Volume 22 Number 2


DNV GL's data platform

DNV GL finds lack of awareness of digital potential in oil and gas. To help things along, the 'trusted third party' rolls-out 'Veracity' an independent data platform for frictionless connectivity.

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Predix, Maana converge

GE and Maana's 'intertwined vision' realized in converged, cloud-based industrial internet. Predix meets EKT, the 'Enterprise knowledge technology.'

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Big data and legal risk. World's future energy needs.

Neil McNaughton wonders what the regulator thinks of big data-derived stochastic reserves numbers. Lone Star reports on similar warnings from the Association for Computing Machinery. Mark Razmandi warns of bias in SCADA analytics. Also... the Church of England blesses fracking (official!). Oft-cited IEA fossil fuel forecasts sneak-in 2 billion world population hike for 2040!

It may be something of a canard but fairly often in data conferences there are vague warnings of potential non-compliance issues that stem from the fact that today’s reserves reporting, ultimate recoverable numbers and so on are obtained in part through various numerical modeling techniques. The warnings come from those in the data management community who are anxious not to be in the firing line if and when the SEC, or whoever is your regulator, comes back with embarrassing questions as to how such numbers were arrived at.

Consider for a moment ExxonMobil’s humongous calculation performed recently at the NCSA (see page 5) which briefly monopolized all the processing power of the Blue Waters supercomputer to produce an optimal development plan. One that might include some reportable reserves numbers. What if, some ways down the road, the regulator gets back and asks for justification of the reported numbers. Operator fires up the behemoth, re-runs the analysis and comes up with a different number! For yes, these calculations are statistically derived, using either old fashioned Monte Carlo techniques or more fancy big data-esque computation.

OK, perhaps this is rather contrived. Exxon was more interested in testing its modeling on a really big computer than in reporting. More seriously, the issue of risk, big data and analytics was highlighted recently in a release from consultants Lone Star Analysis. Lone Star reports that while ‘a consensus is beginning to define acceptable practices and define legal risk for users of big data and analytics,’ such new developments ‘pose significant legal risks for careless uses of big data.’

In the US, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) recently issued a statement on ‘Principles for Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability.’ The ACM outlines seven principles for big data users in business and government. These include an awareness of possible bias in a model, the need for access to data, calculations and accountability for AI-based decisions. Big data users need be able to explain procedures and decisions and to assure auditable data provenance and model testing.

While this may be of less application to oil and gas, Lone Star also flags up recent EU legislation on data privacy. Big Data advocates who want to ‘discover’ new relationships and patterns in consumer data will have to be careful how they explore the digital unknown universe, while regulators insist that such data is only used for ‘specified, explicit purposes and only those purposes.’

Lone Star CTO John Volpi concluded, ‘We always advocate the use of redacted and abstracted data and the targeted use of machine learning over brute force big data. As society comes to grips with the risks of big data done badly, we should not be surprised to see more regulations in this space.’ And CEO Steve Roemerman added a warning on the risk of litigation, ‘The ACM principles may help US plaintiffs who feel they have been harmed by big data and AI. If models are not transparent, auditable and explainable, such risk cannot be effectively determined.’

Another contribution to the analytics discussion came from Anadarko’s Mark Razmandi in a presentation given at the LBGC Wellsite automation conference held last month in Houston (report on page  6). Refreshingly, where others like to present oil and gas as a technology laggard, Razmandi has it that oil and gas is the original big data proponent. What has changed in recent years is a shift to ‘comprehensive mass data acquisition paradigms and progressive analytics.’ In a  companion presentation, Bias semantics in big data, Razmandi describes ‘objective’ bias, due to the particularities of data acquisition and the more familiar subjective bias of those seeking to make more of the data than they should. And this is no abstract concept, Razmandi’s field is scada systems engineering and oilfield automation. 

~

A rather amusing claim appeared in the latest issue of the IOGP Highlights newsletter where I read that the ‘Church [of England] blesses fracking.’ In the same newsletter it appears that, ‘progress [has been made] in standardizing Christmas trees.’ Nothing like having God on your side!

On a more serious note, I have heard and read a lot recently that oil and gas has a good future. Global oil production is forecast to stay around the 100 bopd mark out to 2040, making the noble goals of COP21 appear somewhat illusory, which is of course great news for the industry. However, it is worth looking at how the IEA, the source of various forecasts from BP, ExxonMobil and others, derives its numbers. Embedded in the IEA’s forecast is an increase in the world population of around 25% from today out to 2040.

