In today’s U.S. shale fields, tiny sensors attached to production gear harvest data on everything from pumping pressure to the heat and rotational speed of drill bits boring into the rocky earth. The sensors are leading Big Oil’s mining of so-called big data, with some firms envisioning billions of dollars in savings over time by avoiding outages, managing supplies and identifying safety hazards. The industry has long used sophisticated technologies to find oil and gas. But only recently have oil firms pooled data from across the company for wider operating efficiencies – one of many cost-cutting efforts spurred by the two-year downturn in crude oil CLc1 prices. ConocoPhillips ( COP.N ) says that sensors scattered across […]