2015 Exprodat survey of upstream GIS

Survey finds Esri’s geographic information systems are core E&P applications and potential game-changers. GIS brings a competitive advantage along with an integration headache.

UK-based Exprodat Consultants has just issued its second E&P geographic information system (GIS) benchmark survey of 18 worldwide oil and gas operators. The 2014 edition covers governance, usage, data, technology, support and skills and spend. Little has changed since the previous survey. Overall, companies score 2.8 out of a maximum 5 points showing that there is still ‘room for improvement.’ While there are some signs of improvement, industry is still ‘struggling to overcome endemic issues.’ ‘Fresh thinking and radical strategies are needed.’

Data integration is the Nø 1 support issue and will likely hold back analytics but there is weakness in all other areas. Spend analysis confirms that technology is by far the cheapest element. People and data represent the main costs. On average per user GIS spend is $14k/year with $k2 on software and training and $12k on support and data.

GIS is now a core application in E&P and a potential game changer. One company scored 4/5, a ‘remarkable achievement,’ companies seeking competitive advantage should take note!

Unsurprisingly ESRI dominates Exprodat’s sample. All list ArcGIS as their main GIS product, often supplemented with Safe FME. Other tools are used, Erdas, Google, K2Vi, Blue Marble, Geocortex, but these are way behind.

Project data management remains a major issue. Some 70% of respondents report that it is ‘handled inconsistently in an ad hoc fashion.’ Under 30% have defined project close out/archival procedures. Data duplication is a widespread problem.

Integration with other applications is mainly (88%) via OpenSpirit with some use of Safe Software and generic web map services. Petrel is the main GIS consumer app.

Exprodat’s analysis suggests that GIS needs better governance and business representation. GIS events are usually congregations of specialists and service providers. The authors also express surprise that integration with a single product (Esri) is so hard. ‘How come we can’t join-up our information silos in the age of cloud computing, web services and APIs?’ More from Exprodat.

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