Data Analytics in Reservoir Engineering — Review

Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) has published its first book in the PetroBriefs series last Friday, Data Analytics in Reservoir Engineering. They have made the ebook available to all SPE members for free.

SPE’s intorudction of the PetroBriefs series is as follow:

“it is meant to quickly bring each reader up-to-speed on an emerging technology or specialized topic. At around 100 pages, most are available in both softcover and in popular eBook formats.”

https://store.spe.org/Data-Analytics-in-Reservoir-Engineering--P1167.aspx

I downloaded the book yesterday and read through it using Adobe Digital Edition. (if you have not used Adobe Digital Edition, prepare yourself for a poor user experience). The list of the authors and reviewers of the book is very promising so is the list of the contents. I will try to make my review short and to the point by first quickly mentioning the pros followed by cons.

Pros:

The book is brief but covers many of the essential topics. In this regard, the book provides the reader with a very good fundamental understanding of the current challenges and opportunities in data analytics in the Oil and Gas industry. I, for one, learnt that the challenges I am facing in data preparation are more common than I thought they are.

Chapters and sections are independent. Many of the chapters start with some introduction on basic concepts required for the chapter, even though they may have briefly discussed elsewhere in the book. This made it very easy to start reading from the topics/chapters you are interested in without the need to read the rest of the book.

No jargons. If I want to borrow from Cassie Kozyrkov, the authors were ‘data scientists’ not ‘data charlatans’ in a sense that they did not allow the catchy phrases and topics get in the way of their judgment. They were very informative on the current state of analytics in the industry, where the industry is behind and where the industry and Petroleum engineers should head or aim for.

Reference list. There is a great reference list at the end of the book which provides a fantastic opportunity for further reading. We are still at the beginning phases of the adaptation of data analytics in the Oil and Gas industry and there are many avenues for further reading and research.

While data analytics has broad applications in reservoir engineering, the vast number of wells and pace of operations in unconventional allow data to play a critical role in the decisions that create value.

Cons:

Adobe Digital Edition: It is the only medium the ebook is available on and my experience with the platform is very poor.

Scalability: I understand it is a PetroBrief, but I wish the book would have tied up in a bigger series and would have been used as a stepping stone to reading other books which could expand on its topics. I also understand this can be done by the readers and chapters come with good references for future reading, but I feel it is a missed opportunity for the authors not to provide a suggested path (maybe at the end of each chapter) to suggest further reading material for the enthusiasts among us. Maybe there is room for a more detailed book and this is what I am looking for.

For those who,like me, are working in unconventional assets, the book has a promising message. “While data analytics has broad applications in reservoir engineering, the vast number of wells and pace of operations in unconventional allow data to play a critical role in the decisions that create value.”

I highly recommend the book for those who want to start their data analytics journey or the managers(decision-makers) in the industry who wish to understand the latest trend and equip themselves with the required knowledge required for decisions of tomorrow!

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