December 2004


Perficient bags Zettaworks

The acquisition of Houston-based enterprise applications integration consultants puts Perficient on track to become a $100 million/year company. ZettaWorks is a leading implementer of Tibco-based solutions to the oil business.

Austin, TX-based Perficient is to acquire Houston-based ZettaWorks in a $10.7 million cash and paper deal. Perficient has a presence in the downstream oil and gas sector—with enterprise portal development for ChevronTexaco and BP.

EAI

Perficient has also worked with energy supply companies including Duke Energy on deregulation, processes and distribution, trading, and customer service. ZettaWorks, an enterprise application integration (EAI) consultancy and systems integrator, earned about $16 million last year from clients. The deal will mean that Perficient’s 2005 revenue should top $75 million.

McDonald

Jack McDonald, Perficient chairman and CEO said, ‘This acquisition expands our footprint into Houston, and provides a strong platform for further growth in Texas. ZettaWorks has grown rapidly—from a startup to $16 million revenues in four years. With this acquisition, and our continued solid organic growth, our goal is to achieve a $100 million annual revenue run rate before the end of 2005.’

425 employees

The combined companies have 425 consulting, technology, sales and support professionals in 11 offices and client relationships with 380 Global 3000 companies. The deal adds BP America to Perficient’s client list.

Pash

Tom Pash, ZettaWorks’ CEO added, ‘EAI is gaining an increasing share of enterprise technology spending. Joining Perficient provides tremendous opportunities to grow our joint businesses.’ DecisionPoint International served as an advisor to Perficient on the transaction. 

WebSphere

Just before the deal, ZettaWorks announced a new partnership with IBM for deploying IBM’s WebSphere Suite for EAI. The deal allows IBM’s customers to benefit from ZettaWorks’ EAI domain knowledge, methodology, and reusable components to solve ‘complex enterprise scale integration problems.’

E&P Portal

One component solution of the deal is a vertical solution set and E&P operations portal, developed by ZettaWorks using Websphere. Other products include tools for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, RFID integration, and asset management. In 2002 (OITJ Vol 7 N° 7) ZettaWorks announced a suite of Tibco Hub-based EAI adaptors tuned to the
upstream.


Irap RMS for Lukoil

Norwegian software house Roxar has signed a software agreement with Russian Lukoil for its Irap Reservoir Modeler and Tempest simulator.

Russian supermajor Lukoil has awarded a multi-million dollar software licensing and maintenance contract to Roxar. The deal confirms Roxar’s presence in Russia and neighboring CIS countries,  subsequent to opening its new offices in Kazakhstan and Tyumen.

Esslemont

Roxar CEO, Sandy Esslemont said, ‘Russian and multinational oil companies are looking to more sophisticated E&P technologies to increase oil and gas recovery in the region.’

Irap RMS

The agreement will allow Lukoil’s geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers wide-ranging access to Roxar’s flagship 3D reservoir modeling product, Irap RMS and its reservoir simulation software, Tempest.

600 CIS installations

Roxar has over 600 installations in Russia and the CIS. Clients include TNK-BP, Bashneft, Sibneft, Tatneft, Rosneft and Zarubejneft. Roxar has also partnered with academic research institutes including the I.M. Gubkin State University for Oil and Gas, Moscow and Tyumen State Universities.


PowerPoint(-less) and why MVI >= EIV

Oil IT Journal Editor Neil McNaughton reflects on the dangers of PowerPoint and on how to measure the value of a technical presentation. His bullet point Reverse Banality Test (RBT) is used to evaluate the Monetary Value of Information in a talk. This can be weighed-up against the Expected Intellectual Value generated by the presence of 50 highly paid executives. Who wins?

What’s great about PowerPoint is that you can prepare a talk at short notice. The night before, on the plane or maybe even while the guy before you is giving his talk—thereby giving your exposé a sheen of actualité. Convolve this facility with human nature and what do you have? Brilliant demonstrations that amplify one’s greatest thoughts? Knowledge transfer of a powerful kind? Great ideas presented with new clarity? Unfortunately not. The 8th deadly sin, prevarication, which causes me to write this at the 11th hour, means that there is a temptation not to prepare ahead of time and of course, quality suffers.

Illustrated manuscript

Contrast this with the work of a mediaeval writer and his illustrator. If producing a page of text involves weeks of scribing by candlelight to produce a gilded wonder, you bet that you are going to think carefully about what text gets accepted for the manuscript. Only a couple of decades ago similar filters were applied when presentation slides were drafted by real people. They had to pass the implicit test - ‘is this slide worth drafting’.

Expected Intellectual Value

While we are unlikely to benefit from the presentational quality of the Gutenberg bible when we attend a talk, what should we expect? How can content be measured and evaluated? One way is to look at the ‘demand side’ of the equation and evaluate the financial cost of attending a talk. Say there are 50 or so in the audience—and it costs a couple of thousand dollars a day per attendee. If he/she can stomach six papers in a day, each talk ‘costs’ $16,000 to the attendees. I will call this the Expected Intellectual Value (EIV) to make it sound good. Next time you give a talk, think, ‘Am I giving a $16,000 value?’ If you are a keynote speaker addressing an audience of a few hundred highly paid executives, you may be looking at an EIV of several hundred thousand dollars!

Banalities

The supply side of the equation is a bit harder to evaluate—what is the monetary value of information (MVI)? I really don’t know, but I do have a test which should let you know when your MVI is tending to zero. This is the Reverse Banality Test (RBT). Take a bullet point and reverse it. If what you are saying is blindingly obviously wrong, then the un-reversed point is likely to have a low MVI. My favorite banal exhortations include just about all references to ‘people’ and ‘process.’ For example ‘While rolling out your new 3D collaboration system, don’t forget about the people aspects.’ The RBT would be ‘Forget about the other people in the organization.’ Which might imply amusing subtexts like, ‘They’re probably too stupid to use it anyway. And who cares, if this ever rolls-out I’ll be off on another project anyway.’ Another bullet point for analysis, ‘Developing a first-rate widget is a challenge.’ RBT, ‘Developing a really crap widget is a cinch!’ You see what I mean.

Round trip RBT

Sometimes a round-trip RBT can be instructive as applied to the following popular bullet point, ‘Make sure you have management buy-in.’ The RBT, ‘Don’t tell management what you are doing’ is illuminating. But the round trip RBT is most revealing, ‘Cover your ass first by implicating your boss.’

MVI >= EIV?

