Known-knowns, known-unknowns and unknown-unknowns—Donald Rumsfeld’s notable turn of phrase is an apt characterization of where we are with unconventional oil development today. Shale operators in the Eagle Ford, Permian, Bakken and other plays have transformed the U.S. into an energy superpower by profitably extracting oil and gas from tight rocks that weren’t commercially viable even a few years ago. With that backdrop, unconventional oil development today is punctuated by significant performance variations among operators with contiguous acreage positions and meager EUR rates. Unless performance keeps improving, any fluctuation in commodity prices can send shockwaves through the oil patches around the country, as we have seen happen with natural gas. How do we gain ground on the vexing “unknowns” to tilt the inherent risks involved in shale oil development in our favor?
Prescriptive analytics rely on all data types to help operators make the best decisions for their fields. (Source: Ayata)