June 2002


TGS-Nopec has acquired A2D for $22 million. The transaction extends TGS’ activity into the well logging domain while extending A2D’s reach to the international marketplace.

Norwegian seismic specialist TGS-NOPEC (TGSN) is expanding into logging with the acquisition of Houston-based A2D Technologies. TGSN will pay A2D shareholders $22 million, $15.5 million in cash and $6.5 million in TGSN shares. A2D supplies oil companies with a range of services, data and software applications for well logs. A2D began delivering log data via the Internet in 1997 and today, 40% of revenue comes from online sales.


TGSN CEO Hank Hamilton said, “A2D’s business model is similar to ours. We both focus on creating quality, non-exclusive geoscience data products that can be licensed to multiple clients. A2D has done an excellent job in developing this market in the US and we look forward to helping A2D internationalize its effort. We see significant synergies through bundling our current products and services as well as the creation of new integrated products.”


John Adamick VP of Business Development for TGSN described the acquisition as an important component of TGSN’s growth strategy to create, manage and market upstream information with a multi-client business model. TGSN’s seismic library comprises some 1.7 million km 2D data along with 77,000 km sq of 3D. TGSN plans to internationalize A2D’s offering.


A2D CEO David Armitage estimates that around 6 million paper well logs have been released world-wide. Under 25% of these are in digital form. A2D currently digitizes 60,000 logs and 50 million curve feet per month - round the clock in the US and India. For Armitage, A2D is a “global manufacturer
of digits”.


TGSN CFO Arne Helland is planning some creative accounting on the acquisition. A2D currently expenses the cost of building its seismic library. TGSN’s advisors believe that this understates the true value of the company and have recommended capitalizing these costs.


This restatement will lead to profit growth, as the cost of data store creation is now amortized over seven years. A2D has been doing well for the past three years, recording annual revenues of $7.1 million in 1999, $9.6 million in 2000, and $12.6 million in 2001.

UpstreamInfo closed

EDS, Raytheon and The Information Store’s attempt to set up an upstream e-business has ended in failure with the closure of UpstreamInfo.

UpstreamInfo (UI) has ceased operations. UI was set up in 2000 by partners Raytheon, The Information Store and EDS to provide clients - notably Chevron and initially, Pemex - with remote storage and management of information and data assets.


UI deployed ASP software and delocalized infrastructure in ‘Megacenters’ to provide information access ‘anytime anyplace,’ on a pay for use basis. As recently as last September, EDS was still providing UI with new technology offering UI’s clients a ‘seamless flow of mission critical information.’ But UI appears to have failed to reach critical mass.

Information Store

Following the closure of UI, partner The Information Store is offering to deliver services to UI customers under existing and proposed license or service agreements.


The Information Store’s PetroTrek technology, developed before UpstreamInfo opened its doors, was at the core of the Megacenter offering. PetroTrek offers e-commerce based access to seismic data libraries. More from www.istore.com.

Mogul Oil, The Troubleshooters and KM

Oil IT Journal editor Neil McNaughton finds echoes of a 1960’s TV series ‘The Troubleshooters’ in many knowledge management (KM) case histories. Is KM as old as the hills? Yes, if it has ‘nothing to do with technology.’ Not at all once you realize that KM is at the cutting edge between IT technology and the learning organization.

Every time I go to a conference on knowledge management I amuse myself by asking – what exactly is knowledge management? Attending the IQPC Advanced Knowledge Management in Oil and Gas Conference last month (you’ll have to wait until the July-August issue to read our report on this excellent show), I wondered as usual what was the commonality between the diverse presentations. I also wondered what differentiates a lot of what passes as knowledge management (KM) from management per se, sometimes KM and ‘M’ just seem to blend together.

Not technology!

Some proponents insist that KM ‘is not about technology.’ A bold, and I think misleading claim. OK if yours is a hierarchical and secretive organization, then you might as well forget about freely sharing knowledge, whether by KM-enabling technology or just by talking to each other. But for all but the most benighted corporations today, flat organizations, empowerment and communicating with employees are all facets of good management - and are all only incidentally attributes of KM.

Not KM!

Differentiating M and KM is made harder now that KM is maturing and K-managers no longer feel they have to explain themselves. Some have even discovered that turning their backs on KM is a better strategy for getting the message (whatever it is) across. Such K-managers ‘do’ KM but avoid speaking its name! Shell is a notable proponent of the softly-softly approach to KM propagation. The booklet ‘Stories from the edge,’ written to entice graduates away from jobs with the consultants, is about Shell’s efforts ‘to make knowledge and the people who possess it flow more easily around a global organization.’


The ‘Stories’ tell how Shell’s Cameroon subsidiary leveraged gas lift techniques developed elsewhere in the company to increase production. In Brazil, best practices for fishing challenges developed in Brunei and Oman helped Petrobras save $1 million per well. Brunei Shell leveraged Expro and NAM’s knowledge of aluminum-sheathed tubing for major savings. Other tales tell of tweaks to submersible pumping operations, negotiating off peak electricity rates with the local utility company and the use of ‘V-belt tension gauges’ for real-time maintenance.


The booklet tells many other tales of how experience gained in one subsidiary was successfully applied to other unit’s problems and makes a compelling case for the application of - well the application of whatever KM really is I suppose. And this is where my personal take diverges from that of the booklet and of many KM exponents.


Shell’s case histories and indeed just about every other KM tale I’ve heard over the last couple of years stirred some very old memories. While I may not share the same success with the ladies as ‘Dream On’s’ Martin Tupper, I sure put in my time in front of what we then called affectionately the goggle-box!

The Troubleshooters

One of my favorite shows in the late sixties was the BBC drama ‘The Troubleshooters’ - which went out as ‘Mogul’ in the US. In this show, various dapper, sophisticated types gallivanted around the world fixing things for Mogul Oil Corp. As a matter of fact, I think that one of their projects revolved around the application of aluminum-sheathed tubing for something or other. I’m sure that one episode was based on V-belt tension gauges. Or perhaps not, it’s a long time ago.


