November 1999


GeoProbe - Texaco’s 'killer app.' (November 1999)

Texaco and SGI have teamed to produce a monster interpretation system capable of zooming from basin to sample.

The GeoProbe, showcased at the SEG Convention in Houston is first and foremost a vehicle for superlatives. Technologically - with 3 huge screens each of 1028x1280 resolution for nearly 4 mega-pixels of seamless visible real-estate. This is fed by an SGI Onyx 2 with 16 processors, 3 graphic pipes and 32 GB of RAM. Geologically – with a monolithic dataset of some 3000 sq. km. of stacked seismic with a 5 second record length. The equivalent of several hundred offshore Gulf of Mexico blocks.

gargantuan

Having established the gargantuan scale of operations the fun starts – with a quick overview of the whole basin, panning around through salt domes, fans and sub-basins. And then – well we will just zoom in – virtually down to the individual sample! The GeoProbe is not just a matter of size though. Handling the massive new datasets requires new tools. Texaco’s paradigm for the new millennium interpretation is the 3D ‘cursor’. This box-like tool allows the interpreter to select and manipulate a 3D rectangular data volume.

attributes

One way of using the cursor would be to have a set of different attributes displayed simultaneously. So you can use your favorite attribute (amplitude over frequency (A/F) is flavor of the month) as one dataset, coherency as another and amplitude as a third.

anomaly

Then you just pan across the basin with the amplitude cursor and – aha! – an interesting anomaly here so bring up the A/F cursor and check out its attributes. No rocket science here, but what has to be seen to be believed is the scale, intuitiveness and sheer speed of all this action.

region growing

Next nifty processing algorithms allows you to region-grow selected anomalies on the fly. These can then be isolated and the resulting object analyzed. This environment allows you to move seamlessly from a seismic interpretation mindset to volumetric interpretation. GeoProbe inventor, Texaco’s Mike Zeitlin told PDM. "GeoProbe is a killer application developed by Texaco for use in 3D seismic visual interpretation and takes full advantage of large immersion visualization facilities. The software technology was developed from scratch to solve the major problem faced in the oil industry regarding the timely interpretation of enormous 3D seismic datasets (200-300 OCS blocks of data) now available."

different?

Is it really different from existing ‘integrated’ systems? Hard to tell, the SGI side of the technology will be available to all no doubt. But GeoProbe’s uncompromising technical specification and novel approach will make an interesting new arrival in the marketplace. Rumor is that Texaco is to test this theory with a spin-off of both the technology and its inventor into a new unit which will go forth, evangelize and sell the ‘Probe to industry at large.

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BizTech for Energy (November 1999)

The COM for Energy initiative has been re-baptized Biztech for Energy

As forecast in PDM (Vol 4 N° 8) the COM for Energy initiative (C4E) has changed its name to reflect the de-emphasis of COM as an interoperability mechanism, and the concomitant rise of XML. Steering a careful path between the many toes waiting to be trodden on, C4E rejected 'Objects for Energy' (too close to Open Spirit?) and the more obvious 'Biztalk for Energy' (too Microsoft-ish and already bagged by PIDEX).

restated

The final choice was for 'BizTech for Energy' (B4E). The goal of B4E is restated to include the use of 'XML, COM, or other appropriate technologies.' B4E members are Microsoft, Oracle, Landmark, Schlumberger-GeoQuest, SAP and PriceWaterhouse Coopers.

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Geophysicists do it till it Hertz! (November 1999)

PDM’s editor Neil McNaughton tries to understand what makes the geophysical industry tick. Is it the expectation of untold wealth - or a labor of love? While the seismic industry is suffering badly from orderus interruptus, the software business seems to be thriving on a kiss and a promise.

