Digits ‘more oil than Iraq’

A study from Cambridge Energy Research Associates suggests that digital technologies can add around 125 billion barrels of reserves to the world total. Key technologies include 4D seismics, gravity and visualization technologies.

A new study from Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) reveals that ‘expanding the use of new-generation digital technologies can potentially increase world oil reserves by 125 billion barrels’ – an amount greater than Iraq’s current reserves.


CERA research director Bill Severns said, “Five key technologies—remote sensing, visualization, intelligent drilling and completions, automation and data integration—will be the core of a new, vastly improved set of tools that will enable energy companies to see reserves more clearly, plan optimal drilling and production strategies, and manage operations more efficiently.”


The report “The Digital Oil Field of the Future: Enabling Next Generation Reservoir Performance” was undertaken in collaboration with more than thirty energy and technology companies, including lead sponsors Braxton (formerly Deloitte Consulting), Landmark Graphics Corporation, and Intel Corporation.


Braxton oil and gas VP Dick Cooper added, “Achieving the vision of the digital oil field will require the alignment of strategy structure, culture, systems, business processes and, perhaps most important, behavior.”

4D seismics

4D, time-lapse seismics was singled out in the study as a technology capable of improve incremental recovery by from 3% to 7%. Other ‘significant’ tools include gravity surveying, electro-magnetic monitoring, permanent geophones and visualization technology.


According to the study, another key technology is SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) which was singled out as an area in which this digital evolution is likely to occur. More from www.cera.com.

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