Volume 22 Number 8


Common fluid connector

Norwegian Billington Process Technology's common fluid connector protocol connects best in class, first principle simulation toolset in cloud-based digital twins of wells and plants.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Paradigm sold

Emerson's $510 million deal extends software portfolio upstream with seismic processing. Skua geomodelling overlaps with RMS.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

The great misunderstanding

Editor Neil McNaughton argues that the popular narrative of data-driven disruption, leveraging internet technology is all wrong. The GAFAs success in not due to information technology but to a disruptive business model. Expecting IT to disrupt oil and gas is naive. As GE may be finding.

They used to be called GAFA, now I understand they are the Intel 7*. Whatever. These are the folks who are going to disrupt your business. Or so goes the narrative. It is a little hard to see how these virtual (as opposed to bricks and mortar) businesses will really disrupt oil and/or gas, although I suppose such a case could be made for disruption in trading. This is about as likely to happen as GAFA disrupting the banking business which is proving a lot harder than originally thought. But I digress. The ‘pure’ i.e. Silicon-Valley style disruption play is unlikely to work in a diversified, established and technologically challenging field like oil and gas. So the narrative has been spun around the impact of the information technology that is spinning out of the GAFAs and into business, a phenomenon known as ‘digital transformation.’

The narrative is wrong on two counts. First the oil and gas industry is an extremely computer-literate business with a large installed base, decades of R&D and a very recent bout of ‘disruption’ in the form of the ‘digital oilfield’ movement of the 2000s. Oil and gas is not your yellow/black taxi cab business waiting around to be disrupted by an Uber. The other reason the current narrative is wrong is that none of the GAFAs are really IT businesses. They are combinations of a great idea for a new business or the result of ruthless exploitation of somebody else’s great idea, followed by a first mover/monopolistic/winner-takes-all situation. Despite appearances, the compute/IT side is totally subordinate to the business. If you doubt this, think of how freely Google gives away its IT and contrast this with how jealously it guards its business data!

The disruption narrative, although false, has been successful in the IT/consulting community which has is always on the lookout for a new way of creating fear, uncertainty and doubt. The IT community has grabbed the wrong end of the stick in Google’s success (an awkward metaphor, sorry) and is rushing around trying to convince all and sundry (perhaps that should be oil and sundry?) that they need Hadoop, BigTable Spark and what have you, all the shiny new stuff that has ‘enabled’ the disruption elsewhere.

There is another weakness in this software free-for-all that derives originally from the GAFAs in-house requirements. It is worthwhile reflecting on exactly what these are. I’m not an expert on Google’s IT, but just, for a minute, imagine what the internet looks like from Google HQ. It is the mother of all data deluges! Bazillions of clickstreams coming in from internauts all over the world in real time. Somehow all this needs capturing (more on this in ‘the future of seismic data storage’ on page 8) and turning into a database of who clicked on what, where and when.

In one sense, this is mindbogglingly smart. In another it is stultifying dumb. For an oil, an immediate application of the Hadoop ecosystem is in extracting business-relevant information from computer log files, for instance in the cyber security field. This rather dumb application maps pretty well to the inverted clickstream model. 

Needless to say, those who are selling disruption have chosen to emphasize the mindboggling. Hence the talk of scalable systems, big data and artificial intelligence. And, more generally, on solving problems which you did not even realized you had! The Hadoop ecosystem (whose main job is to do the dumb stuff) has been extended with an Alphabet (sic) soup of acronyms that point us in the direction of the smart stuff. I, like everyone else, am much more interested in the smarts, even if I doubt that all of it is terribly relevant. Much of the big data/artificial intelligence tools are ‘highly scalable’ hammers looking for nails. I sometimes wonder if Google didn’t chuck all this stuff over the perimeter wall as a diversion. Rather like the British are said to have done in WWII by spreading the rumor that pilots were given carrots to help them see in the dark, when in fact, Radar has just been invented.

One company at the cutting edge of all this is GE whose departing CEO Jeff Immelt, was one of the first to put his money and mouth on big data and the Industrial Internet of Things. Five years ago, Immelt stated that ‘The industrial internet is revolutionizing our services. We will leverage our $150 billion backlog to grow this technology and our revenues 4-5% annually.’ A year later Jesse Demesa revealed GE had sunk $1 billion into the IIoT and that around 1,000 developers were beavering away on Predix, GE’s core industrial platform. Predix by the way is quite a remarkable infrastructure in that it shares much of the GAFA-derived open source software stack and also, GE really has been pretty ‘open’ itself in showing Predix’ innards to the world.