Sorry about the old bumper sticker, but there is something in the idea of a whole profession plugging on in the face of great adversity. According my old friend ex-GSI-er Rod Cottam, the industry is "holding its breath and waiting for the turn-around which, in spite of $27+ WTI hasn't yet materialized." Attendance at the Houston SEG convention this month topped 11,000 – a record for the post-86 oil industry. But the atmosphere at the SEG Annual Convention could be described as a ‘phony peace.’

bad times

While there is an impressively healthy display of new technology, all this is against the backdrop of a very bad situation in seismic acquisition. While a software house can slow things down, maybe let a few people go when times are hard, the acquisition company which has just launched the latest and greatest seismic boat (and there have been a few recently) just has to grimace and bear it. This has led to some amazing deals on acquisition of late, with 3D costs down to around $2,000 per sq. km. So PDM’s message to the seismic community is to get out there and order some bargain-basement surveys quick. Otherwise there might not be much of an industry left when you do find some budget!

Treitel

Bumped in to processing guru Sven Treitel at the show who tells a similar tale in geophysical research. Sven told PDM "I do worry that since geophysical R&D is now almost dead in the water, who will be doing the innovative work for the new technologies on exhibit during the 2010 convention?"

labor of love?

My own feeling is that while much research may indeed have died-off, there remains a huge excess of enthusiasm for R&D in both the established players and in the steady supply of start-ups. A friend with considerably more business acumen than me was looking over the PDM books and described my own enterprise as ‘a labor of love.’ Naturally the Bill Gates in me was pretty pissed-off at this, but what the heck. I think that the combination of love and cheap IT, for both admin and development is a real winner that has supported both large and small companies through the bad patch.

Wintel

Talking of cheap IT, I have to get something off my chest. I know I have bitched about Microsoft in the past, and I have had my share of crashes, glitches and so on. I also know that while dog bites man is news, the reverse is not the case. But I have to tell you. For the last month (since I updated all my drivers, and scan-disked, defragged and so on) I have had a stable system and even Publisher has held up for a whole PDM! I now have the net at my fingertips with ISDN, Office 2000, scanner, CD Writer and Ethernet hub with a whole slug of software running on a machine which is nearly 4 years old! The old Wintel love/hate relationship is definitely on love this month. Lets see what Y2K bringeth...

survivors

But back to the show. As I toured the exhibits, asking the usual questions as to industry developments and new software I was sometimes met by a puzzled look. "A press release? Well no, come to think of it, we don’t have anything right now, nope, not this year..." What was unsaid of course was "But we are still around aren’t we – that’s the real news!"

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e-biz LIFT for UK trades (November 1999)

Schlumberger hosts UK government-sponsored LIFT website for license disposal and trade.

Want to acquire or dispose of North Sea acreage? Check out the new LIFT (License Information for Trading) website. Managed by Schlumberger and powered by Finder and GeoWeb, LIFT allows users to browse available North Sea blocks from any web-browser. Sellers can use LIFT as a global shop window and the facility is intended to be used for asset sale, trade and farm-in opportunities. LIFT sponsors are the UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Oil and Gas Industry Task Force (OGITF).

OGTIF

The OGITF was set up in 1998 and is the brainchild of New Labour éminence grise Peter Mandelson. The OGITF mission was to asses the impact on the UK oil and gas industry of the low oil price – especially in the light of the 300,000 jobs at risk in this sector. OGITF set out to ‘develop mutual understanding of the key issues for the industry both short term and over the next 10 years, including technology development, environmental policies and knowledge management.’

plans

As with most best laid plans, the oil price has bounced back, the jobs are still going, but the UK has a great website! Through LIFT, the UK government acknowledges that "company circumstances may have changed since licenses were awarded, with respect to the perspectives, intentions and abilities to invest in exploiting license reserves potential." The consequent aim of LIFT is "to provide a framework to encourage oil and gas license trading." Other aims include the reduction of ownership fragmentation and portfolio optimization.

DEAL

In conjunction with LIFT, there is an ambitious plan to augment the visibility of data available on LIFT-ed acreage. The Data Environment Associated with LIFT (DEAL) DEAL intends to create the ‘definitive index database for basic well and seismic data.’ And to become a data marketplace. Workshops are being held with industry representatives to determine level of interest for such a facility and a tender will be put out in early 2000.