If the above helps you avoid near zero MVI, good. But what generates high MVI, enough to satisfy the equation MVI >= EIV? At the heart of this question is the way we consider the ‘commerciality’ in talks. Most learned societies are bent on excising ‘commerciality’ from presentations. This may involve removing a product name or two. This is just silly. Knowing what software was used may be the most interesting part of the talk. In some cases, the aim of ‘non-commerciality’ actually destroys MVI as a talk becomes an exercise in information retention.

IPR

For many talks, it’s not ‘commerciality’ that is the problem but lack of content. What fuels MVI is intellectual property (IP), insight gained from experience or original analysis. A talk should contain some or all of the above, preferably $16,000 worth. You may want to give more. How do you do this? By telling folks something they didn’t know already and of which you have a considerable mastery.

Teleprompter

Actually the best talks I have ever  heard have been delivered without the help of PowerPoint. And the worst have been delivered with the help of PowerPoint and a teleprompter. The best speakers get up, bursting with something to convey and share their IP with the audience without props—maybe even without notes! Perhaps a slide or two are necessary to show some information rich document. But please, spare us the ghastly format of page after page of  level one headings and subsequent bullet points. You might need notes, but your audience can take their own if they want to! 

ROI

If you are uncomfortable with the monetary value approach to a talk’s worth I understand. I’m not really sure that I agree with myself on this one. But there again, I’m not all that comfortable with the way a monetary return on investment is applied to many aspects of business—safety, education and training and our old favorite, data management.

Epiphany?

In reality, the value of a talk may well be different to different people. Perhaps a better model for EIV and MVI is the lottery. Whereby one person’s banal bullet point is another person’s company-making inspirational epiphany. Whatever turns you on… Happy New Year from all of us at Oil IT Journal.


Oil IT Journal Interview—Vaughn Miller

Network Appliance has announced its Data Ontap 7G solution storage solution. Industry manager Vaughn Miller and storage guru David Lin tell Oil IT Journal about the ‘dynamic virtualization engine’.

Miller—we are seeing good growth in the oil and gas industry—BP has chosen NetApp (along with Landmark Graphics) as a component of its global standardized architecture. Shell has standardized on our solution and we have a strategic alliance with Schlumberger in the US.

OITJ—Do oils need specific hardware?

Miller—There are many differences between oil and gas and generic business storage solutions. E&P is concerned with performance, capacity and scalability. In business IT, data protection is achieved by a layered approach but for E&P, layered solutions just get in the way.

Lin—The SEG is now dominated by hardware—clusters, multiple CPUs and Gigabit connectivity are commoditized. NetApp has a solid footprint in this space with over 7 PetaBytes installed in the last five years (mostly for interpretation). And this is growing astronomically.

Oil ITJ—What’s coming in Ontap 7G?

Lin—Snapshots are a popular function for upstream users—providing a point in time picture of a directory. This makes it easy to recover data without system administrator intervention. These solutions are tuned to Landmark or Schlumberger data management best practices. This is where the ease of use of our FlexFiles and Flex Clones comes in.

Oil ITJ—It sounds as though NetApp is moving from hardware into the software and application arena.

Miller—Yes! We are working with Landmark and Schlumberger and we are also talking to the major oils. All of NetApp’s energy vertical staff come from the oil and gas industry—including application programmers. We are also moving into the application space with other vendors including Paradigm and WesternGeco.


SEG interviews—AMD, Paradigm, SGI

At the SEG, Oil IT Journal caught up with Doug O’Flaherty (AMD), Eldad Weiss (Paradigm), Paul deGroot (de Groot-Bril), Bill Bartling (SGI) and Nick Weston (Sun Microsystems).

Doug O’Flaherty (AMD)—Geophysics is one of the earliest adopters of new processors. Only 18 months after the first Opteron there are 12 demos of Opteron-based software and hardware at the SEG. AMD’s $/trace advantage has helped our penetration of seismic processing. The new  direct connect chip architecture lets users tune math algorithms.

Isn’t math industry independent?

Yes. But because geophysics is an early adopter, it is pushing the envelope.

We aren’t slow to adopt new technology!

Not when it is non-disruptive. AMD’s core philosophy is customer centric, non-disruptive change. End users shouldn’t even know about changes like low latency and NUMA-aware operating systems. They will notice the possibility of having 64GB system memory systems like HP’s DL 585.

~

Eldad Weiss (Paradigm)—We have just announced Release 2 of Epos, our integration platform and now have several hundred Epos installations. Our solutions bring real productivity and easy to use visualization. Applications are tuned to new hardware, offering 64 bit Linux and high end graphics on a $15k desktop. These provide essentially the same performance as a high end machine. Our 3D Canvas integrates all data—seismics, interpretation, mapping and reservoir. Another key offering is our production tools for automated fault picking including Coherence Cube and the BP Center of Visualization fault propagation technology. We also automate the interconnection of horizons and faults—streamlining the interpretation process.

How do you integrate an OpenWorks or GeoFrame shop?

Interoperability is important but it doesn’t make sense just to integrate features. Customers are ready to buy into a new interpretation platform—a bit like buying a new word processor!

Does Paradigm really offer an integrated environment—a complete solution?

Yes. Last year we completed our integration—it’s no longer wishful thinking!

So you are targeting users of mainstream systems now?

Absolutely! Customers are dissatisfied with current solutions which have their roots in 1980s technology. They are looking for second generation solutions.

That’s not true for Petrel or Geoprobe!

OK—Petrel, Geoprobe and Epos are the new game for companies looking for a best in class solution. Landmark is switching to Geoprobe, SIS to Petrel.

What’s Paradigm’s take on OpenSpirit?

Epos and Schlumberger’s OpenSpirit (OS) are similar products—they can coexist. But the Epos footprint is larger than the current OS offering. There will always be a problem with a ‘standard.’ The reality is that you cannot limit a data model.

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Paul deGroot (de Groot Bril)—Open dTect now supports 2D and 3D seismic attributes and new dGB-developed tools track faults and horizons simultaneously. The Open dTect has had 4,000 downloads since going open source. dGB is working on a business model of commercial plug-ins such as dip steering, filters, attributes, seismic neural networks and the chimney cube. Seismics can be imported from OpenWorks and GeoFrame. We used to be an OpenSpirit member but found it too costly and complex. For us is is easier and faster to do direct access through the vendor’s APIs.

~

Bill Bartling (SGI)—SGI has developed an interesting metric, the data throughput of a single person at a workstation. In 1993 this was 800kb/month: in 2004, 400GB/month! In this context, PCs and desktops have their limitations. Marathon for example is running Geoprobe with 500GB in memory over multiple graphics pipes with no decimation. SGI systems scale in any direction. Up to 4TB memory, but also to multiple pipes and massive data storage.

