July-August 2011


GoM data routing

Production data streams from a constellation of fields around the Bullwinkle platform have survived multiple ownership changes thanks to Industrial Evolution’s WellShare and OSIsoft’s PI System.

Speaking at the OSIsoft Users Conference held in San Francisco earlier this year, Industrial Evolution founder and CEO Simon Wright explained how the seamless re-allocation of streaming production data has been realized in the Gulf of Mexico. Industrial Evolution’s (IE) WellShare ‘data as a service’ offering consolidates real time data streams from multiple offshore platforms, serving it up to entitled users from IE’s PI System-based secure data center. This has enabled IE to adapt to changing ownership as oil and gas assets change hands in acquisitions and mergers (A&M). A&M activity involves complex entitlement issues as shareable operational data may be mingled with proprietary data from other assets.

First up was the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) Shell-operated Bullwinkle platform where production from various fields was managed by one company but owned by another. Bullwinkle satellite fields’ ownerships have changed hands many times since the platform was installed in 1998. To manage evolving data visibility requirements, Shell deployed IE’s WellShare between partners. Shell used WellShare to receive real-time data from BP’s Troika field, tied in to Bullwinkle via BP’s nearby Brutus platform. BP and Nexen used WellShare to receive Aspen real-time data from Shell. Noble Energy installed telemetry devices from GlobaLogix to stream data from its Lorien field. Once data was consolidated to IE’s real time hub, partners could share data as per their entitlements. Shell accessed BP data on Troika, Nexen accessed BP data from Aspen and Noble Energy accessed data from Lorien.

But things got interesting in 2010 when BP sold Troika to Shell and severed the tieback to Brutus, rerouting production directly to Bullwinkle. BP also sold Aspen to Nexen and Shell sold Bullwinkle to Superior and new operator Dynamic Offshore Resources. DOR installed a PI Server, backfilling Shell’s historian, and redirected data from its Wonderware and Intellution interfaces.

Similar tweaks to the IE data hub allowed Marubeni Oil & Gas to access only the data it was entitled to in fields acquired from BP and Shell. As Marathon’s Droshky development came on stream, its subsea control system was piped directly to Marathon. Droshky’s topsides were controlled by Bullwinkle’s WonderWare system while IE routed the DOR PI System to feed Droshky topside data to Marathon. Today, Bullwinkle, Rocky Angus, Manatee, Troika Aspen Droshky and Lorien all run through the IE data hub. Wright concluded by enumerating some key project enablers—the low cost of the PI Server, the PI to PI history capture and, of course, IE’s WellShare service. Read Wright’s paper on www.oilit.com/links/1107_0 and more on IE from www.oilit.com/links/1107_1.


Idol for Repsol

Autonomy’s Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) and Virage rich media analytics will be used in Repsol’s knowledge management effort.

Repsol is to deploy Autonomy’s Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) and Virage for enterprise knowledge management. IDOL provides search and natural language processing of text in databases, audio, video and text files. Domingo Valhondo, Repsol’s knowledge manager said, ‘We chose Autonomy as the only provider that allows us to harness all our electronic information on one platform, including our rich media data, and use it to improve productivity and stay competitive.’ Virage provides video and audio analysis technology and is able to ‘understand’ the content and context of rich media.

A few years back, (Oil IT Journal May 2007) BP used Virage to digitize its extensive video library. Virage’s VS Archive technology was used to automate the capture, encoding and indexing of BP’s 11,500 recordings, some dating back to 1915. Other oil sector Autonomy clients include Halliburton, Pioneer, Shell, Statoil, Total and Weatherford. Autonomy is also embedded as OEM technology in Diskos’ PetroBank. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_10.


15 years of PNEC—Part 3, 2007-2010 and some Oil IT Journal news

We conclude our history of the first 15 years of PNEC. 2007 to 2010 saw data management maturing—with less entreaties to manage data and more data management achievements. The latter years reflect the rise of master data management, of PPDM and of Petris’ toolset. Before departing for the holiday break, editor Neil McNaughton thanks the new OilIT.com sponsors.

2007

There were two PNEC shows this year, in Houston and Amsterdam. We noted a shift from ‘talking about poor data quality and under-funded data management initiatives’ to presentations of success stories demonstrating that it can be done. Solutions include major databases such as Shell’s corporate data store or ConocoPhillips Alaska’s ‘neutral’ technical database. Elsewhere, companies such as Anadarko were leveraging master data management solutions to ‘get a hold’ on their well data and eliminate ‘back door’ data management. Web services are now a reality for Pioneer, which is working with IHS and Schlumberger to consume E&P data from diverse sources in its One Map application. Shell Canada used a ‘risk assessment matrix’ showing the likelihood of a data ‘incident’ against the severity of the consequences. This highlighted some costly past failures and persuaded Shell to spend $4 million to sort things out.

The PPDM data model is the ‘first port of call’ for many data initiatives although HP’s attempt to shoehorn the model into a ‘facet-based’ taxonomy was an instructive failure. Kalido is claiming more success, using a trimmed-down version of PPDM in its master data management solution for E&P. Chesapeake reports use of Oracle’s Hyperion master data management in a GIS-based roles and activity tracking system. On the real-time front, RasGas of Qatar reports programmatic access to the OSIsoft PI Historian for direct access to production data.

At the EU event, Petris presented work performed for Saudi Aramco leveraging web services and an ‘authoritative data store’ for the management of large, long-lived assets. Shell continued to endorse Flare’s catalog of upstream terminology. Emerging social networking technologies began to impact the upstream—at least according to Petroleum Development of Oman’s Alessandro Allodi who advocated ‘folksonomies,’ user-generated tags, to manage information.

2008

A record-breaking PNEC with around 430 in attendance. Along with the data ‘trinity’—quality, master data management and unique identifiers—data governance made its entry on the scene. Exxon leveraged concepts developed in the data warehousing community to improve and monitor quality. BP approached the problem from the master data management end—with the deployment of Kalido’s MDM solution (designed by SAIC) across its upstream data sources. Landmark worked with Shell to provide a unique well identifier, tying in data from several databases. HP’s business intelligence unit worked on Marathon’s information quality management. Saudi Aramco’s presentation on data services described a new toolset for seismic data management that is to be productized by Petris.

2009

There was a sharp drop in attendance this year due to the downturn and the flu ‘epidemic.’ Chevron presented its ‘Keystone’ master data management program addressing issues such as the appropriate level of detail, and the difficulty of achieving a standard naming convention.

Total introduced its plans for an RESQML-based data model to support a revamp of its venerable Alwyn. Marathon’s ‘MIDAS’ well master data store embedded HP’s ‘IQM’ quality management methodology and Informatica IDQ. LMKR introduced its simulation-based training system, developed for in-house use and now being commercialized for training new hires on topics from seismic interpretation, through drilling to economics. Petris rolled out its new ‘OneTouch’ front end to its Winds Enterprise data integration system and received endorsements for its technology from Saudi Aramco and Baker Hughes.

2010

A great year for Petris which contrived to be the centerpiece of no less than five presentations. Continental Resources described how it got started with PPDM. Hess reported on its use of MetaCarta (with help from Schlumberger). HighMount described how it constructed a fairly sophisticated data environment from off-the-shelf components like Schlumberger-Innerlogix’ data QC toolset. The relationship between upstream data management and the emerging ‘horizontal’ Data Management International (DAMA) organization was investigated in a presentation from Schlumberger.

