The logic behind the digital oilfield of the future (DOF) would have it that increased systems integration and cross discipline collaboration will significantly enhance production, improve economics and reduce costs. The idea is compelling but begs the question, who, among the many stakeholders, will hold the keys to the DOF? Hitherto we have seen contenders from the geoscience, engineering and process control communities. But a recent announcement from the ERP behemoth SAP, makes a credible argument that the bean counters will be in charge.
SAPs new ecosystem a.k.a. the oil and gas industry value network (IVN) currently involves independent software vendors, systems integrators and technology vendors along with executives from SAPs oil and gas customer base. The oil and gas IVN is SAPs eighth industry-centric collaboration venture. Previous IVNs have targeted inter alia, banking, chemicals and the public sector.
The IVN builds on SAPs Oil & Gas Global Industry Advisory Council whose chairman, Conoco Phillips Bob Martin said, Achieving leading-edge innovation requires the input of more than one business entity and IT vendor. The Advisory Council sees collaboration through SAPs IVN as the way forwardleveraging a web of expertise, solutions and capabilities to address our most pressing business challenges.
Initially the IVN is to direct its efforts to digital oil field and the hydrocarbon supply chain, with solutions for integrated exploration and production, land lease management, real-time gas allocation, asset life-cycle management, distribution and terminal management, trading, and price optimization. The aim is to deliver pre-integrated, standard, end-to-end solutions and services based on SAPs web services platform, NetWeaver (OITJ Vol. 8 N° 1). Packaged solutions from the IVN will help customers avoid costly integration projects.
The Advisory Council comprises 17 companies, notably Conoco Phillips, Petrobras, Statoil and Tesoro. The service side IVN includes Accenture, HP, IBM, LogicaCMG, Quorum Business Solutions and Triple Point. Early work has found the DOF to be both a solution and a problem, as it produces more data than ever before. SAP and Accenture are working to accelerate well delivery and maintenance operations. The future will see more DOF applications leveraging LogicaCMGs Prodis Upstream, NRX Asset Center, Meridiums maintenance solution, Quorum Land, TechniDatas environmental reporting and e-ESE solutions and Triple Points trading package.
Norsk Hydro, whose oil and gas business is being acquired by Statoil, has made a plethora of deals and announcements of lateperhaps the most interesting being the opening of a new eOperations center at Sandsli, Norway, that will allow land-based specialists to monitor control systems and rotating machinery offshore.
Hydro director Rolf Jacobsen said, Use of new technology and work processes will help us keep equipment running constantly. This will contribute to considerable reductions in lost oil and gas production. From Sandsli, we monitor 30 gas turbines, 35 gas compressor trains and over 100 large pumps on a daily basis.
1.6 mmbbl loss
Equipment failure can lead to major production losslast year, Hydros ten largest production losses amounted to some 1.6 million barrels. Another operations room monitors 54 fiscal metering stations on Hydros platforms and at the Sture terminal, provides better quality surveillance and maintenance planning of the the metering stations. Its not clear what will become of eOps when Hydros oil and gas business is subsumed by Statoil.
We have been working away on the oilit.com website over the last couple of weeks. Users of either or both of our services (the Oil IT Journal site license and our Technology Watch reporting service) coming into the oilit.com site can now search and see all of the content they have subscribed to. To see if things are working for you, please visit www.oilit.com. If you are a site licensee you should automatically see the full text of the current issue of the Journal. If you also have a Technology Watch subscription, a click on the TechWatch link at the top of the page will bring up a full list reports going back to 2002all of which can be viewed or downloaded. If this doesnt work for you, please email us at email@example.com and we will fix up your access.
A word or two on the new search functionality. One of the curious things about Google is that you cant organize your search results by date (without paying for the Enterprise Edition, that is). One of the questions that I frequently ask myself is did we publish this story last month? So it was mostly in self interest, and with help from our search technology provider, FreeFind, that I retrofitted HTML Date metadata tags to our articles so they can now be ordered by date. FreeFind also indexes our PDF documents, something the old system failed to do I am ashamed to say. A user of the updated site said, The new system is fantastic.
Rather longer ago that I would readily admit, I got caught up reading a bookyou know the kind that you cant put down and may even carry on reading through the night. Thats not so unusual. What was strange was that this was a book about statistics! Doing some mindless Googling while preparing this edition I came across the Amazon page for my erstwhile potboiler and found that my passion for the oeuvre was shared by others. The book in question is Facts from Figures by one M.J. Moroney*.
Moroney describes the analytical approach to statistics. Writing before computers were around, the only way to address such problems was through math with detailed analysis of the interplay of variables and errors. For more on this you might like to revisit my September 2002 editorial Lies damn lies and futzing (OITJ Vol. 7 N° 9).
Patrick Leach, in his excellent book reviewed on page 4, Why cant you just give me the number**? drums home the point that uncertainty is the source of value in business. I came across some amusing support for this fundamental truth in the Financial Times Fund Management supplementnot exactly my favorite reading, but a piece titled No free lunch in downside protection*** caught my eye. FT columnist Steve Johnson reports on products that purport to offer the upside potential of equity investments with some from of protection from downside risk.
A Barclays study**** quoted by the FT concluded that attempts to curtail the volatility of equities by options hedging are likely to eliminate excess equity returns over time, suggesting the investor would have been better off in less volatile assets. In other words, as everybody knows, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Personally I have always steered clear of these products as a) I suspected a trick and b) I have no money. All this would be rather anecdotal were it not for the fact that, according to the FT article, such products are common in pension funds across Europe. With long term returns from the free lunch products coming in at around 1%, it makes you wonder...
