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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

NorTex Data Science Cluster

Alternative title: NorTex Data Science Cluster

Awarded: NOK 4.0 mill.

We are in an era where decision-making is based on increasing amounts of data, which is processed to a greater or lesser degree before being presented to decision-makers. Combined with improved computing power and increased bandwidth for data transmission, such processing makes possible increased efficiency and reliability, and reduced cost. However, these benefits may only be achieved if the processing and presentation of the data is performed in a proper way. For oil and gas, better decision making will contribute to reducing field costs and improving energy efficiency. There is therefore great potential in utilizing computing resources better in order to streamline the drilling process, and to avoid unwanted incidents which may delay field development, increase cost and impact the environment. The main project objective has been to establish a long-term partnership between Norway and the United States to promote research and education in data science, with focus on petroleum drilling. Project partners have been Rice University, the University of Texas at Austin, the Universitety of Agder, Global Centre of Excellence (GCE) NODE and International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS). The project has been led by IRIS, which is from 2019 part of Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE). There has also been collaboration with the University of Stavanger through summer course participation and student exchange. The project has been associated with the Centers of Research-based Innovation (SFI) DrillWell and Offshore Mechatronics. The project has through regular workshops and seminars in Houston and Norway contributed to establishing a broad network across industry, academia, research and government institutions over the Atlantic, supported by Greater Stavanger and the Norwegian Consulate in Houston. It is the goal of the partnership to continue holding these events, with a focus on OTC in Houston and ONS in Stavanger. Strong academic bonds have been generated through exchange of researchers and PhD students between the partners, resulting in several academic publications. This activity will continue after end of project, with planned exchange of PhD students in the autumn of 2019. Norwegian students have further attended a data science bootcamp in Houston, and there is increasing interest for such exchange. The project partners have in the project collaborated on project development, support by the SFIs. This work has resulted in a joint industry demonstration project related to data semantics, the Drilling Data Hub Demonstrations, required for good communication between rig systems, facilitating process automation. Project results are expected applied on the Norwegian Contintental Shelf, and there are further plans for industrial testing of results in the US, aided by NorTex Data Science Cluster project partners in Houston. Several project proposals have been generated related to machine learning for process diagnostics, with the latest proposal submittal to the IKTPLUSS programme in June of 2019. The close collaboration established through the project will enable further project collaboration opportunities moving ahead. The NorTex Data Science Cluster has been established as a result of the project, with belonging website, and with the aim of continued collaborative activity. The established academic collaboration between the universities and NORCE will continue after the end of project, and a plan has further been developed for a broader and more general collaboration within data science, in addition to a plan for modernizing the drilling engineering curriculum, covering also continued education programs, which is very much needed in today?s developing digital workplace. These initiatives are planned achieved through support from bilateral programs and the industry.

The project has helped increase collaborative publications, project generation, and contributed to education through PhD exchange between the US and Norway and through participation of Norwegian students at Data Science Boot Camp at Rice University. Building on these efforts, the project partners plan on renewing the drilling engineering curriculum, which will help provide drilling engineers with relevant competency for the developing digital workplace. The project has through events contributed strongly to technology sharing, with respect to both educational infrastructure and industrial applications. Finally, there is potential for extended US-Norway collaboration within data science in general, which the project partners will work towards this moving ahead.

With the proposed NorTex Data Science Cluster the partners of this application will generate a long-term relationship under the already established NorTex partnership between Texas and Norway. NorTex is built on the existing initiatives already carried out by the Norwegian Consulate General in Houston, Innovation Norway, INTSOK, and the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce in Houston. The main area of focus for the proposed NorTex Data Science Cluster is to initiate and expand collaboration on education and research within Big Data and data analytics between universities and industry in Norway and Texas, and further to integrate relevant industry into the different university collaborations. The prioritized area of application for the proposed project will be within Energy, but areas such as Health, Urban Development and Education are equally important and will be a part of the NorTex Data Science Cluster in the longer term. In today's drilling and well operations, data is collected from numerous sources with different data format and with limited data validation, typically unstructured and not adequate for real-time data processing. When drilling a well, data from down hole is restricted by the poor bandwidth from mud pulse telemetry, but will be largely increased by high-speed telemetry. When large amount of down-hole measurements can be transmitted, processed and analyzed in real time, the ability to prevent drilling anomalies and optimize drilling performance will be revolutionized. The objectives of this project addresses Big Data and data processing challenges that need to be addressed in order to close the Technology Gaps defined by OG21. The SFIs related to this application address research and development of technology prototypes within the prioritized areas of TTA3; Future Technologies for Cost-effective Drilling and Intervention.

Funding scheme:

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research