Oil IT Journal

Well, I hope that you enjoyed our PNEC history. It was fun drawing it all together. Coverage over three issues has meant that we did not introduce our renewed sponsors for the www.oilit.com website last month. Here is the new line-up...

Renewing sponsors

     Exprodat (www.exprodat.com)

     geoLOGIC (www.geologic.com)

     Georex (www.georex-at.com)

     IDS (www.idsdatanet.com)

     LMKR (www.lmkr.com)

     Neuralog (www.neuralog.com)

     OFS Portal (www.ofs-portal.com)

     Paradigm (www.paradigmgeo.com)

     Petris (www.petris.com)

     Petrosys (www.petrosys.com.au)

New sponsors

     Energistics (www.energistics.org)

     P2 Energy Solutions (www.p2es.com)

A big thanks to all of the above for their support.

~

In preparation for our annual summer break we have prepared what I think is a bumper issue of Oil IT Journal with more reports from user groups and member meets than ever before. These are now one of the prime sources for our coverage and I would like to thank those who have made their material available to us. Let me encourage others to do likewise.


AspenTech ‘Optimize’ 2011 User Group, Washington

BP leverages Cape-Open to reconcile separator data on Clair asset. Aspentech SmartStep model-based controller fixes problem plant. Bharat Petroleum implements MES at Kochi refinery.

The AspenTech ‘Optimize’ 2011 conference, held recently in Washington, is an interesting gathering in that it crosses the upstream/downstream silo boundary, ‘comingling’ presenters from producers and refiners.

BP’s Malcolm Woodman vaunted the merits of integrating Petroleum Experts’ GAP and AspenTech’s HySys using the Cape-Open standard. Cape-Open was originally designed for use in refining, but here the use case was in the upstream, on BO’s West of Shetland Clair field. In this ‘Field of the Future’ usage, BP treats the reservoir as a component of the overall process in its ‘Upstream System Optimization’ program. For steady-state modeling of wells and flowlines, BP uses Prosper and GAP. Facilities are modeled in HySys. Integrated modeling brings multiple benefits, not least the promise of an estimated 1-4% production hike. Evaluation of several integration options led BP to chose the Co-Lan/Cape-Open standard. Cape-Open interfaces allow computer aided process engineering (CAPE) applications to interoperate. Cape-Open is neither software nor a data model. It is a methodology for ‘wrapping’ applications like GAP so they can interact with an ‘open server.’ The project required no modifications to GAP and took approximately two weeks to develop. The result is that GAP model inputs and outputs are now visible in HySys, allowing black oil to compositional mapping and reconciling fluid descriptions across domains. On the Clair asset, Cape is used to reconcile separator representations between GAP and HySys for gas lift optimization. The Clair field deployment is work in progress. Woodman noted, ‘further work is required to prove that the interface will underpin the sustainable use of integrated models in operations.’

Jim Graves described how BP has improved reliability of a hydrogen plant that had increased in complexity since its original design. Standard PID controller tuning had become very difficult. BP used historical data to build a model-based PID controller. Aspen SmartStep was used to create and test the system. The system has proved very successful. Once commissioned, the controller was online 99% of the time during the first month, smoothing operations that were previously difficult to manage due to interactions and dynamics. Acceptance was helped by a knowledgeable operations team that was receptive to advanced process control.

A. Rao (Bharat Petroleum) presented results from the implementation of a manufacturing execution system (MES) at its Kochi, India refinery. The project set out to create a decision support system to automate and optimize refinery work processes, including planning, hydrocarbon accounting and performance management. MES modules link to external systems including LIMS and SAP. The Aspen enterprise integration framework, a custom master data model and Aspen’s manufacturing master data manager formed the core of the system. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_60.


Letton-Hall Ultra Deepwater Measurement Workshop

Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America-backed initiative to fill gaps in ultradeepwater measurement. We report on Eric Kelner’s evaluation of uncertainty in subsea metering.

Last month, the Houston-based Letton-Hall Group was home to an industry workshop targeting ‘Improvements to Deepwater Measurement.’ Attendees heard results from a joint industry partnership backed by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA).

The project goal is to ‘fill gaps’ in ultra-deepwater measurement in several areas. Here we focus on Task 6, ‘Measurement and Meter System Uncertainty,’ a subject area with high IT content, and indeed of some topicality in view of this month’s lead.

Letton Hall’s Eric Kelner noted the growing importance of subsea metering in the face of multi-billion dollar capital costs, complex, deepwater projects and ever lengthening tie-backs. These can approach 80 kilometers and are further complicated by ‘second wave’ tie backs to the ends of other tie backs. All of which amounts to more subsea commingling, greater ownership disparity and complex allocation and reservoir management. Equal uncertainty of meters is not a valid assumption. All measurement points carry different uncertainties, the problem is how to account for them. Measurement methodologies include single and multiphase flow meters and well tests. Separator performance is another factor influencing measurement. Flow line performance (especially slugging), instrument uncertainties and operating equipment outside of recommended ranges (considered a ‘necessary evil’) also impact measurement. Building on earlier work by API and the DeepStar project, Letton Hall is now looking for a way to calculate uncertainty based on first principles, one that accounts for the entire metering system including subsea meter, flow lines and riser, separator and single-phase meters downstream of the separator.

Multiphase Systems Integration (MSI) was subcontracted to extend an earlier model it built for Chevron to include the complete metering system as above. The result is ‘UBProdAlloc’ a standalone program with an Excel interface that predicts uncertainties and allocates flow rates, taking meter operating conditions, in-situ PVT properties and other system variables into account. The model determines the overall system imbalance, distinguishing between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ by comparing flow meter data and assessing the overall uncertainty of reference separator measurements. A suggested use case for the tool when finalized could be to detect when a production system is operating outside of its normal range and then use the tool ‘in reverse’ to identify possible bad measurements. The tool can then be applied to categorize well test uncertainties and determine whether the SMPFM needs servicing. Industry partners in the JIP are BP, BHP Billiton, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Statoil, and Total.

Presentations from the deepwater workshop are available on www.oilit.com/links/1107_26.


IHS acquires Seismic Micro-Technology for $500 million

Geoscience software boutique deal (largest in IHS’ history) heralds closer data integration.

IHS is to acquire Seismic Micro-Technology (SMT) from its current owners (inter alia Technology Crossover Ventures and JMI Equity) for $500 million cash. The deal adds SMT’s geoscience workstation technology to IHS’ portfolio1 of upstream data services and software.

Jerre Stead, IHS chairman and chief executive officer said, ‘The acquisition extends our geoscience software and data products offering to energy customers, our largest end-market. SMT users will have seamless access to IHS’ oil and gas information and insight products. We plan to move to a fully integrated data and software platform for collaborative decision-making.’

Founded by Tom Smith in 1984, Houston-based SMT developed one of the first geoscience workstations running on Microsoft Windows. Today the company claims 3,000 customers in some 100 countries. Simmons & Company International acted as financial advisor to SMT. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_28.

1 www.oilit.com/links/1107_27.


Palisade @Risk extends Petrobras’ ‘Progride’ risk management

Excel-based system provides corporate-wide sensitivity analysis and key performance indicators.