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Geodetic Datum alert for UK continental shelf (November 1999)

A new geodetic datum has been announced for the UK offshore west of 6° west. Existing practices east of this have been formalized and clarified.

Most geophysicists have experienced long and incomprehensible lectures from the survey department on the subject of geodetic datums at one time or another. Recent developments in the UKCS make the traditional geophysical response to such questions (denial!) inappropriate.

you’d better Notice!

A Notice, gazetted by the DTI in December is to define rigorously (for the first time) correct usage of geodetic information. The notice sets out the UKOOA/DTI interpretation of existing license boundaries and those applicable for new awards.

new rules

The new rules can also be used to unambiguously merge positional data throughout the UK and its continental shelf. From January 2000, ED50 will be used east of 6° west, ETRS89 west of this limit. The UK National Grid (OSGB36) is maintained for onshore acreage. More information on the changes can be obtained from Richard Wylde of the SIMA Consultancy and head of the UKOOA Surveying and Positioning Committee – arwylde@msb.com

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Intranet Strategy in Oil and Gas (November 1999)

PDM reports on the First Conference Internet Strategy in Oil and Gas event held in Houston last month. Conventional IT is facing its biggest challenge yet as the lines are drawn in the battle between centralized IT and the distributed ‘chaos’ of the intranet.

The old battle grounds of centralized and decentralized IT, of mainframe against micro and of order and chaos have been accentuated by the heady mix of the intranet and the empowered Business Unit (BU). The old ‘civil war’ over computer resources has just moved to a new battleground. Corporate IT, representing central control is still slugging it out with the BU rebels, and speakers at the First Conference Intranets in Oil and Gas event, held in Houston last month, dug-in eagerly at various points on the order-chaos spectrum.

Conoco

Conoco Inc.’s Michael Gibbs described a situation which has evolved from an early Executive Information System (EIS) developed during the eighties. This ‘CEO-only’ system was replaced in 1996 by an intranet, emphasizing business ownership, creativity and speed. Code words for chaos. An independent evaluation of the system was conducted in 1999 and found various inconsistencies and weaknesses leading to a tightening of the reins. Gibbs believes a light hand is required with some central content management. Planned changes include a corporate portal as anchor point, a style guide for common look and feel and a network of web masters and designers to identify and enforce corporate best practices.

Mobil

Mobil Oil is located near the control side of the continuum according to Rob Esser, thanks to a uniform world-wide IT infrastructure. This is made up of Lotus Notes and Domino Technology developed into Mobil’s Global Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Network Information Enabler (GENIE).

EHS

The aim is to have an EHS management system, to formalize and standardize methodologies managing EHS activities, clarify accountabilities, facilitate sharing of preferred practices and bridge EHS policy and local facility activities. To keep the database growing, the system makes it easy to add and categorize new documents. The knowledge base grows thanks to a work process that reviews and validated EHS best practices. As a document passes through the process, it is marked first as "Validated" and later, if it passes muster, as a "Preferred Practice". GENIE was marketed internally and contributors to the database are recognized and rewarded at environmental awareness events.

Schlumberger

David Sims (Schlumberger) observed that most companies do not really have an IT strategy. Applications justify the infrastructure and they are managed ‘tactically.’ Schlumberger prefers to standardize at the network level and to accept that applications, computers, and operating systems will come and go. This allows for greater flexibility at the level of the application. The aim is for organizational creativity rather than precise control. For Schlumberger this translates into a worldwide system which has evolved from a packet switching backbone in 1985, through various protocols to settle on TCP/IP. Currently there are 35,000 users at 450 locations in 60 countries. Sims believes the system is "flexible, powerful and evolutionary" and does not see the need for central control of style or content. As the internet demonstrates, successful indexing does not depend on website style and works ‘just fine.’

