Over 50 years of North Sea exploration data has been mined as part of a challenge set by Common Data Access, a subsidiary of Oil & Gas UK established to facilitate the sharing of well and seismic data by the oil and gas industry.

The challenge was launched with the aim of demonstrating that modern data and analytical techniques can yield valuable insights in the search for hydrocarbons.

Nine companies – comprising Agile Data Decisions, AGR Software, Cray Inc., Flare Solutions, Hampton Data Services, Independent Data Services, KADME, New Digital Business, and Schlumberger Software Integrated Solutions – were given bulk access to released data stored in CDA’s UKOil&GasData repository, to enable them to demonstrate and validate their data science capabilities.

Using the data, the companies were able to show how offshore wells could be planned at a lower cost and how drilling risk could be reduced, highlight how prospective areas could be identified for exploration more cost-effectively and investigate the challenges of handling high volumes of vintage and current drilling data.

The companies’ approach to extracting greater value from the extensive data resource could significantly advance the industry’s understanding of how data science, when supported by effective data management, can contribute to maximizing recovery of hydrocarbons from the UKCS, said Oil & Gas UK.

“Through the application of current data science and machine learning techniques that the participants in the data challenge put forward, this archive becomes an invaluable resource for exploring in a low cost, resource constrained world,” Malcolm Fleming, chief executive of CDA, said.

“Data science enables better, faster decision making, and initiatives like the data challenge can help our industry to go after the estimated up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas on the UKCS,” he added.

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