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Big data is the new drilling tool for Shell

Shell has announced that it uses big data to predict in real-time the success of drilling operations and get more oil or gas out of new and existing wells

In the recent past, the company has started installing optical fibre cables with sensors within the wells to measure data.

According to Shell, it utilises the collected data to analyse how the wells are doing and how much oil or gas was still left. These fibre cables, created by HP, generate massive amounts of data that is stored at a private isolated section of the Amazon Web Services. Because of the huge data sets, the company has started piloting with Hadoop in the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, added the oil and gas multinational.

Hadoop is an open source software project that enables the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of commodity servers.

A company source said, “All the data is impossible to understand correctly if not properly visualised. Therefore, in order to make the data relevant information Shell is working together with IBM and DreamWorks Hollywood. An unexpected combination, but definitely needed to visualise so much data.

“All data that is received from the seismic sensors are analysed by the artificial intelligence developed by Shell and rendered in 3D and 4D maps of the oil reservoirs. Although the analyses are done in the cloud, the visualisations are immediately available to the crew working at the local factory.”

Shell also plans to deploy the optical fibre cables to around 10,000 oilwells.

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