More researching on the current issue brought incontrovertible evidence that at least one major oil and gas company uses spreadsheets in what one could call mission critical planning and compliance reporting. Nothing unusual there. Unfortunately, there is probably nothing unusual either in the fact that the usage was demonstrably poor in terms of best practices. If you want to know what spreadsheet best practices are, I would refer you to our report from the 2005 Crystal Ball (CB) Oil and Gas User Group (OITJ Vol. 10 N° 10). Here, Decisioneerings Steve Hoye reported that some 40% of CB trainees dont know about the elementary best practice of using range names rather than cell references. There is a delicious irony in the fact that large companies are misusing spreadsheets in the context of compliance reporting!
But enough of the cynicism! Supposing you actually want to do something about your organizations dodgy spreadsheet practices? Well I came across what appears to be just what you should be looking for in some marketing material from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as followsThe use of spreadsheets creates a high risk of error in the data reporting chain. PwCs tools appraise the effectiveness and reliability of spreadsheets. For many companies, the finance department has an interest in well controlled spreadsheets. Indeed!
Way back when I started editing PDM, OITJs forerunner, folks warned meand I half believed them; that the oil and gas IT scene was all but carved up between Landmark and Schlumberger and that soon, there would be nothing left to write about. The truth is that we seem to be moving further and further from a software duopoly. In this edition alone, there are 15 companies that are new to meand they are not fringe footlers, but already have clients and serious offerings. Oil and gas ITa rich tapestry!
* Penguin 1952, ISBN 0140202366.
** Probabilistic Publishing 2006, ISBN 0964793857, www.decisions-books.com.
*** Financial Times February 19th 2007.
**** Barclays 2007 Equity Gilt Study.
Why cant you just give me the number is an entertaining read that provides a great introduction to modern Monte Carlo-based uncertainty analysis. Leach used to be a geophysicist and in-house evangelist for probabilistic methods with Texcao. The book is a continuation of Leachs evangelization and contains a wealth of interesting stuff and opinions that pack almost every page.
Some purveyors of risk management seem to imply that, so long as you use their technology, you can make risk go away. None of this stuff for Leach. In the opening chapter, he explains that uncertainty is the ultimate source of all value in business. The job of management thus becomes the identification and understanding of key uncertainties in your business. (You may like to read about how Leachs successors in Chevron are doing this on page 11.)
The book is packed full of intriguing insights and sideswipes at current practices. Leach is more than skeptical of the SECs requirement that companies report the sum of their low reserve estimates. It may be the law but it is statistical nonsense.
Leach offers clear definitions to the terminology. In no time you will be familiar with S Curves, Tornado, Decision Trees, Portfolio Management, Efficient Frontier analysis and moreno statistical stone is left unturned. If you were already familiar with such stuff, I guarantee that Leach will have you re-thinking your previous notions of some or other aspect of probabilistic analysis. There is insight on every page and potential controversy in every chapter.
Some of the most interesting content covers the impact of human psychology. For instance, consider the $125 jacket and $15 tie purchase problem. A deal that involves a drive across town offers a $5 discount on the $15 tie is taken up by 68% of the study group. When a similar group is offered a $5 discount on the $125 jacket, only 29% take up the offer! For Leach, this blatantly inconsistent**. Other psychological work demonstrates asymmetry in risk aversion. People are seemingly averse to high potential, long shot projects that could be company makers. Another asymmetry is witnessed by the mild pleasure obtained from finding $20 contrasted with the foul mood into which the same person is thrown on discovering a similar loss!
I would be failing in my task as a reviewer if I didnt point out a couple of weak points. The chapter headings are a bit too jokey for easy navigation in anything other than a full cover to cover read. The index is also a bit skimpy. Finally, I have to chip in with my own mild and idiosyncratic complaint that I have addressed at other writers in the risk management field. Leach preaches for intellectual rigor when treating our intuitive (and wrong) analysis of statistical paradoxes like the Monte Hall problem or when trying to eliminate psychological bias. But the rigor is replaced by guesswork and coercion when trying to squeeze error estimates from an unforthcoming engineer.
Why not just buy it!
But if you are untroubled by such philosophical difficulties and want to consume the whole risk uncertainty enchilada at one sittingWhy cant you just give me the number? is the book for you. I have seen nothing that comes close in terms of readability and overall usefulness. Its a great title too.
* Probabilistic Publishing, 2006. ISBN 0964793857 www.decisions-books.com.
** I wondered though if it might also explain perhaps why at least 68% of the population are not running a company!
Over the last year, the move from IBM 3590 cartridges to the new 3592 media and tape drive technology has started in earnest in the oil and gas industry. This change has been driven mainly by the capacity of the new tapescurrently up to 300GBcompared with the 60 GB maximum capacity of the older 3590E.
The 3590 has enjoyed over ten years of acceptance within the industry. Amazingly, even at this stage, it is still relatively well thought of, despite the initial high cost of the drive technology, and its now relative low capacity when compared to other media types such as SDLT and LTO.
The 3592 tape drive has already been superseded by the TS1120. IBM announced in September 2006 that the 3592 J1A drive was a discontinued product line. The TS1120 tape drive is the future of the seismic acquisition and processing.
Historically, oil and gas companies have been led by the acquisition service companies when it comes to storage technology, especially in seismic acquisition technology. Seismic boats require the high availability, low maintenance and reliability that the TS1120 offers.
The potential downside for industry is that the TS1120 is a Fiber Channel (FCAL), not SCSI, device. This means that standard desktop workstations will not likely be able to communicate with the drive without significant effort or the installation of FCAL to SCSI bridges and software. Notwithstanding FCALs drawbacks, it offers unparalleled speed and data access which could outweigh the devices connectivity issues.
Read Holmes full paper on www.spectrumdata.com.au.