Petrobras has implemented a corporate-wide protocol to assess potential investments—from upstream through to trading and derivatives. The in-house developed system, Progride1, extends Microsoft Excel with custom C++ subroutines to model oil prices, taxes and royalties and provide sensitivity analysis and other KPIs. However, Progride’s risk analysis capabilities fell short in the face of complex projects, partnerships and multiple concessions.

To fill the gap, Petrobras has now integrated Palisade’s @Risk with Progride. Rafael Hartke, head of financial planning and risk management for Petrobras’ investment operations developed a method integrating @Risk with Progride, retaining the Excel front end. A typical workflow includes ‘conventional’ Progride analyses, kicked off from @Risk using a macro.

The new system generates multiple scenarios incorporating risk factors common to the projects being analyzed and accounts for joint venture partners and multiple concessions in different fiscal environments. A spinoff of the integration is that @Risk reduces calculation time for some analyses that could take ‘thousands of hours.’ More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_27.

1 Programa dos Indicadores do Desenvolvimento da Produção.


Venture goes to work on major’s document management system

V-KIT key to ‘re-vitalize and re-launch’ flagging Livelink document management system.

Working for an unnamed EU major oil company, UK-based Venture Information Management has successfully ‘re-implemented’ a Livelink document management system, migrating content from multiple business units to a new, ‘globally architected’ Livelink instance. A previous Livelink system was underutilized and Venture was asked to ‘revitalize and re-launch the application.’ The migration effort included scanning, de-duplication, file planning and mapping to the new UK-based repository.

Venture’s ‘V-KIT’ toolset was to used scan each of the file shares including the legacy Livelink repositories. V-KIT’s migration utilities create import XML files to enable ‘auto mapping’ and loading of legacy content to the new system. Migration proceeded with minimal manual intervention and took ‘just a few hours.’

The geophysical technology department was already a major user of the legacy Livelink system and—with responsibilities for also managing an extensive hardcopy data catalogue—had built up a large volume of associated metadata. The project also included a major clean-up of geophysical content and metadata, the consolidation of dispersed human resources content and rationalization of supply chain data. Livelink is Now Part of the OpenText ECM Suite (www.oilit.com/links/1107_29). More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_30 (Venture).


Great crew change—fact or fiction?

Near-term talent shortage widely held belief. But many plan to work beyond retirement.

The ‘great crew change’ (GCC), the menace of a near-term talent shortage as ‘boomer’ engineers and geoscientists retire, has been widely presented as threatening the industry with a significant loss of expertise. UK-based recruitment specialist Working Smart, with support from the American Petroleum Geologists Association, recently quizzed industry personnel aged 55 and up to assess their retirement plans. 78% of respondents considered the GCC to be real.

The average intended retirement age of respondents was 65 although 23% were looking to eke out their pensions by working beyond their retirement age. Over half were willing to work four days per week, ‘or as many days as they can secure.’ The main reason was not the money, but because they enjoy working.

Most felt that mentoring younger staff was a good way to combat the expected skills shortage. But many believe that the ‘bean counters’ running the show ‘need to understand that without knowledge transfer, we risk losing a sustainable industry for the future.’ Some 77% of respondents were currently mentoring staff. Other ideas included a more multicultural workforce, lowering academic barriers to hire and succession planning. Our industry would also benefit from a better public image. Maybe we should revive the TV show ‘Dallas!’ More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_27.


Software, hardware short takes

Seisware, Caesar Systems, Energy Solutions, Exprodat, Paradogm, Ikon Science, INT, MetaCarta, SPT Group, PE Energy Solutions, Schlumberger, Petris, OSIsoft, Microsoft—but sans MURA!

The 7.3 release of Seisware adds volume curvature, a well planning tool, 2D modeling and cross sections and more—www.oilit.com/links/1107_52.

Caesar Systems’ PetroVR 2011 (V 9.1) adds new functionality for gas plant operators including gas liquefaction—www.oilit.com/links/1107_53.

Energy Solutions International’s Synthesis 10.0 release of its enterprise liquid logistics management application—www.oilit.com/links/1107_54

Exprodat’s Team-GIS Segment Analyst has been upgraded to ArcGIS 10—www.oilit.com/links/1107_55.

Release of Paradigm’s Geolog 7 is imminent and will see a ‘complete re-engineering’ of the user interface. A new core analysis module provides correction and interpretation algorithms for routine and special core analysis and interactive dip-azimuth walkout plots—www.oilit.com/links/1107_56.

Ikon Science’s RokDoc 5.6 adds unconventional reservoir modeling functionality for shales, fractured reservoirs, heavy oils and compacting reservoirs—www.oilit.com/links/1107_57.

INT’s GeoToolkit 4.2 adds an OpenGL rendering driver for Qt, support for Visual Studio .NET 2010 and more—www.oilit.com/links/1107_58.

MetaCarta is now releasing quarterly IHS Global Oil & Gas/Geomatics Data Management updates—www.oilit.com/links/1107_59.

SPT Group’s OLGA 7.0 release includes usability and integration enhancements and a new high definition model for stratified flow—www.oilit.com/links/1107_60.

P2 Energy Solutions has announced a new hosted, subscription-based version of CS Explorer, its land management package, only six weeks after its acquisition from Bolin—www.oilit.com/links/1107_61

The 2011 release of Schlumberger ‘s Petrel now handles data in multiple coordinate systems. Studio Find adds a Google-like search across Petrel project metadata—www.oilit.com/links/1107_62.

PetrisWINDS Enterprise 7.5 includes a new GUI leveraging Microsoft .NET 4.0 and Silverlight and offers tight integration with Esri’s ArcGIS. A Recall plug-in for Petrel enables borehole trajectories to be populated directly from deviation surveys stored in Recall—www.oilit.com/links/1107_63.

OSIsoft has released PI for Microsoft StreamInsight. A ‘declarative query language’ is used to detect complex events from operational and manufacturing data while events are ‘historized’ in the PI System—www.oilit.com/links/1107_64

Comment—With OSIsoft a flagship backer of the Microsoft Upstream Reference Architecture, MURA, this announcement would have been a great opportunity to plug the initiative. A curious omission—probably of no significance...


‘PTTC—‘reproducible’ open source software in geophysics

Seminal workshop hears from Fusion, BP, Austin University, Z-Terra, Weinman, Stanford.

The Petroleum Technology Transfer Council held a workshop1 in Houston last month to promote ‘reproducible’ geophysical computing with open software. Reproducible research is a new concept for communicating geoscience technology, both in the public domain and inside individual organizations. It was first proposed by Jon Claerbout in 1992 who observed that ‘electronic documents give reproducible research a new meaning.’ Computational experiments with geophysical data are captured in the form of transferable ‘recipes’ which can be shared and modified by users. The recipes are embedded in publications, typically ‘live’ hyperlinked documents. The main vector for reproducible geophysical computing are Clarebout’s Stanford Exploration Project (SEPlib) and Madagascar, but the PTTC meet was a venue for other open source geophysical software including Seismic Unix (SU), FreeUSP, DDS, JavaSeis, JTK, Pseis, OpendTect, CPseis and Madagascar.

Ioan Vlad described how Fusion Petroleum Technologies uses open-source software, noting two common misconceptions. Open-source software (OSS) is often perceived as incompatible with the activity of a commercial company. On the other hand, open-source packages do not currently provide a ‘complete solution’ for geophysical software.

