August 1998


Unocal chooses PetaSTAR data management solution (August 1998)

Unocal has selected PetaSTAR for corporatemanagement of E&P data. PetaSTAR is a hardware and software turnkey solutionco-developed by Panther Software Corp., Ovation Data Services, Sony, Sun, and LSC Inc.

Panther Software of Calgary has just announced the award of one of the first contracts for the installation of a PetaSTAR system. PetaSTAR, (introduced in PDM Vol. 2 No. 11) is a turnkey solution that combines data management software and high performance data storage technologies into an integrated, scalable solution. Panther is in the process of installing the PetaSTAR data management system into Unocal Corporation's Sugarland Texas office. Unocal selected the PetaSTAR system following detailed scrutiny of the various industry options available for managing large volumes of seismic and other forms of data.

new paradigm

Bruce Sketchley, Panther's VP Sales told PDM "Unocal was one of the first companies to recognize the value of breaking with the traditional approach to data management of using an 'online-vs.-backup' paradigm. Unocal was looking for a solution that would make all their data available to users as though it were online all the time." Sketchley added "PetaSTAR offers a way to control the explosive growth of online disk environments while still providing fast, efficient access to any data on the system." The PetaSTAR system offers nearline mass storage coupled with online disk environments integrated with advanced storage management software to offer a "virtual disk" environment for post-stack SEG-Y, SeisWorks project data and pre-stack seismic files.

workstation data

As part of the ongoing development plans for PetaSTAR Panther Software will be adding the ability to manage, access and load post-stack SEG-Y trace data directly into IES-X and Charisma. PetaSTAR is made up from the following software components

Ovation's GeOasis software, which provides access to well log, map image, text, and other support data

Panther's SMDS software manages the entire work flow - from the data repository to the desktop - providing access to 2D and 3D data stores at the click of a button.

LSC's SAM-FS software, storage management software that provides unlimited storage capacity and optimizes system performance

Top-end servers from Sun Microsystems provides the IT infrastructure and manage the Sony automated tape libraries incorporating high-speed (12 MBytes/sec) 1/2" DTF tape drives, developed specifically for high-performance data storage applications. More information from Bruce Sketchley on 281-296-6155 and http://www.panther-group.com.

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IEDS to offer direct database access over the Web (August 1998)

Integrated Exploration and DevelopmentServices Limited (IEDS) is to offer a a new service whereby clients can log on to the IEDSweb-site and query the E & P database directly.

IEDS, the UK-based E&P scouting service has been delivering its Monthly Activity Report service via the web for over a year now and claims one of the largest Web Sites in the UK and possibly Europe. The new service available to IEDS clients will allow access to an online database covering Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, Asia and Australasia. Users will be able to search the database, make reports, and make maps using either MapInfo or Arc View, with fully functional GIS packages. Such functions will be available from the users desktop, the only requirement will be for Internet access. Nick Robinson, IEDS' Director told PDM "We believe that this will seriously 'raise the stakes' in data delivery. Furthermore, our database is new and it has been compiled from sources in the country of origin of the data".

new data source

"We have also established a reliable network of data providers to supply ongoing updates and it therefore offers a major new source of E & P data for the oil and gas industry". IEDS has already been supplying its monthly activity reports via the world-wide web to clients for 18 months. The Activities Report Service provides coverage for more than 120 countries and includes a monthly report, color maps, well and contract data sheets, page-size location maps, a weekly highlights fax and an annual synopsis. Digital data for concessions, wells and fields is also available.

mightier PeN

The data is supplied in IEDS' proprietary database management software PeNplus. Data can be formatted to link with a variety of mapping packages, spreadsheets and other database managers directly from PeNplus. GIS packages can be used as the front-ends to view the database through IEDS' PeNmap facility. The data service includes regular updates. The IEDS website contains 4.4 Gbytes of information with the equivalent of 350,000 pages of text, and 9,000 plus maps. All the maps and text are fully searchable - with the A0 size maps in full color. The website currently receives an average 40,000 hits per week, from subscribers (excluding visitors and search 'bots!) from 280 oil company client sites. The Web site is platform, operating system and browser independent. The are no Java applets, ActiveX controls or plug-ins required to use the site. All the functions of the Web site are powered by server side CGI scripts which means that corporate firewalls do not have to cope with the security risk of application download.

no push

On the issue of data delivery by push technology Robinson told PDM "We do not intend to use push technology. We do not believe that this is appropriate as most corporate firewalls do not permit this as they regard it as intrusive. However we do intend to implement more online database-type facilities for the end user, such as being able to submit queries rather than having information which they may not require being 'pushed' at them". IEDS has offices in London, Singapore, Houston and Perth. More information from http://www.ieds.com.