But the trend is to COTS hardware…

SGI’s new graphics supercomputer ‘Prism’ combines Linux on Intel, ATI graphics accelerators with SGI’s ‘sauce’ as the differentiator. The aim is to make the technology accessible and to lower the price/performance threshold for SGI technology. Many new and returning software houses are coming from desktop Linux to SGI mostly because of our libraries. These offer seamless scaling to huge addressable memory, large numbers of CPUs and multi-pipe graphics. All in a single operating system instance. In contrast, COTS clusters require an operating system and total commuting architecture for every 2 processors. Numaflex interconnectivity requires less copies of Linux and less graphics cards - the whole system looks like a single PC! VoxelVision’s GigaViz, originally designed for COTS Linux clusters has been ported to the Altix. The old GigaViz used Ethernet interconnect and PC graphics—not really a high-end solution from the graphics standpoint.

Does industry really need 400GB of data?

If you start with a 100GB dataset then create continuity data for co-rendered probes and for AVO etc.—you are easily looking at 400GB of co-rendered data.

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Nick Weston (Sun Microsystems)—Sun’s AMD Opteron-based machine has been validated by all major upstream ISVs. We can also run Windows on Sun hardware! Petrel now runs on Windows on Sun. You can boot to Windows, Linux (Suse and RedHat) or Solaris. As companies move towards multi-processors and clusters, users are re-discovering the complexity of the old ‘big iron’ solutions. There are many non-trivial management issues associated with clusters, so it makes sense to outsource operations. We now offer CPU ‘power on demand’ from Sun-owned and operated centers with costs as low as $1/cpu/hour. Atos Origin is an early adopter in our Dallas data center, offering seismic processing of 2TB datasets. Data and application are encrypted. Processing is carried out remotely and data is de-encrypted at the client end. Another project with the University of Austin TACC involves a 100 CPU machine, with ½ TB RAM running big models for interpretation. Utility computing is also available for large scale visualization. This is especially interesting as the ROI of an in-house visualization center has never been great because of under-use—making it a good candidate for outsourcing.


Landmark flagship client at new data center

IBM is offering clients computing on demand from VeriCenter’s Houston-based facility.

IT hosting specialist VeriCenter, Inc. has opened a second Data Center in Houston to provides IT infrastructure services and supercomputing facilities to anchor client IBM. VeriCenter will enable IBM’s ‘deep computing on demand’ (DCCoD) offering from a 23,000 sq. feet facility with secure Tier 1 connectivity, redundant power and environmental control systems. Along with hosting, VeriCenter offers managed security, monitoring, operating system and database administration, storage and tape backup services.

Gelardi

David Gelardi, IBM VP DCCoD said, ‘DCCoD gives companies access to IBM world class supercomputing power to help meet a variety of spikes in needs, without the costs and management involved with owning their own supercomputer. We realized the benefits for the petroleum industry in particular, and partnering with VeriCenter in Houston is geographically located to optimally serve these customers.’

Team Workspace

An early adopter of the DCCoD is Landmark Graphics, whose Team Workspace hosted applications offer a pay-as-you-go delivery model.

Hall

Gray Hall, VeriCenter president said, ‘We help businesses scale and compete effectively by managing IT expenditure on a utility basis.’ VeriCenter customers include GX-Technology, OFS Portal, Petris Technology and Trade Ranger.


Shell expands relationship with ESRI worldwide

Contract renewal extends GIS framework to a ‘corporate spatial data infrastructure’.

Shell International Exploration and Production B.V has expanded its relationship with ESRI whereby Shell units worldwide can access all of ESRI’s software products. The original deal was signed four years ago (Oil ITJ Vol. 6 N° 7).

Corporate infrastructure

Shell uses GIS technology to integrate and visualize complex business information from different sources and produce maps of assets around the world. The GIS framework is being extended into a corporate spatial data infrastructure in which any authorized user on the corporate Intranet will have access to a one-stop portal integrating GIS layers, documents, and company databases. The global agreement allows Shell to deploy and support ESRI software throughout its organization.

 Whole enchilada

The enterprise solution comprises ESRI’s full line of software including the ArcGIS family of desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo) and server (ArcIMS, ArcSDE, and ArcGIS Server) products. Support is provided by dedicated Shell staff and ESRI distributors covering the multiple time zones of Shell’s global business.


IES kicks-off bio-risk project

New industry consortium, BioPetsRisk, seeks to assess biodegradation risk in oil exploration.

A joint project between GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam and petroleum systems software specialists Integrated Exploration Systems (IES) sets out to assess the risk of biogenic degradation of hydrocarbons. The BioPetsRisk (BPR) project kicks off in January 2005 and will involve the development of a biodegradation risk assessment tool integrated with IES’ PetroMod software.

Biology

According to IES, Petroleum systems modeling is now capable of delivering most of the key elements required for the characterization of petroleum biodegradation risk, including generated fluid composition and phase behavior. The move from physics and chemistry into biology will involve petroleum systems modeling, assessing biodegradation risk and estimating hydrocarbon degradation and reservoir deliverability. IES believes that BPR will shed new light on the biological alteration of petroleum in reservoirs - hitherto an often overlooked risk for shallow and deepwater prospects. The study builds on the work of the Newcastle University Bacchus industry consortium. Interested parties should contact www.ies.de for more information.


RDR, Roxar team on deformation R&D

Research group to offer structural modeling component to Irap RMS reservoir modeling tool.

Roxar and UK-based Rock Deformation Research Ltd. (RDR) are to cooperate on the development of new structural analysis software. The agreement involves the incorporation of RDR structural and fluid flow analysis into Roxar’s flagship modeling tool—Irap Reservoir Modeling Solution (RMS).

Sales agreement

Roxar will also partner with RDR on technology integration with the aim of bringing jointly developed structural analysis products to market. The companies are working to extend Roxar’s fault seal module with RDR’s techniques.

Knipe

Rock Deformation Research (RDR), is a group of geoscientists and fluid flow experts led by Professor Knipe of  Leeds University School of Earth and Environment. RDR has consulted for most oil and gas majors.


Spotfire aids Kerr McGee decision makers

Business analysts and geoscientists to use Spotfire DecisionSite to evaluate E&P opportunities.

Kerr-McGee Corp. has chosen Spotfire DecisionSite as the visualization and analysis platform for its oil and gas operations. Kerr McGee’s geoscientists and business analysts will use DecisionSite to evaluate drilling opportunities in the context of economic and business intelligence data.

Phelps

Vicki Phelps, Kerr-McGee IT manager of engineering applications said, ‘DecisionSite helps us sift through data from different data sources, accelerating analysis through advanced visualization. DecisionSite is an important component in our information delivery strategy.’

