Transfer Updates Year in Review 2019

It’s been an incredible year! We launched into 2019 with determination to become even more focused on what we love doing — helping our clients accomplish more with their data. We care about the journey that knowledge takes form the source to the board room, and helping our clients deliver new insights.

In the process of aligning our company, product, and focus, we changed our name from to so that our new name reflects our mission — to build and deliver not only a new way of organizing information in oil and gas, but also a new way to run the E&P business, built solidly on data. We’ve worked in drilling, reserves, completions, production, portfolio management, subsurface, artificial lift, EOR and A&D. We’ve had the opportunity to visit our customers in oil and gas cities across North America, and we’ve hosted and attended some incredible events. Here are some highlights from 2019.

Building the team doubled in size. We welcomed so many amazing team members. Not just in the Houston office, but in our new Montreal office as well. We’re a group that likes to work hard and play hard, supporting each other and our customers every step of the way.

To make room for everybody to do their best work, our Houston headquarters moved a few blocks to its new location in the Houston’s downtown historic district at 114 Main, Suite 200. If you haven’t had a chance to come by and check out the new space, reach out and plan a visit! We love having guests come by and experience a part of our culture. 

Back at the ranch held its annual retreat near Brenham, Texas to bring the whole team together— the Houston and the Montreal offices— for in-depth brainstorming, teambuilding, and of course, some Texas barbecue.

The retreat served as an opportunity to discuss the latest trends in data science, oil and gas, and ways to keep pushing the edge cases of our industry.

Four Weeks, Seven Cities

When we launched our petroleum analytics meetups in Houston this past summer, we had a vision to take them on the road as well—one O&G town at a time. We picked cities where we had clients, conferences, and new connections we wanted to make. The 2019 Pub Crawl kicked off in Dallas, then went to Midland, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Denver, Calgary, and ultimately back home for one last event in Houston.

Here’s our team at the Midland Beer Garden.

The Power of Purple

If you saw us at one of the conferences we attended this year, from the SPE OKC Oil and Gas Symposium in Oklahoma to the ATCE in Calgary—you may recognize our colorful purple booth. The power of purple is giving customers a seamless user experience and delivering even better tools for oil and gas workflows.

The Channel

We created almost 30 videos this year showcasing some of our workflows and new features. You can see them all and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Some highlights include our Q&A series with world geomechanics expert, Stanford professor, and technical advisor Dr. Mark Zoback. You can check out the full playlist here.

Standing Room Only

Not only have we been able to build some incredible tools this year, but we’ve also had the honor and opportunity to offer week-long geomechanics courses and many, many training sessions on client sites throughout the year. Our instructors work hard to make technical concepts not only accessible but engaging. One recent highlight: our Technical Director Lucas Wood captivated a crowd at the TIBCO Analytics Forum. When the crowd asked for more advanced material, he adapted examples on the fly to match the curiosity in the room. We are so grateful for all the engagement, not only at this event, but at all our training sessions throughout the year, from Houston to Midland to Denver.

Troy Talks Founder and CEO Troy Ruths made multiple appearances on expert panels and interviews throughout the year. Not only does he remain accessible to every single member of the team, but also to the whole community. He’s passionate and committed to sharing big ideas about the future of the industry, and that drive shapes the whole company. As an expert in oil and gas, data science, and tech culture, Troy can talk about it all. Check out his guest appearance on a podcast discussing “The Future of AI in O&G.”

Lastly, but most importantly…

We have incredible customers—both long-time clients and newcomers this year—and we feel so grateful to keep offering the very best products and services. We really take the trust placed in us very seriously and look forward to all the projects and milestones ahead in 2020.

Data Science & Analytics Transfer

The Future of AI in O&G

On November 25th, Founder and CEO, Dr. Troy Ruths, was a guest on the Invest with James West podcast series hosted by James West, Senior Managing Director & Partner at Evercore ISI. During the 30-minute podcast, James and Troy discuss trends of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the oil and gas industry and how is changing the way E&P companies plan, develop, and operate their assets.

The Role or AI

The creation and application of artificial intelligence requires a lot of data. Oil and gas operators have always generated large quantities of data, but the massive increase in activity the industry has seen as a result of unconventionals created an ideal environment for AI. Each well, and even each stage, can be seen as a unique data point where operators are constantly changing and experimenting. The real power of AI is in unlocking all this data.

People think of AI at the top of the pyramid,” says Troy. “But the future is with AI at the bottom of the pyramid—the new backbone that serves information up to the enterprise, and humans are going to remain at the top of the pyramid.” This view represents a departure from how many individuals see AI but promises a much greater impact to operators. Engineers today think about their data in terms of spreadsheets or databases. The data layer of the future provides significantly more context while being much more intuitive. This is the role played by, intelligently storing, integrating, and activating more than 60 types of oil and gas specific data, as well as associated metadata. Many of these data types that are ingested by, like microseismic events, fiber, or electromagnetic imaging data don’t have a standard home today.

Challenges to AI Adoption and Change

 “I would negatively correlate ability to adopt new technology to oil price. The better the oil price is, the harder it is to get technology adoption,” remarked Troy. The current price environment is ideal for technology adoption, especially when it comes to AI. Operators are at a point now where they need digital tools to help them do more with less. The other impediment to AI adoption revolves around education. AI can mean a lot of different things to different people and there is a level of education that still needs to take place to inform the industry on how AI can best fit into their organizations.

Troy goes on to explain another challenge, “AI can only extrapolate from what it’s seen, and that can be a problem in a world where the solution may be outside of what we’ve actually tried in the past.” incorporates principles of geomechanics into our workflows, bridging the gap between what we know from physics with machine learning.

AI in Upstream O&G

When prompted by James on the differentiated approach upstream analytics, Troy noted that “A lot of the new software that has entered the space is focused on operational efficiency and labor.…but honesty, those aren’t going to be needle moving enough for the industry. We’re focused on the needle moving problem, which is how can we reengineer.  We need to reengineer how we approach these unconventional assets.” Good engineering done in the office is going to drive real improvements.

With recovery factors, well spacing, or frac hits, operators really need to focus on the productivity drivers for a resource unit. These questions cannot be investigated in isolation and some of the best practices we have seen come from bundling disparate workflows together. For example, a completions engineer may want to look at several different data types simultaneously. They may want to look at and ask questions about geology, drilling or surface constraints. This example goes back to humans being on top of the pyramid. The engineer needs to be fed with the relevant information, which is where AI can really help. not only serves up this data, but also uses a complex system model built using geomechanics and machine learning that takes engineers through an 8-step workflow to understand the key productivity drivers for a resource unit.

2020 Outlook

The industry has clearly learned that unconventionals are extremely difficult to develop profitably – even in the Permian. These are very complex systems with stacked pay that will require good engineering to be properly developed. This is good news for digital companies in 2020. In a broader sense, Troy sees operators evolving “towards surgical development, we’re going to go away from factory drilling and go more towards surgical.” However, some operators are clearing embracing digital more than others and so we expect a clear bifurcation in operator performance.

Listen to the podcast for the full discussion on AI and machine learning in oil and gas and the future for data in the energy sector.