The Effects of Shale on Data Management in the Energy Industry

This guest post is written by Jim Pritchett, President and CEO, Petris Technology, Inc.

Many are aware of the dramatic increase in drilling activity taking place in shale plays such as Eagle Ford, Barnett, and Marcellus.  Less, however, are aware of the impact it has had on data management in the energy industry.  Operators are drilling more wells, more often, and as a result data managers are finding themselves overwhelmed with vast amounts of data.

Not only are they receiving massive amounts of the standard data types, operators are now collecting data types that they are unaccustomed to handling.  In addition, the rush to acquire shale plays has led to countless acquisitions and partnerships frequently involving smaller operators who often do not have access to the same data management resources as larger companies.  With these acquisitions and partnerships come enormous quantities of shared data from various sources and without any standard formatting.

Drilling more wells in less time not only leads to more data, it quickens the need for decision making, placing more pressure on Data Management teams to quickly turn raw data into reliable information in a usable format.  This requirement to convert larger amounts of lower quality data into meaningful information faster has turned data management into a critical factor in the success of oil and gas companies.

To top it all off, most oil and gas companies are not looking to expand their data management teams to help cope with this surge of data.  So how, you might ask, are data managers keeping their heads above water?  This is where data management technology plays a key role.  

The automation provided by industry leading data management software companies is playing a crucial part in abating the flood of data that data managers are facing.  Not only does automation quicken the processes of data loading and data verification, freeing data managers’ time to focus on more strategic tasks; it diminishes the amount of errors by removing the human element.

The most innovative data management software providers are also helping to address data managers’ challenges by alleviating the disconnection between large and small operators.  Structured and unstructured data can now be accessed by end users ensuring that decisions are made using all available information.  By providing scalable solutions to companies of all sizes, software providers help to expedite the data sharing process initiated by acquisitions and partnerships, allowing companies to rapidly make sound decisions. 

As the data management needs of the energy industry continue to change, inventive software companies with oil and gas domain expertise such as Petris will continue to create and evolve solutions that enable these organizations to succeed.

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