Gnatovich

Spotfire president Rock Gnatovich added, ‘Rapid, accurate analysis is an important competitive advantage in the oil and gas market. DecisionSite offers an interactive, collaborative environment that supports strategic upstream decision making.’


ChevronTexaco funds Los Alamos R&D

The new strategic alliance focuses on deriving industry solutions from defense-funded research.

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), operated by the University of California, and ChevronTexaco Corporation (CTC) are to develop a range of ‘mutually beneficial’ technologies. The new alliance will assist Los Alamos in its Department of Energy mission to ‘advance national, economic and energy security.’

Paul

CTC CTO Don Paul said, ‘ChevronTexaco and Los Alamos have cooperated in a variety of projects, including radio frequency telemetry and sensor technology for collection and transmission of oil well data and acoustic interferometry. The new strategic alliance will increase cooperation in a number of areas of interest.’

DoE

CTC and LANL will develop energy industry solutions from Department of Defense technologies. The initial focus will be on ‘advanced well systems’. Opportunities for broader energy industry solutions will be evaluated.

Berger

Charryl Berger, director of energy programs at Los Alamos added, ‘Alliances such as this one between Los Alamos National Laboratory and ChevronTexaco are fundamental to the discovery of breakthrough technologies that help address the energy security challenges of our nation.’ The alliance’s manager will be Manuel Gonzalez, senior engineering advisor at ChevronTexaco Energy Technology Co.


FRST seeks partners for rock fluid study

UT Bureau of Economic Geology JIP to work on ‘sub-detectable’ resolution of reservoir structure.

The University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) and Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) have launched a new joint industry project to investigate ‘Fluid-Rock-Seismic Technologies’ (FRST). The program creates a G&G and engineering research partnership between UTIG and participating oil companies. FRST will develop, test, and validate integrated workflows combining geology, geophysics and fluid-flow modeling of outcrop analogs.

‘Sub-detectable’

The project sets out to develop new tools to ‘assess and predict’ how detectable and sub-detectable heterogeneities affect reservoir performance. A suite of outcrop models will serve as a ‘digital laboratory’ for experimentation and analysis.

Jennings

Jim Jennings of the Bureau of Economic Geology heads the project. The consortium is seeking additional partners with $150,000 to chip in annually. Jennings believes ‘The time is right, the tools are available, and the technologies and skills are in place to make step improvements in the seismic detection of fine-scale reservoir and seal elements.’


Open Spirit rolls-out V 2.7 and new User Guide

Interoperability framework now supports SMT and offers enhanced GIS.

A new release (Version 2.7) of Ope Spirit’s upstream industry middleware offers Linux server support for Landmark’s OpenWorks and Schlumberger’s GeoFrame. IESX and Charisma support are also coming ‘real soon now’.

Kingdom

A Beta data server for Seismic Micro Technology’s Kingdom Suite is now available and the new release also sports enhanced integration with GIS Systems leveraging the Open Spirit ArcView extension and ScanUtility, supporting ESRI ArcView 9.0 and ESRI SDE 9.0 respectively.  Other ‘efficiency’ enhancements target Solaris server upgrades.

User guide

OpenSpirit has also produced a new User Guide. This copiously (but black and white) illustrated, 164 page document is available on the OpenSpirit website and provides great introduction to what Open Spirit is all about.


2004 SEG Conference and Exhibition, Denver

The 2004 Denver Annual Conference and Exposition was buzzing even if the mood was of ‘optimistic uncertainty’ because, although oils are raking in the cash, little of it is trickling down to the service companies. SEG president Peter Duncan contrasted the ‘shell shocked’ situation in US geophysics with ‘energized’ countries like China – where 180 land crews operate, and where there are 1,000 geophysics graduates per year. Matthew Simmons (Simmons and Co.) said that peak oil is at hand, but the world is in denial and there is ‘no plan B’. Ibraheen Assa’adan (Saudi Aramco) opined that recovery factors are set to rise from 40% to a target of 70-80%. Meanwhile, the SEG has become a hardware vendors’ paradise—with a vast range of NAS, SAN, switches and clusters on offer. Cluster farms now support ‘Computing on Demand,’ with offerings from IBM, Sun and Appro. Another trend is visualizing multiple representations of the same data—achieved by co-rendering or bump mapping. Landmark showed a 400GB dataset running on an 11 pipe SGI Onyx with 1TB RAM.

According to SEG president Peter Duncan, the Society had a good year with $9 million revenues. The SEG is to celebrate its 75th anniversary next year and is buying a 10% stake in the North American Prospect Expo (NAPE). A novelty for 2005 will be the Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC) on DVD. This will cost $29 and will be free to students.

Keynote speaker Bob Gistri (ExxonMobil) called for a return to full hydrocarbon systems analysis. Seismic DHCI is now a mature technology. The changing nature of the opportunity space is leading to tougher rock physics and smaller targets. Today the shift is toward non DHCI, deeper plays (with HPHT challenges) with a return to frontier areas with new data and concepts. The future will bring ‘plates to pores’ integration – from basin fill and evolution through plate dynamics, rock fluid modeling, palaeoenvironment calibration and inverse modeling loops.

Matthew Simmons (Simmons & Co.) asked, ‘Why is ‘peak oil’ so unpopular?’ Simmons believes that peak oil is ‘at hand’. Demand has become a runaway train. 70% of the world’s supply comes from fields over 30 years old. 20% comes from 14 giant fields over 50 years old. Modern technology drains oil faster—global decline rates are ‘soaring’. Demand is set to grow by 2.4 million bbl/day in the next quarter—and by 4.3 mm. bbl/day in the next 15 months. By Q4 2005 demand could be 86 million bbl/day (as compared to 1990’s forecasts of 65million bbl/day). The worst is, ‘there is no plan ‘B’.’ In fact the world is expecting demand to soar. $50 oil may prove to be a blessing because ‘the wall’ may be just ahead of us.

Ibraheen Assa’adan (Saudi Aramco) believes that a major problem facing the explorationist is the disparity of scale between geology and geophysics. We need to bridge the gap between seismics and cores. But an even bigger gap exists between a million cell geological model and a 100k cell reservoir model. Saudi Aramco’s own developments include the Powers reservoir simulator. This will soon be capable of simulating 10 million cell models, realizing fluid-flow simulation of a geological model ‘as-is’. The big picture—of reserve estimation and use—requires improvement of recovery factors from the current 40% to a target of ‘70-80%’. Saudi Aramco believes in a different corporate paradigm to the ‘fastest return on investment’.

