December 1998


Coherency dispute – Landmark bows to pressure from Amoco (December 1998)

Landmark Graphics Corporation has finallyagreed to stop selling its Continuity Cube product, bowing to pressure from Amoco whopatented the technology in 1996. A new product 'PostStack ESP' which Amoco has'reviewed' and deemed unobjectionable, will be available from Landmark shortly.

The successful Coherency Cube software, developed and patented by Amoco and marketed by Coherence Technology Corp. has been the subject of a long-running dispute between Amoco and Landmark Graphics Corporation. The technology was patented by Amoco in 1996 (see PDM Vol. 1 N° 6) and offers the seismic interpreter a tool for enhancing discontinuities in seismic data, thereby producing impressive-looking maps of faulting and other abrupt lateral changes such as channel boundaries. Initially, Landmark believed it had bought the rights to use this technology when it acquired Advance Geophysical Corporation (AGC) in 1994 (PDM Vol 2 N°7). AGC had struck a deal with Amoco in 1991 giving them the rights to use the continuity algorithm which forms the motor of the Continuity Cube, part of the Poststack interpretative processing package. Amoco contested this interpretation and a court ruling last summer (PDM Vol. 3 N° 8) found in Amoco’s favor.

Discontinuous

Subsequent discussions have resulted in Landmark agreeing to discontinue the licensing, certain support and upgrading of its Continuity Cube software. As a result, Continuity Cube is not included in the currently-shipping Release 98 of Landmark’s suite of E&P software. However, Landmark’s clients will not be denied access to continuity-type analysis. A replacement module "PostStack ESP" is destined to replace the incriminated software. The ESP module is currently being tested prior to its release early in 1999. Amoco is said to have "reviewed" this replacement software and has "no objections to its commercial availability".

Good for the lawyers

In PDM’s extensive review of patents and software back in July 1997 we analyzed the pros and cons of patenting software and included a contributed article on software patents by California-based patent attorney Jim Ivey (jim@iveylaw.com). Coherency or continuity is measured using a variety of techniques based on correlation, which is the bread and butter of the seismic processor. No one has yet patented correlation, but if that did come about, every seismic process in the world will be subject to scrutiny. At one juncture, Rutt Bridges formerly of Landmark and past president of the SEG questioned the overall economics of patenting calling for a "truce on patents". Our 1997 analysis concluded that the legislative status quo is unsatisfactory for all except the lawyers. Indeed, the outcome of the protracted Amoco/Landmark dispute, whereby much effort has been expended but very little has changed would seem to confirm our initial analysis.

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Petris Technology gets Minerals Management Service contract (December 1998)

Petris Technology has been awarded a contractwith the United States Department of the Interior Minerals Management Service in NewOrleans to scan and index its entire collection of well logs.

The US Minerals Management Service (MMS) is the government body in charge of managing mineral resources on the continental shelf and on Federal and Indian lands. Additionally the MMS is responsible for the verification and distribution of mineral revenues. The current project involves the scanning and indexing of the MMS’ massive well-log database. The scanning project will begin shortly and is the largest of its kind for the MMS. 

Blount

MMS Contract Officer Mary Blount said "We are excited about working with Petris because of the demonstrated level of professionalism and commitment to a quality product. The Petris Team has a strong customer service approach and we believe this contract will be a partnership of benefit both to Petris and the MMS." Petris Technology offers a range of IT solutions to help its energy company clients manage their information assets and to enhance productivity. The company's primary lines of business include: On-Line Energy Information Marketing, Data Management, Software & Professional Services, Remote Sensing, Data Acquisition and Conversion Services comprising well log digitizing and aerial videography.

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Our apologies, when HTML is not HTML and what 1999 may bring (December 1998)

PDM’s editor, Neil McNaughton offers somefeeble excuses for the late arrival of this month’s PDM and gives a preview of nextmonth’s Year in Review.

First, our apologies for the late appearance of Petroleum Data Manager. Excuses? Always felt that the more there are, the less they are credible, but here we go. Apart from the usual Christmas and new year festivities, your faithful editor and his spouse celebrated a joint 100th birthday which somewhat reduced our productivity. The PDM on CD-ROM project (see back page of this issue) has also been taking up an inordinate amount of time and produced multiple opportunities for futzing – that particular IT activity whereby the intrinsic interest of a task takes over from any notion of usefulness.

