Spotfire, ChevronTexaco’s Swiss army knife

Chevron Texaco just can’t get enough of SpotFire’s DecisionSite as Mark Ruths revealed in a webcast this month. The statistical analysis and visualization package is used across the board—from fracture analysis, through steam flood and reserve computation—‘anywhere data is analyzed’.

Mark Ruths described how ChevronTexaco Company (CTC) is using Spotfire’s DecisionSite to ‘tame the data avalanche’ across a variety of domains from overpressure studies to facilities optimization. CTC likes the way Decision Suite links into any data source—even a spreadsheet—and provides hot-linked views of the data in different windows. The ability to select data points in say, a cross plot, and have those same data points highlighted on a map is, according to Ruths ‘very beneficial’.

Process guide

Any analytical workflow can be saved as a ‘process guide,’ reused at a later date and shared with colleagues. Power Points can be created ‘at the push of button’. The tool is used across the board from fracture analysis, through steam flood, reserve calculations and ‘many other fields’— in fact ‘anywhere data is analyzed’.


Before DecsionSite, reserve computations were limited to a single value or range of parameters—now CTC engineers can bring in all surrounding wells and fields to determine a ‘data fairway’—and make more reliable estimates. Likewise in overpressure studies, plots of depth vs. pressure can be color coded with stratigraphic unit. Here stacked histograms offer further insight into the data.


Oil fingerprint analysis also benefits from the Spotfire treatment. Gas chromato-graphic analyses can be viewed as profile charts in one window and analyzed with depth vs. pressure plots in another. A structure map of the oilfield can also be displayed with Spotfire’s Map-IS product.

Heat map

Spotfire is a real ‘Swiss army knife’ for CTC and has also been beneficial in quality control of a produced water database as well as in stratigraphic studies—where a ‘heat map’ display is used to locate hiatus.

Portfolio management

CTC’s world wide exploration team uses DecisionSite to decide which prospects to drill. The exploration manager has the tool running on his laptop. Decision support process guides plot prospect size against cost to drill—color coded against business unit. Decision makers can select or exclude prospects—recomputing cost, reserves and NPV on the fly. Portfolio management is achieved by the grouping of interdependent prospects to reveal where the drilling of one prospect affect the chances of success of subsequent activity.


Production engineers have analyzed workover effectiveness in terms of date, incremental production and operation type. This demonstrated that the truly effective operations are fracs and perforations. Reservoir engineers have used simulator output to create 3D cellular representation, color coded with oil saturation. A variety of ‘filters’—on water saturation, gas cap, porosity and permeability—rapidly produce a 3D representation of the reservoir sweet spot. This operation takes around 30 seconds and avoids the need for a complex SQL query.


SpotFire was also used to optimize the design and operations of a gas liquid cylindrical cyclone separator in a multi phase metering loop—detecting excessive gas carry-under in certain circumstances. Ruth’s concluded his presentation with the remark that, “DecisionSite helps analyze the data avalanche and lets us drill down to those ‘key pearls’ of data critical to our operational decision making”.

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.