Input-Output unit GXT has just announced the initial release of its Autobahn seismic processing package. Autobahn streamlines access to large seismic datasets and automates pre-stack quality control workflows. Autobahn was designed to handle future large processing jobs that GXT will undertake and to reduce processing cycle times. Flexible data sorting organizes data into cross-spread sorts and vector-tile sorts as required for noise reduction. Modules provide automated geometry QC and refraction statics to streamline many routine processing workflows.
GXT senior VP Nick Bernitsas said, We needed a new powerful data processing engine that could serve as the foundation for all of GXTs advanced imaging techniques. By completely re-tooling our workflow engine, we believe that GXT can secure a meaningful advantage in the marketplace where trace counts are constantly increasing.
Autobahn was designed to accept large field datasets from I-Os FireFly full wave field recording system. FireFly trials on BPs Wamsutter fractured gas reservoir in Wyoming deployed 10,000 three-component stationsa ten-fold increase in channel count. Autobahn can cater for 30,000+ more channels, applying compute intensive techniques like offset vector tile processing.
Dynamic Graphics has licensed OpenSpirits data integration software development kit (SDK) to provide integration with third-party applications and data stores to users of EarthVision and CoViz.
Dynamic Graphics president Art Paradis said, Our integration with databases such as OpenWorks and SeisWorks along with open formats like SEG-Y and RESCUE already provides time-savings for geoscientists and reservoir engineers. OpenSpirit extends interoperability to a multitude of best-of-breed applications, data stores, and GIS systems, giving G&G professionals even more control over their data.
CoViz (OITJ Vol. 11 N° 12) is a vendor-neutral platform for 2D, 3D, and 4D covisualization, access, and interrogation of cross-discipline data. This collaborative environment enables asset teams to arrive at decisions with greater consensus and confidence.
ISA Technologies and SpectrumData based at Western Australias Technology Park near Perth, have signed a collaboration agreement for seismic data management and processing. SpectrumData provides specialist data services including media and data conversion, data migration and transcription. ISA has the largest high performance computing (HPC) facility in Western Australia and supports 3D visualization and seismic processing. The deal heralds a one stop shop for the data requirements of oil and gas and resource-based industries.
SpectrumData CEO Guy Holmes said, We are already safeguarding the data requirements of oil and gas and resource companies in Australia and around the world. By combining the processing power of ISAs HPC facility we can extend our services internationally.
The companies are working to establish a broadband communications link to share data and support both data storage and processing activities. ISA MD Sil La Puma said, An initial 1 Gbps link will be upgraded to 10 Gbps link to support the partnershiphopefully with support from the Western Australian Government as part of its encouragement of IT clusters and financial assistance for broadband links.
Graphics processor specialist NVIDIA has released a public beta of its CUDA software developer kit (SDK) and C-compiler for computing with NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs). Using commodity, massively parallel graphics processors holds considerable promise for compute intensive applications such as seismic processing (OITJ Vol. 11 N° 12) and reservoir flow modeling (OITJ Vol. 10 N° 7).
Andy Keane, general manager of GPU Computing at NVIDIA said, The GPU is now a powerful processor suited for compute intensive applications such as seismic processing, bioscience, and financial modeling. With CUDA technology, the parallel computing power of the GPU is now accessible to virtually any developer through standard C programming language.
NVIDIA has invested approximately $3 million in Calgary-based Acceleware to further GPU-based applications such as cell-phone design and seismic data processing.
CGGVeritas unit Hampson-Russell has released a new version of its eponymous software. The CE8R1 edition adds View3D, a new visualization package and Seisloader, a data loader/browser.
INT has released its C++ GeoToolkit 3.3 leveraging both Trolltechs Qt3 and Qt4 to offer cross platform data visualization and analysis to developers. GeoToolkit includes support for seismics, well logs and contour displays as well as hardcopy with print preview.
Geovariances has announced release 7.0 of its geostatistical package Isatis. V 7.0 adds 64-bit support for Unix, Linux or Windows platform with huge dataset handling and multi-threading implementations of kriging and simulation. Also new is an interface with AutoCad DXF wireframes files.
Knowledge Systems has upgraded its Drillworks and Pressworks database. Drillworks V 11.5 now features mapping and GIS capabilities. The real time ConnectML module now supports WITSML 1.3.1. The Pressworks 2.5 database now allows wells to be shared across multiple projects without duplication and optional ESRI ArcSDE server functionality.
Release 2.5 of Knowledge Reservoirs web-based Gulf of Mexico deepwater reservoir knowledge base contains detailed analysis of 63 mature fields containing 314 reservoirs and 353 wells. Data for fifty new producing fields is included.
A new version of NeuraLogs package includes a log quality index for log data verification. A validation report provides a detailed analysis of the QA process. The NeuraSection and NeuraWellTool packages now connect to A2Ds Silverwire service.
The Open Geospatial Consortium has released a candidate Observations & Measurements specification for public comment. The specification will embed the OGCs Sensor Web standard, supporting technical measurements in science and engineeringmore from www.open-geospatial.org/standards/requests/37.
Safe Softwares FME 2007 release includes read and write capability for GeoRSS in W3C Geo, GeoRSS Simple and GeoRSS GML formats.
The new ResWorks module in geoSCOUT V 6.12 offers practical reservoir diagnostic tools. Other enhancements address LAS log data management, the DST Pro module and mapping.
IBM has updated its catalog of XML standards, providing cross-referenced links to articles summarizing key XML technologies, recommendations and tutorials. More from http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/standards/?ca=dnw-806.
Oracle is now serving its Oracle Technology Network (OTN) information resource leveraging semantic web technology. More from http://otnsemanticweb.oracle.com/.
CGGVeritas has replaced its Intel-based Beowolf cluster in London with 2,800 IBM JS21 Blades each with double core PowerPC 970MP processors.