Musing on those old episodes of The Troubleshooters I wondered how much the TV series influenced me into going to work in the oil business. A lot I suspect. I also wondered how come, when I did get into a major oil company I never actually met a ‘troubleshooter’. We did have one voluble geologist who used to travel the world driving colleagues to distraction applying the latest concepts gleaned from AAPG conferences. While the local geologists may have found this activity more of a trouble-making rather than shooting function, the truth of the matter was that knowledge sharing was rife. You only have to look at the attendance figures for the tradeshows to see how much education we all got in the halcyon days of $40 oil! We were trained up with procedures, courses and conferences. And if we came across something which was beyond our competence - well we worked in a matrix organization with domain specialists at head office there to help out.


So I personally have a lot of problems listening through longwinded explanations of what was commonplace to me about 25 years ago - and what already been the subject of a sixties TV show! The reality is that either KM is just a rehash of a plethora of management concepts which are as old as the hills - or it is all about technology.


If KM is anything, it is about applying new technologies - like groupware, Lotus Notes and the intranet to the kind of troubleshooting and information sharing that well-managed corporations have been doing for the last quarter century or more. Seen in this light, the applications of full text searching technology, communities of practice and portal technologies kind of fit into place. Once KM’s ancestry is acknowledged, building virtual teams of troubleshooters becomes less of a hard sell.


Technology-based KM is not a new discipline, it is where the technology action is! KM is the interface between IT and the enterprise. Pretending that it is not about technology, or that it is in some way new and subversive is ducking the issue. KM is the business. We are all troubleshooters!

Book Review - Oil in Texas

The Olien’s new book traces the first half century of oil in Texas from Spindletop through East Texas and the Permian Basin. The size of the oilfields is matched with larger-than-life cast of entrepreneurs, lawmakers and a few geologists. A great read.

There are three reasons why you should buy Diana and Roger Olien’s book ‘Oil in Texas’*. It is nicely-produced, with lots of illustrations. The writing is unobtrusive and authoritative. But best of all, it is a great tale which encapsulates, if not all, at least a fair sized chunk of humanity, big and little oil, some science, government, regulation, and the environment. In fact the first Texan discoveries in Corsicana led to environmental legislation as early as in 1899. These imposed open-hole casing requirements, although the concern was more for the well-being of the reservoir than for aquifer pollution.


The 1901 Spindletop discovery at Beaumont really got things moving - after the lease had changed hands three times, and an ‘expert’ geologist derided the prospect as ‘idle dreams or insane notions’. Spindletop produced over 17 million barrels of oil in 1902! At the time, non-geological theories of prospectivity abounded. Former Texas governor James Hogg was asked what made up ‘oil land.’ Hogg replied “If it hain’t no good for nothing else, it’s a good sign; and if the title is bad, it’s a cinch.”


Texas politics shaped the oil industry from the outset. Ever suspicious of things out-of-state, Texas became the heartland of anti-trust legislation. What in some ways was a propaganda war against the ‘monopolistic’ majors, led to the establishment of a healthy Texan oil industry.

Railroad Commission

Local industry was also bolstered by the powerful Texas Railroad Commission (TRC), which by the end of the 1940’s ‘exercised far more influence over [worldwide] crude oil prices than OPEC does today’. The TRC’s regulations, on matters such as gas venting, and water encroachment, frequently went un-policed. It was left up to individuals and companies to enforce regulation through the courts.

East Texas

By 1920, geological theories had evolved beyond the salt dome ‘fixation’ to trends, anticlines and stratigraphic traps. Gravity prospecting, refraction and later reflection seismics, introduced by Everett DeGolyer’s Geophysical Research Corporation, came in slowly with mixed results. In fact the big one - the East Texas ‘colossus’ of oilfields was found with 1930 with no help at all from science. The East Texas field, with estimated recoverable reserves of 7 billion barrels (of which 2 billion remain today!) is a pure stratigraphic trap with no surface manifestation whatsoever.

200,000 bopd

Other tricks of the trade were discovered in this early period. Independent Cullen drilled for oil in fields abandoned by the majors, and sometimes located newer reserves in deeper horizons. Some of the discoveries beggar belief. One well in the Permian Basin’s Yates field produced at a rate of 200,000 barrels per day. A photo shows the drilling crew looking rather philosophical as they pose, drenched in black gold.


The boom and bust cyclical nature of the industry was established from the earliest days. The National Guard was called in to quell the trouble resulting from the total collapse in the oil price that soaring production from East Texas created. More legislation followed - against ‘hot oil’ from out of state.

River of oil

Oil in Texas’ only failings are the rather skimpy maps and the near-absence of any geological sections de l’époque. Actually there is one - a marvelous section from the Houston Post of 1901 showing an underground river of oil flowing from Corsicana, through Beaumont and out into the Gulf. Makes you wonder - if you project out into the deepwater - maybe it ends up feeding Crazy Horse!

* ‘Oil in Texas - The Gusher Years 1895-1945’. Olien and Olien, University of Texas Press 2002. ISBN 0-292-76056-6. Buy online from www.utexas.edu/utpress.

Microsoft, PwC and electroBusiness team

electroBusiness and partners PricewaterhouseCoopers are rolling out an e-business document standard for invoices and purchase orders using Microsoft’s .NET technology.

electroBusiness, PricewaterhouseCoopers Business Process Outsourcing (PwC BPO) and Microsoft are launching an oil and gas industry initiative to ‘equip the entire industry’ with electronic document solutions for exchanging transactional information, such as invoices, purchase orders and EFT payments.


Coupled with this initiative, electro-Business is demonstrating eBweb, the latest addition to the company’s e-Business Utility document integration platform. eBweb provides the e-Business Utility’s multi-enterprise interconnectivity so that smaller companies can ‘gain the advantages of interacting with their many clients or suppliers with a simple, affordable and flexible solution’.


Cal Fairbanks, CEO of electroBusiness, said, “The oil and gas industry wants to leverage e-Business solutions to maximize efficiencies. We have teamed up with PwC BPO and Microsoft to enable producers to gain full advantage of electronic document exchange through maximizing adoption by their trading partners. We are focused on solving the supplier-adoption issue with solutions that are as open, flexible and affordable for suppliers as they are for their major clients.”