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Editorial - e-commerce? Thanks but no thanks.. (August 1998)

This month, Neil McNaughton, PDM's editorreflects on his bank account, the year 2000 problem and wonders who is really running theshow.

I recently received an attractive offer from my bank (on of the largest in France) inviting me to a three month trial of a new, internet-based access to my accounts. This was to allow for consultation, and transfer of funds through a secure internet connection. Great thought I, and signed up right away. Signed quite a few times in fact as the paper documentation was voluminous. While signing I noticed some rather draconian clauses which briefly stated that any fraudulent use of Internet access would be, as it were, for my account. I therefore paid considerable attention to the security measures that were implemented. On the Internet side the access required the installation of a secure sockets layer. Now being a techno-freak, I am prepared to believe that if it is called "secure sockets", then that bit at least is secure. Well I hope so anyhow. As for the rest of the log-on procedure, I was less impressed.

Achilles' heel

As all PDM readers are undoubtedly aware, the most insecure part of any computer system is the password protection. Passwords are the Achilles' heel of a computer system, allowing for security attack by techniques such as the appropriately named Trojan Horse (see below). I was surprised then, when I found that the password protecting the account was a mere 6 digit number, defined by the user (just enough for a non-Y2K-complaint date-of-birth!). Not exactly a digital Fort Knox - and there was worse. In my reading of the advertising blurb, I understood that I could transfer monies between accounts. What was not so clear however was that these could be any account. In other words, supposing a hacker obtained my password, they could send money out to their bank account over the net. Not for me thought I, so I asked for a restriction on the accounts that could be used, limiting them to my own bank accounts.

pass the buck..

This was both a fail-safe, after all it would only allow an intruder to move my money between my bank accounts, and it also happened to be what I wanted. Unfortunately, I was told that this was impossible. Similarly, my refusal to accept blindly "any and all future system enhancements" was likewise considered as beyond the call of duty for the system engineers. The outcome of the whole exercise was that I could either have the system as it was designed, or not at all. I chose the latter. In essence, the system was designed by technologists as a one-size-fits-all, take-it-or-leave-it deal with suspect security. The bank's lawyers then drafted a contract that moved all the risk on to the client. An example of the short shrift that can be the lot of the unsuspecting consumer - of services and of IT.

Y2K again

Short shrift seems to be the lot of the world at large as the millennium approaches. Everyone who reads a newspaper knows about the impending doom that will result from a year being stored as two digits (98) instead of four (1998). The conventional explanation for this problem - proffered by the IT community - is that when all these programs were being written, computer memory was in such short supply that the date truncation was an economic necessity. This of course is first-rate twaddle. The reason that the year 2000 problem arose was because of laziness and poor management. If memory was the problem, then dates would have been encoded in a more compact form. After all, the 6 bytes that are used to store the short date could actually store over 700 year's worth of dates with a compact code that made use of all the available bits. The very standardization of ASCII for writing digits is a luxurious waste of computer memory.

and the point is?

What is the point of all this? Well firstly, I suppose I am just abusing my editorial position to get this off my chest - heck, I should be on holiday! Second, everyone should read about computer security from time to time just for their own good - it may even make you think to change your password - do it now! Thirdly, to squeeze a moral out of this sorry tale, the sad fact is that even in a company that is specialized in moving money around - securely one hopes - the ultimate system design actually results from a collective laziness on the part of system designers, just as with the Y2K issue. I offer this example, not because it reflects particularly on what happens in E&P IT, but as an example of how bad things can get. Never believe that just because company X is the largest player in the field that they have got everything right. With everyone banging on about e-commerce and business over the Internet, we have here a prime example of an abnegation of responsibility from one of the organizations that should be leading the way. In fact never underestimate the capacity of any organization to get things completely wrong, trust your own judgement, complain and if it ain't right, don't buy it!