Fusion uses OSS because it has fewer bugs than proprietary frameworks due to the greater number of coder users whose ‘many eyes’ find and fix bugs. Documentation is also usually better. Fusion has combined code from SU, SEPlib, Madagascar and CPSeis and integrated them with its GeoPRO Flow Builder preprocessing utility.

Richard Clarke (BP) revealed that FreeUSP/DDS (www.oilit.com/links/1107_31) usage amounts to 99% of usage of its research computing system, one of the world’s largest. The system is not used for production processing but its 450 teraflops bandwidth (40,000 CPUs) and 230 terabytes of physical memory demonstrate the scalability of the open source packages.

Karl Schleicher (University of Texas at Austin) noted the gap between a functioning research prototype and a tested program. His group is building a data library for testing open source seismic software. He also offered a detailed comparison of the different systems to conclude that Java and Python will slowly be adopted by industry and that although it is tricky to use, SU is the most mature package.

Alexander Popovici (Z-Terra) offered an in-depth comparison of SU, SEPlib and Madagascar to conclude that SU benefits from strong front-end time processing, although it lacks modern depth imaging algorithms. Madagascar has these along with wave-equation concepts, angle gather modules and more. SEPlib is now considered obsolete and will disappear when its functionality has been incorporated into Madagascar.

Bill Menger (Weinman Geoscience) presented, inter alia, ConocoPhillips’ GeoCraft (www.oilit.com/links/1107_32), a ‘lightweight’ framework for prototyping geoscience algorithms including AVO. GeoCraft is built on IBM’s ‘Eclipse’ rich client platform.

Yang Zang (Stanford) offered a cookbook and a movie showing how research can be rendered ‘reproducible.’ Key software tools are SEPlib, GNU Make, vplot, LaTex and Scons. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_33.

1 Presentations available on www.oilit.com/links/1107_34.


Energistics’ Spring EU Member Meet

Presentations covered National Data Repositories and e-Regulation, advances in seismic standards, new work from the OGP Geomatics committee, PPDM’s imminent 3.9 release, newly ‘liberated’ PIDX and, of course, WITSML and PRODML developments. Host Oracle unveils PPDM-based appliance.

Energistics’ EU Spring Member Meeting held chez Oracle was something of a gathering of standards organizations, with representations from the Professional Petroleum Data Management association (PDM), the Oil & Gas Producers association (OGP), the Petroleum Industry Data Exchange association (PIDX), the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and of course Energistics’ own EnergyML.

Reporting from the National Data Repository/Energistics E-Regulatory special interest group (SIG), Stuart Robinson of the Department of Energy and Climate Change told how the UK’s new government is asking all departments to assess the value of their activity—and it is not interested in ‘intangible benefits!’ It is a tough question for NDR and standards. Robinson is positive about the impact of the NDR effort. The recent meeting in Rio (Oil IT Journal March 2011) was a success, covering production data reporting, NDR tendering and retendering. NDR is now a subdomain of the Energistics web site. But Robinson confessed to being rather jaundiced with regard to oil and gas standards, ‘Oil and gas is a rich industry but IT spend in this area is minute. Companies are not as interested in standardization as they claim—although the situation may be better for reporting.’

Jill Lewis (Troika) reported from the SEG Technical Standards committee, which has been active since 1975 and the days of 21 track tape. Recent SEG collaboration includes with Energistics (for velocity data exchange) and with OGP (for positioning). Notwithstanding the established standards, few acquisition contractors actually perform checks of formats or tape/disk metadata. Exchange formats are crucial to exploration, but ‘we are careless about them.’ The tape vs. disk conundrum continues to exercise data managers. It is impractical, with SEG-D, to keep millions of shots in a ‘one file per shot’ library. So you either stay with tape or go for encapsulation with, for instance, RODE. This format got bad publicity but ‘it is good, really!’ On the tape front, the new IBM 4TB tape is being tested by WesternGeco although the current 3592 tapes are exposed as they now only have a single manufacturer.

ExxonMobil’s Richard Wylde, wearing his OGP Geomatics (previously the European Petroleum Survey Group—EPSG) hat, noted that the current push is to get the EPSG registry1 recognized as an ISO standard. The EPSG is already the de facto standard in oil and gas and for the US/UK military. OGP also manages the ‘Px’ positioning formats from the old UKOOA. A seabed survey data model has just been released and a standard legend is mooted, leveraging a set of standard cartographic symbols donated by Shell. These standards are accompanies by ‘Guidance Notes.’ For example, Note N°1 covers ‘Geodetic awareness.’ The Notes are designed to help avoid pitfalls such as when one operator, after drilling six dry holes from its new platform, noticed that the wrong azimuth was being used for directional drilling! The EPSG database is available for programmatic access although with the disclaimer that it may not be 24x7.

Trudy Curtis observed that PPDM has been in business for 20 years. PPDM is about to release version 3.9 of its venerable data model. But Curtis noted that, while much focus today is on the ‘cool’ technology side of IT, it is the ‘I’ for information that is the key part. PPDM now covers most all E&P domains with some downstream activity. PPDM is also engaged in training with a ‘petroleum education task force,’ leveraging the DACUM process2 for program development. PPDM is also in partnership with the Data Management Association (DAMA). One questioner observed that PPDM was OK for greenfield projects but not so good for connecting to vendor apps.  Curtis observed that many companies offer translation technologies. PPDM has tried to map to proprietary databases, but ‘we are not allowed to do this.’ Another question asked what was the roadmap for Energistics/PPDM collaboration. Jerry Hubbard acknowledged that this was slow getting going, but that Witsml and Prodml connectors to PPDM have been envisaged and there is agreement on general purpose collaboration. Energistics has a seat on the PPDM What is a Well project.

Dave Wallis (PIDX International) retraced the American Petroleum Institute’s change of direction a couple of years ago, with the decision to retire from most all of its standards work and focus on its lobbying activity. The newly ‘liberated’ PIDX International aims to offer a ‘single forum for e-business optimization.’ Its international credentials were recently enhanced with the adoption of BP Germany’s XML standard for terminal loading as a PIDX global standard. Alongside its e-business standards, PIDX also has a regulatory/reporting workgroup (with Energistics participation). Future projects include safety data reporting and supplier KPI tracking. The EU has blown hot and cold over standards recently. An early 2011 ruling had it that ‘joint standards’ were anti-competitive. This was overturned 20 days later to allow joint development but with the proviso that they are open and free3. PIDX standards are available on an ‘open and royalty-free basis in perpetuity.’

Julian Pickering provided an update on Energistics’ flagship WITSML well log data transfer standards. Today, the focus is on deployment, perhaps to the detriment of integration with other Energistics ‘MLs’. Witsml has some 30 plus ‘function blocks,’ although but most only use 5 or 6. The team is trying to make the others easier to use with an update of the API and better ‘plug and play’ support. The Witsml roadmap  envisages support for automation by 2014. The 1.4.1 release will carry the marketing name ‘Witsml 2’ and is due for released at Intelligent Energy in  Utrecht next March.

