Peter W. Flanagan 0 Comments

Looming large in business and technical news reports lately has been “The Cloud”.  Why should we in the Oil and Gas Industry care about it? 

We gather, store and process very large amounts of technical data in our industry.  Also we share this data and collaborate to make leasing and drilling decisions.  The Cloud has value to us because it represents a seismic shift in the economics of how data is handled, stored, and shared. 

At Ubiterra, our mission is to exploit this powerful new resource for the benefit of the industry.


What is the Cloud?

Amazon, Microsoft, and Google (“The Big Three”) have invested $10’s of billions building a global constellation of hyper-scale datacenters utilizing next generation computing technology.  The storage and compute capacity in their respective clouds is available for rent by energy companies, and represents a very financially attractive alternative to making capital investments in IT infrastructure.  CloudPriceWar_thumb8

An interesting metric is the price of cloud-based storage, measured in cents per gigabyte per month.  The competition between the Big Three has created a price war for cloud storage.

As you can see from the chart, the price of cloud-based storage has dropped 80% over the last 8 years.  Also, cloud storage is “geo-redundant” – meaning that a file is stored multiple times in multiple geographic locations – resulting in a level of data durability simply not available from internally-built IT solutions.

Importantly, “Cloud Apps” make this data available through browsers to people and their activities in all walks of life.


Impact of the Cloud on Everyday Life

Through the efforts of the Big Three and others, the Cloud is having a profound impact on everyday life:

  • Google and Bing search and maps, accessed through browsers and smart phones, have put enormous amounts of information at people’s fingertips.
  • Content, such as books and music, which are inherently digital, are no longer purchased using a physical process, but instead are available in the vastly more efficient online stores, such as and the iTunes store.
  • Consumers are rapidly shifting to accessing and archiving their data – photos, emails, videos and personal documents to the consumer clouds.

Ubiterra’s Mission – Bringing the Cloud to the Energy Industry

Our mission at Ubiterra is bring these same Cloud benefits to the Energy Industry.  Our vision is that E&P data and workflows should be upgraded and transformed in the same way that everyday life is being transformed by the Cloud and Cloud apps.  We have created the Ubiterra Platform to realize this vision.  It runs in the Microsoft Azure Cloud, and also supports the Amazon Cloud.  Today, the Ubiterra platform has cloud apps that support two important Energy Industry workflows:

As always, technology advances.  Meanwhile, our industry does its job.  The new Cloud technology is going to allow us to do our work better, faster, and cheaper.