Marathon

Marathon is at a similar position to Schlumberger in the control spectrum, according to Jeremy Zawodny. Infrastructure is centrally controlled and includes hardware, security and – very importantly – a uniform taxonomy which is the foundation for successful indexing and search.

Luminant

David Quackenbush, (Luminant) suggested that expectations for web projects should be set high. "If an intranet project takes more than 8 weeks to deliver some functionality and if it does not "stop executives in their tracks," it did not achieve its objectives."

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FloGeo joins Eclipse (November 1999)

New Eclipse module FloGeo offers versatile multi-phase upscaling, a new scripting language and improved FloViz graphics.

ECLIPSE 99B is upgraded with new features, including the first commercial release of ‘FloGeo’ for multiphase, multilevel upscaling. Part of the FloGrid three-dimensional upgridding and upscaling application, FloGeo accommodates multiphase hierarchical upscaling from core plug to reservoir simulation scale.

scripting language

Upscaling techniques are extensible through a calculator script language and are tightly integrated to the SCAL special core analysis application which has been enhanced with more curve-fitting normalization and averaging functions. Other FloGrid upgrades include region-based upscaling and comparison of simulation results with the geological model.

post-processing

The FloViz post-processor now generates JPEG, TIFF and PBM files for hard copy output and can now display differences in property values calculated during successive simulation runs. Eclipse pre and post processing is launched from the Eclipse Office desktop.

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SEG-Y Viewer (November 1999)

Phoenix are offering a free download of the SeisVU SEG-Y viewer for Windows.

SeisVU is a Windows 95/NT utility from Phoenix Data Solutions that lets you view and analyze SEG-Y on disk. Color and black and white viewing is supported and header information can be displayed. A readout of current trace, SP, CMP, time and sample value, at the cursor position is displayed while viewing. Shot to trace relationships, and the range of sample values viewed can be determined by simply moving the cursor across the section.

Power Point

Other functions include amplitude histograms for individual traces, zones of interest, or for the whole section. These are useful in evaluating clipping values for workstation loading. SeisVU uses standard Windows facilities for screen capture and file saving. A zone of interest can be pasted directly into a PowerPoint presentation. Download SeisVU free from www.phoenixdatasolutions.co.uk

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People(November 1999)

John Colligan Director and VP Research with Shell International E&P is the new president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Colligan is based in The Hague and is also chairman, of the Oil Industry International E&P Forum.

Baker Hughes has appointed Gary Jones as President of Western Geophysical. Jones has been with the company since 1980.

Jeff Woodard has moved from Schlumberger to take up the post of Director, Energy & Process for Oracle’s Asia-Pacific region. Woodard’s new base is Singapore.

Kathy Farr of Mitchell Energy in Houston has been appointed to the Board of the PPDM Association.

Matthew Brzostowski has joined GX-Technology as Senior VP, technology Development with special responsibility for EarthWave development. Brzostowski was formerly with PGS.

The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) has appointed John Vasselli as President. Vasselli was previously director of corporate development for the Syracuse Research Corporation.

Paradigm Geophysical has appointed Mark Taylor as Gulf States Regional Support Manager. Taylor is now located in Paradigm’s new office in Bahrain.

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Hays’ new data management solution (November 1999)

Integrated Data Management Architecture combines components of RSO, ex-Oil Data software and IBM robotics.

Integrated Data Management Architecture (IDMA) incorporates technology from ex-Oil Data and Hays’ own RSO into a GIS-connectable seismic data management solution. The front-end can be Finder, OpenExplorer or ESRI’s generic ArcView. From any of these platforms, IDMA can be configured to provide access to hard copy and digital data throughout the corporation.

GIS

The GIS front end allows for polygon selection and query of data residing on the system. A variety of alphanumeric screens allow for selection by domain-specific parameters such as inline, crossline and shotpoint number. Data storage can be on high-end IBM robotics on site, or outsourced using Hays off-line but 'read-ready' service.

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Real-time news from Schlumberger (November 1999)

Schlumberger intends to become a major portal for oil and gas news.

