Could Big Data Transform the Texas Oil Industry?

The unstable, dwindling price of oil lately has had a global effect on a range of industries. This week it was highlighted that October state sales tax revenue in Texas tailed off. Comptroller Glenn Hegar believed that the dip in Texas sales tax receipts is due to declines in spending in the oil and natural gas-related sectors. However is this current milieu, that is fuelled by low oil prices, creating more opportunities for innovation and big data in the sector?

Indeed, one of the chief benchmarks of a prosperous society is a low-cost energy source. Supply and demand drives lower rates – although discovering and generating hydrocarbons is technically challenging and economically hazardous. The process produces large quantities of data and the industry needs new technologies and methods to incorporate and understand this data to fuel faster, more precise decisions. ‘Big data’, a term often thought to be reserved for technology industries or consumer services, could offer a huge opportunity for the oil and gas industry in this realm.

Big Data is the title used to define the theory and practice of applying advanced computer analysis to the increasing quantity of digital information that we can collect and store from the world around us. A new report, Innovating in a New Environment, launched by Lloyd’s Register Energy, has found that the oil industry, due to the current economic environment, has an increased need for technology innovation and strong capabilities in data.

Due to dipping oil prices and a declining supply of ‘easy oil’, digital technologies could propose the greatest efficiency benefits. This is further endorsed by Dr Evans from  Curtin University, who believes data collection and data analytics will dominate other technologies in the industry. In relation to this, Dr Evans states, ““our ability to become lean and mean will come down to our ability to master data analytics.”

Moreover, a recent survey by Accenture and Microsoft of oil companies found that 86% to 90% of respondents said that increasing their analytical, mobile and Internet of Things capabilities would increase the value of their business.  Ultimately, companies applying big-data strategies can implement better decision-making by optimizing innovation, improving the efficiency of research, development and trials, and building new tools and processes for the oil industry. Furthermore, if you have conducted research and development, you may be able to get cash back for your investment due to the government’s R&D Tax Credit scheme. Contact our tax specialists today to find out if you are eligible.