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The Password Achilles' Heel (August 1998)

PDM proselytizes in favor of changingpasswords regularly. An example of one possible hacker's attack is described.

How the Trojan Horse hack works. The Trojan Horse password hack involves writing a program that emulates the login screen, and leaving this running on the unsuspecting user's machine. Along comes the aforementioned dupe, logs in and signs away his or her password which is then emailed to the hacker. A screen with a plausible error message invites the user to try again. Modern operating systems such as Windows NT require a warm re-boot (Ctrl+Alt+Del) before login to pre-empt such attacks. Such hacking is really level zero on the scale of computer security attacks. A more sophisticated use of programs masquerading as what-they-are-not is evidenced in Internet IP spoofing whereby a computer on the Internet uses similar techniques to appear to be what it is not. Once you are up spoofing, you can capture all the traffic that is routed through the spoofing machine.

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Corelab acquires Integra Geoservices, Calgary. (August 1998)

Corelab is to boost its integrated reservoirstudies capacity by combining expertise from Scott Pickford with services from newlyacquired Integra Geoservices Inc.

Scott Pickford, Corelab's UK-based provider of reservoir management services is to acquire Integra Geosciences. Integra provides seismic processing for reservoir characterization including AVO and seismic inversion techniques. The new corporate plan is to couple these with other reservoir description services provided by Core Laboratories. Integra will continue to operate under its own name in Calgary while international expansion of Integra's services will be handled by Scott Pickford. "The acquisition of Integra strengthens Core's abilities to integrate reservoir description and production enhancement technologies that oil companies are using to optimize reservoir performance and hydrocarbon recovery," said Chris Cottam, Managing Director of Scott Pickford.

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Panther Expands Operations in Houston (August 1998)

Panther is scaling up its Houston-basedoperation to cater for increased interest in the PetaSTAR data management system.

To respond to demand for services relating to the PetaSTAR data management system, Panther Software is expanding its operations base in Houston. Rich Sanders has joined Panther as a Technical Solutions Executive. Rich will be heading up the technical sales and support team, product development and customer liaison. Bruce Sketchley, Vice President Sales for Panther Software Corp., previously based in Calgary is also making the move to Houston. Panther's international sales activities will also be coordinated through the Houston office. More info from Bruce Sketchley on 281-296-6155 - or email bsketchley@panther.ab.ca.

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The PDM Interoperability debate - GeoQuest's position statement (August 1998)

Over the last few months PDM has been invitingcontributions from software vendors and standards associations covering their approach tosoftware interoperability. Paul Haines, GeoQuest's head of data management, hascontributed the following position statement on behalf of GeoQuest.

As has been stated in various papers and presentations, GeoQuest believes interoperability is necessary for E&P companies to manage their data better and to do their job more efficiently. GeoQuest has demonstrated that reliable access to the data is facilitated by a stable interface. This is especially true as a system's underlying data model becomes broader and richer. We believe that such a stable interface should be based on business objects or data representations that are focused on actual usage.

PPDM..

As discussed during the 1997 AGM of the Public Petroleum Data Model Association (PPDMA), the PPDM is "a business driven model," which makes it appropriate for defining Business Object interfaces to data models, including Epicentre. An example shown at that meeting took an abstract view of a well test and put it into a more concise view that an end-user could readily use. This methodology is one way that cross-discipline and inter-application interoperability can be achieved. As far as the timeline of interoperability, we have definite and specific plans relating to the revamping and reconciliation of the GeoQuest data models to Epicentre-based structures, as was described at the PPDM AGM.

POSC..

As PDM readers will know, the GeoFrame data model is based on Epicentre, and most of the Finder data model has been mapped to Epicentre. In addition, all our new developments, such as the production domain and Finder Enterprise are based directly on Epicentre structures. From our experiences in expanding the production domain, we see much of this work for Finder being finished before the end of next year (1999). Preliminary work (including prototypes) suggests that getting a common data model gives us and our clients options and benefits beyond just interoperability. Among these benefits is the ability to share a single instance of static data globally. Beyond the data model, systems based on common components are imperative to true interoperability. This, coupled with new technologies such as CORBA and JAVA that we are using in new developments, make a 2 to 4 year timeframe for complete interoperability more realistic than ever before.