Schlumberger is set to become the Yahoo of the oil and gas business with a new web portal showcased at the SEG. The site at – www.slb.com will include live newsfeeds and price information from Reuters, Business Wire etc. The site will be officially launched in January 2000.

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Volume interpretation newcomers (November 1999)

New software from Prime Geosciences, IKODA and Shared Earth Technologies offer sophistication and ergonomics to the volume interpreter.

Developed by Houston startup Prime Geosciences Corp., PrimeView performs direct hydrocarbon detection and reservoir characterization in a seismic data volume. A batch process extracts seismic attributes prior to interactive interpretation. Animated rendering of color-coded attributes in a 3-D cube reveals geological structure. Prime’s Aftab Alam told PDM, "This development is a part of a plan to provide performant, PC-based, collaborative solutions to the hydrocarbon exploration and production industry. The core of the system is a 3-D viewer where multiple attributes (seismic, geological and petrophysical) can be interactively combined by experts at distributed locations to explore the 3-D structure and properties of potential hydrocarbon reservoirs." PrimeView is marketed by The Magnolia Group. More from mgeorge@magnogroup.com

IKODA – VolumeFinder

VolumeFinder from IKODA is a ‘smart helper application’ that automates the process of locating and ranking potential reservoir bodies in a 3D seismic volume. Currently integrated with SeisWorks and VoxelGeo, VolumeFinder performs inclusive or exclusive thresholding, detects objects from their connectivity and sorts them by size. Planned future developments include reserve calculations, uncertainty handling, fuzzy logic and AVO. Another product, FaultFinder is also in the offing. Get your trial copy of VolumeFinder from martyn@ikoda.co.uk

Shared Earth Technologies

Perhaps the only software booth at the show without a computer (but what a name!), Shared Earth Technologies (SET) are currently in the arm-waving stage of marketing. Building on the OpenSpirit framework, SET’s ‘One Shared Vision’ will be available ‘mid 2000.’ More from the website www.sharedearth.com

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Discovery shared earth rollout. (November 1999)

New seismic interpretation software integrates the new ‘Discovery’ shared earth environment from Landmark subsidiary GeoGraphix.

SeisVision 5, from Landmark subsidiary GeoGraphix, includes new 3D visualization, attribute extraction and improved integration with geological and petrophysical applications. SeisVision 5, now integrated with the Discovery environment which was released last summer. All products within the GeoGraphix geoscience interpretation solutions family (SeisVision, GESXplorer, and PRIZM) have been incorporated into the new GeoGraphix Discovery ‘workflow environment’.

seamless

The new environment provides ‘instant’ access to complete well information at any point in the interpretation process. All interpretation tools can be accessed from anywhere in the environment and a ‘seamless flow’ of data and interpretations is assured without the need for ASCII file transfers or format conversions.

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First real-time prestack application (November 1999)

Genetek claims its Alpha-based Earthworks interpretation suite is ahead of the pack in workstation AVO processing.

Version 7 of Genetek’s EarthWorks Exploration System now incorporates prestack data and enables offset processing including AVO at the workstation. EarthWorks is a software and hardware solution and runs on the 64-bit Compaq (ex-DEC) Alpha at clock speeds of over 600 MHz. Tight integration is a feature of EarthWorks.

Sun

President Mark Sun claims "We still are the only system that has live-linked mapping, gridding and contouring, real-time spectral analysis and enhancement, real-time modeling and synthetics, stratigraphic interpretation facilities, 3-D visualization of 2+3D seismic data and integrated time-depth conversion." More from info@genetek.com

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Survey design (November 1999)

Offerings from SIS and GeoSynergy help out with different aspects of seismic survey design.

