Making it Work: Remote Seismic Data Loading for Interpretation Projects - Katalyst Data Management

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Making it Work: Remote Seismic Data Loading for Interpretation Projects

Remote Seismic Data Loading for Interpretation Projects

Loading seismic and well data into projects when working from home

Making things work while working from home has become a reality for many of us. Everyone is working through the practical issues that need to be addressed, such as setting up a home office or making sure you have enough bandwidth for a household suddenly full of workers and students. In addition to these, there are numerous other challenges associated with gaining access to seismic data and loading it into applications that we need to do our jobs.

In reality, multiple transactions take place every day when we are at our place of work. While working at home, we have plenty of tools available – such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc. – to deal with ‘information’ transactions such as a quick discussion or meeting, but ‘physical’ transactions are different. For this discussion, a physical transaction is the exchange of something three-dimensional – an envelope, a boxed lunch or a media cartridge.

When we were all at the office together, these ‘physical’ transactions happened seamlessly, but with more people at home, they either take much longer or don’t happen at all. In the case of lunch, that’s easy to fix – you make your own sandwich. But what happens when the invoice (or payment) gets delivered to your office or in the case of seismic and well data, when that newly acquired or reprocessed seismic data arrives and staff are not there to receive it?

Seismic media delivery when working remotely

Dealing with the physical transactions while working remotely requires creative solutions. Recently clients have been directing processing companies and third parties to deliver data directly to Katalyst. Normally this data would have been sent to the client and then on to Katalyst, but that obviously won’t work when the office is empty. In fact one client has completely outsourced all tape reading to eliminate the need for people onsite to handle physical media and tape reading.

In one specific case, we received a large number of 3592 tapes. We ingested the data and output it to a USB, preserving the information until the client instructs us as to which partner they want us to send it to. Interestingly, the tapes were never at the client’s facility.

In another scenario, one company purchased seismic data from a client, but the data was actually on media at the seller’s office. Everyone at the office was working from home, so the buyers couldn’t get the data. Fortunately, the data was also stored in the iGlass database, so we received permission to give the purchaser temporary access to the database that we had so that they could quality inspect and download the seismic data. Since iGlass has the ability to restrict access on a per inventory item, per user basis, security was not a concern.

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Seismic data loading – the workflow

Let’s say that the client loads subsurface data up to their dedicated cache disk hosted at a Katalyst data center. After they drop that data on our cache server, we get a notification or work order from the company. The notification is usually accompanied by some sort of digital metadata that references the files and might include other specific instructions.

Notification is sent to the appropriate Katalyst resources that new data is incoming for ingestion into iGlass, or some other output. Once we get that notification, all of the work can be done either in our office or remotely, with proper security controls in place.

In this digital and remote working world, the client can upload and download data from home, and the Katalyst employee can securely log into our environment and begin the process of ingesting the data into iGlass. Once it’s in iGlass, it can be loaded into the client’s computing applications securely. Nobody has to be at the office to do that – it can all be done remotely.

Subsurface media exchange – flexibility is key

The reality is that there are many different ways that data may be residing at a customer’s office, and many possible destinations where the data is headed, so the ability to handle them all is key. Using our technology and work processes, we can receive data electronically or physically, since our offices remain open. Once we transcribe the data or ingest it into iGlass, we can send it anywhere our customers’ desire, including commercial cloud solutions. This includes handling the ingestion process for companies that are delivering the data directly to public cloud, such as Amazon or Microsoft, since we can index and capture metadata for data that resides there.

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What’s next for remote project data loading?

Digital transformation initiatives are being driven by the desire to utilize all of the data that companies have acquired rather than leaving it in a storage facility, where it is effectively dormant. As we have previously discussed, the digital transformation era we are currently in is all about having robust systems to manage and access digital data. That includes capturing metadata and having a data management infrastructure like iGlass that enables our customers to properly search for, investigate, and then utilize their incredible data asset.

Handling incoming new or reprocessed data is just an extension of that workflow. Just as companies are making the choice to ‘outsource’ their data to external management and storage infrastructure, many are now choosing to outsource data loading and media operations to those same external vendors. The immediate driver of this shift may have been our current work situation, but the processes themselves are more likely an evolution of work processes that were shifting already.

For additional information on remote project data loading for subsurface data management, contact Katalyst.

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