UK-based Gastech News interviewed me in 2015 for a short 5-part Q&A series on how land management and information technologies can be used to maximize activities in the gas industry.
- Part 1: What are your main considerations on land management and information technologies to maximise activities in the natural gas industry?
- Part 2: What are the key challenges to evolve land data management?
- Part 3: How are gas companies transforming their land departments?
- Part 4: What is the most successful data integration approach?
- Part 5: How can companies perform a successful integration between activities related to the volume of land and lease data?
Although the questions focused on the gas industry, the answers apply to the entire oil & gas industry.
Here is Part 2….
What are the key challenges to evolve land data management?
Having a “single version of the truth” has long been a key challenge in land data management. One of my favorite quotes is “If a company can’t come up with a single correct answer for the question ‘what is a well?’ it’s also highly unlikely that they’ll be able to arrive at the single version of the truth that oil & gas companies need to drive effective enterprise-wide operations.”
Not sure if that quote came from Entrance Software, PwC or some other consulting firm in the energy space, but it points out that this is not only a technology issue but one that goes deeper into the organizations and business processes themselves.
‘What is a well?’ Seems like an easy question but will a landman, accountant, geologist, engineer, marketer, records clerk and CEO all have the same answer? Of course not. There could be many answers depending on whether their perspective is from a rig in the field, a distribution deck in the accounting system, a dot on the map, a pattern in a simulation model, a file on a desk, or a result on the bottom line.
There could be many answers, but there should only be a single version of the truth.
For that matter, let’s take it even further with ‘What is a tract?’ Are you talking about a legal tract, a unit tract, a system tract? How has information for that well or tract been captured, and where? Is that information correctly reflected in your database, on your maps, on your reports and dashboards? How about if parts of it were acquired and then divested, segregated vertically and horizontally, converted from spreadsheet to a tract-based system to an agreement-based system? Do all your sources (databases, maps, reports, etc.) correctly reflect those well or tract changes?
If we had a single version of the truth to begin with, do we still?
What’s your opinion? What do you believe are the key challenges to evolve land data management?