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oseberg’s data odyssey: adventures in the analog era

"control is for beginners"

Oseberg was founded with a powerful vision that foretold the transformative impact of data and technology on the oil and gas industry. We believed this new era would revolutionize how generations of professionals approached their work, embracing W.E. Deming’s philosophy of “In God we trust, all else bring data” and believing that data would inevitably become the new oil. We envisioned a future where every aspect of upstream workflows, from underwriting to exploration, well planning to production optimization, would be automated, predictive, and prescriptive. Science and art would intertwine, with quantitative methods guiding the end-to-end well development lifecycle while qualitative expertise provided essential guidance.

Ok, what should we do?

•Decision Trees
•Mathematical Programming/Heuristics

what's going to happen?​

•Data Mining

what's going on?​

•Business Intelligence

Our vision encompassed a profound shift in how real asset management teams would operate. Rather than treating technology and data as a mere service to the business, they would prioritize these elements as their core competitive advantage. Picture the first ten pages of any pitch deck or financial report resembling the innovative strategies of DE Shaw. In this brave new world, oil and gas professionals wearing metaphorical IronMan suits would compete fiercely for top talent in database engineering, DevOps, and software engineering alongside Fintech, InsuranceTech, and HealthTech.

That hasn’t exactly happened (yet)… 

Breaking Down. Data Barriers

The perennial data transformation challenges—aggregation, standardization, normalization, and cleansing—persist.  At best, we achieved the Mendoza line or reached a modest level of progress, where the industry is striving to become tech-enabled but has only scratched the surface. While industry leaders may discuss big data in private forums, the industry still finds itself limited by the fixed mindsets that shaped the conventional datasets it has relied on since 1971, long before Hal Varian’s concept of the “data deluge.”

Present-day industry standards are characterized by fragmented data silos scattered across sub-disciplines. Where software and data are utilized, they are often deployed inefficiently, relying heavily on manual inputs and manipulation. For instance, recent commodity price fluctuations have rendered six months’ worth of manual work obsolete for one of the largest and oldest mineral funds. Adjusting conditions within hundreds of ARIES cases necessitates manually re-entering data—such as price decks, development cadence, and PUD counts—over 700 times. It’s 2023, my friends, and this situation is far from satisfactory.

Budget Brawls

To be fair, we have tried to bend the arch, wielding never before structured data elements and attributes, but product company after product company ran out of money in a deceptively small energy tech SOM and have fallen short of commercializing the push button analytics that would save our industry from having to manually move data end to end and “develop” bespoke solutions. 

Question: How many energy tech founders have contemplated whether they would be better off creating their own competitive real asset business instead of merely selling data and software?

Answer: At least based on anecdotal evidence, is all of them.

Unfortunately, the erratic nature of exploration and production general and administrative budgets has prevented the industry from filling the void. To our dismay, Rob Anott’s skepticism regarding the availability of structured data in real asset industries, hindering acquisition systematization, has only gained further support. It’s not just the scarcity of data; other factors also hold us back.

Join the Journey: Defy Convention, Ignite Your Curiosity

Fortune favors the bold. 

Over the past decade or more, Oseberg has acquired a profound understanding of the data concealed within courthouse, regulatory, drilling, and production filings. We have meticulously studied state statutes (a delightful bedtime read), comprehended the data elements in the public domain, discerned how information can be manipulated, identified the enforcement status of regulatory statutes, and leveraged data to enable Upstream and Midstream companies to execute various strategies and gain a competitive edge. Armed with this knowledge, we have built advanced technology and infrastructure, delivering first-to-market data and product innovations, helping companies realize different aspects of our systematic vision for real assets, and gaining invaluable insights along the way.

We invite you to embark on this journey with us as we retrace our steps, sharing our observations and experiences. We aim to challenge conventional thinking, ignite fresh perspectives, and engage in thought-provoking discussions. We hope you find our adventure intriguing and stimulating.