.. and Geoshare

With commitment from several major clients, continued commitment from GeoQuest, and a commitment from Landmark to the Geoshare standard, we see Geoshare use increasing. As a new member of the Geoshare User Group board, I am committed to helping the Geoshare standards remain the industry standard for inter-application data exchange.

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IHS ENERY Group has acquired MAI Consultants (August 1998)

Information Handling Services Group (IHS), theparent company of PI/Dwights and Petroconsultants has added UK-Based MAI Consultants toits collection of energy data providers.

Described as the world's "leading source" of operating & cost data for E&P, MAI Consultants Limited is to become a new energy information franchise within the IHS group. Based in London, MAI has operations in Scotland, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Japan, and Australia. Along with the provision of cost and operating data, MAI provides databases, analysis and modeling tools to assess oil and gas exploration, development and production projects. MAI's portfolio of integrated products supports development planning, cost estimating, and economic analysis by oil and gas companies, service companies, and their consultants. The company has a strong presence in emerging oil and gas markets, such as in the former USSR.

franchise

Chris Meyer, president of IHS Group and chairman of IHS Energy Group, explained that -"MAI's business is highly complementary to IHS Energy Group and our fast growing Economics and Policy Analysis Group, also based in London." He is "excited by the potential to develop a whole new information franchise, built around oil and gas economic information and analysis." Meyer also expects IHS Energy to "benefit from MAI's established contacts and success in several increasingly important frontier oil and gas markets, particularly in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan." MAI's managing director and founder, Keith Doherty, is appointed as a member of the Office of CEO of IHS Energy. Reporting to Chris Meyer, Doherty will be responsible for supervising the ongoing development of both MAI and IHS Energy's Economics and Policy Analysis Group. Doherty is "very excited by the potential to push forward new development initiatives with the additional financial, technical, and sales and marketing support of IHS Energy".

Ba$ically..

MAI’s software makes up the BA$IS suite which providing a "complete integrated solution" for the evaluation of prospects and development of strategy. Components of BA$IS include

AS$ET2000 for use in the optimization of oil and gas assets and to facilitate economic modeling. For example, a model of mixed onshore and offshore assets in a number of different tax regimes, with varying working interest, requiring consolidation to corporate level is conceptually easy to create and allows instant ‘auditability’ of the model.

OPE$T a cost risk analysis system that is said to provide an operator with a "holistic, whole life asset business management package".

Q$RI$Q, MAI’s QUE$TOR2000 oil and gas prospect evaluation system.

MAI claims over 500 users world-wide for their software including oil companies such as Amoco, Arco, BP, Conoco, Exxon, Shell, Mobil, Phillips, and many state oil companies and smaller independents. More info from http://www.mai.co.uk.

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GeoGraphix Release 98 (August 1998)

Following parent company Landmark GraphicsCorp.'s synchronized releases of the OpenWorks suite, GeoGraphix is now to do likewisewith its own brand Release 98 on CD-ROM.

Release 98 combines GeoGraphix' full suite of products including GES97, Prizm, and SeisVision on a single CD. GeoGraphix' products provide data management, interpretation, and presentation capabilities across the spectrum of disciplines for geologists, geophysicists, engineers, landmen, and petrophysicists. Release 98 is the first GeoGraphix release based on the newly incorporated timed release development cycle. From now on, GeoGraphix are bravely offering "two releases each year on a CD-ROM that includes all of our products". Release 98 includes SeisVision version 4.0, which adds three new powerful interpretation tools: SynView, an interactive planimeter tool, and a 3D Fault View.

streamlined

The enhanced functionality of SeisVision 4.0 greatly streamlines your seismic interpretation process by bringing synthetic generation and 3D fault correlation into the mainstream seismic interpretation workflow. Using these tightly integrated capabilities, you can quickly validate your interpretations using synthetics generated directly within SeisVision and easily construct fault planes in 3D space from discrete 2D fault segments. Interoperability is enhanced in Release 98 with improved data import capabilities including direct imports from PI/Dwights, ARIES for Windows and DOS, ResEV, plus Merak and Accumap formats. Release 98 also contains PRIZM v.2.5, GeoGraphix' multi-well log analysis system.

