Enabling a Digital Ecosystem demands modern software built for openness, communication, and free flow of data. Data must be available and accessible to every application and every user that needs it when they need it, and the entire Ecosystem must run in the Cloud.
The layers in the digital ecosystem
Presently the Oil and Gas industry rely on old systems that lock data into silos and require human interaction to update the engineering calculations required by a third-party application. Until the industry liberates its data, it will never be possible for us to build a Digital Ecosystem.
Liberating the data in the Oil and Gas industry won’t be trivial, but there are several strong initiatives pulling the industry in the right direction. The illustration above shows the shape and structure of the emerging Ecosystem.
Hosting and storage of data
At the foundation of the Ecosystem are Cloud services. The Cloud is the platform where data and applications are hosted and made available for use at any time. Our illustration shows the three largest Cloud Platform providers – Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud – at the bottom.
One tier about the Cloud Platform is the Orchestration layer, or Data Lake. Designed specifically for the Oil and Gas Industry, the Data Lake holds both data models and data for the entire value chain, so that domain applications within Geology & Geophysics (G&G) and Drilling & Well (D&W) can store and retrieve necessary data when needed. The applications at the Data Lake layer orchestrates some tasks, but broadly speaking they clean up and standardize data and make it available for other applications.
Calculation engines, simulators, and modeling engines form the Value Chain layer. This layer contains the niche software applications that do the domain work for each part of the work processes of Oil and Gas companies. The Value Chain applications are highly specialized and built by domain and subject matter experts in collaboration with software engineers. The data these applications create can be stored by the applications themselves or kept in the Data Lake layer – whichever works better for a particular company’s needs. Either way, it all runs on top of the Cloud Platform.
A future with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) sit at the apex of the pyramid. Once the entire Ecosystem is complete, and data is freely available and accessible, and can be analysed and used to optimize your business, AI and ML will become incredibly valuable tools. Until then AI and ML will serve niche areas and be useful in some use-cases.
To create value and maximize profit from the Value Chain layer, the Oil and Gas companies will implement their own work processes and adapt the software to fit their organization, creating the Data and Workflow layer. At this stage, the Digital Ecosystem ties together all the moving parts into one integrated value chain that enables new use-cases with updated and improved business logic. The Digital Ecosystem enables automation and autonomous operations that are safer and more cost efficient while reducing the environmental footprint.
André, our CEO/CFO and co-founder, has a proven track record of building companies within the fintech, gaming, and energy industries, including Funcom (1993), Paynet (2000), Refero (2003), and Nor Energy (2013).