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How The Cloud Enables Reservoir And Subsurface Engineers Work Remotely On RE And O & G Projects

Cloud computing changes the world and helps solve complex problems with vast amounts of data that need to be processed and stored. A two-fold behemoth problem.

Cloud computing can be applied to reservoir engineering, modeling, subsurface engineering, and as many departments in the oil and gas industry that handle vast amounts of data.

Cloud computing is simply any form of computation, data storage, or software that does not require the end-user to know the physical location and configuration of the system(servers) that delivers the services they need.

The idea has been catching on in many industries and businesses as many companies adopt either a cloud-integrated or cloud-first approach.

Oil & Gas reservoir management (the responsibility of the Reservoir and Subsurface professionals ) can immensely benefit from moving internal physical servers to external cloud computing providers.

Reservoir modeling requires tremendous computational power to generate realizations and stochastic models of the oil & gas reservoirs.

The Subsurface professionals will agree that there is an important need to reduce risk and better quantify uncertainty in reservoir management today – something that is becoming more challenging as reservoirs become more geologically complex and difficult to reach.

Moving data storage and computation to the cloud will provide a transparent and structured reservoir modeling workflow that can serve as a repository for years of expertise and modeling advances.

Analyzing the Cost Model of using a High-Performance Cloud Computing system (HPCC)

Illustrative cost model for comparing HPCC and internal infrastructure.

Fig. 1—Illustrative cost model for comparing HPCC and internal infrastructure.

From the figure above, the red line is more cost-effective up to the break-even point where the utilization(%) or the use of the system is roughly below 50% which is the case for many Oil and Gas companies which are not consistently building models a 100% of the time. For servicing firms whose core business model is to consistently build models, for example, an internal physical server might be more economically beneficial.

Potential Benefits to the Professionals that leverage the cloud

  1. The initial setup time for the Cloud would be considerably less, approximately 1 workweek, compared with on-premise purchase procedure, hardware installation, software installation, and end-user access and training. - which we all know could linger for months
  2. Better Collaboration - Because of the tremendous amounts and size of the data involved in reservoir modeling, the workflow for collaboration between geographically dispersed reservoir engineers and the subsurface team has been difficult.
  3. The ability to simultaneously run various simulations without compromising on computing power (depends on the level of computing power that was setup)
  4. Greater flexibility in infrastructure costs, as companies pay for only as much storage space as they use. This can slim down expenses.

GlobalData’s latest thematic report, ‘Cloud Computing in Oil & Gas’, notes that cloud computing is a facilitator for the adoption of other valuable time, money, and energy-saving technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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About the Author

Fisayo works in Business Operations at Manup and has a strong interest in the oil and energy industry. His educational background is in Petroleum Engineering from Covenant University and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: For Business Application from UTexas