Óscar Roldán
Director of Economic and Statistica Evaluation

Creating the Building Blocks of the Data Room

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 13:26

The new Hydrocarbons Law tasked CNH with creating a Data Room, containing complete information about the fields to be tendered as part of Round One in 2015. The Data Room opened its doors on January 15, 2015. Oscar Roldán, Director of Economic and Statistical Evaluation at CNH, spoke at length about the preparation of the project, which involved integrated planning for the room’s infrastructure, its telecommunications equipment, and all the technology needed to handle the operations. Since its conception, CNH knew the Data Room would handle vast reams of data, meaning that a company with a large response capacity was needed to manage it. “We needed to invest 85% of the contract, or close to US$11 million, upfront in the first eight months,” says Roldán. The tender was not public, and only three pre-selected companies participated: Schlumberger, Halliburton, and CGG. These were chosen because CNH only considered companies with the best track record and which could offer the most reliable results. Ultimately, Schlumberger won the tender and now administers the Data Room. When choosing the location where the servers would be located, Monterrey was picked as it allowed CNH to implement the safety and space measures it needed. “We wanted a Tier 4 data center and there were only three possible locations for such a project in the country. Of those, Monterrey was the only one with enough capacity available,” shares Roldán. In terms of backup for this critical infrastructure, CNH works with a thinware modality which allows it to access the data instantaneously as if it was stored in Mexico City. “This technology was developed by Netflix and is very efficient in its ability to send images without the need for enormousbroadband capacity. It allows the Data Room to have a total of eight visualization rooms, five that can accommodate up to six people and three for up to four people. We only visualize the data at the CNH headquarters while all the processing is done in Monterrey,” asserts Roldán.

On October 7, 2014, CNH presented PEMEX with a formal request for the information it needed to receive. “One of our main concerns was how PEMEX was going to transfer the information,” shares Roldán. “We did not want PEMEX to simply hand over the information so we proposed 27 possible formats with the structure that we needed. The final format was decided by the joint working group. The success of this project was the result of a great synergy between both institutions.” Additionally, an information delivery protocol formalized how such transfers should function. “Given the huge volume of information being transferred, we needed a control system in place to track the information already delivered.” The first data delivery took place on November 1, 2014. It mainly involved seismic data and represented around 18 terabytes (TB) of information about shallow waters.

Once the data was organized, the quality management process began. Roldán says the team ensured that every well had its records in the proper measurement units, that every coordinate was accurate, and that the seismic data met all the necessary requirements. The deadline for delivery of January 15, 2015 was met, and the first company requested access to its data package on that very date. Since then, CNH has delivered 39 data packages for phase 1 to different companies, and 17 data packages to companies interested in phase 2 as of April 30, 2015. The content itself was divided into five folders for each tender. The first contains the relevant area’s regional geological information, the second covers 2D and 3D geophysical, seismic, and magnetometric data, the third includes well information linked to central well records, and the other two provide geographic and bathymetric details. Furthermore, CNH included 58 documents with regional information, with many companies most keen to see the geological atlas of the Southeast basins. “We have made a smaller public version of this atlas and we are delivering the full version as part of the Data Room. We began working on this since the beginning of 2014 with Beicip-Franlab as we did not know if the law would require PEMEX to provide interpreted regional data,” explains Roldán. He recalls that companies were worried about operating without a regional geological model. The only company that had this information was PEMEX, and in August 2014 the government required PEMEX to hand over all manner of data, including these regional interpretations. Altogether, the CNH team received 1,500 documents associated to final reports and 750 geo-physical, electric, magnetic, and zoning records, both original and interpreted. “Although we offered both the original and the interpreted documents, the companies value the originals more. “For each well, the Data Room contains geo-physical records, production tests, core analysis and channel analysis, as well as general, final, mechanical, geological, and petrophysical information,” says Roldán.

Once all the data was in place, companies entered into the procedure to gain access to the Data Room itself. According to Roldán, Mexico’s system operates differently to most countries, where companies see the information available first and then decide if they want to purchase it or not. In Mexico, companies pay an access fee first and then get to see the data. Roldán acknowledges that this approach generated some suspicion but explains this was done because of the timeframe. “By the time we transferred and organized all the information with enough quality, it was already January 15 and we started distributing packages that day. If companies had begun coming in to look at the data and assess it, we would have been delayed for another month,” explains Roldán. However, once this method was chosen, CNH quickly uploaded all of the information to an easy-to-use visualization platform, allowing companies to rapidly access their desired data and confirm its validity. The Data Room shows both the blocks and the information from the geological atlas. “An important aspect is that companies can also come and see how we integrate the information. Some of them have already done so, usually with particular interest in a specific area,” tells Roldán