Peter Bernard (Landmark)  believes that without the impact of E&P innovations, finding and development costs would by now be around $20/bbl. Interviews conducted with 300 E&P research organizations showed that oil and gas companies spend a meager 0.5% of revenues on R&D while service companies spend a (slightly) more healthy 2 to 2.5% of revenues. The oil industry is ‘very, very slow’ to take up new technology and loses money through slow take up of new technologies. Why are we moving at a snail’s pace? Because production operations are a ‘factory-like process, focused on optimization and cost reduction’. What can we do? Get closer to reservoir engineers and help them understand the portfolio management approach to field management.

Planetarium

Landmark, along with SGI, presented a  Geoprobe spectacular at the Denver Planetarium. A bespoke facility built by SEOS showed a 400GB dataset from Marathon on a 64 bit, 11 pipe Onyx with 30 processors driving 11 Barco DLP projectors. Overall 14 million pixels were pushed to the planetarium ceiling . The effect was underwhelming. The night time paradigm of bright points in darkness is great for stars, but doesn’t work so well for seismics—even looking up is somehow wrong!

Sarbanes-Oxley

Rick Johnson showed how Schlumberger’s  ProSource Results Manager can provide ‘traceability of financials and general business practices’ to support Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Schlumberger is offering a ‘united reserve management workflow’ from G&G through engineering, reserves, economics, finance and into corporate planning.

Exhibitors

ACD Systems’ Canvas 9 GIS+ is a nifty GIS package offering high quality presentation graphics. Clients include Exxon, BP, Shell and ChevronTexaco. ACD’s brochure and stand were created in Canvas which imports ESRI Shapefiles. We spotted no less than three SEG-Y Viewers—from BHP Billiton, GeoPlus (both of these are free) and a commercial offering from INT. The latter is a general purpose 2D/3D seismic data viewer which can be run as stand-alone application or as Java applet in browser. Clearspeed was showing its new array processor board—as a plug in to a Linux Networx dual-Xeon based cluster. The board offer Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) routines for seismic applications.

IBM

IBM is working with Landmark on visualization R&D which sets out to break the ‘pathological’ memory greed of GeoProbe. Currently all data must be resident on memory. DeepView is a cluster of workstations with Infiniband links. Leverages programmable NVIDIA graphics adaptors and TopSpin interconnect. Intercepts OpenGL calls in GeoProbe to ‘virtualize’ graphics. But what caught our eye was the T221 9.2 megapixel display which now runs at full resolution thanks to the NVIDIA FX 3400 card. A real gem of a display. IBM’s Integrated Collaborative Environment for Asset Monitoring (ICE 2.0) leverages IBM’s Websphere to broadcast alerts from the production facility. This highly configurable Java programmer’s dream uses Telispark Mobile Enterprise and Websphere Everyplace Connection to bring data from SCADA systems to smartphones. The original development was for ChevronTexaco’s pipeline unit.

DCCoD

Deep Computing Capacity on Demand is now available in Houston at VeriCenter’s new data center (see page 4 of this issue). Landmark is the ‘anchor’ tenant, GX Technology and PGS are also linked to the center via the Gigabit Ethernet Houston Metro Area Net.

AVO Pack

SMT’s AVO Pack was hauling in the crowds—there were around 100 in attendance at the demo we saw. Kerr-McGee, Unocal and Devon use SMT alongside Landmark, but Pioneer has made a complete switch.

RFID

Sonardyne International was showing its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking system for use with its ocean bottom cable (OBC) asset tracking system. The system manages the hundreds of acoustic positioning transponders used in ocean bottom surveying.

TEEC

TEEC is working with a cluster hardware company to offer its CRS technology ‘in a box’. The CRS process begins with PSDM and leverages TEEC’s wavefield tomography and AVO attributes to determine pore fill. TEEC also offers ‘data driven’ model-less velocity analysis.

Digital light box

TeraRecon’s F1 graphics card drives ultra high resolution display arrays including its Personal Digital Lightbox. The PDLB was designed to replace light boxes used to view medical films. Up to 9 F1 cards can be used in a single system to drive as many as 36 panels. Each card has dual 6 mega-pixel DVI outputs with up to four 2048 x 1536 panels per card.

Papers of note

Jan Kommedal, (BP) asked, ‘Does life of field seismics work?’ The answer is ‘very clearly yes!’ Kommedal showed a 4D map where the effect of depletion over a four month period could be seen. A ‘puzzling’ pattern was attributed to a plugged injector. One use of the survey is to plot 4D effects along well bore and monitor effect of perforations. BP deployed 120 km of cables – 2,304 groups of 4 C sensors. The array is continuously live (but not recording). Also deployed are three hydrostatic sensors and three low frequency geophones for earthquake monitoring. BP is pleased with the data quality from trenched cables. Acquisition QC is piped to the office over the internet in real time. Problems encountered - seismic vessel noise, tidal variations and varying water velocities – all taken into account. The data volumes (around 4 TB per survey) create their own data management issues. BP advocates frequent surveying.

Shiv Dasgupta, (Saudi Aramco) offered a contrarian view in his paper on permanent seismic monitoring of Gahwar Field. His original title was ‘When 4D seismics doesn’t work!’ In the mature part of the Gahwar field, hard limestone matrix, low (<2%) depletion, low fluid compressibility and other problems conspire to render time-lapse seismics problematical. This is a ‘challenge’ to industry as many giant fields share the same problems. Petro-accoustic modeling showed that the change in acoustic impedance over 80 years is only 4%. A 5-6 year lapse is a minimum for a detectable difference. But the array has proved good at monitoring microseismic events. The 4D time lapse measurement will be replaced with permanent microseismic monitoring.

This article has been taken from a 38 page illustrated report produced as part of The Data Room‘s Technology Watch Reporting Service. More on The Data Room's Technology Watch Service on the Oil IT Journal website and from tw@oilit.com.


Folks, facts, orgs etc…

News from Halliburton, IAGC, BGS, CatSites, CGG, ESI, Petris, POSC, UKOOA, ESRI, Kelman etc..

The London Petrophysical Society has put its North Sea Rw water resistivity catalog online at lps.org.uk. Andrew Lane is now COO of Halliburton. He replaces John Gibson. Both are former presidents of Landmark Graphics.

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors has released a web-based Invitation to Tender Form. This can be used to request services from IAGC consultant members.

According to the American Petroleum Institute, profit margins of oil and gas companies averaged 6.9% in the second quarter of 2004 (compared to a 6.3% average percent for all US industry). Banks did a lot better with a 20.8% margin. Software companies made 16%.

The British Geological Survey has just released the Sigma Toolbox, a digital field data capture system consisting of an HP iPAQ, Bluetooth GPS, digital camera and ESRI ArcPad-based software.

