Startup Focuses on 'Geoprogrammology'

When Henry “Ted” Kernan started his online platform WellLogData, he was trying to fix a problem he had long encountered as a geologist: how to best view and interpret a large number of image logs for onshore U.S. basins.

Most software, he noted, is made for offshore fields, where wells are in the hundreds. Onshore there is data for millions of wells.

“Most of that is present in images, and the original digital registry has been lost,” he said. “Digital well logs overwhelmingly come from tracing these images, but digitization has been ad hoc throughout the decades.”

Enter WellLogData, his geologic and engineering interpretation platform.

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A screenshot of the WellLogData online application.

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When Henry “Ted” Kernan started his online platform WellLogData, he was trying to fix a problem he had long encountered as a geologist: how to best view and interpret a large number of image logs for onshore U.S. basins.

Most software, he noted, is made for offshore fields, where wells are in the hundreds. Onshore there is data for millions of wells.

“Most of that is present in images, and the original digital registry has been lost,” he said. “Digital well logs overwhelmingly come from tracing these images, but digitization has been ad hoc throughout the decades.”

Enter WellLogData, his geologic and engineering interpretation platform.

Using a Software as a Service Web (SAAS) model, Kernan’s platform is able to preload onshore data, including the well log, production, FracFocus and completion information, through an online browser.

“WellLogData makes it easier to view these files,” he said, “and we are developing new techniques to digitize them in a standard, complete way that will provide much more information than has been extracted so far.”

Currently, users can click on a well spot in seven states and create a cross-section directly online, he said.

“We have depth-registered a significant number of logs so that users can also pick tops and plot perfs, driller tops and casing depths,” he said.

For an additional cost, he added, users can download the original image file, a depth registration file and order LAS curves.

“We are expanding our functionalities to provide standard LAS outputs for all wells and additional search functionalities for well-header information,” said Kernan. “We also have the ability to digitize, depth register and organize other TIFF image libraries, providing a while-label solution.”

Entrepreneurial Obstacles

As a startup, Kernan faces challenges, he said.

“One large challenge was in developing the technology,” he said. “I’ve called myself a geoprogrammologist for over a year now, but certainly it was never part of my master’s program at (Colorado School of Mines.)”

It was while working at ExxonMobil that he envisioned many of the key functions he has been able to put into practice with WellLogData, though he lacked the skills at the time to make it all possible, he said.

“We now face the same challenges any other startup faces, but having crossover skills – and working with other geoprogrammologists – helps us overcome them,” he added.

Kernan also credited the AAPG Pitchapalooza event at last year’s AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston for helping to overcome some of those obstacles. It allowed for networking opportunities and offered a place to hone messaging of the product, he said.

“We’ve participated in other pitch events that are more broadly technology and it is difficult to explain what it is we do to an audience that doesn’t work in oil and gas science,” he said.

Looking forward to 2018, the company is growing but continues to try to stay lean. WellLogData is looking for more customers and strategic partnerships with other players, Kernan said. A video introduction and free demo access are available at WellLogData.comeyrvwyxcrvdatwvruvevu.

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