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‘Netflix for Oil’ Setting Stage for $1 Trillion Battle Over Data

  • Explorers vie with servicers to control information on wells
  • Contractual language evolving to speak to who owns it
High End Data Cables Feed Into Servers

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

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A battle for big data is brewing in the oil patch.

The service companies that map underground pockets of oil, drill the wells and lift crude from miles below are generating vast new amounts of data they never before realized could be valuable. But their exploration customers are essentially saying hands off to anything coming out of their wells, including the streams of zeros and 1s.