Microsoft .NET

Among the enterprise systems connected by the e-Business Utility is SoftFusion, PwC BPO’s integration broker, e-procurement portal and vendor portal for enterprise clients. PwC BPO and electroBusiness both use Microsoft .NET technology to build and deploy their e-Business solutions. More from electrobusiness.com.

Triple Point for Tesoro

Tesoro is to deploy Triple Point Software’s Tempest treading and risk management solution to handle purchase and sale of its oil and oil products.

Tesoro Petroleum Corp. has licensed Triple Pont Software’s (TPT) Tempest XL enterprise trading and risk management system. Tesoro will use Tempest across its multiple businesses in support of purchase and sale of commodities.


TPT president Peter Armstrong said “Tempest gives Tesoro an easy to deploy solution that will help them manage their oil and products positions and streamline business operations.”


Tim Bohall, Tesoro’s director of trading added “Our objective in implementing Tempest is to establish a more efficient and accurate means of monitoring exposures and enhancing risk management practices.”


Ultimately, Tempest will interface Tesoro’s SAP system for automated invoicing, payable, and accounting records. Other TPT clients include BP, Reliance, Duke Energy, Amerada Hess, and Cinergy.

Schlumberger woos ivy league

Schlumberger Information Services is to donate $7.8 million of E&P software to Harvard’s Earth Science department.

Schlumberger Information Solutions is donating E&P software with a street value of $7.8 million to the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at Harvard University. The software is provided through the Schlumberger’s worldwide university software program, which has already donated $455 million of software to over 250 universities worldwide.


Harvard natural sciences professor John Shaw said, “The software provides students, researchers, and faculty with tools for cutting-edge research in seismic imaging and structural analysis.”


SIS president Ihab Toma added, “ We are pleased that our software will allow Harvard earth scientists to gain new insights into reservoir science and prepare them for careers in earth sciences.” Donated software includes 10 concurrent use licenses comprising 160 modules of the following applications: geological and geophysical, petrophysical, 3D visualization and reservoir modeling software including GeoFrame.

Landmark in Norway

Landmark, Statoil and two Norwegian universities are to fund a graduate research program to study the impact of IT on E&P. Measuring business value of IT is a priority.

Landmark, Statoil, Rogalund and Stavanger Universities have created a three-year graduate research program to study the impact of IT on the E&P industry. A program goal is to define processes by which companies can better measure the business value and return on investment from data management and IT systems.


A steering committee including Landmark’s John Sherman and Martin Bekkeheien from Statoil will manage the program. Sherman commented, “Landmark is expanding its university grant program in Norway which is providing tangible results that will enable our customers to optimize their technical and business processes.”


Statoil senior advisor Kjetil Tonstad added, “This research program will provide a unique opportunity to tap into the data management and IT environment in Norway and make advances in both measurements of business value and quantifying change management challenges.”

PetroBank on Linux

Also in Norway, Landmark, IBM and Intel are to establish a ‘Technical Center of Excellence’ (TCE) in Stavanger. The TCE will be located at PetroData, where Landmark’s PetroBank is used to manage over 50TB of data for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and the DISKOS consortium. One of the first tasks assigned to the TCE is the port of PetroBank code to the Linux operating system.


John Davies, VP e-Business Solutions with Intel concluded, “Intel is committed to the evolving information technology infrastructure of the E&P industry and is pleased to support Landmark in this very strategic initiative.”

Theta’s pump optimization

Pump manufacturer Lufkin is to integrate optimization software from Theta Enterprises into its SAM rod pump controller.

Lufkin Automation and Theta Enterprises are teaming to integrate automation software technologies and rod pump control technology to optimize oil and gas production. Theta’s XSPOC smart automation software will be adapted to Lufkin’s SAM rod pump controller. Theta’s XSPOC continuously analyzes production and communicates optimized parameters to SAM rod pump controller.


Theta president John Svinos said, “The solution will be marketed jointly by Lufkin and Theta as a complete package. It will take optimization and automation to the next level for our oil and gas customers.”

E-Marketplace for Tyumen Oil Co.

Offshore software specialist EPAM has taken over Russian software shop Exteria and is developing e-commerce for Tyumen Oil.

EPAM Systems and Russian offshore software house Exteria are to develop an e-Marketplace for Moscow-based Tyumen Oil Company (TOC). Testing of the new system is expected to start towards the end of 2002.

Open policy

The e-Marketplace is a component in TOC’s ‘open policy’ measures aimed at improving market transparency and expanding the company’s sales network. The system will make modern automation facilities available for the whole range of the TOC’s business processes, from production to sale.


The e-Marketplace will provide a procurement channel to TOC’s trade partners, improve the rate of transactions and reaction time to market changes and reduce costs.


The fusion of the e-Marketplace with TOC’s existing IT will facilitate data integration across the organization. e-Marketplace technologies will enable secure data communication with trade partners and will add new services including tuning of order-processing schemes.

EPAM acquires Exteria

Princeton, NJ headquartered EPAM Systems acquired Exteria earlier this month, consolidating EPAM’s position among technology outsourcing companies in the Former Soviet Union. The two companies will continue to focus on large North American, Western European, and Russian enterprises.


EPAM CEO Arkadiy Dobkin said, “EPAM and Exteria have a combined history of success with more than fifty enterprise-level projects in 30 countries worldwide.”

Digital Oilfield’s OpenContract 2.0

Digital Oilfield has added contract management to its OpenInvoice solution. EnCana, Anadarko Canada and Nexen are to deploy.

Digital Oilfield Inc. (DOI) has released OpenContract 2.0 to simplify workflows in contract management. OpenContract enables E&P companies and their suppliers to streamline contract management processes and to reduce processing for more than 80% of incoming invoices.


OpenContract 2.0 is an Internet-based solution to automate and improve the processes supporting strategic pricing relationships. OpenContract is integrated with DOI’s flagship product, OpenInvoice, which automates the paper-driven processes associated with invoicing. DOI president Rod Munro said, “Strategic sourcing and master pricing agreements used to be difficult to track and monitor. With OpenContract, companies can implement ‘field to ERP’ invoice processing, confident that pricing complies with strategic agreements.”


