Production Data Management and Surveillance in Shale Operations presents both the benefits and challenges of field data management in shale production operations. The examination of the lifecycle of field production data the paper offers will lead us to explore issues of surveillance, predictive analytics, enterprise data availability, data quality, integration, and regulatory compliance from the perspective of unconventional resource operators. The paper also includes case studies that detail the implementation and lessons learned from five shale oil and gas producers.

Factory drilling in unconventional plays leads to highly paced operations and a large number of wells, which in turn leads to the generation of an enormous amount of field data that must all be captured, processed and turned into actionable information for surveillance, operational accounting and HSEQ compliance. This data, much of which is collected by field personnel at the well site, includes fluid volumes and operating conditions as well as run tickets, tank battery inventories, sales volumes, equipment status, and chemical usage. Also, increased sensitivity to environmental issues around shale plays requires operators to closely manage water, emissions and other environmentally impactful measurements, all of which must be collected, monitored and reported.

Maintaining the quality of the gathered data is paramount as poor data can lead to costly consequences, from under- optimized production to fines for inaccurate reporting. Integrating surveillance processes with the field systems will promote consistency and accuracy. In conjunction, tools that provide asset-specific variances, alerts and visualizations will help identify operational issues immediately, allowing for swift alignment of the field team with corporate goals. Raw production measurements collected in the field are processed to produce allocated production volumes at each well and zone. These allocated volumes are then put to use by different departments across the operator’s enterprise, in their planning, forecasting, operations management, revenue accounting, marketing, regulatory and partner reporting.

Field information and production data lie at the heart of operations management for all operators. Production Data Management and Surveillance in Shale Operations submits multiple case studies on the collection, analysis and distribution of this data, along with the best practices employed in shale plays.

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