integrated

Already integrated with GES97, PRIZM now includes multi-well crossplotting granting users another tool for normalization projects. In addition, the presentation of the enhanced deviated borehole handling and true vertical and stratigraphic thickness calculation enables users to improve geologic analysis. Standard and enhanced graphic metafiles may be exported and used in montages created in any compliant Microsoft Windows application. Another integrated product included on Release 98 is WellXchange version 1.0. WellXchange provides a Windows NT-based tool that gives GeoGraphix and Landmark users the capability to seamlessly move well data between GES97 and OpenWorks 4.1. With WellXchange, data is now available to the GeoGraphix or Landmark application that best suits the project requirements. More from http://www.geographix.com

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Oil-Link website makeover announced (August 1998)

Oil-Link, the fast-growing Oil and GasInternet information website has announced a new design for its Oil-Link Internet Hub

Oil-Link now offers users with a more complete Internet "experience" through the addition of daily news headlines, pricing and rig counts to its Main Page. Users can now keep up with industry developments by visiting the Oil-Link Main Page each morning. The new design also incorporates navigational enhancements and a search feature has also been added to every page. According to Oil-Link founder, Kris A. Erlewine, "User reaction to the new site has been very, very positive. The Oil & Gas professionals visiting Oil-Link 30,000 times each month love the new look. They are particularly excited about the daily news and pricing features. Every day, they can launch Oil-Link first thing and see what's happening in the industry. This is the next step in our long-term plan to make Oil-Link the dominant Internet portal for the global Oil & Gas industry." Oil-Link claims to be "the largest Internet directory for Oil & Gas in the world". Currently, Oil-Link has descriptive links to more than 3,200 industry-related websites in 50 different categories. Traffic on the Oil-Link website has grown six-fold over the last 12 months. More from info@oillink.com or visit the website on http://www.oillink.com

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Beicip-Franlab rolls out new reservoir simulator (August 1998)

Beicip-Franlab (B-F), the consulting andsoftware arm of the French Petroleum Institute (IFP) is to productize Athos, a reservoirsimulator jointly developed with the IFP.

Previously exclusively used for consulting and internal use, Athos offers mutually compatible options including black-oil, bi-component, compositional, dual media (for fractured reservoir) and thermal. The black oil representation models conventional water flows, slightly volatile oils and simple gas condensate. Compositional formulation based on equation-of-state (EOS) and pressure-dependent K values, accurately models highly volatile oils and gas condensates. Both representation can be coupled with dual porosity/dual permeability media to handle fractured zones within the reservoir. In addition, a polymer module allows to solve for polymer flooding designed to prevent water production from wells. Athos has its origins in proprietary simulators, developed since the early seventies, as part of the IFP's research program and B-F's consulting activity. Athos 3.0, will be marketed from September 1998, handles both Cartesian and corner-point geometries of reservoir structure and stratigraphy.

locally refined

Athos also features local grid refinement for enhanced model resolution in production zones. Finer grid spacing in the X, Y or Z direction can be defined as required, as well as vertical subdivisions of radial grids. The number of nested refinements is unlimited. The Simgrid and Simview modules offer interactive and intuitive procedures for simulation pre and post-processing. Simgrid generates corner-point geometry grids, based on structural and stratigraphic interpretation of the reservoir zones. With Simgrid, it is now possible to introduce real structural geology in reservoir simulations, even with strongly faulted reservoirs.

hot options

New options modeling steam injection and in-situ combustion have been included. Athos also implements innovative tools for computer-aided model calibration, based on an inversion loop, which facilitates the history matching procedure. These have been successfully tested in various reservoir studies, notably in Venezuela. A case-study on steam injection will be given jointly by B-F and PDVSA at the next SPE Fall Meeting. This paper will illustrates the use of B-F's geostatistical package, Heresim in conjunction with Athos for reservoir characterization production optimization. More from http://www.beicip.fr.

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New SEG-Y standard nearly final (August 1998)

Jill Lewis of Troika, the UK-based tapetranscription software specialists, heads the Petroleum Exploration Society of GreatBritain's (PESGB) initiative to extend and modernize the SEG-Y standard. Jill has suppliedPDM with the following progress report.