Lets futz again

High on the list of futzing activities was the development of sexy web pages using Microsoft FrontPage. As we later learned, these contain Microsoft-only code which will not run from a CD – so we were back to the drawing board. I do not mind Microsoft’s attempt to dominate the web by offering must-have extensions that you end up wanting to use. But I do object to the way these are generated by FrontPage without any indication that they are NOT standard HTML. Another problem we encountered is the atrocious apology for HTML that emerges from the HTML export from Microsoft Word. We have moaned about Microsoft’s code quality before but the inversion of end and start tags and the dogs-dinner HTML that results is amazing.

Showcase?

All the more so because this is publicly visible code that could be a shop-window for Microsoft’s software engineers. For the PDM on CD-ROM project we ended up hand coding – or rather auto-coding pretty well everything. Because with the amount of material we had to produce, we had to develop some VB routines to map out text files and indexes to HTML. Ended up quite a project. Hope you all will appreciate the results.

Next month in PDM

We are putting together a piece for next month’s PDM which will be a review of 1998 together with some predictions for 1999. I offer here a synopsis of some of the ideas we are working on and I hope that they will stimulate some feedback. If you have any comments, on what was good or bad about 1998 or what will be hot in ‘99 let us know at pdm@the-data-room.com. Our current headline for 1998 is that it was the year of the repackaging of the data model as "business objects" and the appearance of a whole range of business-object based "Frameworks". Despite the undoubted successful marketing of Open Spirit, these are not the only guys on the block. Apart from Landmark and GeoQuest, who both have their own data models (OpenWorks and GeoFrame respectively) and their own Business Object Frameworks (in the form of their respective development kits) – there are a few other contenders – see below. But first, just so that things are quite clear, we offer a slightly iconoclastic table comparing the old way of looking at the world with the new

What it is

What it used to be called

What it is called now

An Oracle database

‘Standard’ Data model

‘Open’ Business objects

C Programming interface to the above.

Application Programming Interface (API)

Business Object Framework

Applying and embellishing the above analysis we offer the following examples of Business Object Frameworks that are currently on offer:

Company

BO Framework

CGG

CORBA-based

Dassault

Omega

GeoQuest

GeoFrame

IHS

Edge

Landmark

OpenWorks

Oilfield Systems

DAEX

POSC

Interop

Prism Technology

Open Spirit

Why am I telling you all this? So that you realize that nothing much has changed. While BO’s may bring some gains in terms of interoperability, they will not solve any of the structural problems that you already know all about. Such as data loading issues, data integrity (which will be worse as we ‘learn to live’ with multiple databases), workstation data loading and work-flow in general. So long as you realize that all the new toys are not going to make a whit of difference to the real issues at hand, then go ahead and rush out and buy them. I am of course joking. Nobody will be rushing out and buying anything much in 1999.

Tough times ahead

It would be nice to think that a forced period of defocusing from expenditure on software tools would allow the IT department to get its processes in better shape. Unfortunately a great target for post A&M cost-cutting is the little-guy-doing-a-great-job. So it will be a tough time for everyone and you all will have to fight your corners. Sorry that we can’t offer a cheerier message for the New Year. We wish you all well of course and will try to continue to support all your efforts to "do it right", by trying to "tell it like it is!"

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Vendors race to win campus hearts and minds (December 1998)

On the grounds that if you get them whilethey’re at school, they’ll be faithful customers when they hit the workplace (ifany of them get that far!); E&P software vendors are competing to supply universitieswith their products.

Both GeoQuest and Landmark subsidiary GeoGraphix are offering free software deals to academia. GeoQuest is to provide three-year, renewable licenses for its E&P interpretation products to qualifying academic institutions. The deal includes software maintenance, training and technical support. To qualify, institutions must submit a written proposal indicating their software requirements and should be able to identify an on-campus facility that will accommodate the use of the software.

World-wide program

GeoQuest will then conduct a site assessment to evaluate all qualified campuses. Universities selected for this program may use the software to instruct students as part of the course curriculum or conduct academic research. Frank McKay, vice president of Software Commercialization for GeoQuest stated "We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide GeoQuest's suite of software products to accredited universities around the globe," says "Through this program, students can familiarize themselves with leading-edge technology and will be able to make valuable contributions to the E&P industry upon graduation."

