$1 trillion market for Data in Oil & Gas

The exploration and seismic companies that map underground petroleum pockets, boil pits and raise crude oil from miles below produce huge new data volumes which never before can be useful.

Without question, we generate two commodities, oil and gas, and data, said Philippe Herve, who spent more than twenty years at Schlumberger and now helps petroleum companies to make better wells by using artificial intelligence.

Specifically, owning the data–sufficient to fill 20 million cabinets for files since 2010 alone–would mean a whole new stream of income, possibly by selling subscriptions to big data libraries.

Oil companies have been buying relatively simple data such as seismic files or boiling logs for years that contractors collect for their customers.

The owner of the oil and gas molecules is clearly the operator, but who owns the data? To answer that question would mean real money for a global industry recovering from a generation’s worst crude crash.

The oil industry uses just about 1% of the data it produces, according to Baker Hughes, and thus, is trying to harness the power of data to see where to pump more oil faster for less energy and capex.

According to a 2015 report by Oxford Economics and Cisco Consulting Services, a transition into a digital oil field could add nearly $1 trillion to the world economy by 2025.

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