Some of the growth is forecast to be from poor, low-to-no fossil fuel users, to which the IEA offers sympathy but little else. But in my admittedly rather cursory scan of the IEA’s recent output, the massive growth in world population (from 7 to 9 billion) appears to be a given, and is hardly commented.

Doing something about world population growth is probably about as hard as achieving significant COP21-style decarbonization. On the other hand it is curious that the IEA, and for that matter, pretty well everyone else, does not appear to be interested in trying to do something about both of these interlinked issues. From COP to POP?

@neilmcn


Oil IT interview, DNV GL and the Veracity data platform

Oil IT Journal talks to Cathrine Torp, Kenneth Vareide and Jorgen Kadal about DNV GL's new data platform. Today 'absolutely nobody is handling data as an asset.' An enhanced data value chain is needed to fix the familiar problems of data quality and provenance and of data lakes full of garbage. DNV GL's position as a 'trusted third party' has the potential to bridge the proprietary silos.

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Paradigm 2017

75 Page presentation covers new and updated functionality and 'Paradigm on top' data strategy.

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Architectural style a la REST key to interoperable software

EnergySys' MD advises caution on current microservices fad.

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Review, ARMA Glossary 5th Edition

American Records Management Association on records management and information governance.

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Common Data Access' unstructured data challenge

Open source software's field day at UK upstream linguistic analysis testbed.

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NCSA Blue Waters runs reservoir fluid flow models

ExxonMobil's John Kuzan talks to Oil IT Journal about record-breaking supercomputer trial.

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ABC Wellsite Automation, Houston

The third American Business Conferences Wellsite Automation was an information-packed event. Devon, Exco, Windy Cove, Williams, New Horizon, Permian and Discovery shared experiences of multi-vendor scada/PLC deployments. Vendors including ABB, eLynx and Emerson provided insights into automation and communications. EDF presented on measuring and mitigating emissions.

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OSIsoft Internet of Things/Big Data, Houston

NOV Max/RigSentry for BOP. Revenos Limitless Well. Element Analytics and CRISP data mining.

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Folks, facts, orgs ...

Agile Data Decisions, ARMA, BJ Services, C&C Reservoirs, Chevron, Civica Digital Business, Cornerstone Completion Services, Energy Impact Partners, Emerson, Petrolink, Infosys, Energistics, Enservco, ExxonMobil, Flotek, London Geological Society, Honeywell, Hexagon, IOGP, iRODS, Michael Baker International, OFS Portal, P2 Energy Solutions, Spectris, TIBCO, Verve Industrial Protection, Westwood Professional Services.

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Done deals

Schneider buys MWPowerlab. ERF Wireless acquires Accordant and seeks new OTC/ALS listing. Greenwell buys Exclusive Energy Services. SCF to fund BCCK expansion.

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NIST's 'Introduction to Cyber Security'

Federal information security organization releases cyber risk management framework.

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SEC pushes in-line XBRL. CFA endorses digital data.

iXBRL signals end to dual filing. CFA Institute reports on 'transformational' digital technology.

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Yokogawa EPM for UK Shell/BP joint venture

Enterprise Pipeline Management and FAST/Tools scada deal.

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Sales, deployments, partnerships ...

Aker Solutions, Blue Marble, Pointerra, Fluor, Geoscience BC, LMKR, Landmark, Paradigm, Beicip-Franlab, PetroDE, OneSubsea, TechnipFMC, Weatherford, Nabors, BuildSourced, EnergyIQ.

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Standards stuff

IOGP Seabed Survey guidelines. CAPE-OPEN interop installers. RTI's DDS-based industrial internet. ISO/IEC 80000 Part 13 IT definitions for quantities and units.

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Emissions monitoring and reporting

PTAC event hears from Spartan Controls, Process Ecology, CapOpEnergy, Osprey and Envirosoft.

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eCompliance rolls-out Safety Intelligence

Cloud-based best practices, reporting and analytics platform for EHS professionals.

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'Leonardo' IoT announced. Accenture's hydrocarbon logistics.

SAP to unveil $2 billion internet of things offering. Accenture expands SAP collaboration.

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Coreworx for Omani petrochemical new build

Construction software interface management solution supports $3.6 billion mega project.

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ExxonMobil's drilling data modeling and analytics for Pason

Drilling advisory system a.k.a. Fast Drill licensed for third party use.

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OSIsoft adds TIF-backed TrendMiner AI to portfolio

Belgian machine learning specialist adds self service analytics to PI System.

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Yokogawa+Microsoft+Foghorn+Bayshore+Telit=IIoT

'Practical' Industrial Internet of Things offering spearheaded from Silicon Valley HQ.

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