No commercial use!

The software is not intended for commercial use by the university. Meanwhile following a donation of software ‘worth’ nearly $750,000 to Colorado School of Mines, Landmark Graphics subsidiary GeoGraphix has done it again with another donation – this time for another ¾ million bucks worth – to Texas A&M. The software will be used by both students and professors in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering computer lab in Colorado a facility that is funded by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC), and the Colorado School of Mines.

20 seats

The software at Texas A&M is to go to the new Integrated Reservoir Investigations Laboratory (IRL) scheduled to open officially early in 1999. In both cases, the Geographix software will offer the students a twenty seat installation with 20 stand-alone versions of the GeoGraphix Exploration System, SeisVision, and PRIZM for the CSM and a networked version of the same software at Texas A&M. More on GeoQuest’s university program from univprog@houston.geoquest.slb.com or Julie Broadley at 713-513-2000, for the GeoGraphix program, checkout the Landmark website at www.lgc.com or call Kami Schmidt on 303 296-0596.

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Stratigraphy improved as well visualization software moves offshore (December 1998)

Oilfield-Systems GeoScene well pathvisualization software now boasts improved zonal schemes and correlation of horizontalwell paths. Deployed on Shell Expro’s North Sea Kingfisher well, GeoScene contributedto an estimated $1 million saving on drilling costs.

GeoScene 4.0 features include a new zonal correlation capability, improved horizontal well correlation, new fault handling, improved 3D visualisation and better data connectivity. Nico Chart, GeoScene Product Development Manager says, "This release represents a huge leap forward in geological capability. Users can now define hierarchical zones based on lithology, sequence stratigraphy or any other facies scheme. Zones can be correlated and assigned properties for calculation or for export to reservoir mapping and modeling systems".

Stretch and flip

Enhancements to the workflow for reservoir description and volumetric calculation are also reported. Designed by Oilfield’s Matthew Cheshire, GeoScene 4.0 now includes enhanced facility for correlating horizontal wells allowing users to stretch and flip the correlation cursor to compensate for the deviation of the well. ‘Part well’, segments can be generated and slid up or down, allowing fault zones to be correlated and a true stratigraphic view constructed. GeoScene uses the plug and play interface from DAEX for data transfer. GeoScene has proved critical in designing and drilling highly deviated wells on Shell Expro’s Kingfisher field in the North Sea.

Off-track

The first highly deviated well on the Kingfisher structure encountered problems with hard rock layers kicking it off-track; impacting the straightness of the well, the rate of penetration and the ability to steer into the optimum part of the reservoir. Using the mobile GeoScene, Shell Expro achieved more rapid operational decisions. Data was shared with the Aberdeen office where an identical database was maintained. Engineers and geologists at the well site were thus able to see the same data and interpretation as at the head office and incorporate them in their decision making. The previous horizontal hole took six weeks to drill. Using the mobile GeoScene system a straighter hole with greater reach and higher net-to-gross took three and a half weeks. An estimated saving of over £1 million ($1.6 million) is claimed. More on GeoScene 4.0 from sales@oilfield-systems.com 

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Egyptian National Data Repository contract awarded to CGG-PECC (December 1998)

The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation(EGPC), a government agency and parent company of the upstream General Petroleum Company(GPC) is to implement a National Data Repository (NDR) as part of the Corporate DataManagement Project

The Corporate Data Management Project aims to preserve EGPC data, reduce costs associated with storing and handling magnetic media and associated documents, improve access to legacy and future archives and generally to enhance data management within the EGPC. The solution provides for the migration of existing data (seismic field and processed, associated documents, navigation and well data) to the new repository and for the integration of the system with into EGPC's existing IT infrastructure.

