OAG Analytics Oil & Gas AI Software Improves Upstream Planning
TIBCO, an APN Advanced Technology Partner, Helps OAG with SaaS Solution
Combining Oil & Gas Subject Matter Expertise with Data Science
As margins become more and more critical and accurate drilling precision practices can make or break an oil and gas company’s growth trajectory, having access to—and the ability to use and interpret—useful data is vital.
Founded on the belief that compelling opportunities exist in upstream oil and gas to use machine learning (ML) and develop artificial intelligence (AI) to improve well planning, OAG Analytics has been at the forefront helping oil and gas companies embrace a data-driven approach. OAG seeks to help companies use data to bring new opportunities to light and avoid common pitfalls plaguing the industry.
“We began with data about the rocks and previously drilled wells—location of drilling, well design, and how much oil, gas, and water the wells produced—and trained ML models to use the data to predict how much oil, gas, and water the wells would actually produce,” says Luther Birdzell, OAG’s founder and chief executive officer. “Through our first pilot, we found that our pre-drill estimates were almost 40 percent more accurate than the industry-standard technique at the time, an approach very manual in practice. Our customers use these ML models to tighten distribution around better performing wells and improve well planning.”
Over the past six years, Birdzell has built a team comprised of oil and gas industry experts trained in data science, data scientists trained in geoscience and petroleum engineering, UI experts, software engineers, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) experts. Since its founding, OAG has developed physics-based algorithms that, when combined with machine learning, “create AI that improves drilling unit economics and reduces forecasting risks,” says Birdzell.
“We are thrilled to work with companies like TIBCO and AWS to accelerate the adoption of AI and machine learning to solve critical problems in upstream oil and gas.”
- Luther Birdzell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at OAG Analytics
How Can AI Improve Economics for Oil and Gas Companies?
Through its software, OAG seeks to make well spacing more predictable, one of the biggest challenges facing U.S. oil & gas. "We augment human capabilities and provide subject matter experts more development planning options to consider," says Birdzell. "One of our goals is to enable subject matter experts to spend more time applying their judgment to a larger set of good options, as opposed to spending that time manually developing a few viable options. Asset teams that spend more time evaluating good options create higher returns for their firm and investors."
Well planning is a crucial opportunity OAG technology helps companies approach in new ways.
Companies allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to develop areas of land for drilling and fracking wells. The goal for most companies is to produce enough oil and gas from the wells to pay for the project, cover a range of costs, and generate returns before the end of the second year of the well’s production lifecycle. Traditionally, companies haven’t had many capabilities to predict which tightly spaced wells would perform well, and why. Often, wells that cost the same and seemed similar on paper would be drilled and fracked the same way and yet would produce very different outcomes.
Companies seek better insights from robust rock, well, and production data that can help them simulate well-planning scenarios and estimate production before deploying capital. Using OAG's software, companies are empowered with technology that brings together multiple types of data to train machine learning.
Going a step further, OAG then provides advanced AI—such as subsurface capabilities and algorithms—to help companies hit an inflection point where the different outcomes generated are easy to visualize and explain. For example, with the combination of good data, physics, and machine learning, OAG’s AI helps explain why particular drilling locations will perform better and provides insights into commonly overlooked areas—like soak time—that impact revenue and improve well operationalization.
“Planning upstream operations is extremely expensive and complex, making ML transparency and interpretability much more important than it is in other industries,” says Birdzell.
Helping Companies Use Technology Powered by AWS to Drive Better Economics
Birdzell has focused on democratizing AI and ML for oil and gas companies by building a software as a service (SaaS) solution and business model. By making OAG software available as SaaS, Birdzell sought to make data more valuable to the business, scientific, and technical users within oil and gas companies. To build a scalable, secure, and agile solution, OAG decided to build on AWS and has never looked back.
"AWS was the leader in the space when we started R&D in 2013. Today, that lead is even more conspicuous, and we continue to find that AWS has the best balance of capabilities and price. OAG Analytics consumes AWS data services, compute services, pipelines, and application programming interfaces (APIs) that are key to our DevOps strategy. The more closely we work with AWS, the more value we deliver to our mutual customers," says Birdzell. "OAG and AWS share a mission to make AI and ML highly valuable to the oil and gas industry. Running our software on AWS is a natural fit."
