Growing Data Volume, Need for Efficiency behind Management System

By: Karen Boman

The need for greater efficiency in the oil and gas industry in recent years has impacted all aspects of oil and gas operations, even how the industry manages email.

Started in 2008 by a group of former service company personnel, WellDrive offers companies a way to keep better track of the amount of email data.

The volume of email at oil and gas companies significantly increased when horizontal drilling activity started to surge as producers targeted U.S. shale. Drilling operations focused on shale can generate up to a terabyte of information a day, Ken Henry, owner of WellDrive, told Rigzone.

Oil and gas producers found themselves receiving emails from contractors, which then had to be opened and forwarded on to the appropriate partners, said Henry. Many service companies also have their own websites where a user can log in and pull data, meaning that oil and gas companies have to use multiple sites to gather data. Besides the volume of email and need to share with multiple parties, oil and gas companies tend to be very compartmentalized, with each department taking care of its own data. This means that more time is needed to gather information.

WellDrive’s service allows all data – including drilling, completion and geological and geophysical data — associated with a project to be uploaded to a central site, where companies can view and edit their own information, but don’t see competitor’s information. This data can be shared interdepartmentally within a company. Customers can log in and access data from a computer or mobile app.

The company also chases data for customers, said Henry. Staff members at its call center, which is based in Houston, check accounts daily to make sure that receipts for deliveries such as cement are uploaded. WellDrive also seeks to gather not just PDFs, but the digits of pressure versus time, which may not be used right away, but could be valuable in the future.

WellDrive’s system keeps oil and gas companies out of “email jail”, when so many large emails can lock up an email account. This happens frequently in drilling operations due to the file sizes. WellDrive’s large server capacity allows for up to a gigabyte of data to be uploaded in less than 10 minutes.

“This technology really replaces the way data is handled,” said Henry, noting that the delivery of data on CDs is considered old technology now.

WellDrive currently has 12 customers who are primarily focused on horizontal drilling. The company expects to add more customers this year.

The company’s service not only can save companies time, but money as well. Henry cited a study conducted by BP plc on of one of their projects, which found that 60 percent of the time on the project was spent looking for information. By using services like WellDrive’s, companies can save time and make better decisions on tasks such as well design by not having to spend time searching for data across departments and websites.

“As oil prices drop, all companies will seek ways to reduce costs and boost efficiencies and operate more effectively,” said Henry.

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