For decades, the E&P industry has generated vast quantities of data derived from exploration, development, production and operations. However, very few E&P companies have leveraged the many terabytes of data they generate every day to drive their businesses forward, much less empower themselves with insights-driven decision-making.

In August 2014, the price of a barrel of oil on the global market reached a price of $108.88 (see Figure 1). Although cost plays an important part in determining profits, it wasn't as much of a focus at that point in time. Let's be honest: At that price, the number of assets that could be labeled profitable was on the high side. As a result, the larger E&P companies started to make major capital investments, while a larger number of smaller E&P companies started to appear. This price attracted a lot of attention, prompting E&P companies in the US to make big investments in Shale Plays. Canada increased its investments in Oil Sands. And the US, the world's largest consumer of oil, started making mandates on MPG for vehicles. SCADA systems were the kings of data collection and Production Optimization & Maintenance & Reliability became household phrases. The thought was that even a low producing well could be profitable. In Feb 2016, less than 18 months later, the price of oil plummeted to a low of $33.62 per barrel.

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