Fourth NDR

PetroVision, CGG-PECC's E&P Databank Management System will be deployed to provide what is described as a "POSC (Petrotechnical Open Software Corporation) Epicentre-compliant" solution. CGG-PECC are doing pretty well in the National Data Repository stakes and are undoubtedly benefiting from IBM’s retreat from this market. The Egyptian NDR follows on from the Algerian, and UK NDR’s and represents the seventh PetroVision sale (by PDM’s reckoning). PetroVision utilizes an Oracle database and an ArcView-based GIS front end. CGG-PECC, is the IT and Data Management Services division of CGG (Compagnie Générale de Géophysique). More from http://www.cgg.com

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Stratimagic interoperates with Charisma and IESX (December 1998)

The latest version of StratiMagic from CGGsubsidiary Flagship Geosciences now reads and writes data from GeoQuest’s seismicinterpretation suites.

StratiMagic V 1.6 now features links to Schlumberger-GeoQuest's Charisma and IESX seismic databases. In addition, the existing links to Landmark Graphics Corporation's SeisWorks databases have been optimized. The neural network process can now be used to produce seismic facies maps highlighting clusters of attribute values. More functionality, and additional I/O enhancements, provide the user with the capability for accessing and analyzing data from industry-standard interpretation systems quickly and easily.

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Tobin International acquires Innovative Business Solutions (December 1998)

Tobin International Inc. has acquiredInnovation Business Solutions, Inc. (IBS) a provider of land and lease management softwarefor the oil and gas industry. IBS’ cooperation with Price-Waterhouse-Coopers and SAPis to be maintained.

IBS has offices in Denver and Houston and will operate as "Tobin IBS". Charles Ivey, formerly CEO of PI/Dwights and now President and CEO of Tobin stated, "The combination of IBS and Tobin allows us to integrate digital map data with land and lease information for customers. The use of digital lease data accurately registered to Tobin’s industry-leading SuperBase Landnet, coupled with the IBS land management system, provides a real advantage to companies wanting to operate more efficiently. This is mission-critical for customers, particularly during times when cost reduction is so important". IBS is party to several important service agreements, including continuing relationships with Price-Waterhouse-Coopers and SAP, which provides major integration projects for several customers.

SAP Oil and Gas Solution

Ivey continued, "The capability Tobin brings in digital mapping and digital lease information will add value to these relationships." Michael Olszewski, Managing Partner of the Price-Waterhouse-Coopers North American Oil and Gas Practice stated, "Price-Waterhouse-Coopers and IBS have built a strong strategic relationship over the last several years, including our co-ownership of Domain Plus. The combination of Tobin with IBS further promotes the Price-Waterhouse-Coopers vision of broadening the availability of the most functional and integrated client server solutions for the upstream industry. It also certainly complements Price-Waterhouse-Coopers's recent alliance with SAP as sole co-developer of the new SAP Oil and Gas solution for E&P". Financing for the acquisition of IBS was provided to Tobin by Energy Spectrum Partners LP and Prudential Capital Group, a division of the Prudential Insurance Company of America, both located in Dallas. More from Bill Crow at Tobin on 713.662.9130.

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New wide-screen visualization service and seismic processing center from Veritas(December 1998)

Veritas DGC Inc. is to deploy asupercomputer-based visualization center in Houston, and is opening a seismic processingshop in Aberdeen.

Veritas DGC's Data Visualization Center is designed to allow asset teams of geoscientists to collaborate on interpretation and quality control of large volumes of 3D data. The Center will be primarily used as a value-added service to data library clients and displays and manipulates extensive 3D datasets. Dale Bowering, VP of Business Development for Veritas Marine Surveys claims "This gives a real advantage in establishing the ‘big picture’ in the reconnaissance stage of exploration. A lot of ground can be covered very quickly, producing results in a fraction of the time taken using conventional methods."

Monster-VR

Powered by Silicon Graphics Onyx2 RealityMonster supercomputer, the center includes a main workroom theater with an 18-by-7 foot rear projection viewing screen, as well as four private interpretation/visualization workrooms, allowing multiple teams to work simultaneously. The Silicon box is linked to Veritas’ NEC supercomputers over a high-speed fiber link. The Center allows for data quality control throughout the processing stage, where potential problems can be identified and resolved early and is being used in interpretation and quality control of Veritas’ new non-exclusive 3D prestack depth migration program in the deep water Gulf of Mexico.

21st center

Veritas are also to install what will be its 21st processing center in Aberdeen. Equipped with Hewlett Packard C-class workstations, the center will perform 2D and 3D data processing services, as well as enhanced services such as depth migration velocity model building, amplitude variation with offset processing, modeling and inversion. "The processing center will significantly improve our service to the U.K. based oil companies, many of whom are located in Aberdeen." says Ian Thornton, Vice President of Data Processing for Veritas EAME.