The January 2007 release of Foster Findlay Associates (FFA) SVI Pro claims technical progress for the 3D seismic analysis package and productivity gains for data screening and geobody delineation.
A new direct hydrocarbon indicator (DHI) tool produces a cross-plot of seismic attributes versus TWT within a defined volume of interest.
3D frequency decomposition techniques and 2D/3D color blending adds a new dimension to volume visualization, leveraging FFAs multi-attribute 3D
Batch processing improves workflow efficiency and can be set up to run complex jobs without user intervention.
Xapp, SVI Pros 2D/3D cross plotting and multi-attribute geobody delineation tool provides a better understanding of the relationship between different seismic volumes. Finally, FFA is offering development and commercialization services to in-company developers of 3D seismic image processing technology for NOCs and senior independents.
PetroAndina, a Canadian E&P company, has deployed Decision Dynamics (DD) Wellcore well lifecycle package to manage its expanding operations in the Neuquén Basin, Argentina. Wellcore will provide PetroAndina with real-time visibility into drilling operations. DDs professional services team is integrating Wellcore with PetroAndinas in-house accounting system to streamline its billing and financials.
PetroAndina has deployed Wellcores geology, drilling, completions and authorizations for expenditure (AFE) modules for central access to daily drilling reports and other information and will be utilizing the systems Webcore portal to provide executive summaries.
PetroAndina COO Barry Larson said, We are ramping up for a major expansion in our drilling activity. Spreadsheets and Word documents are no longer sufficient to capture and manage our drilling data efficiently. Wellcore lets us add rigs and accelerate our drilling pace without having to add staff to handle the increase in recordkeeping, data analysis and other paperwork. DD also reports a five year, $890,000 Wellcore deal with a large US-based natural gas company.
Steve Comstock (ExxonMobil) polled the audience to ascertain that it was split roughly 50/50 between IT and the business. ExxonMonil views data management as an IT/Business partnership. Multiple single point solutions must integrate an enterprise framework to enable data sharing. XOMs upstream company also has to integrate with its global IT. A PriceWaterhouseCoopers study found that 62% of data is managed in Excel spreadsheets by end users. This means that there is no enterprise level control over data which may have reporting implications. For Comstock, data is so important to the business that it should be elevated to the same level as reserves.
In ExxonMobil, global IT (GIT) has a say in infrastructure, applications, data architecture and support. Exxons Common Computing System (CCS) comprises network, platform (Linux, Unix, the new Vista challenge), applications and user experience. The CCS has data at its core. Companies should beware of data management amateurs. Comstock encourages the training of career professionals and the education of non data management professionals in proper data hygiene.
The Society of Petroleum Engineers has recognized IT as critical part of the business and intends to formalize IT training. Today, at Texas A&M all you need to get an engineering degree is Fortran and Cobol. The result is that some people coming into oil companies dont know what they are doing. All of which contributes to data entropy, with the Excel spreadsheet as part of the vicious circle. Poor management is a tax on the organization. Good management delivers a data dividend, allowing the business to make money from its data asset.
Online geophysical data is growing in leaps and bounds. While one talks of Terabytes online, the cost of hardware is a drop in the bucket compared to what it takes to manage and serve the data. It may only cost $50,000 to add a terabyte, but it takes $500,000 per year to manage it! Other data issues are self-inflicted. A recent North Sea audit found 250,000 copies of the same business data on the LAN! Comstock noted XOMs $10-30 million SAP spend saying, you could do a lot with this in the upstream!
Donna Garbutt (Schlumberger Information Solutions) reported on a survey of SIS clients that found the main production data management application to be Microsoft Excel. SIS sees efficiency gains by moving to a true production management system. There is a break in data flow from the SCADA world to longer term business requirements. The survey also found that production monitoring, water injection, deliverability analysis, well test, production loss monitoring, surface water handling, artificial lift, sand, gas lift and zonal allocation were all priority problem workflows. In the Q&A, SIS was taken to task for not understanding production accounting and advanced process control. Garbutt countered, We are very active in these areasparticularly with ProdML and the TietoEnator pilot.
David Holmes described Landmarks research into unstructured data management, portals and data integration. This has determined that security is critical. Holmes expressed surprise that customers tolerate multiple identity management offerings, preferring a corporate identity management model. Holmes criticized the Google Appliance which works fine on a file server. But if you point it at OpenWorks or GeoFrame and youll find that it doesnt understand entitlements. So anyone with access to Google can suck out the whole database! Landmarks research concluded that vendors need to create hooks for integration of seamless integration of unstructured data.
Vendors need to adopt a truly open approach and provide interfaces to their datastores, middleware and applications. Notwithstanding the ongoing beauty contest as to who is openest of them all, vendors (that includes us) need to be called to account. Holmes unveiled Landmarks new middleware offering that targets the data integration problem. Here, middleware exposes services available from published SDKs. Enterprise services provide security and contextually aware search of upstream data. Standards-based identity management also ran. Java APIs provide common interfaces to data stores.
Nick Baker described Petrolinks work with Pemex Pozza Rica Altimara (PRA) asset offshore Veracruz. Petrolinks drilling and production database and management information system has been customized and localized as Pemex CADI and is used as a reporting and data quality assurance preprocessor for data loaded to Pemex corporate @ditep data store. Petrolink was translated into Spanish by local consultants with industry experience. All data types are entered for full reporting, metadata is added in a controlled workflow and the results served all to stakeholders. Intranet and extranet access is available for home/travel and entitled third party access. CADI runs on a Windows 2003 Server with Lotus Domino Server. A folder structure lets managers look at a workflow for rig scheduling, and see available executive reports, flight details, production reports and sales. CADI is now to extend its coverage the whole Norte region.