CatSites has released a new version of its CD-ROM—based ‘Oil and Gas on the Internet - Upstream’ resource—now in PDF format. CatSites holds 800 pages with 5,628 upstream Internet listings. CGG’s Geocluster seismic processing software is now available on both 32-bit and 64-bit cluster platforms.

Speaking to analysts last month ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva reported ‘good progress’ on the company’s plans to grow its E&P segment to 65-70% of capital employed.

Energy Solutions International has appointed Jonathan Mefferd as General Counsel. Mefferd previously held the same post with Aspen Technology.

Bernie Fields has joined Petris as VP of Professional Services. Fields was previously with BearingPoint.

The following were recently elected to the board of POSC: Peter Breunig (ChevronTexaco), Herb Yuan (Shell), Peter Bernard (Landmark) and Stewart Robinson (UK DTI). 

The UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) has appointed the following to its Advisory Board for 2005: Alan Booth (Nexen) Paul Blakeley (Talisman) and Ian Hewitt (BG).

ESRI has just launched a Surveying Special Interest Group (S-SIG) to give surveyors and GIS professionals a collaborative forum for the integration of surveying and GIS technology. More from www.esri.com/s-sig.com.

David Richard has resigned his position of president and CEO of Kelman Technologies. The Kelman board has commenced an international executive search to fill Richard’s post. Chairman Seymour Epstein will assume the interim presidency.

Barton Payne has joined Paradigm’s Asia Pacific office as Leader of the Visualization Team. Payne was previously with Saudi Aramco.

Landmark has discontinued the Magic Earth brand. GeoProbe continues as one of Landmark’s flagship interpretation products.

RPS Group has consolidated its US operations in new offices in Houston. The management team includes Peter Fearn (president) John Morse (VP business development) and Susan Rice (Business Development Manager).

Seitel has appointed Rob Monson as CEO, president, and director. Monson was previously CFO of the company.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has just published Vol. 1 of its definitive Architecture of the World Wide Web. The publication is designed to ‘preserve the relatively simple technologies […] that have resulted in a remarkable information space of interrelated resources.’

Research and Markets has just published the World Energy Atlas 2004 with 128 maps and 264 color pages. The paper and CD-ROM based resource covers major oil and gas fields and pipelines, processing and storage facilities, deepwater fields, refineries and LNG facilities.

Ukraine-based AVIS Corp is seeking to leverage work done with Argonne National Laboratory and DOE US in the nuclear sector for use in oil and gas reserve forecasting. Avis applies data mining and artificial intelligence (AI) to solve complex problems by deriving regularities from huge information sets.

~

ExxonMobil and its employees are contributing $5 million to the Southeast Asia tsunami relief effort. Shell and BP are both donating $3million. ChevronTexaco is also giving financial aid and Unocal Thailand has contributed 1 million baht. Many companies are also providing in-kind assistance.


Palantir provides fiscal regimes to GeoX

GeoKnowledge is now offering fiscal model plug-ins for fifty countries and a range of agreements.

GeoKnowledge is to embed fiscal models from Palantir Economic Solutions in its GeoX risk evaluation system. GeoX clients will be able to incorporate different fiscal regimes in their economic calculations through a library of 50 ready-to-use models.

World wide

The library offers world wide coverage with key regimes from all major exploration areas. Models currently exist for the North Sea, Australasia, North and South America, Africa (North, East and West), the Caspian region and the FSU. GeoKnowledge customers will also have ready access to Palantir experts for model tuning.

Ambrose

Palantir MD Jason Ambrose said, ‘Clients will be able to use our joint-solution to shorten the cycle times required to comprehensively and confidently analyze exploration prospects.’

Probabilistic

GeoKnowledge’s modeling supports probabilistic evaluation of after-tax NPV and commercial risks. Rapid full cycle evaluation of prospects and discoveries gives analysts the ability to evaluate the commercial impact of multiple exploration opportunities.

Stabell

GeoKnowledge MD Charles Stabell added, ‘This deal allows users to leverage off-the-shelf fiscal models for quick and accurate analyses rather than having to define and implement fiscals directly in GeoX.’

Production sharing

Palantir has deep expertise in international fiscal regimes, Production Sharing Contracts and Buy-Back schemes. Palantir’s consultants have extensive knowledge of these regimes from having executed and implemented projects in over 50 countries across all continents.


Tobin Land Suite ports to web services

Petroleum Place Energy Solutions unit Tobin is migrating its Land Suite to web components.

P2ES is to create a web-services based version of its Tobin Land Suite (TLS). The port was initiated by several of Tobin’s major clients. TLS Web will integrate with P2ES’ flagship Enterprise Upstream ERP solution along with SAP. An application programming interface (API) allows for integration into customer-specific IT environments.

Components

TLS Web component applications include LeaseData, Contracts, Title, WellInfor etc. The API allows these to integrate existing workflows with application delivery through a web browser. The system can communicate events to internal systems as well as third party systems outside the firewall. Multiple units of measure and currencies are supported. The development is driven by an advisory board made up of representatives from ten of Tobin’s major oil and gas clients. Upon completion, Tobin’s 45 other clients will be offered the opportunity of migrating to the new system.

Derr

P2ES COO Trent Derr said, ‘The joint commitment of P2ES and its customers to creating the next generation land management solution continues to validate the market leading position established by Tobin Land Suite.’


SIM Technology gets Snohvit visualization

Systems in Motion and Geodata are carving up Statoil’s virtual reality simulator project.

Statoil has awarded Norwegian companies Geodata and Systems in Motion (SIM) a visualization and digital modeling contract for its $8 billion Snohvit LNG-development in the Barents Sea. The onshore part of the digital model will span the subsea, seabed installations, production platform and pipelines. Onshore, the LNG plant on Melkoya and the transport route of LNG carriers will also be realized.

Saether

Statoil visualization project manger Bjoern Saether said, ‘Statoil’s Geo2000 field simulator has demonstrated the use of visualization technologies to optimize learning and user interaction. Now we are implementing this in an operational setting on Snoehvit. 3D visualization improves communication and provides a common understanding of challenges, aiding problem solving.’

ESRI

The visualization technologies will link to Statoil’s corporate databases. Geodata is developing GIS-aware links leveraging ESRI technology – including the use of real-time 3D graphics visualization in operations.


Absoft helps Total deploy RFID tags

Total is using handheld computers and radio frequency equipment tags to manage HAE inspections.

Total’s UK unit is deploying mobile radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to support offshore plant maintenance on several North Sea fields and the Saint Fergus Gas Terminal. The RFID tags are linked to Total’s SAP’s Plant Maintenance Module (PMM). Total has upgraded its maintenance inspections for offshore hazardous area equipment (HAE) replacing a paper-based procedure with a mobile solution, using handheld PCs, integrated with SAP PMM. The all-electronic route eliminates manual updates, enhancing staff productivity and reducing costs.