GeoSynergy has released a new version of the Matrix planning software for complex 3D seismic surveys. Version 2.0 includes the latest release of ESRI’s MapObjects. Matrix offers coverage of planning and operating a survey, from costs through QC and logistics to HSE reporting. More from info@geosynergy.com

SIS

Seismic Image Software (SIS) are now offering consulting services to help plan your seismic survey. Building on its 12-year history, SIS offers a technical focus addressing issues such as optimum offset, bin size, spread geometry, obstacle avoidance as well as special considerations for noise reduction, target illumination, cost efficiency and AVO acquisition. A 16 page prospectus is available from sis@sisimage.com

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Pemex buys Auspex NAS (November 1999)

Systems integrator Andrews Group is to implement Auspex’s Network Attached Storage solution at Mexico’s Pemex state oil co.

Pemex is a major customer of the Andrews Group (AGI) for services from seismic data processing through to reservoir simulation. AGI will now be marketing Auspex’s Network Attached Storage (see PDM Vol 4 N° 4) to Pemex and other Mexican clients. AGI’s president Robert Andrews states "Seismic is the crown jewels of an upstream project. Data protection and reliability are critical requirements for our customers." More from www.agi-hou.com

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CoRe-Explorer (November 1999)

Continuum Resources (CoRe) and Muse Technologies are working on enterprise-wide data integration for large scale immersive environments.

Increasingly, oil and gas companies are turning to integration through GIS systems. The pre-release announcement of Continuum Resources CoReExplorer takes this concept a step further. Why not integrate in a 3D Virtual Reality (VR) environment? To achieve such integration, first you have to be able to access data in a multiplicity of formats. CoReExplorer does this by using a platform, data and device independent architecture. Developers ‘will be able to create versions of their software that plug in to the CoReExplorer framework’. Once plugged in, data used in the application can be integrated into a CoReExplorer work session.

‘hype’-er

CoReExplorer was built with the Muse development system (see PDM Vol. 3 N° 10) for data visualization and VR. According to Jeff Hume, Contiuum President and CEO, "Visualization gridlock is a serious problem for companies that have yet to fully exploit their existing technology investments. We believe that CoReExplorer is the first software solution that promises to universalize corporate data and heralds a new era of integration and hyper-productivity". More hype from www.musetech.com

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New focus for epiSEM (November 1999)

POSC’s shared earth model has matured into an information-focused project. The aim is to record who did what and when for all components of an interpretation.

The POSC Shared Earth Model (SEM) Project (see PDM Vol. 3 N° 3) was hitherto rather hard to define. The SEM has been described as many things from a geometry engine to knowledge management. A recent decision by SEM sponsors has focused the effort on the knowledge end of the model spectrum and the new objective of the project is to develop specifications for what is now epiSEM Information Services.

sponsors

Information Services are designed to ‘tag’ elements of an interpretation with information such as who created them and when, confidence levels, software used and other critical information that is difficult to capture and store with existing techniques. epiSEM Information services will allow the dependencies between components of different models to be registered, maintained and queried in an open, shared catalog.

Phase II

Interpreters will be able to locate pre-existing work and supporting data, review assumptions and prevent the inadvertent destruction of critical model components. Phase one of the SEM project is now complete. Companies interested in taking part in Phase II, epiSEM Information Services should contact POSC on www.posc.org

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Plotman (November 1999)

New software from Continental Imaging Products offers network-wide plot management of mixed UNIX and PC environment.

Plotman allows users of both UNIX and PCs to view status and queues of all printers and plotters on the network. Other functions cater for job management, including billing and delivery. The Q-Master module is designed for user ’self management.’ More form www.continentalimaging.com

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PPDM AGM (November 1999)

PPDM’s modest revenues are growing and the association boasts a record number of active workgroups. Current focus is the integration of GIS with the data model and a collaborative venture with POSC to attack the problem of reference data.

The Calgary-based Public Petroleum data Model Association is doing well. A record number of workgroups (6) are active, and there is a modest growth in membership. A project is underway to issue a joint POSC and PPDM set of reference tables (standard codes for countries, logging tools etc.) The increasing international flavor of PPDM is reflected in the new board, half of whose members come from outside of Canada. Much of this interest is due of course to IHS Energy’s use of the PPDM data model in P2000.

