The oil industry differs from many others in that it seems to thrive on speculation and disorganization. The industry has very little desire to collect and utilize data in order to become more efficient. Data collection is instead being left to third parties who are attempting to collect and organize data in a way that it becomes useful to oil traders.

Domestic Oil And Gas Production

The oil industry in general and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in particular are often not forthcoming with information on shipments and production of oil. Yet this information is the primary motivating factor behind changes in the price of oil. There are a few large providers of this data like Bloomberg and Reuters but the industry is being reshaped by small outsiders. These newcomers are using algorithms to collect and organize data from across the industry which can give traders a competitive edge.

While the data gathering techniques and algorithms are doubtless proprietary and innovative they do not represent groundbreaking technological achievement. Instead they are simply the logical extensions of techniques already used in other industries being employed to track the production, shipment and processing of the world’s most traded commodity. The truly remarkable thing about the data revolution taking place is that it needs to occur at all.

One of the most used social media outlets in the world, Twitter, contains a perfect example of individuals working together to track the oil markets. They work under the hashtag #OOTT and it all began with one man. Samir Madani did not start out to be a saint or a public servant, he began collecting oil data for the purposes of enhancing has own trading abilities. It was only after he moved his endeavors to Twitter that the potential for crowd sourcing data became clear.

Today Madani has created an innovative website, which helps monitor the flow of oil across the oceans. Madani’s only request is if someone uses information from his website they credit it. In similar fashion dozens of small startups and individuals across the world are taking it upon themselves to revolutionize the way data is distributed throughout the oil industry.