RFID

RFID tags (similar to retail anti-theft devices) are a robust replacement for bar codes. An RFID tag can be ‘pinged’ by a mobile device and will respond with a unique identifier—offering unequivocal inventory identification and reducing intervention risks.

Absoft

SAP specialist, Aberdeen-based Absoft, developed the interface between the handheld PCs and SAP, working closely with Total to ensure that the solution delivered was fully integrated with Total’s SAP system.


Aramco joins ZetaWare JIP

Trinity 3D basin modeling consortium is developing new simulator.

Saudi Aramco has joined ZetaWare’s Trinity 3D basin modeling consortium. Trinity is developing algorithms to track and predict hydrocarbon volume and composition as a function of the three dimensional geological evolution. Another objective is to develop an ‘easy to use alternative to traditional 3D basin simulators’.

Pressure solver

Other members of the consortium are  Anadarko, Amerada Hess, BHP Billiton, BP and ConocoPhillips.


IHS Energy acquires Ensight Info Services

IHS Energy’s Canadian subsidiary will integrate Ensight’s PipesWest database with AccuMap.

IHS Energy, through its Canadian unit, has acquired Calgary-based Ensight Information Services. Ensight supplies pipeline mapping, software and data solutions to the Canadian market and maintains the authoritative PipesWest database of Western Canadian high-pressure pipelines. Pipeline data is used by oil and gas companies and suppliers in environmental compliance and planning.

Jones

Chris Jones, IHS Energy (Canada) president said, ‘The acquisition of the PipesWest database, along with Ensight’s environmental and surface datasets and EGIS software, complements our suite of data and software products. The PipesWest database enhances the depth and breadth of our current pipeline offering with our existing pipeline data partner, GeoMatics Data Management (GDM). Over time we will integrate the EGIS software and the PipesWest database to create the industry’s premier pipeline offering; which will be accessible from the AccuMap desktop and on-line via the IHS Energy (Canada) Hub.’


Self-organizing network consortium

Boston University’s CISE and Millennial have kicked-off a joint industry sensor network project.

The Center for Information and Systems Engineering (CISE) at Boston University has just announced a Sensor Network Consortium to drive sensor network R&D. The Sensor Network Consortium (SNC) will facilitate interaction between academia and industry participants including sensor networking technology innovators, system integrators, OEMs, and end users.

Waring

BP CTO Bob Waring said, ‘We anticipate a strategic advantage from operational efficiency gains due to sensory network deployment. We see an opportunity for BP to be a testbed for technologies developed by the SNC.’

Feds

The Consortium will capitalize on federal funding and state initiatives, such as the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Members include BP, Honeywell, Invensys, Millennial Net and Textron Systems.

Rhee

Millennial CTO Sokwoo Rhee added, ‘The Consortium is a terrific platform for technology development that is both innovative and practical. An organized forum that links cutting-edge research with real-world requirements will enable the industry to get high-quality products and systems to market more quickly.’ Boston University’s Yannis Paschalidis is to head up the SNC.

iB-5208

Earlier this year, Millennial announced a new wireless sensor networking platform that operates on 868 MHz radio band for license-free operation in Europe. The iB-5208 product line rounds out the Millennial Net product offerings that include the iB-5209 family for 916 MHz license-free operation in North America and the iB-5324 ZigBee-ready family for worldwide license-free operation on 2.4 GHz.

API

The Millennial Net Sensor Network Management (SNM) software and Application Programming Interface (API) provide sophisticated management tools for its wireless sensor networking platform. The software eases the installation and maintenance of wireless mesh networks and greatly reduces the complexity of connecting and managing vast networks of sensors and other monitoring devices.


EOS and Logic launch document exchange

EOS Technologies is to bring its Middle East-developed marketplace to the North Sea.

Dubai-based EOS Technologies (EOST) and the UK Government-sponsored Logic organization have just unveiled Enerdox, a new European e-business document exchange. EOST runs the Document Delivery Exchange (DDE), an oil and gas e-commerce facility connecting some 2,500 organizations.

Aberdeen

The Enerdox initiative ports EOST’s technology to the European marketplace. The opening of a document exchange in Aberdeen is expected to double EOS membership with a potential $13 billion annual spend.

Market Research

EOST worked with Logic, the UK’s ‘centre of excellence’ for the energy supply chain, on e-commerce market research. LOGIC and EOS anticipate working together to deliver the new exchange across Europe. Work in Aberdeen will commence immediately, with the first Enerdox members going ‘live’ early in the summer.

Livingston

Alan Livingston, EOS CEO, said, ‘With our technology we can create dedicated document exchanges in any part of the world. This has helped us to move forward with the launching of Enerdox, together with others in Qatar, and Abu Dhabi, each fully integrated to our main current exchange. We have plans for exchanges in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and North America.”

Shell

The EOS solution that powers Enerdox is used by suppliers including Halliburton and Schlumberger. EOS’ oil and gas anchor client is Petroleum Development Oman (34% owned by Shell).


Quorum supports Kazakhstan pipeline

Quorum makes international debut with Russian-language version of land management package.

Quorum has released a multi-lingual version of its land management package for Kazakhstan-based Tengizchevroil (TGO), a joint venture between ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, KazMinuaiGaz and LukArko. TGO operates the giant Tengiz and Korlev oil fields in Kazakhstan.

O’Dwyer

Quorum VP Gary O’Dwyer said, ‘Quorum Land was designed for localization. All units, date formats and other items in are configurable. This development marks Quorum’s international debut.’

Pengrowth

In a separate announcement, Quorum reports that Calgary-based Pengrowth Energy Trust has selected Quorum TIPS to support gas plant accounting and allocations at its Judy Creek facility. Judy Creek produced 12,535 BOE per day in 2003. This is the 28th installation of Quorum TIPS.

Radu

Pengrowth CIO Clay Radu said, ‘Judy Creek is a complex facility with challenging business processes. TIPS was the first commercial product we found that satisfied our requirements. Quorum understood our needs, planned the project and provided a configurable solution for complex allocations.’

Interstate

Quorum also reports that an unnamed major US interstate natural gas pipeline transmission operator is now managing its operations with its Pipeline Transaction Management system – the first major new pipeline management software solution brought to market in a decade.’


OFS Portal and Quadrem to interoperate

Deal links upstream buying community to global e-commerce consumer packaged goods hub.

The upstream supply side group OFS Portal has signed an interoperability agreement with Quadrem, an e-business solution provider, that should allow members of both communities to connect with each other and engage in business-to-business transactions.