Katya Casey described BHP Billitons integrated working environment built around a spatial data infrastructure, getK, a Documentum-based knowledge system, Landmarks Engineering Data Model and eWell, a Schlumberger Decision Point application for aggregation of well related information. Casey noted that all vendors say they are integrated. But this can mean different things like visual integration on a 3D canvas, a Portal, GIS-based integration of sparse data.
GIS is the best thing that ever happened to us and has been deployed in BHPs EarthSearch Portal that attacks all the above data sources leveraging SOA-based middleware. This leverages a taxonomy-driven E&P metadata layer which embeds business rules for critical information. BHP is planning middleware for its entire application portfolio, working with OpenSpirit and other vendors to extend the middleware footprint. BHP is an early adopter of Googles enterprise service for oil and gas which has been found to offer good scalability. Google Earth lets you blend web services feeds and sits at the top of BHPs stack alongside SAP and enterprise search.
Femi Adeyemi described Brunei Shells Digital E&P Business which supports high end smart, snake wells, real time data integration, remote monitoring and valve control. Shells smart field value loop brings challenges of data overloadengineers are again spending more time accessing and manipulating data rather than real surveillanceanalysis, interpretation and action. Security is an issue in the real time data environment and a high tech firewall separates the control system from the office domain. Shells data driven models use real time data for 24/7 surveillance and optimization. Exprodats Information Quality Metrics (IQM) tool is used for data QA. IQMs asset data traffic lights have raised data qualitys profile for many Shell assets.
According to OFS Portals Bill le Sage, upstream oil and gas spent $265 billion in 2006. E-commerce has had a tough beginning in oil and gas. Le Sage thinks that we are now at the end of the beginning. It has been a lot harder than anyone thought but today, PIDX standards have really taken off. For the oil and gas supply chain, data means catalogsbut these are rarely used for sourcing in the upstream. One advantage of PIDX XML documents is that they allow capture of transactional (spend) information. Today almost all business transactions are PIDX standard documents.
OFS Portal is now focusing on eIPP electronic invoicing, procurement and payment. In the upstream, the real value is in complex products and services. One supplier catalogs 800 kind of drill bits. SAP cant handle non explicit purchases which may be only a couple of lines of text. OFS Portal is working with SAP on such issues. Le Sage sees big wins from spend analysis and reduced invoice processing costs.
This article has been taken from an 11 page report produced by The Data Rooms Technology Watch program. More information and sample reports from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pemex gas and petrochemicals unit (Pemex Gas y Petroquimica BasicaPGPB) has upgraded its pipeline SCADA control system with a wireless solution from vMonitor. The new system offers real time monitoring of product flow in PGPBs 900 km pipeline network.
vMonitor provided low profile, explosion proof enclosures for its vMBusX real time units for measuring pipeline flow rates and pressures. vMBusX units are intelligent micro wireless sensors comprising micro-RTU, antenna, sensor and battery. They are capable of transmitting up to 10 miles with line of sight.
The small form factor and a camouflage paint job makes the units look like part of the piping; reducing the risk of unit theft and eliminating the need for wiring. vMonitor developed a bespoke software stack to embrace Pemex own Modbus flavourPemex Modbus is an extension of standard Modbus with support for historical and flow data.
vMonitor leveraged PGPBs existing UHF/Microwave communications backbone linking the pipeline to the main control room in Mexico City. Wireless sensors push data every 30 secondsa polling cycle that assures around a one year battery pack life. Gateways include software smarts that record time since last message for data transmission QA. Other diagnostics allow monitoring and network re-configuration without the need for a site visit.
The system allows control room operators to monitor status and operating conditions of the pipeline, tracking pressure trends that may foretell anomalies and possible compromise of the theft prone and highly sensitive pipeline network.
The network can also be used to direct commands to a particular remote station. A functionality which will be used in the second phase of the project, planned for 2007. Phase 2 will extend project scope to include remote control of the sectioning valves for security in the event of leaks or other anomalies. Such problems have caused HSE incidents in the past.
Last month, vMonitor also announced its first project win with Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, for the delivery of a gas injection metering and control system in Lake Maracaibo.
Ikon Science has appopinted Fela Aromolaran as sales manager for Africa. Aromolaran was previously with International Logging. Phil Clegg has joined Ikons Durham-based GeoPressure Technology unit as senior geological consultant. Clegg was formerly with Durham Universitys Reactivation Research Group.
Millennial Net has appointed Mark Hanna to VP Sales and Mark OHearne as VP business development. Both were previously with Brooks Automation.
Lew Watts has been appointed president and CEO of PFC Energy replacing Vahan Zanoyan. Watts joined PFC Energy last year from Shell.
Anthony Tripodo has resigned from the Petroleum Geo-Services Board to take up a post with Tesco Corp. The search is on for a successor.
RPS Group has acquired Calgary-based APA Petroleum Engineering.
Jeff Dyk is president and CEO of Houston-based Upstream Professionals, a startup that is to target well lifecycle decision support.
Norway-based AGR Group has appointed Richard Erskine as Executive VP. Erskine was previously with Hydro.
Aspen Technology has received a Staff Determination from Nasdaq with the threat of a delisting. The company has requested a hearing to review the determination. Aspen attributes the filing delay to a need to restate certain historical financials.
Aveva has appointed Roger Rapp and Michael Cooney as application consultants.
Andy Inglis has been named a managing director of the BP Group. He also succeeds Tony Hayward as chief executive of BPs E&P business.
In a reorganization, Ryan Lance has been named senior VP Technology with ConocoPhillips. The company has also appointed Luc Messier as senior VP, Project Development. Messier was previously president and CEO of Technip USA.
