Devon has emerged as an industry pioneer in an area that may come as a surprise: data integration.

The popular term for it is “big data.” Essentially it means large volumes of data, structured and unstructured, delivered at high velocity and in varying forms.

The accolades Devon has begun receiving are the result of a two-year effort to “liberate” data by making it more accessible and trustworthy. Here are just two examples:

  • Devon’s new completions mapping tool provides hydraulic fracturing and production details from completions performed not only by Devon, but also by its competitors.
  • In the Delaware Basin, Devon now can more accurately forecast production curve declines, resulting in better short-term and long-term facilities planning.

Using data to predict the future

Devon took a giant leap in its journey recently by venturing into predictive analytics. For instance, the company incorporates data from thousands of wells to determine the best candidates for refracturing.

Similarly, data is not only helping determine the cause of rod pump and electric submersible pump failures, but also predicting when the pump is likely to fail again.

Devon also is using data for market intelligence. For instance, it can determine which vendor provides the most accurate seismic information. This could prove to dramatically improve the company’s operating results and shorten the learning curve associated with exploration.

These outcomes resulted not only from a concerted effort, but also from an innate feature shared by the data specialists who have put Devon’s data to optimum use. That feature is curiosity, and it’s the main character trait Christine Miesner seeks in job applicants.

“You need problem solvers who are always asking, “I wonder if?” or “What if we?” said Miesner, who is Devon’s manager of Exploration and Production Data Management.

“You can teach people a lot of things, but you can’t teach them to be curious,” she said.

Published: September 2015