Tape Ark Accomplish a World First in Exploration Data Management

Perth-based data management organisation Tape Ark successfully achieved a world first in exploration data management in Houston last week at PPDM's Professional Petroleum Data Expo by demonstrating how live seismic acquisition data could be shot in real time in Oklahoma, ingested directly into the Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 storage in Virginia, automatically captured into a PPDM compliant database and GIS interface,  archived, into long term Glacier storage , QC'ed during acquisition, imported into DBMap from Petrosys, interpreted in DownUnder Geo (DUG) Insight in Perth and returned to S3 storage and archived to Glacier long term storage all live and in the space of a 30 minute presentation.

In what can only be classed as an “AHA moment” to the majority of the attendees who packed the presentation hall and spilled outside listening to the presentation, Tape Ark CEO and Founder Guy Holmes explained how the public cloud and AWS in particular can be leveraged to perform manual tasks that often take months, but can now be done in minutes.  It also demonstrated that the use of private cloud offerings for data management lack the flexibility and tool sets to make automation of this order possible. The demonstration was seen as a way to start to think about what this means for the future of oil and gas data management industry.

Ordinarily, seismic field data would be acquired and recorded to tapes.  When the survey was complete (3 to 6 months later), the tape collection with all of the data has to be shipped to the oil company using couriers or helicopters.  A 300Tb survey would consume over 700 tapes in duplicate, and would cost on average $120,000 just for blank media to record to.  The new AWS based capture system has no cost to ingest attached to it, and means the data can arrive in real time as it is shot, cutting 3 to 6 months wait off the project time lines.  With data arriving in real time to oil companies, they can QC and amend the acquisition programme on the fly, creating great flexibility and increase the targeting of the acquisition without the need to send seismic crews back to the field later to shoot additional coverage. Mobilising seismic crews is a very expensive and time consuming task, and it is believed that real time nature of the QC can eliminate much of that unnecessary cost.

Once the data was ingested into the AWS cloud, it  was automatically backed up in Amazon Glacier and immediately available for use within the Tape Ark Open Petroleum Data Lake.

At the click of a button the data was made accessible to data management software provider Petrosys' to apply their dbMap software and also to software company DownUnder Geo's to apply their Insight  interpretation software.

The new process cuts out the need to make copies of the data on tape in the field, removes the months of delay that usually occurs while waiting for the data to be shipped from the field to processing houses, and instantly creates a backed up version of the data for long term data retention in a single, simple and elegant workflow.  

The new process saves enormous amounts of time and significant costs and brings the data management function right to the data.


Quotes provided from Third Parties:

Scott Tidemann, CEO – Petrosys.

“A clear demonstration of how more effective problem solving happens when you combine resources, talent, experience and creative ideas.

Sharing and leveraging the combined ideas and resources enabled us to rapidly catalog and capture the real-time seismic data acquired and subsequently interpreted/processed with good corporate governance and master data quality rules applied into the industry standard PPDM data model – our part in the collaborative workflow was made possible using Petrosys dbMap data management technologies running in the cloud.“ 

Trudy Curtis, CEO, PPDM Association

The Professional Petroleum Data Management Association's members are keenly interested in methods that will help maximize the quality and accessibility of data in order to improve business processes.  At the PPDM Houston Data Management Expo, hundreds of fascinated data managers watched as Tape Ark recorded seismic data and transferring it to a PPDM standards-based cloud environment in real time, enabling processing and interpretation work flows to be initiated at breathtaking speed.  “The PPDM Association knows that leveraging standards helps industry deploy innovative technology better and faster. I'm looking forward to seeing technologies like this build a stronger and more competitive environment,” says Trudy Curtis, CEO of the PPDM Association.

Peter Ferri, Global Partner Ecosystem Leader, Amazon Web Services

“The Art of the Possible.   Great demo and presentation by our partner Tape Ark yesterday at the PPDM conference. Seismic traces ingested real-time from Oklahoma into AWS S3, metadata captured in PPDM database and then visualized and interpreted in Perth – all live.”  

Marie Smyth, General Manager DUG Insight Software, DownUnder GeoSolutions

“We are excited that DUG Insight was able to play a part in this world-first demonstration and we wish TapeArk continued success. “



It is often difficult to find the right words to explain what Tape Ark is all about.

To simplify this, we have created a short, 90 second corporate Tape Ark video that explains exactly what we do and why tape to cloud data migration is such a cost effective, beneficial and simply put - no-brainer business decision. It demonstrates how you can take an aging, and decaying cost centre and turn it into valuable business asset.

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exploration dataseismic dataData ManagementO&G industry trendsoil and gas data managementtape to cloudcloud storagetape arkguy holmesPPDMintegrated seismic data acquisition

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