A battle for big data is brewing in the oil patch.
The service companies that map underground pockets of oil, drill the wells and lift crude from miles below are generating vast new amounts of data they never before realized could be valuable. But their exploration customers are essentially saying hands off to anything coming out of their wells, including the streams of of zeros and 1s.
“There’s no doubt to me, we are producing two resources: the oil and gas, and the data,” said Philippe Herve, who spent more than two decades at Schlumberger Ltd. and now helps oil companies use artificial intelligence to make better wells. “The oil and gas is very clear: it belongs to the operator. But who owns the data?”
Answering that question will mean real money for a global industry climbing out of the worst crude crash in a generation. An industry that only uses about 1 percent of the data it generates, according to Baker Hughes, is trying to harness it to see where to pump more oil faster for less money. Transforming to a digital oil field could add almost $1 trillion to the world’s economy by 2025, according to a 2015 study by Oxford Economics and Cisco Consulting Services. [read more]