EnCana, Anadarko Canada and Nexen have formed a partnership to standardize and automate financial and operational processes with their suppliers through implementation of DOI’s OpenInvoice solution. EnCana CIO Hayward Walls said, “When suppliers and operators trust and embrace the same technology for something as fundamental as tracking, generating and processing invoices, you have established a platform that provides tremendous opportunities for improved industry practices.”

Oilcats wins BP contract and CIS catalog

Data managers Oilcats is loading £500,000 worth of BP’s plant data and is working on a catalog for Craig International Supplies.

UK-based Oilcats has won a £ 500,000 data capture contract for BP. The three year contract, which may lead to the creation of five jobs, is part of BP’s on-going streamlining of business processes to improve efficiency.

Plant information

BP is enhancing the management of materials data, such as information on plant and equipment, spare parts and drilling equipment. Once the appropriate data is collated it is cleaned and entered into BP’s systems in standardized format. The objective is to improve supply chain management and offshore maintenance efficiency.


Oilcats’ MD Dave Andrews said, “This contract gives BP a fixed operating cost instead of overheads. BP also benefits from our expert knowledge in gathering accurate data and inputting it in a structured and standardized form. We have over 300 man years of experience in procurement, maintenance and materials management.”

CIS Alliance

Oilcats is also to work for procurement specialists Craig International Supplies Ltd. (CIS) to help establish its web-based initiative the ‘CIS Alliance’ as a leader in the global e-procurement market. The Alliance consisting of seven companies is the first project under the UK DTI/LOGIC e-Collaboration Champion program.


Oilcats will create an on-line stock catalogue for the Alliance using standards derived from the API’s Petroleum Industry Data Exchange (PIDX).

6th PNEC Data Integration Conference

Phil Crouse’s 6th PNEC Data Integration, e-Commerce and Data Management conference held in Houston was probably one of the best yet from the technical standpoint. BP, Shell, Marathon, Conoco and Saudi Aramco all presented insightful papers on their data management and IT. No project is complete these days without a new XML-based ‘language.’ We spotted new MLs from Innerlogix, PDVSA and three from PPDM! Panel discussions revealed that there is still a lot to be said about data management. In fact, much of what was said was pretty much the same as the early PNEC debates. Has anything changed? Is data management more or less a lost cause – which will always be under-supported and under-funded? Or as we manage exponentially growing volumes of data, maybe we are doing something right! As someone said – ‘it works!’

Web seismic delivery

Greg Hess (Kelman) thinks that although the Internet failed to fulfill its promise during the ‘false dawn’ of the dot com era, the systematic application of IT focused on the end user can change the way we work. We are moving towards an ‘e-topia’ where we will have more free time! Such nirvana is underpinned by intelligent data management software that ‘learns’ from user workflows and anticipates needs by pre-loading data to the cache. Standards ‘are like a toothbrush – we all have one, but nobody wants to use someone else’s’. Kelman is working with PetroWeb to offer seismic data delivery to the desktop. Seismic line ‘ends and bends’ are loaded into the portal, offering remote browsing of Kelman’s 9TB near-line seismic archive.

Portal of portals

Joe Kostecka presented Marathon’s use of PetroWeb as a ‘portal of portals.’ The dual level browser has PetroWeb as the (PPDM-based) repository of metadata of information stored in the ‘second-level’ portals. The development leverages ESRI’s SDE and Exprodat/Landmark’s Web Open Works (WOW). IHS Energy data is hosted from Denver and accessible through a P2000 browser. Another new browser from Exprodat – ‘Web Geolog’ is used to access this non-Oracle repository. Other components include Tobin Land Suite. A PetroWeb link to Open RSO provides access to ‘bar coded stuff’ in the file room and to under-utilized assets such as studies and other documents. Data must be ‘sanitized’ but the effort is worthwhile.

Wireless production data

Guido Urdaneta (Zulia University, Venezuela) described PDVSA’s test bed for remote, wireless access to production data. The system allows field engineers to access SCADA and other data from a mobile phone or PDA. Real-time data from OLE for Process Control sources is translated into an XML-derived Simple Display Definition Modeling Language (SDDML).

Web Archive Manager

Bruce Rodney presented Exprodat’s work on Conoco’s ‘Gold Database.’ No commercial software met Conoco’s requirements. Conoco is talking to Landmark about including a WOW compatible project archival module within OpenWorks. Conoco/Exprodat will offer users selection of all data from a single web browser – the Web Archive Manager.

Finder best practices

Jairo Freyre explained that following BP’s takeover of Amoco, Arco Permian and Vastar several massive well datasets required merging. The ‘Best Process’ of automated matching of 12 and 14 digit API numbers generated over 1 million ‘Best Wells’ out of 2 million input. The project involved Finder toolset customization with Best forms and Best code. Data from GES, GCS, IHS, Energy Graphics and the MMS were merged successfully. Note that the paper gives considerable detail on the Finder customizations performed.

Information Integration

Schlumberger’s ‘Noble Goal’ is to provide one official answer to a query, along with known risk. Nagib Abusalbi admits, ‘We are not there yet.’ Current tools offer access to a range of data sources along with as much contextual information about data and information provenance as possible. This lets users view data and fix problems – the idea is that the more data gets seen and used, the more it gets fixed. Abusalbi described available solutions in terms of an integration spectrum – from integration, through visualization, to consolidation into a single data store. Schlumberger’s solution offers uniform access to data in a variety of information sources. But to achieve this ‘we need to work together’.

Loose Data Integration

Dag Heggelund (Innerlogix) defines loose integration as that which does not require modifications to existing software. Currently it costs around $250-300,000 to develop an interface to a data store. To reduce such costs, Innerlogix has developed an XML-based Extensible Data Connectivity Language (XDCL) for loose integration. XDCL promises no-code development of data drivers. XDCL can retrieve lists of primary data objects within a data store. XDCL allows for further drill-down into the data store by building a table of contents for each primary data source.

Data Exchange

Rick Taylor demonstrated the new PPDM XML-based data exchange format by generating and XML document from a PPDM 3.6 database in Microsoft Access. Queries are built with a variety of freeware tools such as Java “Cool Beans,” Xerces and XALAN. This has resulted in several ‘languages’ for modeling business associate, seismic metadata and product information.


