a huge role in the Exploration and Production (E&P) industry. Data collection from various tools such as instruments, sensors, computer software and hand-written notes are important for conducting effective and efficient operations.

Daily data collection can range from a few terabytes to a few petabytes, depending upon the phase of oil well life cycle and the complexity and modernity of the oil field. The predominant goal of the E&P industry is to produce maximum oil at the lowest cost possible with the highest degree of safety for all stakeholders. Another important aspect for E&P industry is that the above goal must be achieved within the ever-increasing costly restrictions imposed by the global, regional and local regulatory authorities. Thus, the E&P industry always must remain innovative and competitive to achieve these goals.


Importance of Data Management in the E&P industry

E&P companies realize the importance of good technical data and the role which it plays in the exploration success. Geoscientists and engineers focus on maximizing hydrocarbon extraction by understanding and exploiting field geological and formations data.

To achieve their goals, they use sophisticated software to perform virtual field characterizations and analysis which generates terabytes of valuable intellectual data and information. This is one example, and there are many more by which new data is being generated and stored each day. Companies are investing into hardware and software to tackle these problems but lack the basic guidelines or policies to manage the growing data volume. While today’s technology has made it possible to obtain high quality information in real time, it has also increased the associated problems required to properly manage these information and data assets.

Some common issues faced by E&P companies with regards to information and data management include:

  • Enterprise Data Management (DM) strategy
  • Resources
  • Data magnitude
  • Lack of standard data formats
  • Lack of clear ownership


Enterprise Data Management (DM) strategy Many E&P companies lack a clear enterprise DM strategy. A common scenario in most cases is that DM strategies are driven by specific corporate needs or proposed by external consultants, thereby creating a situation whereby different sub-optimal solutions are implemented in different parts of the organization.

Resources There is a scarcity of competent E&P data managers who have a good understanding of DM challenges faced by the industry.

Data magnitude The large and growing volume of expensive data continuously generated during E&P data acquisitions makes clear the business need for implementing robust DM strategies across board.

Lack of standard data formats E&P data most often are generated and stored in proprietary formats applicable to product vendors. This creates a big challenge with data sharing and integration.

Lack of clear ownership E&P engineers are usually more focused on their deliverables and less on data preservation and management. This means data issues fall through the gaps most of the time. E&P engineers need to analyse and own their data and the implementation of a clear enterprise DM strategy will make every individual accountable for their technical data, ensuring that storage and archival processes are not left in the hands of a few data management practitioners.


Data management is crucial to ensure that data collected are utilised properly, while any lapses in data management practices may result in security breaches and loss of data. Data management holds a lot of potential value in the E&P industry, and E&P companies need to adopt this to remain competitive and innovative.


Geophysical Data Management for Non-Geophysicist is a 3-day training course held from 15-17 July 2019 (Kuala Lumpur), specially designed for data management professionals, IT Experts dealing with Data and Management Executive who can lead Data Governance framework. This course provides an overview of data management in E&P, focusing on the subsurface domain. The need to deliver good data management provides competitive advantage across the E&P industry, since wise business decisions depend on sound data and information. Participants will leave this course with an understanding of the core E&P data types, their use in the business, and data management issues and challenges facing companies. Course is delivered by a trainer who is an experienced data management practitioner, who has delivered services and projects to many E&P companies, from small independents to super majors.



Interested to read other articles? Check out: Examples on How Big Data Analytics Helps Achieve Competitive Advantage


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