As researchers evaluate potential drilling sites, electronic notebooks can be an invaluable tool. Image Attribution: jqpubliq

Going into 2017, economic analysts are predicting an increase in capital investments in the oil industry. Because of the recent rise in oil prices, credit is expected to be more readily available to oil producers, likely causing a 30% surge in capital investments in 2017, according to the consulting firm Raymond James.1 Most analysts expect the most significant investment increase will be in exploration and production (E&P), which has been largely sidelined in the past two years due to the credit crunch. With more capital on hand, shale oil drillers finally have the opportunity to expand their holdings of reserves by buying land in more oil fields.

In order to make the most of their investments and grab a larger portion of market share in the new year, companies will need to critically evaluate potential drilling sites before making the decision to move forward on each project. As researchers evaluate specific sites, electronic lab notebooks can help streamline information collection, sharing and management to facilitate better business decision-making.

Using Organizational Technology in the Site Evaluation Process

The success or failure of capital investments at specific sites depends on a wide range of factors. There are several ways that electronic lab notebooks can help researchers as they collect the data necessary to determine whether a drilling site has true potential for success.

  • Organizing Large Amounts of Data


Before the company gives the green-light to start establishing drilling infrastructure at a specific site, scientists must collect data relating to a variety of issues, including oil quality, production capacity and transport feasibility. As researchers take critical measurements, it is important that they organize the data so that business leaders can interpret it in meaningful ways without getting caught up in the volume or complexity of the information that they face.

  • Comparing Data Between Sites


In cases where a company is trying to choose between multiple proposed drilling sites, the organizational capabilities of electronic notebooks can make it easier to compare key indicators and identify areas of similarity and difference between sites. Also, storing data electronically can make it easier to look at the same initial markers for past sites: the eventual success or failure at old sites which had a similar prospecting outlook can be factored into the decision of whether or not to invest in a potential drilling site.

  • Information Sharing Between Researchers and Administrators


When multiple researchers are prospecting a new  drilling site, the data sharing aspects of modern organizational technologies can make it easier to compile their findings for presentation to business leaders. It can also facilitate direct discussions between the researchers taking measurements in the field and the leaders who are responsible for making the business decisions. Data can be shared in real-time, so leaders can request a specific measurement and get the answer they need with minimal lag time. As a result, investment decisions can be made faster, and the project can get underway as quickly as possible.

  • Protecting Organizational Knowledge


As hacking and information theft become increasingly prevalent, it’s only natural to be concerned about storing data in the cloud. When sensitive information needs to be shared across an enterprise but kept away from the prying eyes of hackers, researchers should invest in advanced information protection, something far more secure than an Excel spreadsheet uploaded to a common online data sharing platform.

As shale oil drillers look ahead to to the new year with an eye toward increasing their market share through capital investment in E&P, every business decision is crucial and must be founded on a solid scientific analysis. To streamline the collection of data at proposed drilling sites and the interpretation of the information, oil companies can take advantage of the benefits of modern electronic lab notebooks.

BIOVIA Electronic Lab Notebooks offer the organizational capacities and security guarantees that oil companies need for success in the new year. Contact us today to learn more about how this software solution and our other products can help make 2017 your company’s best year yet.

  1. “US Shale Drillers Will Increase E&P Spending in 2017,” December 28, 2016,