A panel of representatives from Petris, Landmark and Schlumberger discussed the future of Application Service Provision (ASP) which has lost some of its shine in the wake of the dot-com bust. The technology does have application – perhaps for data mining and clean-up. Stakeholder issues must be considered – data vendors, software developers, companies etc. One problem is that many companies are reluctant to see their data go off-site. BP in Aberdeen and PDVSA are counter-examples. One foreign user complained that Internet performance was not up to supporting ASP.

Recall Spatial

Mairead Boland (Brunei Shell) outlined Shell Brunei’s deployment of Recall ‘Spatial’ as its corporate well data management tool. Data management procedures and pre-built templates for frequently used logs underpin the new data management strategy. QC audits check that all data required for a plot is available. Recall Spatial offers various browsing data management and extensive plotting capabilities. Recall was demonstrated on a Linux laptop.


Greg Jones (BP) stated that as recently as 1999, BP had no world-wide standards for data, but had a plethora of different data stores – OpenWorks, the visualization ‘Hives’, Merak Peep, Geolog, IHS’ P2000 and Landmark’s DSS. BP now has an approved data management strategy – the ‘Virtual Managed Data Environment’. In May 2000 several BP personnel attended the 4th PNEC Data Integration Conference and were convinced of the reality of web based access and data management.

Shell E&P Co.

Shell E&P uses OpenWorks, SeisWorks and its own interpretation software 123DI. In 2000 Shell commissioned a gap analysis from Schlumberger on data management software from PGS (PetroBank), GeoQuest (Finder) and Landmark (OpenWorks). Cora Poché revealed that for Shell, PetroBank was ‘the best’ and is already used by Norsk Shell and Expro in Aberdeen. Poché called upon companies to work together on a seismic data clean up project – along the lines of the MMS’ GOM well data cleanup initiative. Shell is working to unify work processes for loading data and synchronizing PetroBank and its IDC LogBase. Shell links between units and the MDS over a dedicated 100 Mbps network. Software is delivered in a mixture of on site and ASP hosted by GrandBasin. All Shell data is to be moved to GrandBasin and loaded on demand.

Saudi Aramco

James Richard told how SaudiAramco’s data managers have become ‘confused’ by POSC, PPDM, Geoshare and other ‘solutions.’ Meanwhile users still complain that finding and accessing data is still an issue as is data quality. The Aramco analysis determined that problems derived from poor workflow architecture – an ‘uncontrolled’ workflow existed from data producers to consumers. The solution is to cut the direct link from producer to consumer and to ensure that data is managed centrally. The first SeisServer – controlling the seismic workflow was demonstrated in 1999 – working in the seismic processing and interpretation space. It was ‘very successful’ and is now being extended.

KM Shell E&P Co.

For Gayle Holzinger, “We are in a ‘river of information’. Knowledge Management is about giving folks canoes and compasses!” Successful KM requires systematic implementation. Shell uses the LiveLink and SiteScape for document management, discussion and remote collaboration. Shell KM projects include a project lifecycle document management initiative, a Petrophysical ‘Vortal,’ a producing operations community, an operations work environment and ‘a plethora’ of other content-driven KM pilots.

Federating Databases

BP had acquired a complex environment through its recent acquisitions. Chris Legg outlined BP Houston’s search for a replacement to Amoco’s DataVision and the ex-BP/Arco EXSCI. BP aimed to offer GIS access to a federation of databases. After internal investigation and discussions with other oils, BP narrowed the field to Finder, Petrosys’ dbMap and ‘one other’ web-based tool. dbMap was chosen over Finder because it runs on both PC and Unix and output map quality ‘was better’. This is now undergoing a staged rollout across the US.

Mergers and data management

Flemming Rolle suggested that companies should prepare themselves for mergers by getting rid of in-house developed software. Mairead Boland disagreed. Shell develops its own software ‘because it does a good job’. Jan Hay (citing Oil IT Journal) drew attention to the emerging ISO documents management standard – the proper implementation of records management would save huge cost in a merger. The thorny issue of out-sourcing was raised – in-house development ‘is no longer an option’. Bob Decker suggested that maybe there were too many standards organizations and that consequently choosing and implementing a standard was getting harder. Con Caris said that the situation was exactly the same in the Australian mining industry. Chris Bearce ventured despite the difficulty – ‘the whole thing is actually working’ – even though it’s stressful’. Boland was more positive – Asset integration and HSE issues will force better DM practices. Bill Baski suggested that we are moving forward – from data models to service companies who will be able to provide a seismic ‘dial tone’ plug in the wall. Chuck Rinehart agreed with Boland saying we should sell data management on ROI not on cost. Tom Anderson concluded that ‘senior management does not and never will care about data management – it will be ‘a long slog through the mud.’

This article is abstracted from a 10 page report on the PNEC Data Integration Conference produced as a part of The Data Room’s Technology Watch Service. For more information on this service send mail to tw@oilit.com.

CGG, Hydro and ENI team on 4C

CGG’s new four component seismic processing package VectorVista is set to commoditize 4C processing.

CGG has launched its four component seismic processing package VectorVista 4C. Four component seismics can help in the exploration of awkward geometries – such as the flanks of some North Sea oilfields – where conventional seismics fails to produce a clear image.

Vista family

VectorVista is the latest member of the Vista family of seismic processing services and software offered by CGG. Other members include ChronoVista for time processing, GeoVista for depth imaging, and StrataVista for reservoir characterization.


VectorVista Project Manager Pierre-Yves Granger said, “Until now 4C has been held back by the lack of interpretation tools. We have put over thirty years of multi-component processing experience into VectorVista which now integrates converted waves into the interpretation workflow and will ultimately facilitate the instrumented oilfield.”


An industry consortium comprising Norsk Hydro, ENI-AGIP and UK consultants Anitek is building the VectorVista processing workstation. VectorVista can display ‘squeezed’ PS sections and perform a range of PP/PS ratio computations. Well log data management is built in for VP/VS velocity modeling and AVO plots on synthetic offset displays.


The platform-independent Java-based toolkit, J/GeoToolkit from INT is used for the graphical user interface (GUI). CGG is seeking participation from other companies in the Vector Vista 4C consortium. More from www.cgg.com.