In 1997 when the PESGB Data Management Group was established, one of the subjects that arose was Data Exchange. It was recognized that a great deal of effort was wasted in the management of seismic information, especially as there was no widely accepted exchange format in which to write both the positioning and sample data. Although a number of attempts had been made to revise, update and/or replace SEGY none had been successful. This was partly due to the diversity of users, from a single user PC-based system to high capacity media robotics on a super-computer. The large amount of historic information currently in existence, approaching 25 years of format usage, added to the need for an update to the standard. Formats which had been tabled as replacements for SEGY such as the POSC Exchange Format (PEF) and SEGDEF had little take-up as they were generally felt to be too complex.

SEG approved

In September 1997, a group of interested people offered to investigate the current methods of seismic data exchange and whether the group could compile revised format which would satisfy the modern demands of data, yet remain backward-compatible. The SEGY Sub-Committee held a number of meetings, in close succession, before approaching the SEG at the Dallas SEG standards subcommittee meeting. Although there had been a number of attempts in the past to update SEGY, and it was recognized that this would be a very useful exercise, no-one was officially carrying out this work at the present time. The PESGB group requested permission to adopt this role and were given the approval of the SEGY technical standards committee.

virtual workgroup

To ensure that all those who wished to be involved in discussions could communicate we set up an e-mail reflector at Troika's offices. This e-mail site has 80 interested parties on it, a number of which in turn further disseminate the information, to the CSEG; Australian Workgroups Committee of our activities; and UKOOA. One of the most important data groups was positional information such as projection, CDP positions and 3D bin grids, which are to be included in human-readable form. Unfortunately, such information would have occupied most of the EBCDIC header which was unacceptable to many parties because so much of this header was already spoken for in the legacy implementation. More header space was required - a simple requirement but one which brought about some lively discussions.

stanzas

Everyone wanted to maximize the human, and potentially machine-readable, headers but it was not clear how to do so. We had the problem of finding a method of adding more information but remaining backward-compatible. It was also considered desirable to maintain the "signature" of SEGY e.g. the 3200 and 400 bytes blocks. After much deliberation proposed schema uses a flag in the machine readable binary header which denotes the addition of extra machine and human readable EBCDIC headers. This is set to "0" when there are no further headers therefore being backward-compatible with historic data. We are now in a position to begin work on defining the 'stanza's' which will provide keywords and field definitions to enable the data to be machine readable. The following stanza's have been identified which will make up the new SEGY Revision 1.0

Dataset Overview

Projection

Survey Outline

3D Bin Grid

Data Parameters

Acquisition Parameters

CDP to Shot Point Relationship

Usage of Trace Headers

Binary Header Contents

This work is being carried out in association with POSC who have agreed to map this (if necessary via aliases) onto the POSC data model. This will probably be the final draft, containing as it does the ideas to be carried forward into a revised standard. The next stage will be to produce a more formal document that will hopefully be acceptable to the SEG, and other bodies, as a new revision of the SEGY standard. Resources are currently being sought to enable this next stage to proceed. More information and comments on this activity to Jill Lewis, Troika, jill@troika.demon.co.uk.

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CGG-PetroSystems offers free trip to AAPG International Conference (August 1998)

The second Stratimagic University Challenge isopen to Universities and Institutes of Geology and Geophysics, at stake is an expense-paidtrip to next year's AAPG International Conference.

Following the successful first Stratimagic University Challenge, CGG-PetroSystems is organizing a second competition. Contestants must carry out a seismic and stratigraphic interpretation project of their choice using CGG-PetroSystems' Stratimagic software. A report is to be written and submitted for evaluation. Each member of the winning team will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the next AAPG international conference. Last year’s first prize winner was a team led by Professor Thierry Jacquin of the University of Paris XI—Orsay for a project integrating data from Mobil and Saga. The team members will attend the AAPG convention in Rio de Janeiro in November with all expenses paid. Students from all universities and technical schools are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. For further information contact: Pierre Bérot-Inard, on +33 1 64.47.37.73 or email: pberot@cgg.com.

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Petroconsultants rolls out enhanced GIANTs. (August 1998)

Petroconsultants has announced two newreleases of GIANT, its international economics software system.

