Speaker: Bryan McDowell, Founder/President of Sabata Energy Consultants

Subject: Dark Data and Where to Find It in the Permian Basin

  • Oil & gas data is commonly split between seven types of organizations: regulatory agencies, geological surveys, operators, service companies, energy libraries, universities, and private collections. The depth, breadth, and uniqueness of these datasets are highly dependent on each organization – creating a complex patchwork of data ownership, availability, and permissions that change on a field-by-field basis. This patchwork is most obvious in the Permian basin where multiple regulatory agencies, geological surveys, and one hundred years of oil & gas exploration have created a constant stream of data that is regularly scattered during busts. Finding the final resting place of these datasets is a difficult task due to a general lack of data indexing, incomplete well records by the Railroad Commission, and the overall difficulty of navigating the Texas land grid. The problem is further compounded by “dark data” – i.e., tens of millions of data records that only exist on paper, microfiche, or other physical data formats. During the presentation, we will review data sources that are available within the in the Permian basin at little-to-no cost, compare-and-contrast data coverage/completeness for various organizations, and attempt to quantify how much duplicate data exists.

Biography: Bryan McDowell is a geologist/reservoir engineer specialized in integrating geologic and petroleum engineering datasets for multi-disciplinary assessments in oil & gas reservoirs. He was an engineering/geoscience technical advisor for asset development at Discovery Natural Resources before starting Sabata in 2020. Bryan received his B.Sc., Geology at Texas A&M University in 2010 and his M.Sc., Petroleum Engineering at Colorado School of Mines in 2018. He is currently finishing his Ph.D., Geology at Colorado School of Mines and has worked in the oilfield since 2011.