Lawrence Ormerod’s report from the PRODML team was less bullish. Momentum has slowed in recent years and the project is to be ‘re-energized in 2011 with a compelling business case that is ‘achievable in 1-2 years.’  This could involve a joint effort with Witsml on a completion object. Regulatory reporting is slated for 2012 and a formation testing/DST object (Ormerod’s baby) is under development. Here time series logs are stored as Witsml log objects inside Prodml. One observer remarked that it may be hard to displace OPC/UA in production. Ormerod responded that OPC/UA has many shortcomings and that a richer data exchange standard is required for the shared asset.

Jean-François Rainaud (IFP Energies Nouvelles) announced that RESQML will be released as V1 in 2011. This will provide an XML-based ‘document’ exchange format for horizons, faults, 3D grids and properties.

Host Oracle’s Hossam Farid noted that oil and gas ‘integrated operations’ have matured in the last decade and now, ‘all oils have established program and significant results.’ But many of these programs are challenged as they try to scale from real time pilots to full blown asset optimization. ‘Siloed’ information and applications are not amenable to ‘full’ asset management. In the shadow of Macondo, safety and operational integrity come first. Companies ‘don’t want innovation, they want simpler models.’ For Farid, the next big thing is Oracle’s ‘next generation’ integrated operations. IO. This is an integration platform for structured data from existing data stores, blending Oracle’s master data management and a PPDM data model. Farid’s slideware also involved real time data, and an AI4/rules engine for complex events processing and visualization tools for all of above. The aim is to transition from a ‘control’ real time paradigm to an ‘alarming’ environment. This will kick off workflows based on automated event detection, moving from ‘application centric’ to ‘holistic’ information management and work process-based collaboration. In the Q&A Farid revealed that Oracle’s novel solution came ‘bundled along with hardware.’ More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_63.

1 www.oilit.com/links/1107_2.

2 www.oilit.com/links/1107_62 .

3 Not the case for many ISO standards which are closed and costly!

4 Artificial intelligence.


Cygnet SCADA user meet

Anadarko, Chesapeake, Encana endorse Cygnet’s production management system at enterprise level. Parent Weatherford introduces ‘hosted optimization’ spanning Cygnet and LOWIS.

Attendees to the 2011 Cygnet user meet were greeted by David Wray from flagship client Anadarko who is also chairman of the Cygnet Board of Customer Advisors. A couple of years back, Anadarko was looking for a replacement for its ‘non-scalable’ in house-developed system. The company wanted to be able to add devices to its process control network without help from the developers.

The solution involved deployment of Cygnet SCADA as the corporate standard and the Cygnet gas measurement repository (GMR), a flow measurement data repository. Anadarko’s Cygnet system now covers some 250 total flows polled from Cygnet every two days. The scalable system processes over a billion data updates per day from 11,000 devices.

Wray was followed by Chris McGill, MD policy analysis for the American Gas Association, who gave a bullish presentation on the impact of shale gas on US. McGill traced the see-saw ride of US gas prices over the last decade and their current stabilization in the $4 region. All thanks to shale gas production, which has risen 14 fold in the last decade and which has tripled reserves ‘over the last few years.’ This success has meant that LNG terminal capacity around the US is underutilized and has likely compromised new natural gas pipeline construction from the North Slope. On the demand side, AGA figures that there will be steady growth—perhaps upwards of 20% over the next couple of decades—mostly from industry, commercial users and power generators.

Gregg Hurst from Cygnet’s parent group Weatherford introduced the concept of ‘hosted optimization.’ Hurst observed that today, water constitutes around 85% of produced oilfield liquids in North America and this continues to grow. Production efficiency and optimization are therefore key to future oil and gas production management. Another statistic—around 90% of active wells use some form of artificial lift, creating further potential for optimization.

Hurst defines optimization as managing production of hydrocarbons as things change over time. It comprises surveillance and measurement, analysis, solution design and asset management. Weatherford is now offering a combo of a hosted version of its Life of Well Information Software (Lowis) along with Cygnet’s hosted SCADA and other tools. This will add an optimization tool set and intelligent alarms to enhance the asset management capabilities of SCADA. The Lowis/Cygnet integrated solution will be identical whether it is hosted or run locally.

Steve Robb described Cygnet for Production (CfP) as a ‘standardized solution designed for production/midstream operators.’ CfP is pre configured for common devices and pipes data into a ‘unified’ data model. Functionality for gas and liquids production includes LinePack, nominations monitoring, meter proving and ticketing. Data is published in XML with gateways to leading ESBs. Along with Anadarko, Cygnet has endorsements from Encana and Chesapeake whose installation includes Enterprise GMR on 100+ hosts serving over 1,400 clients. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_35.


Petronas Gas deploys Energy Solutions on 2,500 km network

PipelineManager and other tools deployed by Malaysian partner Sedia Teguh.

Petronas Gas is to deploy a gas management system developed by Energy Solutions International on it 2,500km gas transmission network. The solution embeds ESI’s PipelineStudio, PipelineManager, PipelineTransporter, TransactionManager and PipelineDashboard applications. ESI’s Malaysian agent Sedia Teguh is to lead deployment and delivery of the solution.

The solution is to be used for planning, simulation, gas monitoring, contract execution, monitoring, billing and reporting for sales. The solution will also integrate existing pipeline simulation modules and provides an integrated platform for data integration of operation and commercial data from existing real time systems such as SCADA, data historian systems, manual inputs and other 3rd party application. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_06_38.


Folks, facts, orgs ...

Kadme, Honeywell, GeoNorth, GE, Fugro, FIATECH, Schlumberger, Spectra Logic, TerraSpark, Expro, Energistics, RSI, Barco, Baker Hughes, IDC, Step Oiltools, KBR, Midland Valley.

Kadme has appointed Alan MacDonald as sales manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Mike Lang has been named Honeywell’s VP and CIO. Lang was previously VP and CIO of the Honeywell’s Automation and Control Solutions business.

Tatitlek Corp. unit GeoNorth has hired Jason Knier as GIS Programmer/Analyst

Dan Heintzelman, currently CEO of GE Energy Services, has been named CEO of GE Oil & Gas, succeeding Claudio Santiago who is to retire in December.

Fugro’s GRL subsea simulator and visualization systems unit has appointed Simon Marr as Business Development Manager. He was previously Sales Manager at VisualSoft, a subsea digital video and visualization company.

Ray Topping, previously interim director, has been confirmed as director of Fiatech. Prior to joining the organization, Topping was Executive VP with CH2M Hill.

Andrew Gould is to retire as Schlumberger’s CEO. He will be succeeded by current COO Paal Kibsgaard. Earlier in his Schlumberger career, Kibsgaard was president of reservoir characterization.

Schlumberger’s Business Consulting unit has appointed Adnan Shihab-Eldin and Claude Mandil to its ‘Energy Institute’ think tank. Shihab-Eldin is former Acting Secretary General and Director of Research at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Mandil was Executive Director of the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).

Spectra Logic has appointed Steve Mackey to the role of VP sales for Europe and Africa. Mackey hails from Quantum.

TerraSpark Geosciences has appointed Lisa Qualls as Senior Sales Specialist.  Qualls was previously with Tsunami Development.

Chairman Graeme Coutts is to retire from Expro Group. Charles Woodburn is the new CEO and a search is on for a new Chairman.

Hari Koduru has joined Energistics as Senior Technical Advisor, where he will be providing technical analysis and support to the Energistics special interest groups. Koduru was previously with Canrig Drilling Technology.