Version 6.4 of the stand-alone GIANT system now includes a Country File Wizard that "significantly simplifies" the modeling of fiscal systems in any country in the world. Version 1.1 of GIANTXL now allows users to input all technical data in a pre-formatted EXCEL workbook, calculate the after-tax cash flow economics in any country, and receive all of the results back into the same workbook. GIANTXL combines the flexibility of fiscal modeling found in the stand-alone GIANT system with the custom reporting and graphic output found in EXCEL. GIANT, launched in 1985, is currently used by some 100 oil and gas companies, national oil companies and ministries around the world for evaluating and negotiating petroleum contracts based on the after-tax rate of return generated through matching country-specific fiscal regimes and contract terms to field and discovery data and price/production forecasts. More from http://www.petroconsultants.com.

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Epicentre interim specifications released (August 1998)

POSC is preparing to release the Version 2.2.1interim release of the Epicentre data model.

The latest specification for the Petrotechnical Open Software Corporation's all-encompassing data model Epicentre is described as an "interim release". This means that a version 2.2 database can be updated in place. It will not be necessary to build and load another database. The release will consist of a set of EntityLoader files that can be run against an existing v2.2 Epicentre database. The EntityLoader file will update the data in the database with the new values. The release will consist of updates to reference data only. There will be no changes to the data model. Nor will there be any changes to the DAE specification. The changes are primarily in the coordinate systems data and reflect the latest version of the coordinate system information. In addition, some new units of measure have been included to support production reporting, and some (mostly typographical) errors corrected. A list of the changes will accompany the release. More from info@posc.org.

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GeoQuest and Guardian Data Form Data Management Services Alliance (August 1998)

GeoQuest and Guardian Data Seismic have signedan agreement designating Guardian Data Seismic as a 'preferred partner' forseismic transcription services to GeoQuest customers.

The alliance between GeoQuest and Guardian Data Seismic will offer technology and services for managing reports, seismic tapes, seismic sections and associated observer logs. The alliance will enhance GeoQuest's seismic data management offering, providing customers with expert teams to recover and transcribe their seismic data onto state-of-the-art media. Such media can then be accessed near-line using GeoQuest's SeisDB seismic trace storage and archival system for a "total data management solution". "The GeoQuest-Guardian Data partnership will provide a solid platform for clients to gain the most effective use of their data sets," said Bryan Robertson, managing director of Guardian Data. "This new partnership will help ensure that GeoQuest client data, regardless of age, will be accurate, accessible and usable."

down-under

Initially, services from the alliance will be combined in GeoQuest's Australian Data Center which provides E&P data management outsourcing to Australian oil and gas companies. The center, scheduled to open in August, will manage all E&P data, using modern database technology and approved standards. Guardian Data Seismic, established in Australia in 1984, supplies data recovery, data archiving and data management solutions to E&P companies. The company can transcribe many media types and formats; analogue sheets, 21 track tapes, 9 track tapes, 3480, 3490 and 3490E cartridges, 4mm and 8mm cartridges - as well as high speed/high density media types and formats such as Record Oriented Data Encapsulation (RODE) on DLT, DD2 or IBM 3590.

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CGG to remaster seismic data for Total (August 1998)

CGG are to perform compaction and remasteringof field seismic data for TOTAL Exploration Production

The preservation of Total's legacy seismic data involves the remastering of 15,000 9-track, 9x4-track and 21-track tapes, in addition to 15,000 3480 cartridges. The project is scheduled to last one year. The data will be recorded on high density cartridges (3590) and will be encapsulated according to the SEG RODE standard. The project also involves scanning and storing related printed documents on CD-ROM. The software used in the project was developed by CGG (GeovecteurPlus) and its subsidiary PECC, a data transcription specialist (MediaManager, ScanManager, RAM and IDS). The agreement with Total is the latest in a "string of contracts" signed this year, notably with Elf Exploration Production in Pau, France, for the Archidex project (over 700,000 tapes). More information from http://www.cgg.com

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PPDM personnel moves and AGM announcement (August 1998)

PPDM board moves and AGM announced forOctober.

Bob Tretiak has resigned from the board of the Public Petroleum Data Model Association due to workload. Bob was one of the founders of PPDM, and he continues to be a big supporter. The Board has appointed Pat Rhynes, Vice President of Applied Terravision Systems Ltd., as a director for the balance of this term. Floy Baird, previously in charge of communication services and the organizer of the last 4 Annual General Meetings has moved on to work for new clients. The 1998 AGM of the PPDM Association will be held in Calgary on October 28 and 29, 1998.

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