International Analysis: Energy and Data

By Dakin Sloss — The Mark News— 

Affordable, reliable energy makes possible every daily comfort we take for granted, and serves as the lifeblood of our global economy. The great accomplishments of the last 20 years – the rise of developing nations, the reduction of extreme poverty by one billion people, and the advent of the internet economy – have been powered by a 50-percent increase in energy consumption since 1990.

Oil and gas have been the backbone of this energy-fueled growth, accounting for more than half of energy consumption worldwide. As the modern world continues to develop – in transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, computing, medicine, and education – we will rely on oil and gas to power our innovations.

To meet this growing demand, oil and gas producers will need to increase their production. However, the costs of lifting oil and gas out of the ground have risen by as much as 18 percent since 2008 in the United States. To increase production while keeping costs manageable, oil and gas companies will need to turn to technology.

Specifically, oil and gas producers will need to reinvent themselves as data companies to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Successful businesses of the digital age, including online retailers and digital marketers, have thrived in part by taking in and processing huge amounts of data to generate insights, understand their customers, and drive decision-making on a moment-to-moment basis. The oil and gas industry is poised for a similar transformation.

Every day, producers make decisions about where to drill, when and how to stimulate their fields, how to prioritize maintenance, and when to recomplete wells. Through discussions with our customers, and with experts across the industry, we have found that the data used to inform these decisions is often collected manually, which limits accuracy and frequency. In some cases, data is not available to conduct regular and comprehensive analyses of important production assets and the status of reservoirs. This limits producers’ ability to make informed real-time decisions about their operations and capital expenditures.

As we saw pumpers (field staff) entering data by hand in Bakersfield, California, we at Tachyus saw the opportunity to create a new platform for oil and gas data collection and analysis. We offer off-the-shelf sensors, wireless communications networks, and mobile applications to seamlessly gather field measurements and make them readily available to office staff and decision-makers. For engineers, our platform makes automated alerts and flexible analytical tools easy to use to transform data into analysis and ultimately increase production. Initial customers are thrilled by the amount of time they are saving on data collection and analysis while identifying ways to produce more oil at a lower cost.

In essence, Tachyus is bringing Silicon Valley’s technology prowess to the oil patch. With an experienced team of entrepreneurs – and backed by top venture capital firms including Founders Fund, Formation 8, Caffeinated Capital, and Streamlined Ventures – we are using the “lean” approach (rapid prototyping and user-centric design) to ensure that oil producers have effective tools for collecting and analyzing data on their production and assets. We are excited to use this approach to help oil and gas producers more effectively and efficiently invest in their fields, and thereby continue to drive the global economy into the 21st century.

Dakin Ross is the co-founder and CEO of Tachyus, a company that specializes in data analysis for the oil and gas industry.

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