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Cresson declares open-season for fund hunters as EU launches Fifth Framework Program(December 1998)

EU Commissioner for Research Edith Cresson hasannounced the start of the Fifth Framework Program, the main vehicle for direct EU fundingof R&D. The first calls for proposals will be issued in February and March 1999.

EU funding, while not exactly a mainstay in upstream R&D has contributed to quite a few successful projects – not least the Open Spirit initiative. The announcement of the Fifth Framework Program heralds the arrival of a new tranche (a very euro-word!) of funding for European researchers. Commissioner Cresson claimed that there will be "a different spirit" about the new program with greater concentration on selected priorities. The new budget of 15 billion Euros (around $17.5 billion) represents a increase of 4.6% over the Fourth Framework Program. The Member States at the Council have reached agreement on the content Fifth Framework Program.

Call for experts

The Commission intends the new program to get under way quickly. Members have been identified for the new Expert Advisory Groups required by legislation. A call has been issued seeking experts to sit on the assessment panels which compare competing bids for funding. Documentation describing the new program for the research community is being prepared and will be available early in 1999. A conference to launch the program has been scheduled for February in Essen, Germany. With the help of national agencies, a ‘wave’ of information days explaining subsections of the program to local audiences will follow all over Europe. The first call for proposals inviting researchers to submit bids for funding is likely in mid-February. The biggest single budget line is for the Essential Technologies and Infrastructures key action in the Information Society program which has been allocated 1,363 million Euro.

Out to lunch?

While it is a little off-topic for PDM, the Commissioners were said to have discussed ethical issues in research, particularly cloning and the use of human embryos, ‘over lunch’! The subject areas for the 5th Framework program do not appear to offer particularly rich pickings for E&P, but since many upstream software companies may well be looking outside of the oil business for their next projects we offer the following topics as possible long-shots for E&P derived expertise.

User-Friendly Information Society

Competitive and Sustainable Growth

Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development

Promotion of Innovation

Encouraging SME participation

Joint Innovation/SME activities

More on the Fifth Framework program from the EU’s website on http://www.cordis.lu.

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Advanced Visual Systems Announces Support for Oracle8i (December 1998)

Visualization software from Advanced VisualSystems Inc. (AVS) of San Francisco is now compatible with Oracle’s Internet-focusedOracle8i database management system.

Oracle’s new database for internet computing will be the engine for new internet solutions to be developed by Advanced Visual Systems (AVS). AVS will combine its visualization solutions with Oracle8i and Oracle8i Spatial, Oracle’s latest technology for spatial data management, to allow AVS customers to develop Internet-based solutions. AVS technology will allow customers in industries including oil and gas to deploy solutions based on the AVS Spatial Data Interface (SDI) and the Oracle Spatial technology. These new solutions will support visual exploration, analysis and communication of data and contribute to "business intelligence being derived from the volumes of data managed by Oracle8i".

More Beans please!

According to Harry Cochran, CEO of Advanced Visual Systems, "Internet based applications are becoming increasingly common, and AVS is committed to providing solutions for our customers to take full advantage of this new trend. Oracle8i's support of emerging standards such as Enterprise Java Beans will enable software components to interact with each other based on industry standard interfaces. This allows AVS to help customers create their visualization solutions faster and deploy them throughout the enterprise at a substantial savings with reduced risk." AVS software will be delivered early to mid 1999. In addition to support of Oracle8i Spatial, support for Oracle8i InterMedia and Oracle8i Time-Series will provide AVS customers with data-fusion capabilities to further enhance their visualization solutions. More from www.avs.com and www.oracle.com.

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DUMMY

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

People (December 1998)

This month's movers hail from Coherence Technology Corp. and CGG

Tim Rondstadt has been nominated as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Coherence Technology Corp., an internal promotion. Rondstadt was previously with Amoco, Zycor Landmark and GeoQuest, where he closed the first GeoQuest/Omnes sole provider contract for international systems & services to Triton Energy (see PDM Vol. 2 No 3).

Compagnie Générale de Gophysique (CGG) has announced a new Executive Committee including:

Gérard Chambovet is Senior Executive Vice President of Geophysical Services. 

