Comprehensive Information Management for the Digital Oilfield

It's been said that the oil and gas industry is data rich, and information poor. Part of the problem is that, when you're focused on the diamond in the rough, you can easily overlook the emerald in plain sight. It's fair to say that the drive for the Digital Oilfield has primarily focused on the structured data related to the well, and not the unstructured information, or documents, that we use every day. Many energy companies still rely on poorly managed and risky file shares to manage valuable assets, and most don't have a solid strategy around managing unstructured information.

Compounding the issue is that during the various aspects of a well's lifecycle, from planning to operations, multiple disparate applications are utilized, each having its own data definition to define the well. In many cases, those separate applications also hold content captured during that particular phase of the process. The content residing in those disparate applications is often locked away from others who need access often because they lack the software license or the security necessary.  For example, not all users may have access to the Land application, but some may need access to content stored there.

When information about a well changes, those changes are made to the master data or source application. For most organizations, those changes rarely make it to the content management system leading to stale information and lost productivity.

In a promising trend, leading energy companies are beginning to implement well master data solutions from companies like EnergyIQ (https://www.energyiq.info) to create a single data definition or structure for the well. By taking the best data from each of the various applications used during the creation of the well, these solutions create a “golden record” that becomes the one true data definition thereby greatly increasing data quality and accessibility.

Now let’s review the content captured that relates to a well, and there’s a lot of it. Contracts, permits, title information, reports, and owner information are examples of content that continues to be accumulated during a well lifecycle that often spans decades. As content is collected, if it is placed into a content management system, it is typically tagged with information related to the well. This metadata is applied to help users search for the content at some future date. If effectively designed, the metadata applied to the content should match what is in the well master at the time of capture. This is the way most content platforms work today. Even with this common data definition, they are still missing an important piece of the puzzle.

Metadata associated to the well often changes over time. Well names change, as do operators, owners and other data too. When that data changes, it is updated in the source application or the well data master, but rarely if ever in the content management system. As a result, the content becomes stale over time, and more difficult to find as the metadata drifts further from the true data definition of the well. Also, because tagging a document is often a manual process, the number of metadata items associated to a document is usually small due to the time and effort necessary to add each additional attribute. This limits the search function as little metadata is available for search purposes.

The Solution

To fully realize the benefits within the content system, it’s important to strive for data quality, and to leverage that data to enhance both the capture / ingestion process and the search capabilities necessary to drive true productivity improvements. At KEENIM, our focus is on ensuring that users can find what they need not only today, but also ten years from now. To do so, we bind the source or master metadata with the content so that changes made in the source data are automatically translated to the related content. For example, when the well name changes in the well master or source application, it also changes within the content platform ensuring that the user can always find all information related to the well based on its current approved data definition. When an asset is retired, one change to the source data can automatically trigger the retention rules related to the content to ensure regulatory compliance.

For M&A processes, intelligently binding master data with the content platform reduces time to ingest content related to acquired assets and speeds access to actionable information.

Because we integrate with the source data, additional metadata elements from that source are automatically inherited, and applied to the content, with no additional effort by the user. The additional metadata is then used to enhance the search, sort and filter capabilities, greatly enhancing overall findability. The addition of Geographical Information System (GIS) data can also provide for spatial (map-based) queries for content. For example, permits or rights-of-way can be viewed by selecting a feature using a map interface to facilitate audits.

The Takeaways

Faster, more reliable access to content from M&A activities. Greatly facilitate the process of intelligently ingesting / capturing content into the system and tagging it with data that will remain current throughout the lifecycle. Drag-and-drop interface promotes user adoption, and improved data quality enables the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to further facilitate the content ingestion process.

Productivity gains through improved findability. Improved data quality combined with access to additional well master or source data provides vastly improved search functionality. Users can search, sort or filter on any attributes available from the master source.

Eliminate silos of information that destroy productivity. Rather than storing content in disparate applications, locked away from many of the users who need to have access, KEENIM leverages Microsoft’s SharePoint or Office 365 information management platform to provide a single point of access to content, a robust search experience, and a standard security model to greatly facilitate information sharing and collaboration across the enterprise.

Designed for Energy. KEENIM provides solutions to manage Land Records, Well File Records, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) and more, all on a leading information management platform.

Information Management as a Service. IMaaS facilitates the deployment process. Extensible, customizable deployment templates speed time to first information. Pre-defined search architectures provide superior findability without sacrificing security.

Compliance as a Service. The architecture is easily adapted to your records management program to facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements. If you don’t have a compliance program, we can help you with that too.

Note

While this article focuses on well-related content, this approach to integration of master data applies to many types of content. These same methods have been successfully applied to pipeline content management solutions integrated with GIS data masters (e.g., Pipeline Data Model - PODS) as well as Human Resources solutions.  Content should, by any measure, be fully integrated to the source data in a way that ensures long-term findability.  It is also important to ensure the historical information is retained whether through the master data repository or through the content management platform.

About KEENIM

KEENIM was founded with the idea of making robust information management (IM) solutions available to everyone quickly and affordably, whether you have the IT staff to deploy and maintain it, or not. We’ve taken our years of experience in IM and combined it with extensive industry expertise in energy to create a suite of solutions that can quickly and easily be deployed, as a service, either for a specific department or to the entire enterprise.  

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