Jason WorkBench V6.0 now on Linux

Jason’s latest Geoscience Workbench offers improved ease of use and enhanced linkage to OpenWorks and GeoFrame.

Fugro unit Jason Geosystems has released version 6.0 of its Geoscience Workbench (JGW). JGW claims improvements in ease of use, speed and functionality of the 3D integrated Quantative (3DiQ) analysis and visualization software Eplus.

Database integration

Output visualization has been improved, algorithms refined and database access extended to Schlumberger’s GeoFrame 3.8 and Landmark’s OpenWorks R 2003.

Reduce uncertainty

The 3DiQ algorithms at the heart of JGW are claimed to ‘eliminate inconsistencies between geophysical, geological and petrophysical reservoir models’ and to reduce uncertainty in reservoir parameters such as continuity, geometry, thickness and volumes.


Jason’s Bart Vos told Oil IT Journal, “The new Workbench is the first release to include Multi-CPU (MCPU) processing power. MCPU allows for much faster batch processing, enabling the user to spend time using, instead of creating information. Our software is also tuned for Linux PCs, and is delivering staggering price-performance.”

Shell International

Earlier this year Shell International Exploration and Production selected both Jason’s 3DiQ technology and the Eplus front end for integration into its centrally managed Shell Software Suite Portfolio (SSSP). Jason was acquired by Fugro last year in a € 100 million transaction.

PGS boards Linux bandwagon

PGS is porting its seismic processing suite Cube Manager to the open source Linux operating system. CM 2.5 allows for onboard compute-intensive seismic processing.

Petroleum Geo-Services Data Processing division has released the latest generation of its proprietary seismic processing system, Cube Manager (CM) v2.50, that will run its complete range of applications across Unix and Linux platforms. CM v2.50 is now tuned for large PC cluster environments. CM has been running on massively parallel computers for over a decade.


PGS Data Processing president Chris Usher explained, “PGS has created a processing system with such power and flexibility that it can run our highly compute-intensive Surface Related Multiple Elimination (SRME) for marine seismic data onboard its seismic vessels.


Pre-stack wave equation depth migration can also be performed on substantial volumes of data. Coupling such processing capabilities with our holoSeis visualization system has produced a step-change in efficiency while reaching new levels of precision in data processing.”

250 modules

The CM v2.50 release completes the port of PGS’ full processing portfolio, over 250 modules, to the PC environment. System architecture has been designed to address potential bottlenecks such as data bandwidth. CM v2.50 software is being deployed across PGS’ worldwide grid of PC cluster nodes, and it is available to all PGS external customers who license its processing solutions for Unix or Linux platforms. More from www.pgs.com.

ZettaWorks announces EAI adaptors

IT consultants ZettaWorks is adapting its Enterprise Application Integration skills to the upstream by leveraging Tibco’s Hub.

The upstream has had its share of false dawns in interoperability. Centralized databases, middleware and industry cooperative efforts such as Com for Energy have all bitten the dust. ZettaWorks is offering a different approach to data sharing nirvana by leveraging Tibco’s enterprise application integration (EAI) solution, the Tibco Hub.


Houston-based IT consultants ZettaWorks has developed a range of adaptors for major energy software applications using the Tibco Adaptor software development kit (SDK) for the Tibco ActiveEnterprise. ZettaWorks adapters and adapter frameworks will allow integration of vertical geotechnical applications with ERP systems.

No more point-to-point!

The hub system means the end of point-to-point link development allowing technical applications from Landmark, Applied Terravision, ESRI and Schlumberger to exchange live data with ERP systems from SAS, Siebel, SAP, J.D. Edwards, and Oracle.


ZettaWorks claims its adapters provide a flexible and standardized way to integrate disparate software applications. The components are reusable, scalable, and ‘empower clients to evolve business processes faster by avoiding the often burdensome point-to-point interfaces.’


ZettaWorks has regional offices in Melbourne, Calgary and New York. ZettaWorks’ customers hail from the energy, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and biotechnology, communications, and retail industries. Zettaworks clients include BP, Dynegy, Shell and Western Geophysical.

Landmark and IBM offer integration

Following its deal with Accenture, Landmark Graphics has augmented its partnering through a global IT/IM deal with IBM.

IBM and Landmark Graphics Corp. have signed a three-year agreement to deliver IT solutions to the upstream oil industry. The agreement covers the provision of Landmark software along with IBM hardware, system integration services and support.


Landmark and IBM will provide Linux for advanced desktop 3D graphics, servers and mobile computing solutions and advanced cluster technology for high-end super-computing applications like seismic processing and reservoir modeling. The plan is to turn Linux into ‘the E&P industry’s standard platform’.


Landmark is tuning its data management, seismic processing and interpretation software for IBM’s eServer systems and IntelliStation workstations.


Landmark VP John Sherman said, “We see support for Linux as another technology leap for our industry, offering breakthrough price performance.”


IBM petroleum manager Eric Leon added, “With Linux, E&P companies can move away from proprietary systems and make significant savings. This move is comparable to the one the industry made when it migrated from supercomputers to desktop systems.”

INT offers GIS widgets

Graphic ‘widget’ (component) developer INT has released J/GIS - its new geographical information system (GIS) toolkit.

Software graphics component developer INT has just released J/GIS 1.0, a suite of Java components designed to visualize and query geospatial data. J/GIS allows developers to visualize geographic information and integrate it with other forms of business intelligence. J/GIS claims a high degree of interactivity and fast rendering performance and is used to tailor solutions for scientific and business applications, process control, and more.


INT president Olivier Lhemann believes, “GIS is emerging as an integral component of nearly every type of business service. With its features and focus on performance, J/GIS reduces the cost and time necessary to develop these new services.”

Live data

J/GIS components can be used to develop custom user interfaces, complex displays, live data feeds, and customizable queries. INT’s components also interface with existing systems to enhance services while preserving investments in data and infrastructure.


With J/GIS, analytical and decision support tools can be constructed from standardized components, streamlining the development process and reducing deployment times. The first release of J/GIS offers customized, cross-platform geospatial querying and rendering, web-enabled or standalone spatial solutions, support for standard industry data formats, on-the-fly coordinate transformations and scaled hardcopy with preview. A 30-day evaluation of J/GIS is now available on all platforms that support Java 2D 1.3 or above. More from www.int.com.

