Volume 21 Number 8


Interface Fluidics

Calgary startup repurposes healthcare analytical nano technology to measure oil properties at high temperature and pressure. At greatly reduced cost and increased speed over traditional HP/HT cells.

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Baker sale round 2

After falling at the post in an aborted sale to Halliburton, a new suitor emerges. Baker is to merge with GE Oil & Gas. But what of the software?

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More than meets the eye in 'commercial' vs. 'not for profit'

Neil McNaughton reports back from the 2016 Intelligent Energy conference on its role in breaking down the silo walls between IT and 'the business.' While IE and its Digital Energy twin do a good job, they face increasing competition from the 'for-profit' user groups such as the Esri PUG, the OSIsoft user conference and the Spotfire Energy conference. All to be reported from 'real soon now!'

I have been editing Oil IT Journal since 1996. That rather long time frame means that when I go to conferences today I am often greeted by some rather old (like myself) folks for whom there is nothing new under the sun.

It has not always been thus. In the early days, although I was no spring chicken myself I felt somewhat junior to the white-haired individuals that held forth about this and that. The deference of youth and the realization that I had a lot to learn colored my reporting. I was a bit more open to new technology than I am now although I carried some of prejudices that I picked up from my earlier years as an end user. Notably a disdain for things ‘commercial’ and a more open mind for ‘not-for-profit’ SPE/SEG style output.

One ‘raison d’Ítre’ of what was originally Petroleum Data Manager and is now Oil IT Journal was the pleasure that I took in pointing out that much of what is presented as new is, in fact, old. In my twenty years or so (before Oil IT Journal) of working for oil and gas and service companies, I observed that some, but not all projects, are launched on the premise that ‘there is nothing in the market place that does this.’ Not finding something ‘out there’ is almost always due to an extremely perfunctory search. Hence Oil IT Journal’s exhaustive (well quite) enumeration of stuff that is there and that folks ought to be aware of before embarking on something ‘new.’  

As we have now been publishing for twenty years or so, I am now myself in the grey-haired brigade of folks who probably should have been ‘crew changed’ but have not, for various reasons which I do not propose to go into right now. Meanwhile, the young ‘generation X’ folks and millennials have moved up the pecking order and are now calling the shots and even kicking off projects here and there.

I would love to be able to say that this younger cohort of managers are all avid readers of Oil IT Journal and that it has permeated their reasoning. But unfortunately, this is not the case. While we have a reasonable subscriber base in oil and gas and service companies of all sizes, it is clear to me that we have a lot more to do in terms of touching a new generation of decision makers and helping them with some history and culture of what has gone before and what is going on now in parts of the industry and world that they may not be familiar with.

A major reason for our lack of penetration and, incidentally, an obstacle to making real progress in matters IT is the way that, despite calls for ‘collaboration and cooperation,’ industry loves to put up silo walls and live within their boundaries. Thus, someone with an IT hat, will read Information Week. Someone with an engineering hat will read the Journal of Petroleum Technology. Asking members of either of these communities to spend an extra couple of hours a month reading Oil IT Journal is a tough call even though we know it is worth the effort don’t we!

The Intelligent Energy (a.k.a. Digital Energy) community whose members met last month in Aberdeen is likewise a silo-crossing initiative. Oil IT Journal subscribers can read our report from the event on page 6 of this issue. The IE/DE events have been going for ten years or so and so have seen the aging and replacement of the community and the slow evolution of digital culture.

At the 2007 Digital Energy event, discussion centered on the need for a new breed of ‘renaissance’ engineers with IT knowledge. There was a debate as to whether engineers should be trained in IT or vice versa. I’m not sure what the outcome was then or what the situation is now. But I see a parallel with upstream data management which likewise requires folks with a dual competency in the business and in IT. In data management, it is only now that such courses are getting going (see last month’s issue).

Judging from the 2016 Intelligent Energy event, I’m not sure if the movement has resulted in renaissance engineers. The content is interesting if a little repetitive. It could be that the event has become a victim of its own success in that presentations are sometimes indistinguishable in content from what might be presented in, say, the SPE ATCE. And why not indeed? ‘Digital’ is now pervasive and here to stay. The question now arises; do we still need IE/DE? The answer is definitely yes because although digital may be pervasive, it is still at risk from the silo effect. IE/DE is one of the main events where the silo walls are breached and to good effect.

You may be wondering what the other events that do a similar job of spanning IT and the business. I will put you out of your misery straight away and try to bring the unraveling threads of this editorial together. The events that challenge IE/DE for primacy in silo busting are the commercial for-profit user groups. In the last couple of months, I have attended the OSIsoft user conference, the Esri Petroleum User Group and will be reporting from these in future issues. Also next month, we will be reporting virtually from the excellent Spotfire Energy conference which also took place recently. The quality of these events – despite their ‘commercial’ nature is well up to the standard of IE/DE. In fact the user group nature of these events can mean that they are an outlet for more impactful examples of real technology use than some of the IE/DE material.