Decision Dynamics has appointed Justin Zinke, the companys President & CEO, to its Board of Directors, following the resignation of Cecil Shewchuk.
Nanne Hemstra is to head up de Groot Brils new Indian outlet in Mumbai.
ElectroBusiness has a teaming agreement with Fujitsu Consulting to pursue joint opportunities in multiple markets.
Venugopal Bandaru of Satyam is the new Asia South Region Lead for Energistics (formerly POSC). Badaru is located in Hyderabad.
GeoFields has appointed Karl Groux VP finance. Groux was previously CFO at ComFrame Software.
Tom Guidish has been hired as Director of Sales and Marketing for Geo-Logic Systems.
The Houston Technology Center has appointed Walter Ulrich as president and CEO. Ulrich was previously with the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
Michael Ohata, a senior director in Microsofts finance department has been appointed chair of the XBRL International Steering Committee. The company is an early adopter of XBRL, having submitted SEC Forms 10-Q and 10-K in XBRL since April 2005.
OFS Portal CEO Bill Le Sage has been elected to the Open Network for Commerce Exchange (ONCE) Executive Council. ONCE promotes global B2B e-Commerce.
Alan Smith has been seconded from Paras to act as Head of E&P Information Systems with OMV.
SensorTran has appointed David Hickey to COO. Hickey was previously Senior VP of NOVA Technology.
Superior Energy Services has named Chuck Malley VP business development for its Well Solutions Groups Rocky Mountain Region.
Yokogawa has named Shuzo Kaihori as Representative Director and President replacing Isao Uchida who is now Representative Director and Chairman.
The EU Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE) has just published a 100 page document on draft implementation rules for spatial metadata.
Rock Solid Images has launched phase two of its Lithology and Fluid Prediction Project.
In an article in last months issue we wrongly referred to Flare Consultants. The company name should have read Flare Solutions. Our apologies.
Dallas-based NeoFirma unveiled its OperationsMaster (OM) package at the 2007 NAPE in Houston this month. OM is a combination of online services and service providers that provide up-to-date exploration and production information on a global basis. Clients staff, joint venture partners and service providers can keep in touch via their own private databases and company web sites, regardless of location.
The OM Service is an E&P toolset of reports, charts and automatically created Excel spreadsheets for production, exploration status, drilling and completion, workover/maintenance logs, and prospects. NeoFirma guarantees any time, any place secure information retrieval.
One OM component, the NeoFirma WellVault provides a secure online storage facility for all electronic files generated during a wells life cycle from prospect to eventual sale or shut in.
NeoFirma founder Mark Smith said, NeoFirma and its partners provides a collection of online tools, well information storage, and best-in-class services to make managing assets easier and more economical without requiring additional in-house IT support. Executives can now improve their business results by getting the information they need to run their company more efficiently and keeping partners informed at all times.
Service providers Crosstex Energy Services, Banks Information Solutions, Carr Environmental Group and Haas Petroleum Engineering Services have allied with NeoFirma to provide online delivery of their services and customer support.
Crosstex Energy COO Bob Purgason added, The information in our gas treating business is powered by NeoFirma. We depend on this online service for up-to-the-minute operations information in the field and at our corporate headquarters. We now jointly offer our treatment services directly to NeoFirmas clients, with a goal of delivering 100 percent uptime.
Old timers will remember the days when a draftsperson painstakingly added scouting information, well spots, seismic lines and permit boundaries onto a Mylar base map. About 20 years ago, restructuring and computerization blew this activity away and since then, industry has been struggling to rebuild and keep updated a decent base map from a plethora of distributed data sources.
Virtual base map
Lansing, MI-based IDV Solutions has been providing BP with a replacement for the draftsperson, in the form of its Visual Fusion (VF) composite application builder. Visual Fusion comprises a Microsoft .Net-based server that orchestrates business data integration with location services such as Microsofts Virtual Earth Web Service, overlaying the results as interactive features on a virtual base map.
Dan Shaver told Oil IT Journal, BP is IDVs largest client with some twelve of our composite applications. Typically, our apps are built atop a Microsoft .Net stack and corporate silo data from disparate sources into the Virtual Earth/Map Point viewers. Web services are widely usedwe are particularly keen on the GeoRSS format which we use to stream features into our virtual base map. Visual Fusion lets BP color code its maps to show key performance indicators (KPI). Following hurricane Katrina, BP asked IDV for help in assessing and visualizing real time data from its offshore Gulf of Mexico assets. The resulting Crisis Management System (CMS) blends some 24 data feeds including production KPIs, hurricane path predictionsshowing the 70% chance of impact swath and HR informationnotably where employees are located. Third party feeds add real time updates for weather, rig and seismic activity and a messaging system warns employees and other stakeholders of dangers via SMS, phone calls and email.
IDV has deployed a Microsoft stack for the BP CMS. In fact, Microsoft has funded a movie of the CMS application which will premier at the Microsoft Global Energy Forum next month in Houston. Shaver remarked that in fact, IDV is map agnostic and can also stream data to Google Earth/Map if that was what a client wanted. IDV recently signed a joint marketing deal with CH2M Hills Enterprise Spatial Solutions unit. Shaver explained, We are a small company and want to focus on visualization, offloading the integration to CH2M. Checkout the results of IDVs craft on http://portal.idvsolutions.net/Solutions/default.aspx.
Wide-area data services (WDS) specialist Riverbed Technology has signed a systems integration deal with HP to make its WDS solutions available worldwide as a component of HPs networking services portfolio. Riverbeds family of WDS solutions, including its Steelhead appliance and Interceptor product lines are now available from HP.
Riverbeds Dave Peranich said, We can now access HPs broad market reach, technical competence and brand to extend our own value proposition. This agreement builds a foundation for faster time-to-market for our integrated solutions.