Eric Déliac, Executive Vice President R&D.

Jean-François Marquaire, Executive Vice President, is in charge of the Americas region, the General Geophysics product line and the Non-Exclusive Surveys division.

Christian Lerat, Executive Vice President, will be assisting the Vice Chairman and President on special assignments.

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Project Banff – multi-source data browsing from Landmark (December 1998)

A Landmark initiative – codename'Project Banff' is designed to allow data from diverse sources to be viewed witha single ArcView-based browser.

PDM (Vol. 1 N° 5) has described Calgary, with its close-knit, competitive E&P community and high-performance communications as the "E&P data capital of the world". Landmark considers that the Calgary marketplace is an excellent test-bed for their new multi data source browser code-named "Project Banff". The idea is to provide a single viewer for the many Calgary-based data sources, for a company’s in-house data store and for data from international vendors with the ex-Petroconsultants’ Iris21 understood to be a key target. The technology is to include "wizards" to accelerate database hookup. The Banff Browser is built on native ArcView, in other words there is no current intention to provide a data loading function into Open Works. Any data base can be connected provided it is "reasonably compatible" with the Open Works data model. It is interesting to speculate as to whether this ‘compatibility’ demonstrates a leaning towards OpenWorks’ erstwhile PPDM-basis or its new and revised compatibility with Epicentre. The location of Banff – nearer to Calgary than Stavanger we believe – may be a hint!

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Badley’s new Java versions of Stretch and Flex Decomp (December 1998)

Badley Earth Sciences is to revamp itsstructural modeling routines Stretch and Flex DeComp by re-writing them in Java.

Structural geology software from Badley that was originally written by Prof. Nick Kusznir is to get a face lift with the advent of Java cross-platform programming. Target platforms are Windows 95/98, Windows NT and UNIX. New functionality will be added during the port; Stretch will incorporate gravity modeling and a multiple-rifting capability while Flex Decomp will allow a laterally-varying early rift to be defined, said to be "a feature of particular importance at Passive Margins". Availability of the new Java-based software is mid 1999. More from Alan Roberts alan@badleys.co.uk

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Perestroika brings new SEG-Y loader and viewer to Coherence Technology Company.(December 1998)

A new product 'InSightful',originally developed by the FSU’s Central Geophysical Expedition (CGE) offerssimplified data loading and visualization of SEG-Y seismic data.

CTC Coherence Systems, a new division of Coherence Technology Company (CTC) is now marketing what is wordily named "CoherentVision InSightful". This 3D visualization technology reads standard SEGY data directly into visualization tools which feature rapid cube manipulation enabling "a quick understanding of the data". Rick Merrill, Manager of CTC’s new Coherence Systems division stated "The industry has been offered 3D visualization tools that are expensive, over-engineered, require data reformatting, and demand a small army of support personnel. InSightful is a deployable solution based on low cost, low-end system requirements, lightning-fast rendering speed and the ability to read SEGY data, thus dispensing with proprietary seismic data structures."

X-Rated

InSightful can rotate, zoom, and cut arbitrary lines and planes from any angle or side of the cube. It will also analyze up to three volumes of data at once, interactively cut a chair, a wedge, make data transparent or flatten a surface in the volume on the fly. CoherentVision products display on low-end graphics workstations or on a PC via X-window emulation. Devon Dowell, CTC's V.P. of Operations said, "We have been using InSightful internally as our visualization tool for almost a year and our Coherence Cube processing customers have been asking for this software. They have a big problem quickly loading and visualizing data. The market needs tools to rapidly visualize, select and QC data for high-grading."

Back in the USSR

CoherentVision was originally developed by the Central Geophysical Expedition (CGE), which was founded in 1967 as a specialized science and production center with headquarters in Moscow. CGE introduce digital recording along with seismic and geophysical data processing to the oil and gas industry in the Former Soviet Union (FSU). CGE has an estimated 15 man-years of development effort in CoherentVision. "CoherentVision InSightful" may be a bit of a mouthful but it is nothing compared with the intricacies of the marketing agreements behind this product.

