6 | Halliburton Landmark
Exploration Insights | 7
SO WHERE DOES THE CLOUD FIT IN?
The benefits of cloud computing can be seen
everywhere and impact our day-to-day lives,
as highlighted in a recent Exploration Insights
FairwayFinder takes the traditional screening
workflow and upgrades it to a cloud-hosted
application, accessed through a web browser.
By hosting geoscience content and powerful
geoprocessing side-by-side within the cloud,
all the required content can be accessed
seamlessly and run through an automated
While the benefits of accessing and
interrogating Neftex Insights content through a
cloud-hosted screening tool like FairwayFinder
are evident, this is only the beginning of the
story. Exploration companies invariably maintain
vast proprietary datasets that provide the core
of the content for their screening workflows. In
addition, numerous vendors provide datasets
that require integration to help answer key
“Wallace Pratt said, ‘Oil is first found in the
minds of men,’ but nobody finds much oil when
they can’t get a hold of their data.”
Stephen Greenlee, ExxonMobil (AAPG Explorer, July
New Ventures Team
Core Analysis Lab
Finally, it is also important to maintain
consistency in this process through the
application of a standardized workflow. If one
geoscientist’s workflow varies from another,
it will result in an inability to compare results
when trying to assess plays and rank the
petroleum potential of different basins either
locally, regionally or globally.
The Neftex Insights business is built around
gathering geoscience data from the public
domain and interpreting it within the context
of our proprietary sequence stratigraphic and
geodynamic models. These interpretations are
used to derive a global suite of products that
include gross depositional environment (GDE)
maps, regional-scale depth frameworks, and
databases of correlated geological data. To
utilize this content in a desktop-based workflow,
as described in the previous section, the user
must first identify the relevant content. This
content must then be downloaded from various
repositories and integrated in a software
Given the time constraints of an upcoming
licensing round, or the sizeable task of
performing this workflow globally, too little time
is available to test numerous plays or consider
many scenarios for a single play. This typically
leads to the testing of known concepts and
safe parameters over new ideas and ‘what-if’
scenarios, yet some of the most significant
discoveries in recent years have resulted from
novel play concepts.
article, What does ‘cloud’ really mean for
exploration? (Harvey and Zaborski, April 2019).
When it comes to exploration workflows,
including basin screening, the key challenges
lie in data access, integration, and processing,
all of which speak to the strengths of the cloud.
Neftex ® Insights has been leveraging the power
of the cloud to help build several assisted
interpretation technologies. Here we will
highlight FairwayFinder, our cloud-hosted basin
A VISION OF THE FUTURE
Each of these steps forms a significant hurdle
to the screening process, with the technological
barrier to entry high, and the time sink large.
If this initial barrier is overcome, the size and
volume of data that can be processed during
any one run within the desktop environment
can also be severely limited, making screening
on anything greater than a basin-scale a time-
power added as required (Figure 3). This allows
the user to derive insight into the hydrocarbon
potential of any play, at any scale, in minutes.
Figure 3 > Unconstrained by the capacity of a single machine, cloud-hosted processing is fully scalable. This means screening can be
conducted at any scale, from a single basin to the entire globe.
The significant time savings gained from
this cloud technology enable users to run
numerous screening scenarios for a single
play and fine-tune play parameters to get a
range of results indicating various levels of
optimism. Alternatively, a user can feed in
several play concepts and compare them like-
for-like between any basins, on a global scale.
The cloud computing technologies leveraged
by FairwayFinder allow processing to be fully
scalable; screening can be performed on a
basin to global scale, with more computing
geoprocessing engine in a single step. The
Neftex Sequence Stratigraphic Model provides
the necessary framework for data integration,
allowing content to be related in the context of
geological time. Utilizing this globally correlated
dataset and the computing power of the cloud,
FairwayFinder executes a consistent basin-
screening workflow at the click of a button.
Figure 4 > The vision for a cloud-hosted workspace for exploration. Relevant data from across an organization are collated in the cloud.
Global screening workflows can then be run on the most up-to-date and complete dataset available.