Le Sage

OFS Portal CEO William Le Sage said, ‘The connection with Quadrem demonstrates that e-commerce leaders can work together in a trusted environment for the benefit of upstream buyers and suppliers. Together we will deliver the benefits of digital commerce to all trading partners. Additionally, the service levels for transaction routing offered through the global footprints of Quadrem and OFS Portal raise the bar for performance and reliability. Through a trusted, reliable and safe environment such as this, our trading partners can return their focus to their core business relationship and make e-commerce productive.’

$3.5 billion

Quadrem, an established transaction hub for companies in the consumer packaged goods industries, transacts $3.5 billion per year. Quadrem has expanded its offering to the oil and gas industry by attracting upstream operators that deploy electronic supply chain initiatives globally.

Efting

Quadrem CEO Mike Efting added, ‘This agreement represents a major milestone for Quadrem’s initiatives in the oil and gas sector. OFS Portal and its member-customers are important drivers in the development of e-commerce standards and industry-based standards bodies such as the American Petroleum Institute’s PIDX committee. Our interoperability with OFS Portal’s global Transaction Messaging Services strengthens our offering and underscores our commitment to deliver value to all trading partners in the oil and gas supply chain.’


TNPI joins electroBusiness exchange

Canadian pipeline operator joins Petro-Canada’s electroBusiness-operated e-business hub.

Calgary-based electroBusiness reports that its flagship client Trans-Northern Pipeline (TNPI) is now in production with its ‘eBgateway’ e-commerce tool. TNPI uses electroBusiness’ downstream financial document exchange to transact with clients such as Petro-Canada. The secure eBgateway solution to exchange all bill of lading data with industry affiliates.

Allen

Mike Allen, enterprise systems team leader with Petro-Canada said, ‘Working with electroBusiness will not only reduce telecom costs, but also reduce annual maintenance and upkeep resulting in a simpler and more robust solution, that is easily expandable for all industry participants.’

Demers

electroBusiness Operations VP Derek Demers added, ‘The current scope of the project is on target as we continue to work closely with Petro-Canada to expand its user community to all of its downstream industry partners. Currently 40% of the initial participants are now live. We are pleased at the confidence Petro-Canada is showing with our eBgateway solution to help achieve the cost benefits they are looking for.’

Spartan

electroBusiness has also won a contract for the management of oilfield supplier Spartan Controls’ purchase orders and other financial documentation. Spartan is to replace its EDI systems with eBgateway and the e-Business Utility to automate the document exchange process with Imperial Oil Canada and other customers. The companies forecast payback in only 11 months, with savings on EDI systems, value added network (VAN) charges and maintenance fees.


PIDX extends UN classification to oilfield

The American Petroleum Institute has released a new UNSPSC taxonomy for oilfield services.

The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Services Classification Task Force has just released proposed revisions to the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) Segment 71- Mining and Oil and Gas Services. UNSPSC provides an open, global multi-sector standard for classification of products and services. The new commodity classifications are expected to be approved and added to the UNSPSC code in early 2005.

Oilfield services

The codes cover a range of oil and gas exploration services including logging, seismics, drilling, well testing and interpretation services. The existing UNSPC codes are available in SAP’s NetWeaver web services environment which leverages UDDI for discovery and pre-loading of taxonomies.

OFS Portal

Take-up of standards like the UNSPSC has been relatively limited. A couple of years ago, only 20% of US companies used the UNSPSC system, which had little or no penetration in Europe. But the API initiative, which has backing from Trade Ranger and OFS Portal may change this by adding sufficient granularity to the UNSPSC codes to support e-business.


Microsoft to banish Excel ‘hell’ for oils

Microsoft and partners Avenade and Meridio are hardwiring Excel spreadsheets to corporate data.

Microsoft held a webcast this month on ‘Excel Intelligence for Oil and Gas (EIOG).’ The event focused on the amount of business critical upstream information that is ‘locked away in myriad Excel spreadsheets scattered across the desktops of your global enterprise.’ A worthy target indeed!

Business case

Much of the webcast was devoted to presenting the business case for better management of such disparate and disseminated data sources – with particular reference to the upcoming ‘big crew change.’ But how is EIOG going to lead to ‘one version of the truth’ and how will it enable ‘better business decisions through real-time, reliable access to mission-critical information.’

Mikulis

Microsoft’s oil sector industry manager Marisé Mikulis described how Microsoft’s pervasive use of XML in its latest Office tools – and in particular, in Excel – is set to make it much easier for corporations to standardize data exchange and create structured data – separating content from meaning. Mikulis (who was previously with POSC) was only half joking when she said that oil and gas ‘generates more standards than any other industry.’

XML bridge

XML provides a bridge between different ‘standards’ and makes for ‘easily searchable data, displayed by all Office products’. Such solutions will be ‘easy to deploy’ and will integrate other industry standard environments like SAP and Oracle.

Data Store

The engine behind the scenes is Microsoft’s SharePoint Portal Server. A new Data Store secures data captured in local Excel spreadsheets, controls access levels, ensures scalability and provides analytical capabilities.

Avanade

Despite the vaunted ease of use, Microsoft recommends professional help for deployment. Companies with oil country experience of Microsoft systems include Microsoft/Accenture joint venture Avanade, Meridio (which adds ‘robust document management’ to Microsoft’s product line) and OutlookSoft (which embeds links to data stores into vanilla Excel).


POSC/CAESAR platform for reservoir

POSC/Caesar is to leverage semantic web technology to map between ISO, Epicentre and WITSML.

Petroleum Open Standards Consortium (POSC) and the Norwegian standards body POSC/Caesar are rekindling their mutual standardization effort with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU). POSC and POSC/Caesar were closely associated a while back (See OITJ Vol 4 N° 2 for a discussion of POSC and POSC/Caesar data modeling) but their paths diverged as the general interest for data modeling declined.

Cooperation

Today, the organizations ‘anticipate increasing opportunities for cooperation’ particularly in the field of subsurface instrumentation and ‘process-oriented production operations.’ The MOU calls for the organizations to coordinate, cooperate, and share activities for the benefit of their members.

Integrated Information Platform

The new relationship has in part been sparked off by a Norwegian research project for a public domain, ‘Integrated Information Platform for Reservoir and Subsea Production Systems.’ The $3 million project focuses on real time data and will leverage existing industry ‘ontologies’ using Statoil’s Tyrihans field as a test bed. Software for real time decision support will leverage the W3C’s Web Ontology Language (OWL) protocols for classification and retrieving, categorizing and publishing OWL information. A second project will apply similar techniques to data visualization. The projects set out to bridge existing standards including ISO 15926, POSC’s Epicentre, WITSML and others. We wish them luck!