Five years is a long time at ‘internet speed’ and you might expect some signs of success. This does not appear to be materializing. The Financial Times of 21st October performs quite a hatchet job on Immelt and on GE. The FT’s Lex column has it that ‘Immelt’s abrupt departure suddenly makes sense [as the] scale of the debacle he created [..] became clear.’ Immelt’s replacement John Flannery spoke of the need to make ‘major changes with urgency.’ The FT editorial has it that GE’s bets on the IIoT ‘have yet to pay off.’ There is talk of sell-offs. One might think that Predix would be sell-off opportunity. But IMHO this is a case where the part would be worth a lot less than the whole. For GE and Google, the value is in the data not the software. That’s why Google gives its stuff away for free!

* Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple. For the Intel 7 see below.

@neilmcn


Interview - Amor Bekrar, president IFS France

Is IFS really the 'leading provider of EAM software to oil and gas?' IFS claims its Apps suite is a leader in asset management. A niche activity that is proving rather resilient in the current downturn. Bekrar outlines recent advances in big data driven 'operational intelligence' and the promise of AI.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Statoil invests in AI/big data oil country boutiques

'Series A' funding rounds initiated by AI 'startup' Ambyint and seismic big data specialist Sharp Reflections catch VC arm's eye.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

More from data science @ Paris EAGE

Shell: GeoDNN-deep neural net-based seismic feature extraction, AutoSum, ML-based automated simulation post processing. Onera/Total: neural nets automate hyperspectral satellite image interpretation. Agile Data Decisions: Putting the structure back into CDA's dataset.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

More on Schlumberger's Delfi

Google blogger reveals inside workings of Schlumberger's flagship 'cognitive' data platform.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Software, hardware short takes ...

Coreworx Express, GE blockchain-as-a-service, Naveego DQS, Tracts, EcoSys V8.0, Probe iQ, Spectraseis, Devon, ExproSoft WellMaster IMS, Frogtech Geoscience Terraflux, NSI Technologies StimPlan, Wireless Seismic RT3.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Regulatory round-up

Updated APEGA (Alberta) reserves reporting. Alberta Geological Survey models Peace River in Minecraft! US Groundwater Protection Council releases WellFinder. PPDM Regulatory meet update.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

ECIM 2017, Haugesund

NPD - digital to counterbalance low oil price. IBM - tape still going strong. R2I's PowerBI showcase. PetroChina - AI lightens dark big data. Teradata and the Teashops. Dell/EMC, 'Buy not build is dead!' NDB updates subsurface applications benchmark. Statoil's data platform in the cloud. Teradata's managed data lake and the future of subsurface data management. Halliburton on disrupting with open source big data analytics. EPIM on the vicissitudes of Norwegian production reporting.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Folks, facts, orgs ...

ENGlobal, Atlantic Gulf and Pacific, BCCK, Americas Natural Resources, Digital Route, Flowserve, H-D Advanced Manufacturing, KBR, NextDecade, NGP Energy Capital, National Oilwell Varco, Orbital, Seeq, S&P Global Platts, Swagelok, Victrex, Weatherford, Williams.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Future of seismic data storage

Eurotech, 'large companies have no long term storage strategy.' Iron Mountain, 'not all are ready to face storage challenges.' Statoil as remastering poster child. IBM 'cloudifies' tape.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Going, going... green

ProGHG reporting. CCS makes major strides. $36 million for US CCS. Quanta3 methane sensing.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Noggateway.org

US EIA website consolidates well data previously only available from commercial providers.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Paradigm/k

Cloud-based production management solution rolled-out at San Antonio SPE ATCE.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Sales, partnerships, deployments ...

OSIsoft, Rheidiant, Chevron Technology Ventures, Aker Solutions, Archeio, Clariant, Custom-Weather, GeoView Data Services, Aoheds, EDrilling, Hexagon, Plansea Solutions, ION Geophysical, Lloyd's Register, MRC Global, Oniqua, SAP, Recon Technology, Seeq, Inductive Automation, Shell, Petrobras, TechnipFMC, Wavefront Technology, ENGlobal.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Standards stuff...

OGC Underground Infrastructure. EdgeX Barcelona. W3 Web of Things.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Cyber sec round-up

CERT/CEI threat models 'too optimistic.' OSIsoft on securing PI. LR and Petras. More cyber help from Honeywell, Leidos, Schneider, Claroty, Waterfall, Siemens. Deloitte on how not to do it.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Teradata for refiner Andeavor

Excellent results from Teradata Analytics Platform. ConocoPhillips on SAP integration at Eagle Ford.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Collaboration to 'converge process and operational thinking'

Baker Hughes/GE, Yokogawa/KBC team on preferred partnership for the digital twin.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

SHAARCs in the cloud

Seismic harmonic analysis and reflectivity toolset now pay-as-you-go service.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Ivar Aasen poster child for Siemens Topsides 4.0

Engineering solution sees projects through design and build and handover of digital twin.

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.

Prosume Energy Foundation

Blockchain-based market supports 'prosumers' in 'decentralized, digitized, decarbonized ecosystem.'

Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.