OK there are a few raveled threads left here. In our next issue, I will explain why a good knowledge of the history of upstream IT is important, what the grey haired brigade achieved and provide more evidence of how ‘commercial’ has taken up the baton dropped by the not-for-profits.

@neilmcn


Preserving geological assets

A joint Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain/London Geological Society event discussed how geological assets, both physical and digital, can be held for the long term. New UK regulations have clarified operators' responsibilities and the UK is planning a National data repository. Attendees also learned of PGS' big seismic data solution, use of 'Linq' to communicate between IT and executives, of machine learning in large text collections and on digitizing ExxonMobil's thin sections.

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IRM-UK 2016 Enterprise Architecture/BPM conference

Gazprom leverages BPMN template in framework. VNG Norge builds management information system on Qualiware. The Open Group presents ArchiMate 3.0.

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Alberta Energy Regulator on future regulatory IT

PPDM meet hears of AER vision for 'agile' reference architecture.

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Modeling best practices benchmark survey

Lone Star's early results and invitation to participate in cross industry 'MBP2' survey.

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Software, hardware short takes

Schneider Electric, dGB, MVE, Integrated Informatics, ESTD, Exprodat, Blue Marble, Venture, Logi Analytics, Cognitive Geology, Schlumberger.

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USPI-NL 2016 member meeting, Amersfoort, NL

Cfihos V1.2 engineering data handover update. Cfihos from the EPC viewpoint. Chevron, 'it's hard to actually use standards!' BP avoids 'chaos' with Mimosa OIIE PoC. Aligning BP, Chevron, Shell RDLs.

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SPE Intelligent Energy 2016, Aberdeen

Is IE the way out of the downturn and now the time to try new technology? Investors like the 'cost deflation' story. BP on doing more in digital. ConocoPhillips on raising 'tool time' KPI. Dynamic bow ties and Macondo. OMG 'oil and gas is not different!' CiSoft Solutions break down the silo walls. Yokogawa's Exapilot. CiSoft's SOS-Net. IET's MTO methodology. Optique update. Exxon GLOWS.

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Folks, facts, orgs ...

Aker Solutions, API, Aqualis, CB&I, CGI, Chevron, DataCo, EnTouch, Exterran, Flowserve, Geoscience BC, GSE, Enable Midstream, New Century Software, Oxy, Quorum, Qinterra., Russell Reynolds Associates, Siemens, Seismic Image Processing, Tellurian, Ikon Science, NIST, Coats.

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Done deals

Bluware, Headwave, Arcos, Samsix, ExproSoft, Miriam, GE Digital, Meridium, MSA Safety, Senscient, OpenText, Dell EMC, Documentum, Rockwell Automation, Maverick Technologies, Automation Control Products, Quest Offshore, Verisk Analytics, Weatherford International, SEC.

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Big data, internet of things news

Recent big data/IoT news from NIST, PrismTech, Quorum, BitStew, Honeywell, NTT, OneM2M.

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Emerson on tank management

White paper advocates a 'system engineering' approach to shale well site equipment monitoring.

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National Instruments on accurate sensor measurement

There's more, much more than meets the eye at the sharp end of the IoT!

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In Deep and still digging?

EU Exascale project - €700 million for HPC R&D.

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Sales, deployments, partnerships ...

Archeio, GE Oil & Gas, Modec, IBM, Enzen, Bit Stew, Aker Solutions, Subsea 7, Emerson, Intergraph, Lloyd's Register, Opsens, Precise Downhole Services, OvationData, Western Digital, BetaZi, Schlumberger, Landmark, Boss Controls, Cisco, Aqualis Offshore, Aptomar, Kolos Marine.

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Standards stuff

NSF on reproducibility. Energistics, OPC Foundation map Witsml to OPC UA. New IOGP Geomatics guidance note, Open Geospatial Consortium approves CDB simulator standard. Oracle donates EBOs to Open Applications Group. New Chem eStandard released.

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Going, going ... green!

UK CCS Association, Carbon sequestration leadership forum, DoE, CCS Cost Network, Quest CCS.

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Cyber security round-up

Cyber news and views from SAP, Maana, Alert Logic, Attivo, Bayshore, Mocana and US NIST.

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DNV-GL white paper on uncertainty in risk assessment

How to counter the perception that addressing uncertainty creates uncertainty.

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Aveva, Capgemini team on engineering data in the cloud

Digital twin for engineering information management in the Amazon cloud announced.

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Blockchain for gas transactions

SunGard coders compete to leverage Bitcoin-style technology in e-payment applications.

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Warwick Analytics, Venture team on predictive analytics

University of Warwick spin-out offers big data analysis on-a-budget.

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Energy from gravity?

Dutch scientists and architects come up with a 'sustainable energy generator.' Do try this at home!

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