The Digital Oilfield and Information Governance

Topics: Oil & Gas Records and Information Management

The new technological advances of the 'digital oilfield' allow oil and gas professionals to analyze huge amounts of digital information to make better and more accurate business decisions. Technology allows engineers and geoscientists to lower operating costs while maximizing the value of field assets. Additionally, the emergence of new drilling methodologies has enabled the profitable recovery of oil and gas from fields that were considered to have little value.

This shift in both the types of information available to the exploration and production (E&P) segment of the oil and gas industry and how companies drill has greatly increased the value of subsurface data, such as well files, including seismic data and core samples. Well files and the data associated with them, when properly indexed, classified and organized, can facilitate better decision-making when assessing the possibility of re-exploring existing field assets or developing new ones. In this competitive industry, leveraging all the data available about a well can mitigate some of the risk of costly misjudgments. And in order to effectively utilize all the information available, solid information governance is a requirement.

Easier Access, Enhanced Governance, Better Decisions

To make the best decisions, stakeholders need access to accurate and complete data. For E&P companies, ensuring that they have an electronic "single source of truth" for well files enables all decision-makers to leverage a holistic view of the well data, both current and historic. A strong information governance program ensures that subsurface data, including well logs, core and seismic data are complete, indexed and easily accessible.

Geological Core Storage

Geological core samples can be convenient to store on-premises, but there are distinct information governance advantages to storing core offsite. It can be easier to find your core when you need it if it's all consolidated with one vendor. Iron Mountain, with core storage facilities in four countries and storing nearly two million cubic feet of drill core, understands how to care for core. Leveraging best practices from around the globe, Iron Mountain safely stores your core and cuttings, while you have access to it for analysis whenever you need. And, in fact, Iron Mountain will do the heavy lifting of laying out your core and then packing it up when you're finished with your analysis. A secure chain of custody – part of a strong information governance process – is built into Iron Mountain's operations.

Aging Seismic Tapes

Practicing good governance for seismic tape means keeping them from decomposing due to the passage of time and the inevitable "vinegar syndrome." As older seismic tapes age, they start to break down, but it is possible to extract the data from these compromised tapes. An experienced vendor can restore the seismic data and copy that information onto fresh media, index it, and make it easily accessible and useful. This older seismic data has value, because acquiring that same data today could be expensive, difficult or impossible – especially in areas that are now more densely populated.

Strong governance for information that is both physical and digital is a primary way to make sure that oil and gas professionals can find the data they need, when they need it, to make faster decisions and increase production. With over 30 years of oil and gas information management experience for all the Super Majors and 90 percent of the Majors, Iron Mountain can help make better governance a reality.

Do you have questions about oil and gas records management? Read additional Knowledge Center stories on this subject, or contact Iron Mountain's oil and gas team. You'll be connected with a knowledgeable product and services specialist who can address your specific challenges.


Fundamentals of Records Retention Schedule
Fundamentals of Records Retention Schedule

Topics: Store and Protect Information

A records retention schedule is the cornerstone of an effective records management program. It is a policy document that defines an organization's legal and compliance recordkeeping requirements. A company implements a records retention schedule in order to ensure that its records are kept as long as legally and operationally required and that obsolete records are disposed of in a systematic and controlled manner. The records retention schedule is intended to ensure that employees adhere to approved recordkeeping requirements, and that they do so consistently.