Modern Challenges Facing Geophysical Data Collection and Management

Over the coming decade the oil and gas industry will have to face numerous difficulties from the adoption of “Big Data”. Once those have been overcome, utilizing all of this collected geophysical data to make informed business decisions will be a further challenge.


To address this, new geophysical data management frameworks are needed to handle higher-resolution data, improved processing capacities, and more sophisticated integrations with other reservoir information. 

Addressing Sustainability Concerns

The oil and gas industry is at the center of a global energy transition. With growing awareness and concerns about the environmental impact of fossil fuels, companies are facing ever-increasing opposition from the public. A major challenge for the industry at the moment is effectively adapting to a changing energy and investment landscape.


Oil and gas companies are responding by engaging with decarbonization efforts and in some cases, even rethinking their business models. The industry is also looking to make use of innovative cleantech solutions that support the fulfillment of sustainability commitments.


One of the simplest and most efficient ways for companies to cut down on their carbon footprint is by better-utilizing data. Precise implementation of data collection and management strategies can aid in overcoming operational complexities, missteps, and resource harvesting errors.


In a time of digital transformation and a cloud-agile environment, the industry needs robust data control systems more than ever. Ultimately, large quantities of data are useful only if value can be extracted from it. The right seismic data management tools can free up a significant amount of time for geologists and geophysicists so they can work towards superior analysis and interpretation — instead of being caught up in data administration. These benefits eventually unwind the needed time and money for sustainability adjustments to be considered.


Mining Geophysical Data

The geophysical data collection market is conventionally branched into three sectors: data acquisition, data processing, and interpretation.


The systematic acquisition of geophysical data from diversified sources is crucial for thorough spatial studies. High-quality geophysical surveys almost always incorporate data from several of the following sources: seismic refraction, gravity gradiometry, electrical resistivity tomography, magnetotellurics, ground-penetrating radar, borehole geophysics, and remote sensing techniques. Geophysical signal recognition and analysis require a precise examination of multi-dimensional waves. Rigorous geophysical models of the subsurface are also needed for extracting the maximum possible seismic information from the available data. 


Geophysical data collection hasn’t kept up with technology


The power and possibility of technology has grown exponentially in the last decade. Although the oil and gas industry has existed since the 1800s, according to the Library of Congress, technological advancements across the industry have not grown at the same pace. In particular, the data management software used even by the largest oil and gas companies is outdated, lacking in functionality and mobility. The generation of software that is used for much of the Exploration and Production (E&P) data management slows down the industry as a whole, causing needless inefficiencies and costing billions of dollars in revenue loss and unintended expenses.


In addition to the sluggish nature of past software, it is not intended for cross-platform configuration. Older management platforms can not be integrated with other platforms and applications — creating a gap in accessibility and hindering a company’s ability to maximize data utilization.


The Great Challenges of Big Geophysical Data

The oil and gas industry must evolve to take advantage of the dynamic software advancements at its disposal. The optimization of geospatial data is vital for achieving new goals, adjusting to a changing energy sector, and making money-conscious decisions. An industry-wide, global approach is needed to transform the way we handle the wealth of seismic data. 


Managing data sovereignty concerns

Data sovereignty is the idea that data collected or stored in a particular country is subject to its distinct laws and governance structures. Data sovereignty requirements often include that the data remain within the borders of the jurisdiction where it was originally collected. The issue of data sovereignty is closely linked with privacy regulations and proprietary data security across geographical borders. Consistent control of seismic data is increasingly complicated under present-day data ownership rights.

The solution is an advanced Geographic Information System (GIS) that stores geospatial metadata within seismic data. With secure web content storage management, companies can regulate access to proprietary data that contains contextualized information assets.


Storing massive amounts of data 

A single geophysical survey produces enormous volumes of seismic data. Even the most mainstream methods of geophysical data collection produce compound “time slices” of the subsurface. This includes both 2D and 3D reflection cross-sectional views as well as shear-wave data and refraction seismic data from the basin to the lithosphere-upper-mantle. Secure storage is a seismic data cloud maximizes the accessibility and value of this data; it offers a centralized framework that can handle petabytes of seismic data, improving data management scalability. 

Performing big data analysis

Cutting-edge analysis and interpretation of massive seismic data sets require the integration of dissimilar data streams in a way that has only recently become possible. Contemporary data management systems are equipped to bring context and organization to huge quantities of raw geophysical data. With the right toolset, the approach to big data analytics leads to improved productivity, optimized production, and enhanced safety for both onshore and offshore undertakings. With vast amounts of seismic data perfectly structured, geophysical data scientists can extract greater value from the analysis of the same data sets.

The Future of Geophysical Data Management

End-to-end data handling systems deliver a user-friendly interface and easier access to massive quantities of reservoir data. This enhanced accessibility provides an unprecedented understanding of subsurface assets and eliminates operation bottlenecks.


Exploration Archives offers dynamic and accessible tools for comprehensive geological and geophysical (G&G) data management. Our software exceeds industry standards for automated QC ensuring that existing problems with your data are discovered early and corrected quickly; file validation and checksum support help reduce “bit rot” as digital files are migrated around storage systems. We create customized workflows for your specific needs and provide seamless integrations with existing network infrastructure. Contact us to learn more about how our software is designed to address concerns within the modern oil and gas industry.