ESRI

A high profile workgroup is studying the incorporation of spatial data into the model. ESRI are helping out here and a vendor-neutral mechanism for tagging existing tables with spatial information has been developed. ESRI demonstrated enthusiastically (and convincingly) how this could be extended with Oracle 8 spatial constructs.

niggles

Several speakers reported on the ‘ease’ of implementation and migration to PPDM-based data models. But as Kathy Farr, Mitchell Energy noted, "the anticipated widespread adoption of PPDM by data and vendors and software applications has yet to materialize." Other niggles center on the problem of managing the spectrum of PPDM data model versions in existence. The use of PPDM as a focus for data exchange was the subject of Larry Chadwell’s talk on Marathon’s migration of its legacy database and mapping software to Petrosys’ dbMAP and P2000 from IHS Energy. The system has been put to use in competitor analysis of Marathon’s Rocky Mountain Region Gas Task Force. This links Landmark’s Dynamic Surveillance System (DSS32) to the database to visualize water flood and optimized production. SAS is used to move and reformat data, and MSQuery to populate Excel from the PPDM database. Chadwell concluded that "if the world is going to multiple domain specific databases – then they might as well all be PPDM-based".

horizontal

IHS Energy’s Pete Stark demonstrated the latest GIS-based data mining technology in P2000. From a map of the world, a selection on horizontal wells brought up the locations of the 20,000 drilled to date. Further drill-down to individual fields in Texas’ Austin Chalk showed the second production peak due to horizontal wells.

reference values

The American Records Management Association (ARMA) stated recently that ‘Codes (reference values) are a much bigger problem than Y2K’. PPDM, along with POSC are setting out to fix this and are encouraging interested parties to join the effort. Schlumberger have submitted well log reference data to the workgroup. If you have codes for submission, or want to help out, talk to www.ppdm.org

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Seismos for sale (November 1999)

Geco-Prakla is to market its processing software Seismos. Now integrated with GeoFrame, the productized Seismos targets end-users working on interpretive processing projects.

Schlumberger’s Geco-Prakla unit is to market the Seismos seismic processing system to third parties. A huge ‘400 man-year’ software development project has led to the integration of Geco-Prakla’s Seismos seismic processing software within Schlumberger-GeoQuest’s GeoFrame interpretation framework.

Targets

Marketing targets for the Seismos are users of GeoQuest seismic interpretation software. The commercialization of what was previously a Schlumberger-exclusive product reflects the blurring of the line dividing seismic processing and interpretation.

Pajot

Geco-Prakla’s Marketing Manager Dominique Pajot told PDM "AVO analysis, migration and other interpretative pre-stack processes call for a new paradigm in processing and interpretation. We will be offering oil company clients of our processing services and users of our interpretation software with a seamless and ergonomic environment for their interpretative seismic processing projects."

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SEG Standards committee (November 1999)

The SEG geophysical standards committee is kicking-off a new look at polarity, finalizing the revised SEG-Y and putting all its legacy standards on the web.

black is white!

Tom Fulton and John Parrish are to initiate a revision of the SEG’s polarity standard. This was last studied in the ‘70’s and led to an interesting idea – a compression is a white trough for airgun data, and a black peak for vibrator data! Some, including BP were seemingly never very comfortable with the early work and the whole issue is to be re-visited with the intent of defining the standard more clearly, and to ‘see how processing affects polarity.’ We wish them luck...

SEG-Y – revision I

This initiative, originally sponsored by the PESGB (see PDM Vol. 3 N° 2), started out as an attempt to harmonize current usage of the ubiquitous SEG standard. Draft N° 5 of the revision is will be available for comments on the SEG website (www.seg.org). Changes to the standard (which should be backwards-compatible with older versions) include a move to a byte-stream format, to allow for the use of disk and CD and extended EBCDIC headers.

SEG Website

The intent is to make all SEG formats freely available on the SEG website in the near future, and to include links to sister standards organizations such as the UKOOA.

