Drilling in on drilling data – faster insights without the wrangling

February 22, 2021

Data – it’s generally accepted that its real value can only be achieved when it provides actionable insights at the right time to help inform decision-making. Otherwise, data and the time and energy to collect and organize it are simply wasted. This is true of any type of data, not just drilling and completions data.

As an industry veteran and Senior Drilling Advisor for Well Data Labs Dicky Hall puts it, “Drilling an oil or gas well produces millions of data points in a short amount of time. For operators and the drilling engineers who manage the drilling operations, taming such a large and unruly data set is time-consuming and not typically the highest priority.” He continues, “In most cases, the data cannot be used while drilling because it lacks structure and cannot be easily nor quickly analyzed and visualized. During drilling operations, engineers must be able to make fast, more proactive decisions. If that data can be captured and provided in a unified and structured format to enable near real-time decisions, then it becomes hugely valuable.”

The conundrum: balancing priorities

A drilling operation is really just a big expensive polynomial equation with interrelated variables – including known and unknown. Reducing the variables down to a few that can be managed and mitigated is the key to maximum success. However, identifying these key variables must be done in parallel to the drilling operation. As Dicky states, “With the drill bit rotating miles from the rig drilling at 10 to 15 feet every minute, the engineer (who is usually not in the field) needs to have accurate, timely data to anticipate anything that could happen or know when something needs attention.”

Filtering through data, which is being refreshed every few seconds, takes time and effort. With so many converging priorities, drilling engineers have little time to search out and ensure the data is correct and in a usable format – let alone integrate it with multiple data sets to create overlays and other visualizations.

As the de facto project manager of the drilling operation, the drilling engineer makes decisions and recommendations that impact the operation and, potentially, the well’s future success. This often requires engineers to compare real-time data to historical data to find the key variables that control its success. It sounds simple, right? Not really.

Engineers – stretched thin by projects, meetings, budget reviews, planning the next well, and other priorities – just don’t have time for wrangling data. And, building something in-house or implementing a new system is not the most critical priority. The core problem that needs to be solved is quick, easy access to data in a unified format available to multiple teams when and wherever it’s needed.

Introducing Well Data Labs Drilling

There has been a growing demand for an agile, cost-effective, real-time drilling data solution that takes care of the messy processing of data without the added cost of expensive single-use software. What makes Well Data Labs Drilling unique is that it doesn’t replace existing analysis software; instead, it directly integrates with visualization software operators already use or a data warehouse that operators already have. By taking this unique approach, Well Data Labs Drilling increases the ROI of existing systems without limiting analysis capabilities. Our intent in Drilling has been to elevate established data workflows and propel teams to analyze their data faster than ever before.

As a demonstration of our capabilities, we customized an analysis solution in Power BI for a customer using the APIs that we built. With one-click all past and live operational drilling data is updated in Power BI allowing engineers to analyze one or multiple wells without downloading, file manipulation, uploading, and visualization construction. It’s beautifully seamless. In this example, the graphs’ depth slider capability enables viewing the entire well or a specific interval. This allows drilling or data engineers to swiftly filter – even to the individual foot – on a single well or all wells on a pad. With that information, the analysis can be focused on key areas, and answers can be quickly generated, which is critical during active drilling operations. Building this in Power BI was simple, and we barely scratch the surface of the data analysis capabilities.

All things equal there is simply no other solution on the market that leverages existing software to produce outcomes similar to software that costs five times more.

Well Data Labs Drilling is built to help operators achieve desired outcomes – whether it’s responding to a question from the rig or from the operations vice president. The system is flexible and can be molded to any operator’s definition of success. What are your needs? To start a conversation, contact a member of the WDL team at sales@welldatalabs.com or 720.661.7771.