Data sharing is an integral component of strategies to support critical decisions during the life of field value chain. Petroleum organizations face major challenges in the integration of legacy database systems to support an effective methodology for maximizing asset value. Case histories are presented that show effective integration of data, information, and knowledge in the asset value chain.


In 1997, a "Delphi Survey" was conducted to determine what the shape of exploration and production (E&P) data management would be in the next three years. In that survey, a geophysicist at what was then Conoco, Inc. in Lafayette, Louisiana, in the United States, was asked how he imagined data management would be in the year 2000. His response was that he wanted to "draw a rectangle on a map" and have access to everything that pertained to his project1. Like many predictions, the vision has remained consistent, but the strategies for accomplishing it have matured. Information management solution providers now recognize a spectrum of approaches to accessing, integrating, and sharing all the data pertaining to an asset2.

Methods - Consolidation Strategies

At the time of the survey, the most common strategy could be identified as "consolidation", in which all the data relevant to an asset was collected, validated, formatted, and loaded into a single relational database management system (RDMS) with interfaces to query and report on the data in a map view for integrated asset management. The sophistication of the mapping interfaces gradually improved, but the strategy still depended on the use of a single data store (Figure 1). This strategy emphasizes the value for the organization has a whole, and is the most precise, but carries a high cost in both time and resources for successful implementation. If information is available from a single centralized location it makes logical groupings of data readily available for a wide range of applications, and can simplify later tasks of data management, such as entitlements to distribute data types to multiple data owners. Having a single master location also eliminates the difficulties of data duplication. The disadvantage with this approach is the cost resulting from the effort required for the initial implementation; the complexity of transforming the data, and the time involved in carrying out the necessary data quality checks. In addition, some categories of information cannot be fit into a single repository in an effective way and data may be held in a form that does not readily meet the needs of applications. This method also ignores the value of essential related or contextual information.

An example of a consolidation project comes from the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). In line with many other Arab oil producing states, Kuwait began negotiations in the early 1970s to restore control over its own natural oil resources. By mutual agreements with the Company's two original partners, the State's shareholding in KOC was increased progressively until full control was achieved. On March 5th, 1975, the State of Kuwait signed an agreement with two oil companies (British Petroleum and Gulf) giving Kuwait complete control of its oil resources.

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