BP Canada outsources E&P IM

BP’s Canadian E&P unit is outsourcing its information management to Schlumberger Information Solutions.

BP Canada Energy Company, one of Canada’s largest natural gas producers has entered into a five-year agreement with Schlumberger Information Systems for the outsourcing of all of its E&P information management.


Tom Koleszar, Team Leader for Subsurface Technology with BP Canada said, “BP recognizes the importance of information management. This agreement allows us to align ourselves with a group that has core competence in this area, and to focus on our core exploration and development business. Access to technical data, and its interpretation and integration to support business decisions, is a key lever on productivity in the upstream oil and gas industry. BP values innovation, and this agreement with SIS enhances our ability to be innovative and competitive in all price environments.”

Master data store

SIS will develop and maintain a master data store of BP technical and commercial data, and provide the support services needed to deliver a cost-effective data management solution. SIS personnel will manage service requests from end users, accept, retrieve and distribute information, maintain information stores and archives and integrate information for projects.


Orestes Appel, Canadian operations manager for SIS added, “Partnering with BP allows Schlumberger to showcase its expertise in data management to the Canadian marketplace by demonstrating the ability of Calgary’s Data Management Centre to deliver E&P data management solutions that enable more efficient drilling and more profitable operations.”

Stratimagic II integrates VoxelGeo

The latest version of Paradigm’s seismic stratigraphy tool now incorporates multi-attribute classification technology from ENI-AGIP.

Paradigm Geophysical, has just released a new version of Stratimagic, its seismic facies classification and analysis solution. Stratimagic II part-automates seismic interpretation and ‘helps the interpreter understand the seismic response to geologic features’.

VoxelGeo integration

The new release of Stratimagic offers multi-attribute classification and integration with Paradigm’s flagship VoxelGeo volume-based seismic interpretation solution. Stratimagic II also boasts expanded interoperability with third party databases.

Neural Net

Stratimagic’s new multi-attribute classification process uses patented neural network technology that is claimed to reveal ‘subtle reservoir characteristics that had previously remained hidden’.


Stratimagic Product Manager Andy Peloso explains, “No single attribute provides all the information required to characterize a reservoir. Multi-attribute classification provides a detailed description of the reservoir, resulting in a more accurate reservoir description and ultimately improved reservoir development decisions.”


Stratimagic now includes the NexModel seismic calibration tool and the StratQC integrated mapping module. Multi-attribute volume classification is provided by the new SeisFacies module which was developed by ENI-AGIP.

Stochastic wire line interpretation

Landmark has integrated Halliburton’s Ultra petrophysical application into PetroWorks. Ultra tunes petrophysical computation for borehole conditions and tool geometries.

Landmark has integrated parent company Halliburton’s Ultra petrophysical application into its PetroWorks R2003 product line. Ultra applies statistical analysis to data from multiple wells to estimate wellbore lithology and fluid properties over the entire reservoir.


Landmark president and CEO Any Lane said, “Increasingly complex reservoirs, more sophisticated wellbore measurements and advanced interpretive models are challenging conventional reservoir evaluation methods. Ultra overcomes these limitations and provides much more rapid and accurate formation evaluation with a high degree of confidence. Integrating Ultra into Landmark’s interpretation environment will enable our customers to better understand their reservoirs and ultimately optimize asset development.”

Halliburton Energy Services

Ultra, which was originally developed by Halliburton Energy Services (HES), analyzes variations in borehole conditions and uncertainty in tool response to provide a probabilistic model of reservoir properties. Users can input which measurements, assumptions, local knowledge or geological and geophysical constraints to apply in the modeling. Ultra is designed for multi-well and multi-zone batch processing of data stored in OpenWorks.


HES president John Gibson said, “The release of Halliburton’s Ultra technology in the PetroWorks environment provides the industry with a unique and powerful tool that will improve the quality of reservoir evaluations and reserves estimates. This technology demonstrates the innovative solutions that Landmark and Halliburton are delivering together.”

People offices and orgs.

Movers shakers etc. from A2D, Trade Ranger, GXT, SPE, AAPG, Voxelvision, Seitel, DPTS, Smedvig and OFS Portal.


A2D Technologies has recruited Mark Kidder as manager of its new ‘log library in a box’ product. Kidder was previously VP operations for International Datashare Corporation.


CEO Claire Farley has left Trade-Ranger to pursue other business opportunities. Farley will remain as a non-executive director. COO Jeff Helms is now CEO of the company.

GX Technology

GX Technology (GXT) has hired Peter Stewart to bolster its pre-migration processing using Landmark’s ProMAX. Stewart was latterly Geo-Support Manager for WesternGeco in Houston.


The new Society of Petroleum Engineers president elect is Kate Baker, Senior Subsurface Advisor for BP Upstream.

C&C Reservoirs

Jon Roseway has been appointed senior research geoscientist with C&C Reservoirs.Jon was previously with Deminex’ Norwegian unit.


Morten Dethloff is managing Voxelvision’s newly opened office in Stavanger, Norway.


Seitel’s president and CEO Paul Frame has resigned from the company and CFO Debra Valice was fired. Frame is to be replaced by Kevin Fiur, previously Seitel’s COO.


Alan Jepson and Tony Miller are directors of the new DPTS Storage Ltd. unit. Paul Fisk continues to manage the data center.


Kjell Jacobsen has been appointed CEO of Smedvig asa.

OFS Portal

OFS Portal has named Catherine Stansfield as CTO. Stansfield was previously with the UK’s LOGIC trade grouping.


Stephen Sonnenberg, manager of the DJ Sub-Business Unit for EnCana Energy Resources Inc. in Denver, is president-elect of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Web services for royalty payment

Oildex is offering automated royalty payment and management. Shell is piloting the new Owner Relations Connect tool.

Oildex is now providing a service to recipients of royalty payments from producing properties which will allow them to access their oil and gas revenue data over the web. Owner Relations Connect (ORC) is an extension of the Oildex Connect services, used by over 400 companies in the oil and gas industry.