Dynamic-View

Released originally as Dynamic View in the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.), the package is now in production use throughout the territory. CGE established a partnership with Dynamic Data Imaging, Ltd. (DDI) in 1997. DDI had the charter of finding a company in the west that could develop and deploy the technology. CTC obtained an exclusive license from DDI earlier this year to the source code and worldwide marketing rights for CoherentVision (outside of the C.I.S.). CTC Coherence Systems now develops CoherentVision in their new Dallas office. The agreement between CTC and CGE/DDI allows engineering resources to be exchanged and shared. Devon Dowell stated, "Although we purchased a mature product we feel there are technical advantages in leveraging CGE's talented group of programmers and physicists. We believe this exchange of ideas and sharing of resources is an innovative approach to software commercialization."

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EarthWorks and CSPG to offer workstation training (December 1998)

The Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologistsis holding a 'hands-on' 3-day course in workstation use for Geologists.

Earthworks’ designer and indefatigable salesman Mark Sun will be teaming with Easton Wren to give a three day course entitled "Seismic Workstation Interpretation for Geologists". The course was designed at the behest of the CSPG to provide a "hands-on" introduction to the workstation world, tutorial-style, with walk-through explanations and demonstrations of how to start up, pick and map seismic events, calibrate seismic data with well control and define prospects with actual data sets. The advantages and limits of workstation interpretation will be discussed along with relevant aspects of acquisition and processing. The emphasis will be on the integration of geological insight with seismic data. The workstations used for this course will run the EarthWorks Exploration System. The course will held in Calgary on January 25-27, 1999. More from 1-888-263-2212.

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Reservoir parameters Emerge from multi-attribute analysis (December 1998)

Hampson Russel’s new Emerge software useswell log and seismic attributes to predict reservoir properties such as porosity,lithology and permeability

The new process involves ‘training’ the program at selected locations on the volume using measured well log curves. Emerge determines which combination of attributes are best used to predict a given parameter at these known locations, and then applies that combination of attributes to the entire seismic volume. A validation analysis is performed to ensure the program has not ‘over trained’ the given data set. Two independent methods can be used in the prediction process: weighted convolutional sum (derived from the covariance matrix) and artificial neural networks (ANN). More from Hampson on http://www.hampson-russell.com.

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Statoil – happy with Notes (December 1998)

Statoil is reportedly happy with itscompany-wide deployment of Lotus Notes Groupware – at least according to IBM!

Following on the heels of BP’s enthusiastic use of Microsoft Exchange (see PDM Vol 3 N° 11), Norwegian state oil company Statoil is understood to be similarly pleased with its company-wide implementation of IBM/Lotus Notes Groupware. Statoil started out with Notes in 1991 with the objective of having a unified messaging system throughout its world-wide organization. Today, Statoil is one of the 10 largest users of Notes in the world. 

Pilot

A two year pilot project started in 1991 allowed Statoil to test out its first Notes server at the outcome of which, Statoil decided to go for company-wide deployment of both Notes and Lotus Smart Suite. Training was a priority as were the dual objectives of company-wide procedures and archives management. A bespoke application was developed for these which was subsequently re-sold to IBM. Significant savings in personnel time and transportation costs are reported. Hardest job, according to Statoil’s IT department was preparing users for the system which is said to have changed the way the company works.

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QC Data Acquires GeoSyn Software Ltd. (December 1998)

QC Data Petroleum Services Ltd. has acquiredall interests in GeoSyn Software Ltd., vendors of a Windows-based synthetic seismogram andlog modeling program.

QC Data is to integrate the new software from GeoSyn with its AccuMap GIS browser. "The ability of a geophysicist or geologist to create a synthetic seismogram by simply clicking on a well will save hours of time." explained Kevin Angus, co-founder of GeoSyn. John Redfern, President of QC Data's Petroleum Services Division said "We have already started integrating the powerful functionality of GeoSyn's software, which will allow oil and gas professionals to work efficiently with our existing digital well log database through AccuMap." 

75 clients

The software will also be marketed as a stand-alone product both within Canada and internationally. GeoSyn was developed by Jim Wylie and Kevin Angus and is currently in use at approximately 75 oil companies, locally and internationally. GeoSyn 2D is a stratigraphic modeling program that allows the user to create zones with blocked velocity and density values or interpolate velocity and density information from well logs. More from Rob Meurin on (403) 270-1405

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