- Data management and economic evaluations are the most valuable features in Aries for me.
- Aries is made for the Oil and Gas industry. Updating and customizing the database is very easy. You can set up properties by project and the global editor allows you to replace or add data easily. It also has qualifier and scenario features that allow you to control sets of data.
- For running economics, planning budgets, and reporting reserves, Aries is one of the best in the industry and used more than any other product in the industry for that purpose. There are many, many ways to customize variables to get the most accurate results. You can run cases one at a time or by the thousands, including subtotals. Cash flow reports are a snap and can be customized to meet your needs. All of the data results can be saved to a one-line table for use in other programs such as Excel.
Improvements to My Organization
Using Aries makes running sensitivities in economic evaluations efficient. It is also handy to query against the DB in Access via Excel to streamline “live” data to get the most up-to-date information when you’re evaluating a project and need customized reports. Your queries, formulas, and reports can be customized as much as your user can make them to meet your needs.
However, one of the biggest benefits is that when the DB is networked, everyone has access to the most current data in the “main DB” by simply refreshing their view (updates to production are that immediate — I recommend having limited users update the raw data for accountability purposes.) Having an active and live database comes with its concerns, too, because you must make sure permissions are set up efficiently and backups frequent. This helps prevent loss of data and data redundancy.
Aries makes it easy to update from other sources such as accounting software or subscription based well, land or production data. It’s easy to set up local databases (one that only you have access to) on your PC for exploration or acquisition evaluations.
Room for Improvement
I find that when I want to run quick decline curve analysis, I use other products like Tibco Spotfire or Fekete Harmony. However, if I am working with economics, I will use Multigraph to automatically "put" decline curve data into the economic program and tweak. For decline curve analysis, it could be more user friendly but once you understand how to customize it and tweak projections, it’s easy enough to use. It integrates with the economics software and therefore is an integral part of the overall solution.
Aries does not have mapping capabilities, but when you set up a DB, you can also set up Lat/Long data in the master table and export the properties to other mapping software such as Petra or Geographix if desired. Since it is access driven and data is set up in tables, you can export it easily to excel or set up comma-delimited files for importing into other programs.
Use of Solution
I began using Aries in the DOS environment in the 1980’s.
New upgrades to the product always have glitches as with any program out there. If an upgrade is released, I advise you prolong setup for a period of time so some of the major kinks are worked out. Once you are ready to do the initial upgrade, upload it and a copy of your DB on a stand-alone machine to test the product to the fullest before deploying it to the entire network. Aries is pretty good about fixing glitches quickly and their customer/technical support is top notch. In the past, they have allowed us access to their latest license release for testing purposes before we purchase the upgrade. Some upgrades require a new license, and some do not.
Stability is not usually a problem with Aries. I won’t say it never crashes, it does after all run on Windows, but it’s not the norm.
Since Aries is Access and SQL based, scaling it to meet your needs is not an issue. Your limitations are your network. There are ways to make it run faster when you have a large DB with many users, but your IT professional can help you with that.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Customer service is excellent. If you have transitioned to the point where you know more than some of their newer support technicians, there is always someone who can tackle your request; you’ll just have to be patient. Also, their entire manual is available via the program and is very comprehensive. Technical Support
Customer service is excellent. If you have transitioned to the point where you know more than some of their newer support technicians, there is always someone who can tackle your request; you’ll just have to be patient. Also, their entire manual is available via the program and is very comprehensive.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve initially set up the program, but I didn’t find rolling out the update as difficult as it is time consuming. Since Aries runs on every machine’s C:\ drive, you have to update all the machines individually. Again, support is excellent and once you’ve tackled this on the “test” machine, the rest of the upgrades move rather quickly. The license can be networked, which is what you'll need to actually run the program. I assume setting up initially is the same.
Implementing the update was done in-house, however I did contact our personal support representative at Aries to make sure I had all the information I needed to make a smooth transition prior to making the update.
I do not have actual numbers for a ROI on Aries, but I do find that in every oil company I’ve worked for we have used Aries and I personally find it invaluable. There are probably many other programs out there that are efficient programs for the oil and gas industry, but in my opinion, Aries is an industry standard.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Dec 31 2014