Speaking at the National Association of Royalty Owners Annual Conference, Oildex CEO Peter Flanagan said, “On-line access to data has brought unprecedented efficiency and convenience to the world of banking and stock portfolio management. Now these same benefits are available to millions of royalty interest owners.”


ORC enables oil and gas operators to provide their royalty owners with secure Internet access to individualized revenue, production, expense and year-end tax information, 24/7. ORC also serves as a customer relationship management tool for oil companies, giving them the ability to handle owner inquiries efficiently, minimizing the number of phone calls, faxes and duplicate mailings. Over 4.5 million royalty owners hold interests in oil and gas properties in the United States.


NARO president Paul Covert added, “Royalty owners, nationwide, welcome faster, accurate information regarding their assets, particularly concerning their royalty income. We applaud the companies that are getting involved in this dissemination of information and urge all operators to get on board.”

Shell Oil

Shell Oil Company is to start a pilot implementation of ORC later this month.

PGS prospects for Unocal

PGS consultants are to add prospect generation to Unocal’s EnergyOpps A&D portal.

Unocal has awarded PGS Reservoir Consultants a contract to perform prospect generation. This pilot project is the result of Unocal’s efforts to leverage external industry experience and resources as part of its EnergOpps web-based initiative (see Oil IT Journal Vol. 6 N° 6).

Gulf of Mexico

PGS’ team will interpret a large 3D seismic survey in the western Gulf of Mexico and PGS will generate exploration concepts based on its knowledge of the project area and its regional Gulf of Mexico GIS database.


PGS chairman and CEO Reidar Michaelsen said “We are very pleased to see our Consulting group help expand PGS’ role beyond that of a traditional seismic data provider. We are looking forward to providing Unocal with a high level of input and to helping further their Gulf of Mexico exploration program.”


Unocal’s EnergyOpps is a branded electronic data room hosted by Petroleum Place. Carl Lothringer, Unocal’s GOM joint venture manager said, “Assets such as primary term leases and producing properties that have become non-core to Unocal are very likely to be another operator’s bread and butter. EnergyOpps will allow us to efficiently advertise our opportunities to those operators.”

opsEnvironmental for Marathon

Marathon has contracted Data Systems and Solutions to deploy software from Environmental Software Providers to manage compliance and reporting throughout its upstream operations.

Marathon Oil Co. has awarded Data Systems and Solutions (DSS) division a contract to implement Environmental Software Providers’ (ESP) opsEnvironmental software. DSS, an SAIC/Rolls Royce joint venture will deploy the new software at all ten of Marathon’s worldwide business units. ops-Environmental is described as an ‘enterprise-level software suite for multi-media environmental data management.’ The software will serve complement Marathon’s SAP implementation across its E&P operations.

Something EMIS?

The software will be a component of a new global Environmental Management Information System (EMIS) encompassing Marathon’s current data and materials infrastructure. SAIC plans to produce a ‘streamlined and cohesive system of regulatory compliance data reporting tools.’ The EMIS system will cover compliance tracking and monitoring, air emissions, water discharges, waste generation, and incident tracking.


ESP VP Sales David Cox said, “The Marathon project is a great showcase for opsEnvironmental’s strong enterprise capabilities. Now Marathon environmental and corporate staff around the globe will benefit from being plugged into the same environmental data management system.”


Dan Sullenbarger, Marathon HSE VP said, “Marathon maintains a firm commitment to delivering top quartile health, safety and environmental performance within our peer group. In order to deliver on this commitment, it is necessary to have effective enterprise-wide environmental data management. The modules we have selected will streamline multimedia reporting for air, water, and waste emissions.”


Marathon EMIS team leader Bob Menzie concluded, “The tie-in with SAP will facilitate streamlined environmental management across all areas of our operations. The ability to integrate with SAP is a valuable element of the opsEnvironmental software, and will enable us to maximize the benefit of our SAP and EMIS implementation.”

ISO 14000

DSS’ Houston office will manage the implementation project, to be completed by July 2004. DSS provides predictive maintenance technologies and integrated asset management solutions to aviation, defense, energy, process industry, and transport clients. ESP’s software offers audit trails of compliance with ISO 14000 and EMAS conformance, data management and reporting and web-based access. More from www.ds-s.com and www.esp-net.com.

Exprodat rolls-out Web Geolog

Exprodat has developed a successor to WOW which offers web-based browsing of log data in Paradigm Geophysical’s Geolog database. Exprodat has also sold its Archiver to Landmark.

Following its successful Web OpenWorks (WOW) product, now owned by Landmark, Exprodat has developed a front end to data held in Paradigm’s Geolog database. Exprodat director Bruce Rodney told Oil IT Journal, “The product’s name is the ‘Log Data Browser - in keeping with the Exprodat Technology ‘Ronseal’ approach to marketing, i.e. it does what it says on the can.”

Enterprise Oil

Log Data Browser (LDB) was originally developed by Exprodat for Enterprise Oil. Initially, Exprodat co-funded development in exchange for intellectual property rights. Ongoing development is now entirely supported by Exprodat. Current clients include Enterprise and Marathon. LDB, like WOW is a server-side Web application and applies Exprodat’s philosophy of a lightweight, ‘find it fast’ front end to log data management.

Excel link

LDB offers the user functional access to data in Geolog. Users can drill down through projects, wells, sets and logs. Log and set comments and constants can be viewed and rudimentary log graphs displayed and curve values downloaded into Excel. Plot parameters can be set by the user. Search across wells in a set or project is facilitated by drop down lists which are built on the fly from live projects.

Real soon now!

Future enhancements to LDB include multi-log graphs and downloads, improved curve scaling, add tops to curve graphs and editing of well and set comments. LDB is a component of Marathon’s portal of portals enterprise application integration solution - see our report on the PNEC conference inside this issue.

Archiver sold

Landmark continues to value Exprodat’s developments and has just bought the Archiver project management system. The Exprodat Archiver was originally developed for Conoco as a web-based project archival system managing information from multiple applications. Under the terms of the deal, Exprodat will continue to develop and support the Archiver. Now that Exprodat has rolled out the ‘Browser’ and the ‘Archiver’ it is working hard on the next component of its data managenment front-end, the ‘Administrator’.

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