Sven Treitel, Steven Constable, Gary Mavko, Richard Cooper, Lucy MacGregor and Michael Frenkel comprise Rock Solid Images’ newly-created Technology Oversight Board.

Barco has appointed Steve Leyland as Senior VVP and General Manager of its Control Rooms and Simulation division.

Adam Anderson is the new VP investor relations for Baker Hughes. He succeeds Gary Flaharty, who joins the company’s supply chain organization.

IDC Energy Insights had hired Lamia Lafdil as senior analyst in its Dubai office and Usman Sindhu as senior research analyst at its Framingham, Massachusetts HQ.

Aker Solutions’ wholly-owned subsidiary, STEP Offshore and Chris Pianca have formed a new joint-venture, STEP Oiltools.

Linda Cook is now a member of the KBR Board of directors. Cook retired from Royal Dutch Shell in 2009, where she served as Executive Director, Shell Gas and Power. She also serves on the Corporate Boards for The Boeing Company and Cargill, Inc.

Midland Valley has appointed Mara Bellavita as support geologist and Duncan Jamieson as marketing geologist.


Done Deals

Simmons, Aker Solutions, DNV, ENGlobal, Expro Group, Forum, Fugro, Energy Technology Ventures, National Oilwell, Oiltanking, Reservoir Group, Select Energy Services, Schlumberger.

Simmons Parallel Energy Fund is now halfway through its lifecycle and is seeking to invest a further £17 ($27) million in eastern hemisphere-located oilfield service and alternative energy companies over the next two years. 

Aker Solutions has acquired 70% of the Norwegian companies Ing. Harald Benestad and Phaze Technologies, suppliers of subsea controls, power distribution and applications.

DNV has acquired Synergi Solutions, provider of quality/HSE software for risk and non-conformance management.

ENGlobal has negotiated an increase in its line of credit with Wells Fargo from $25 to $35 million. A further $9.5 million facility has been negotiated to support the Caspian Pipeline Consortium project.

Expro Group has received a $250m equity injection from its shareholders, along with an increase in its revolving credit facility from $100m to $160m.

Forum Energy Technologies has acquired Cannon Services, a supplier of downhole completion control lines and cable protection systems. Forum also acquired SVP Products (flow control equipment and hydraulic fracturing consumables), and Davis-Lynch (cementing and casing products).

Fugro has bought Houston-based consultants, AOA Geophysics.

Energy Technology Ventures, a GE Energy/ConocoPhillips joint venture, has invested in Houston-based Glori Energy to develop its Activated Environment for Recovery of Oil (AERO) enhanced oil recovery technology.

National Oilwell Varco has acquired Ameron for $772 million cash.

Oiltanking Partners has announced an initial public offering of ten million common units (approx. 25% of the company) at $21.50 a pop.

Reservoir Group, has announced the acquisition of the assets and business of Canada Tech from IROC Energy Services Partnership.

Select Energy Services has acquired Eagle Fishing Tools and Services.

Schlumberger has completed its acquisition of Framo Engineering from Frank Mohn. The company makes multiphase pumps metering systems.


Safety first

OPITO training for Middle East. OGP 2010 safety stats. Shell shares shale gas best practices.

The UK-based Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organization (Opito) has announced a training program for the Middle East centered on its International Minimum Industry Training Standard (Imist) program. Imist provides basic safety training. The e-learning program will be delivered in partnership with Atlas Interactive and is localized to the region’s needs. IMIST will be rolled out across 30 countries worldwide throughout Asia, Africa and the United States over the next two years. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_29.

The Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) association’s annual safety performance indicators for 2010 were published this month, analyzing over 3 billion work hours of data submitted by 42 operating member companies. Despite two major accidents (Macondo and an airplane crash in Pakistan), both fatal incident and accident rates confirmed a long-term downward trend. Download the full report from www.oilit.com/links/1107_30. OGP has also published ‘Well incident prevention, intervention and response,’ a 16 page brochure covering blowout prevention, containment and spill response in a post-Macondo world—www.oilit.com/links/1107_31.

Shell is sharing its recommended practices for onshore tight/shale oil and gas exploitation including hydraulic fracturing. The framework of five principles sets out to protect water, air, wildlife and the communities and to address public concerns. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_32.


CH2M Hill consolidates specification library with SpecText

FIATECH presentation highlights Engineering Essentials Company’s ‘SpecX’ XML document format.

Speaking at the 2011 Fiatech conference earlier this year, Allen Wright described how engineering contractor CH2M Hill uses the technology from the Engineering Essentials Company (EEC) to create a consolidated specification library. CH2M HILL has a long history of using structured specification systems, using tools such as Bentley’s ProjectWise and 3D modeling to speed design and delivery. To rationalize specification management, CH2M moved from a proprietary template and tools to a ‘commercial industry standard’ leveraging EEC’s SpecText template and productivity tools. Master spec libraries were migrated to ProjectWise, adding document metadata to enhance information management in the process.

SpecWave’s migration wizard was used to validate documentation against company designed rules, styles and formats. The resulting SPECX file format provides greater flexibility in viewing available information and reduces ongoing document management overhead. Documents can be shared with project tools through the XML tags. Specx is compatible with Microsoft Word and Excel and can also interact with document management systems such as ProjectWise. EEC is now working to map Specx to the ISO 15926 and ISO 16739 engineering document formats. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_61.


Rutgers demos reservoir modeling on twin remote Blue Gene/Ps

Cloud-based enhanced oil recovery simulator leverages University of Texas’ IPARS.

A team led by Rutgers University’s Center for Autonomic Computing (CAC) won first place in the IEEE SCALE 2011 Challenge for their scalable ensemble-based oil-reservoir simulations. The enhanced oil recovery simulation was run on what is described as ‘an elastic federated HPC-cloud’ composed of two remote IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputers.

The project addressed the requirements of ensemble applications in navigating large parameter spaces in order to optimize strategies and minimize uncertainty. The project claimed to demonstrate that, ‘the cloud abstraction can be used to run ensemble applications on a geographically distributed federation of supercomputing systems.’

Demonstrator components included Rutgers iCode (www.oilit.com/links/1107_20) and CometCloud (www.oilit.com/links/1107_21), IBM’s DeepCloud (www.oilit.com/links/1107_22) and the University of Texas at Austin’s ‘implicit parallel accurate reservoir simulator (IPARS www.oilit.com/links/1107_23). The Blue Gene supercomputers were located at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center (NY, USA) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia). More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_24.


Another kind of ‘e-business?’

Alleged $3.5 million wire fraud by Schlumberger unit employees.

Jeremy Gene Dobbins, 35, and Bobby Dean Roberts, 51, both employed by Schlumberger unit MI-SWACO, have been indicted for defrauding their company of $3.5 million. The 10-count indictment was returned by a Houston grand jury this month. The two are accused of conspiring to commit wire fraud between February 2008 and June 2010, committing wire fraud and money laundering. They allegedly formed four vendor entities to do business with Mi-Swaco and caused these entities to submit ‘false and fraudulent invoices,’ which they then approved for payment. The release, from the US Attorney’s Office notes, ‘an indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law’—www.oilit.com/links/1107_25.