Oil and gas
Riverbed claims clients among the largest exploration companies operating at remote locations or offshore, where providing high-performance connectivity can be a challenge. Riverbeds compression and caching technologies are used to improve user experience over restricted bandwidth and high latency satellite connections. The company claims a 70 fold throughput improvement with its Steelhead appliance for one West African to Houston link.
HPs Brian Brouilette added, The Steelhead appliance complements HPs branch office consolidation and data center replication solutions. This agreement brings HP customers complete network design, implementation, and support services mission critical networks.
Baker Hughes has commissioned high-end communications technology from Dallas-based X-Change Corp. unit AirGATE Technologies to support its measurement while drilling applications with Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology. Unlike conventional systems, which use narrowband modulated carrier waves to transmit information, Ultra-Wideband transmits over a wide swath spectrum, using a series of narrow, low-power pulses. UWB has its origins in military communications like the WWII SIGSALY telephone system and Hedy Lamarrs famous Secret Communications System.
AirGATE VP Juha Jussilla-Song said, We have gained much experience in ultra-wideband systems by developing our own down hole tool technology. This high potential deal broadens our work in the oil industry.
P2 Energy Solutions (P2ES) has now completed the automation of monthly fiscal allocations for BPs deepwater Gulf of Mexico operations, leveraging its Enterprise Upstream (EU) package and reports improved operational decision making and bottom-line results from production optimization. BPs EU volume management implementation began in 2005 (OITJ Vol. 10 N° 2).
P2ES EU Production Management, now fully deployed as BPs Master Allocation Database, has streamlined monthly allocations and improved accuracy and reliability. This in turn has led to increased integration and reliance on the allocation results as a significant amount of statement errors were identified and corrected.
P2ES argues that transforming allocations from an after-the-fact accounting function to a proactive operation tool has improved BPs operations. EUs latest module, the Allocation Processing Model (APM) allows fine-tuned operational decisions and measurement accuracy through statistically controlled processes.
P2ES senior VP Mark Eikermann said, The decreases in setup and maintenance have provided a uniform framework for all of BPs allocation. The daily model concept is an innovation in the management of complex allocations leveraging the strengths of Enterprise Upstream. APM offers accurate distribution of production, revenue and processing costs between joint venture partners and third-party producers for commingled production across shared platforms, spars and facilities.
IHS has obtained SAP certification for its Struxure 5 offering which is now seamlessly integrated with SAPs enterprise asset management (EAM) solution. Customers can now access maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) item and classification data from their SAP ERP and supply chain management applications.
Struxure 5s catalog management software leverages IHS Standard Modifier Dictionary (SMD), a widely used cataloging methodology for pipes, valves, bearings and other plant equipment. Struxure 5 communicates with SAP via standard BAPI programming interfaces and/or iDOCs.
Go To Market
SAP North America has signed a Go To Market deal with IHS covering marketing, communications and training. IHS was also recently appointed to serve on the EUs eCl@ss steering committee and to act as its US representative. eCl@ss is an international standard for supply chain classification.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Netherlands unit has produced a 20 page study on information technology solutions for EU emissions trading compliance. Six companies, Pavilion, ESP, Promasys, EPM, CRS and TechniData took part in the study which provides brief company descriptions and a tabular presentation of the software packages functionality.
The launch of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in 2005 requires companies to monitor and report emissions and provide an independent verification of each installations annual emissions. The packages studied have a potential role in the capture of reliable and verifiable emission data.
The PwC study avoids a direct answer to the question, what is the best solution? All the solutions were deemed capable of EU ETS reporting and offered options for transparent set-up, data security, internal and external reporting and data validations.
The packages also offered functionality not found in the ubiquitous spreadsheet, the de facto reporting tool, and reduce the risk of errors. All are capable of integrating different source data systems, performing calculations according to the approved monitoring plan, consolidating multi-site data and reporting to installation, country or company level (customized reports), and are strong on data quality control.
The packages differed in their graphics, exception reporting and their real time capabilities. Some offer emission prediction systems and connections to trading systems.
The study offers a checklist for buyers of emission monitoring systems. Download the complete report from www.pwc.com/gx/eng/about/ind/energy/eu-emissions-trading-scheme.pdf.
On a related topic, the UK Offshore Operators Associations new enhanced environmental emissions monitoring system (EEMS) was supposed to go live this month. But at the time of writing, the www.eems.co.uk site is not yet functional and its webmeister is unresponsive.
In a Decisioneering webcast this month, Chevrons Michelle LaPoint showed how Crystal Ball was used to provide management with risk-based production forecasts from its Gulf of Mexico asset teams. LaPoints team supports Chevron 3 year and short term planning with monthly production targets. These are used internally for financial forecasting, resource allocation and competitive analysis.
The workflow starts with P10/50/90 base production forecasts supplied by Chevrons engineering teams along with upcoming workover and drilling project plans. These are input to a Crystal Ball model which includes multiple projects, a capacity check and storm downtime forecasts. All stakeholders share in the model building, evaluating input accuracy and model outputs.
The model is used to compute the probability of different goals being met, when different projects will come on stream and at what rate. The Crystal Ball scenario analysis tool is used to create discrete monthly forecasts for each field and for area roll-up. But management wants more! In the form of a breakdown of significant uncertainties.
This is where the Tornado plot comes into its own, showing for instance that the most significant influence is the timing and size of the key projects. This kind of information is used to allocate resources to where they will have most impact.
McLaren Software has just announced Enterprise Engineer for Assets (EEA), a controlled library of officially sanctioned engineering documents and drawings, including as-built drawings, HSE documents, standard operating procedures and related content and correspondence.