OAG takes advantage of over seventeen AWS services within its solution. In 2019, the company migrated from a proprietary AutoML solution to Amazon SageMaker, a fully-managed service covering the entire ML workflow. "Moving to SageMaker not only facilitated delivering truly unlimited data and compute to our customers but also enabled us to offer them an environment in which to extend what we offer out-of-the-box collaboratively," says Birdzell. In addition to SageMaker, the company uses Apache Spark, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Kubernetes, and additional AWS capabilities to create proprietary AI solutions that address use cases to improve the predictability of well spacing, frac hits, and the subsurface.
OAG also integrates with TIBCO Spotfire, enabling customers to seamlessly integrate the power of the cloud with their existing tools and workflows.
Integrating with TIBCO Spotfire for Advanced Insights
As an AI-powered analytics solution, TIBCO Spotfire provides end-to-end analytics capabilities that empower users across an organization to explore data and drive new insights.
"Having the ability to visualize data analytics and AI outcomes are now table stakes for stakeholders in the oil and gas industry," says Penny Hill, senior manager of portfolio marketing, integration and analytics for TIBCO. "There is a huge population of data scientists working in oil and gas, and it's crucial for them to easily demonstrate results that can then shape business decisions and better business outcomes."
Given TIBCO’s already wide adoption across the oil and gas industry and the company’s dedication to developing its Spotfire SaaS offering on AWS, OAG decided integrating its technology with Spotfire would help bring holistic capabilities to its users.
"TIBCO Spotfire has very powerful point-and-click interactive data visualization capabilities, and we'd found it was already being used extensively in the oil and gas industry," says Birdzell. "Given its widespread adoption in our market, integrating TIBCO Spotfire, OAG Analytics, and AWS is a natural fit." TIBCO Spotfire currently serves as the primary visualization option with OAG’s software. OAG has, for instance, integrated Spotfire with SageMaker to empower its users to seamlessly connect and visualize predictions driven by models deployed into production with SageMaker in real-time through the Spotfire interface.
“The more data you have, the better TIBCO Spotfire works,” says Hill. “OAG is helping customers work with massive amounts of data. The combination of TIBCO Spotfire and the OAG solution is compelling. Our solutions are empowering oil and gas companies to use ML and AI to solve business problems and drive new outcomes.”
To-date, OAG users can achieve 12x faster data preparation and analytics cycle time, resulting in a 7.5 percent uplift in oil and gas production. Users also have, on average, reduced drilling and completion costs by 12.3 percent. OAG is helping companies use data to improve predictability, exceed expectations, reduce costs, and improve drilling unit economics.
Looking forward, the OAG team seeks to continue to delight their customers and innovate. “We are thrilled to work with partners like TIBCO and AWS to accelerate the adoption of AI and machine learning to solve critical problems in upstream oil and gas,” says Birdzell.
OAG works with oil and gas companies to identify new opportunities to reduce costs and increase production in complex oil and gas field development.
Through its analytic software, OAG seeks to make well spacing more predictable, one of the biggest challenges facing U.S. oil & gas. The company sought to develop and distribute its software in such a way so as to democratize AI and ML technology for oil & gas companies.
By making OAG software available as SaaS, Birdzell sought to make data more valuable to the business, scientific, and technical users within oil and gas companies. To build a scalable, secure, and agile solution, OAG decided to build on AWS and has never looked back. The company also integrated its software with TIBCO Spotfire on AWS. Through this integration, OAG helps its users drive better insights into their data.
TIBCO is an AWS Data & Analytics and Machine Learning Competency Partner that fuels digital business by enabling better decisions and faster, smarter actions through the TIBCO Connected Intelligence Cloud. From APIs and systems to devices and people, TIBCO interconnects everything, captures data in real time wherever it is and augments the intelligence of businesses through analytical insights. Thousands of customers around the globe rely on TIBCO to build compelling experiences, energize operations, and propel innovation.