Sales, contracts, partnerships and deployments

Aker geoscience services to ENI Norge. Kadme teams with Ovation SpectrumData. P2ES hosts Mitsui’s ERP. PetroChina deploys Isilon NAS. TerraSpark sale to Fugro. Yokogawa automates Vopak.

Aker Solutions’  geo business unit has signed a three-year frame agreement with Eni Norge to supply consultancy services in geology, geophysics, petrophysics, reservoir technology, well site and operations geology—www.oilit.com/links/1107_45

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Stavanger, Norway-based Kadme has partnered with Ovation SpectrumData (OSD) to expand the market for its Whereoil software flagship in the South Pacific region. Australia-based OSD will also use Whereoil internally as a front end for browsing and ordering catalogs of client data stored in OSD’s warehouses. Kadme has also partnered with Columbia-based IPM with a reseller agreement for Latin America and the Caribbean—www.oilit.com/links/1107_46 (OSD), www.oilit.com/links/1107_47 (Kadme) and www.oilit.com/links/1107_59 (IPM).

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Mitsui E&P USA has selected P2 Energy Solutions’ Enterprise Essentials (EE) to manage its Pennsylvania-based US assets and operations. EE provides financial and accounting, production and land management and business analytics to Mitsui’s Pennsylvania-based operations. EE is PES’ entry-level hosted system for the upstream—www.oilit.com/links/1107_48.

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PetroChina’s NWGI unit is to deploy EMC/Isilon’s ‘X-Series’ network attached storage (NAS) to consolidated various applications to a single file system and point of management. PetroChina anticipates that the system will provide ‘highly concurrent’ access to seismic data and applications—www.oilit.com/links/1107_49

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Fugro-Jason has acquired five licenses to TerraSpark’s Insight Earth 3D seismic interpretation platform. The deal includes the Insight Earth ‘Base’ and ‘Structure’ applications. Fugro-Jason’s geoscience consulting unit will use Insight Earth to support exploration and production projects worldwide. Insight Earth’s structural interpretation tools will be used in conjunction with Fugro-Jason’s seismic inversion technology to define faulting and structure and to characterize lithology—www.oilit.com/links/1107_50

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Yokogawa has signed a global terminal automation agreement with Netherlands-based Royal Vopak. Vopak is a major tank storage service provider. The contract includes integrated automation and safety solutions for pipelines, loading/unloading facilities and other utilities located at tank terminals and will be based upon Yokogawa’s Centum VP distributed control system and ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system—www.oilit.com/links/1107_51.


Standards Stuff

Energistics well completions/StimJob. OCG geoSparql, GML 3.3. PPDM seismic SIG. PODS and GTI. OGP guidelines for site survey & satnav. Oasis trusted identity and Energy Market data exchange.

Energistics’ PRODML work group is planning a well completions data object and is inviting participation from members and other interested parties—www.oilit.com/links/1107_33.

Energistics has also announced a WITSML ‘Stimjob’ object in response to growing interest in hydraulic fracture data exchange—www.oilit.com/links/1107_44.

The EU Committee for Standardization (CEN) is offering help to researchers working under the 7th Framework Program to integrate standards within their projects. Help comes in the form of advice, software tools and web resources—www.oilit.com/links/1107_34.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is inviting public comment on its GeoSPARQL candidate standard, a core RDF/OWL vocabulary for geospatial data and a set of geospatial query functions for SPARQL—www.oilit.com/links/1107_35

OGC is also seeking public comment on the candidate version 3.3 of its Geography Markup Language (GML). GML 3.3 includes schema components for 3D modeling with triangular meshes, linear referencing and more—www.oilit.com/links/1107_36.

The Professional Petroleum Data Management association, PPDM, is inviting change requests from members in respect of the 3.8 release of its data model. The association is also inviting participation in a seismic implementation special interest group to improve integration between applications and PPDM installations—www.oilit.com/links/1107_37.

The Pipeline Open Data Standard organization PODS has announced several new projects, including one to integrate the Gas Technology Institute’s gas distribution model (GDM) with the PODS standard. Cooperation with Energistics and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) is also planned—www.oilit.com/links/1107_38.

The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) has issued new guidelines for conducting offshore drilling hazard site surveys. These describe oilfield good practice for conducting geophysical and hydrographic site surveys of proposed offshore drilling locations.  The document also covers the use of exploration 3D seismic data to enhance, or to replace, acquisition of a site survey—www.oilit.com/links/1107_39

The OGP Geomatics committee has also announced the Seabed Survey Data Model, an industry standard for delivery and management of drill site data—www.oilit.com/links/1107_40.

OGP has also released new guidelines for the use of global navigation satellite systems to position vessels, vehicles and other fixed and mobile E&P assets. The guidelines were prepared in collaboration with the International Marine Contractors Associationwww.oilit.com/links/1107_41.

Nominations are now open for three seats on the OASIS Identity and Trusted Infrastructure (IDtrust) Member Section Steering Committee. IDtrust works to promote standards-based identity and trusted infrastructure technologies and best  practices—www.oilit.com/links/1107_42.

OASIS has also opened its Energy Market Information Exchange (EMIX) for public review. EMIX defines an information model and XML vocabulary for exchange of prices and product definitions for energy trading—www.oilit.com/links/1107_43.


Going, going … green!

AspenTech extends HySys to simulate GHG emissions. Global reporting Institute to develop sustainability guidelines for oil and gas. Spill protection in Locus Technologies’ ePortal. Pike Research study.

Rhe latest release of AspenTech’s AspenOne package is claimed to ‘streamline’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reporting such as EPA Reporting Rule CF 40 Part 98 and Best Available Control Technology (BACT) guidelines. New modeling functionality in AspenOne Engineering makes it easier for process manufacturers to comply with global HSE policies and regulations. GHG calculation capabilities in HySys accurately compute GHG emissions for simulated processes, showing CO2 equivalents—www.oilit.com/links/1107_16

The Global Reporting Institute (GRI) and Arthur D. Little are developing sustainability reporting guidelines for the oil and gas sector. The GRI Oil and Gas Sector Supplement is a version of the G3 Guidelines tailored for the oil and gas sector. G3 guidelines are used to measure and report the economic, environmental, social, and governance dimensions of their activities, products, and services—www.oilit.com/links/1107_17.

Locus Technologies has expanded its flagship ‘ePortal’ application to include management of compliance, data and information for the EPA Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule. This introduces the industry’s first enterprise level SPCC software deployed in the Cloud—www.oilit.com/links/1107_18.

A report from Pike Research forecasts the carbon management software and services market will reach $5.7 billion by 2017—www.oilit.com/links/1107_19.


Walkinside virtual reality trains Total Angola’s Pazflor operators

Following simulator-based training, first visit to the real FPSO brings strong sense of déjà vu!

VRcontext has been awarded a contract by TOTAL E&P Angola for the supply of a 3D immersive training simulator (ITS) which will be used to train operators of its Pazflor FPSO1. The ITS was installed in Total’s training center in Luanda earlier this year and saved several onsite visits to the DSME shipyard in South Korea during construction.  VR Context’s Hans Van den Wijngaert told Oil IT Journal, ‘We believe that training operators this way on a complete 3D model is a world first to. Now that FPSO has arrived on location, operators going on board for the first time have a strong sense of déjà vu.’