Not Y2K compliant!

Both SEG-D and SEG-Y use the dreaded 2 digit date format. In the interests of compatibility there is no plan to change this. New SEG standards will be Y2K compliant. The view of the committee which looked into this issue was that Y2K was not an issue for seismic tape users. You might like to consider this statement carefully if you are using SEG-Y in an archive, there is probably a couple of weeks to re-tool by the time you are reading this!

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CoreLab - Tomoseis merge (November 1999)

Core Lab has acquired patented cross-well tomography technologies to assist in real-time reservoir monitoring.

Core Lab is to subsume crosswell seismic specialist Tomoseis. Combining high resolution imaging from Tomoseis’ patented downhole monitoring technology with Core Lab’s other reservoir measurements should help companies monitor production, sweep efficiency and frac performance in real time. Core Lab president Dave Demshur said "Developing and adding technologies to optimize reservoir performance positions us well for the development in the 4D seismic and reservoir monitoring market." The deal will be done through a share swap.

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PDM Interview – Andrew Lloyd, Oracle (November 1999)

With the launch of e-Asset at the Plant Information Management conference in The Hague this month, PDM interviewed Oracle’s ‘Mr. Synergy,’ Andrew Lloyd.

PDM Is the outsourcing of e-Asset an example of an oil-industry Application Service Provider (ASP) in action?

Lloyd – Its more than an ASP exercise. We consider e-Asset as a Business Service Provider (BSP) going beyond outsourced application software.

PDM What exactly does Oracle 8i provide that was absent from previous Oracle versions?

Lloyd – Three things, performance, object technology and internet-enabled capability. Performance – for data loading and extensive data mining capabilities. Object-relational technology allows for the implementation of ‘logical’ models such as Epicentre or POSC/CAESAR without the compromise involved in the relational ‘projection.’ The internet-enabled version of Oracle 8i is the perfect vehicle for e-commerce.

PDM – Is the Oracle Financial Enterprise Resource Allocation (ERA) package part of e-Asset?

Lloyd – It could well be, but our pre-marketing studies found that clients wanted a best-of-breed capability. So e-Asset is open and vendor-neutral. We intend to promote collaborative computing even with ‘non-communicating’ applications. A good model for our enterprise is Bidcom.com which provides a data interchange website for architects. We will be offering lots of room for third parties to slot-in their applications.

PDMwe are in plug and play country again! Could you elaborate on how you intend to make it work this time around?

Lloyd – The idea is the same as with earlier attempts to deploy CORBA based solutions. But we are convinced that the Internet dimension and the use of XML data objects and transfer will make plug and play happen this time.

PDMhow long before we see an Epicentre cartridge for the upstream?

Lloyd – About 70% of Synergy development is common to both the facilities (POSC/CAESAR) and upstream (Epicentre). We are waiting on the release of Epicentre V3.0 before rolling out the Synergy Epicentre Cartridge and we expect the first beta Epicentre Data Cartridge to be available to project members at the end of 99. This will support the Version 3 Epicentre Model and some Synergy extensions.

PDMand what is the relationship between Synergy and Statoil’s Slegge Corporate Data Store?

Lloyd – Slegge will be a Synergy implementation. Currently Slegge, which is in development, is an extended version of Epicentre 2.2. We are currently waiting on POSC to approve the new Version 3.0 of Epicentre. We will then use our Synergy Cartridge Generation Tool which can take any Express model and turn it into an Oracle 8i cartridge.

PDMwe have covered some of the 8i object technology in PDM already (PDM Vol. 3 N° 10) and understand that Oracle 8i’s modeling language is UML.

Lloyd – yes, in fact we go from Express to UML which is then fed into Designer 2000. This can cause information loss – so we are careful here and use PrismTech’s expertise and migration technology especially the Epicentre Builder.

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Conference news (November 1999)

Smi Data Management


Date

Location

Title

Organizer

Contact

9-10 FEB 00

London

E&P Data Management

SMi

+44 171 827 6128

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