The EEA acts as an asset information vault, helping owner operators and engineering prime contractors standardize key engineering processes and reduce the risk of non-compliance lost production. The EEA targets engineering document management of refineries, oil rigs and power plants inter alia.
Paul Muir, CEO of McLaren Software said, During their lifespan, assets are renovated, reconfigured, or decommissioned to meet everything from changing business demands to regulatory requirements. EEA aggregates and manages engineering content associated with these ever-changing circumstances, providing engineering professionals with reliable, secure access to crucial project documents anytime, anywhere.
Muir continued, EEA bridges the gap between engineering and maintenance by becoming the trusted source for all engineering content. EAA integrates common maintenance applications including MROs Maximo and SAP.
Entitlement control lets owner-operators standardize third party access to plant information in what is claimed to be the industrys only fully auditable mechanism for sharing plant information with external vendors and contractors. EEA works atop both EMC Documentum and FileNet P8. McLaren also recently announced integration of its Enterprise Engineer flagship with Autodesks AutoCAD P&ID* 2007 package.
*Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams.
As companies seek to squeeze more from the production value chain, the scope of software integration is expanding and crossing what used to be somewhat impervious silo boundaries. Oil and gas producers are increasingly looking downstream, seeking to optimize operations from well head to point of sale.
A recent deal between Forest Oil and SolArc illustrates the trendwith the companies working to optimize scheduling and marketing of natural gas and crude oil production, from wellhead to market.
Forest will deploy SolArcs RightAngle solutions for production and mid stream operations in its domestic and Canadian operations. RightAngles Marketing capability will be used to handle Forests entire product trading operations.
As well as its scheduling and sales functions, RightAngle also automatically determines well netback prices, interfacing with Forests production allocation and accounting systems. RightAngle will support Forest in its role of natural gas gatherer and processor in North America.
SolArcs Senior VP Dick Couron said, Forest represents a growing trend among natural gas and crude producers who desire a complete, fully integrated solution to manage all operations from wellhead to marketing. We believe there are significant operational efficiencies that can positively impact cash flow and working capital for companies who manage all product supply and marketing activities with one integrated solution. Forest will be able to realize these benefits and reduce the administrative and infrastructure costs of its commercial operations.
Saudi Aramco and Shell-Halliburton joint venture WellDynamics are to jointly develop a new multilateral intelligent completion systema.k.a. the smart well. The project will leverage Aramcos maximum reservoir contact (MRC) well design which in some circumstances has attained over 5 km of reservoir contact through laterals from the main wellbore. These intelligent completions include valves on each lateral that can be controlled from the surface.
Saudi Aramco 2006 Haradh Increment III field produces some 300,000 bbls/day from 32 MRC wells equipped with Well-Dynamics SmartWell intelligent completion technology. The new initiative will extend the MRC technology to extreme reservoir contact (ERC).
Muhammad Saggaf, manager of Aramcos EXPEC R&D center explained, MRC wells are limited to four or five laterals because each downhole valve requires a mechanical control line to the wellhead. ERC wells would relax this requirement. We envision ERC wells of fifty to one hundred smart laterals that would efficiently drain the reservoir and maximize economic recovery.
ERC will deploy digital telemetry to control flow and transmit data to and from laterals to the surface, leveraging WellDynamics monitoring and flow control technology.
BP and Emerson Process Management have developed what is claimed to be the worlds first intrinsically safe mote-based wireless monitoring system. Motes are sensors with built-in power, memory and communications that record sensor data and broadcast it over a self configuring wireless network. Wireless reduced sensor deployment costs by an order of magnitude. The system was developed to improve maintenance and safety at BPs Washington State Cherry Point refinery.
Emerson launched its in-plant Smart Wireless last October in part to unlock stranded diagnostics in legacy plantsacting as eyes and ears to enhance plant performance. The in-plant wireless solution extends Emersons PlantWeb digital plant architecture and its wireless asset management solution (AMS). A 900 MHz Smart Wireless solution is already available in North America and a 2.4 GHz solution will launch in Europe and Asia early this year. BP awarded the Cherry Point team its Digital and Communication technology (DCT) award.
In a separate announcement, Emerson was awarded a $1.7 million contract by the Atlantic liquefied natural gas project in Trinidad where the AMS Suite Equipment Performance Monitor will be used to optimize throughput and rotating machinery operations on four LNG trains.
Calgary-based WellPoint Systems claims to be the only independent software vendor and Microsoft Dynamics partner in the energy sector. WellPoint has built an upstream enterprise resource planning application around Microsoft Dynamics (formerly AxaptaOITJ Vol. 9 N° 10).
WellPoint has hitherto primarily targeted the Canadian marketplace but is now to expand internationally through two strategic alliances. The first, with Dallas-based Microsoft solution provider ePartners, adds US and UK sales outlets.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
The second involves Deloitte Touche Tohmatsus (DTT) Canadian unit. DTT has 120,000 employees, bringing WellPoint access to implementation consultants in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
Chevron has deployed Integrated Communications (IG2) collaboration software solution from Chicago-based inSORS on its deepwater Tahiti and Blind Faith Gulf of Mexico fields. The inSORS Grid IG2 network connects engineers, geophysicists, and other knowledge workers in the Chevrons Houston office with drill ships and production platforms for engineering and emergency response.
inSORS Grid IG2 enables offshore personnel to connect with dedicated collaboration rooms in Houston to discuss and resolve issues and make timely decisions. With a daily cost of operating each drill of approximately $500,000 and the potential losses from deferred production, the economics of enhanced collaboration is a no brainer.
Chevron uses the system to support its exploration, drilling and management teams. Each drill ship has its own real time collaboration room with high-end workstations. The system allows for high-quality video, full-duplex audio, and real time data collaboration even over low-bandwidth satellite connections.include ("copyright.inc"); ?>