Total’s Lionel Ramat added, ‘The simulator helps trainees associate equipment tags, piping lay out and plant schematics with their physical location on site. Workflows have been designed for scenarios including HSE procedures, ‘black start2’ and routine operations. Initial feedback from trainees has been very positive and the value of the ITS as a training environment was confirmed by experienced personnel.’ More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_11.

1 Floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

2 www.oilit.com/links/1107_12.


Jee designs Premier Oil’s ‘robust’ decommissioning cost model

‘Live’ working document combines business logic and legislation for varying market conditions.

UK-based pipeline engineering services provider Jee has designed a ‘robust’ decommissioning cost model for Premier Oil’s North Sea Balmoral field. The model includes ‘miles of old pipeline and out-of-date assets’ and information ‘scattered across multiple companies and contractors.’ Jee’s Mik Crosby said, ‘We created a live working document that generated the cost estimate. The model has an inbuilt logic based on current legislation and includes likely decommissioning options used to develop the cost estimate. The result is a cost model that allows Premier to manipulate the estimate according to current market conditions and the duration of operations.’

Jee also reports that it has qualified with the ISO/IEC 27001:2005 guidelines for information security management. MD Trevor Jee said, ‘Our formal, documented information management system has been independently assessed, proving our commitment to our clients’ information security.’ Jee has already obtained ISO 9001 for its pipeline engineering services and is working towards ISO 14001 (environmental management) and the OHSAS 18001 (HSE management). The company was also involved in decommissioning the Don, North West Hutton, Miller and Southern North Sea fields. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_13.


Allied Wireline deploys CapRock Communications’ VSAT

Cement bond logs, stim jobs, completions benefit from satellite link to the office.

Houston-based logging contractor Allied Wireline has signed with Harris CapRock for the provision of VSAT1 services to the latest truck in its logging fleet. CapRock’s ‘FieldAccess’ solution, tailored to the land drilling market, will provide data transmission, internet access, voice and other communication services

Allied Wireline CEO Larry Albert explained, ‘This communication network allows us to transmit open hole logs as data is acquired. We can also send cement bond logs and correlation logs for perforating and other completion activity. FieldAccess provides a direct link with the stimulation companies during critical frac jobs.’

All 17 Allied Wireline units now use CapRock’s ‘SafePass,’ web content filtering service that secures and optimizes network resources. FieldAccess launched in 2010 to serve rig contractors and service companies. The system now supports several hundred land drilling units. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_15 (CapRock) and www.oilit.com/links/1107_16 (Allied Wireline).

1 Very small aperture terminal—www.oilit.com/links/1107_14.


VSG, Comsol tools analyze shale poroperm for ExxonMobil

Full scale physics on nanoscale model replaces traditional special core analysis.

Visualization Sciences Group (VSG) reports the successful combination of its Avizo 3D analysis software and Comsol’s Multiphysics simulator to investigate shale gas source rock porosity and permeability. The work was carried out for ExxonMobil and presented at the National Agency for Finite Element Methods and Standards (NAFEMS) World Congress held in Boston last May.

The team used data obtained from a focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (SEM) to produce a 3D ‘nanoscale’ model of the shale gas source rock. VSG’s Avizo software was used to characterize the sample’s pore space. The technique distinguishes three phases of the sample—rock, organic matter and void.

An image processing technique know as ‘image space segmentation’ was used to separate the three phases in the model space. Further processing distinguishes connected and unconnected pore space.

The high resolution map of the pore space is then input to Comsol’s full physics simulator. This was used to perform ‘virtual physics experiments’ a.k.a. flow simulations on the digitized model. The flow simulation results were used to determine the permeability of the sample.

VSG researcher Shuang Zhang observed ‘We can do things in the digital world a lot cheaper and faster than in the lab. The industry is only just becoming aware of this image-to-simulation workflow. An extraordinary amount of information can be obtained with these techniques, much more than we have ever seen before.’

We don’t know if this came as a direct result of the VSG/Comsol experiment, but ExxonMobil has spent $3 billion on shale gas leases since it shelled out some $35 billion for XTO Energy last year. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_3 (VSG) and www.oilit.com/links/1107_4 (Comsol).


Cyber security round-up

Accenture’s mobile security. Lockheed Martin’s security for energy. DHS and the idiocy problem!

A new white paper from Accenture offers advice on protecting the mobile workforce. The study notes the rapid and widespread take-up of iPhones and other mobile endpoints in the enterprise and proposes a number of measures to protect users and the corporation. Companies need to address the security problem from an IT standpoint across network, device, applications and back end. Next a ‘hard-nosed’ culture of security needs to be developed, with an education program focused on building awareness of security issues.  Finally a risk assessment should help decide where the mitigation effort needs to go—prioritizing areas of weakness and high impact. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_5.

Those aiming for a ‘hard nosed’ security culture may be disheartened by a recent experiment conducted by the US Department of Homeland Security. Security specialist Idappcom ‘quietly dropped’ data disks and USB sticks in the car parks of government agency and allied company buildings. No less than 60% of these were inserted into the company/agency’s computer systems. ‘Bad guys’ planning such attacks (Stuxnet is rumored to have been delivered this way) will be interested to learn that the ‘success rate’ soared to 90% when sticks bore a the target’s logo! Idappcom’s Ray Bryant observed, ‘No device known to mankind can prevent people from being idiots.’ More on the DHS tests on www.oilit.com/links/1107_6.

Lockheed Martin has announced a cyber security solution tailored to the energy and utility verticals. Lockheed Martin’s ‘Palisade’ addresses the ‘complex threat environment’ facing the energy industry. Palisade provides advanced threat detection and forensic tools that give cyber security analysts the actionable intelligence they need to defend and maintain their networks. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_7.


Saudi Aramco’s educators leverage Ocean API

‘Seismic to simulation’ program developed on Petrel for Upstream Professional Development Center.

Educators in Saudi Aramco’s new Upstream Professional Development Center (UPDC) have used Schlumberger’s ‘Ocean’ API to develop a ‘tutorial plug-in’ for Petrel. The training simulator offers an interactive program that helps familiarize Saudi Aramco’s personnel with oilfield disciplines, from geophysics to reservoir engineering, along with ‘specialized domain tools’ that incorporate real Aramco field data, company culture and specific processes used in the development of Saudi Aramco fields.

The training program was developed in the face of ‘major increases’ in the pace of operations and a tight job market for experienced staff. Aramco considers that developing its existing workforce is a strategic imperative—hence the UPDC. Schlumberger’s Information Solutions unit collaborated on the development of the plug-in. Training using the Ocean-based tutorial began late last year. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_8.


Tulane University offers simulator-based trading training

A.B. Freeman school deploys Thomson Reuters’ and Trading Technologies International’s software.

A new trading simulator is being built at the A. B. Freeman school of business at Tulane University, New Orleans. The initiative is also backed by CME Group and the Energy Management Institute. As from this fall, energy and trading professionals will be able to trial electronic trading tools and test their skills on realistic trading scenarios.

The simulator will be used to provide training for working professionals involved in oil and gas trading. The simulator will deploy commercial trading software from Thomson Reuters and Trading Technologies International and will be connected to over twenty live exchange feeds, including CME Group exchanges and NYSE. 

Initial course offerings include oil, natural gas and electric trading strategies and simulations. More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_9.