July-August 2013

MURA in the Cloud

Current upstream IT infrastructure ‘deficient’ in face of exponential data growth. The answer is a new revitalized upstream reference architecture for application deployment in the cloud. Or is it?

Information technology is all about change so one can hardly fault Microsoft for moving the goalposts on its somewhat mysterious upstream reference architecture, Mura.

When we interviewed Microsoft’s Ali Ferling (OITJ Dec 2009) Mura was to ‘offer the application platform and plumbing that would let partners build applications as line of business solutions.’ This was to be achieved by ‘taking key industry specs and adding value by building them into an ‘out-of-the-box’ integration framework.’

Over time, the ‘out-of-the-box’ message has been replaced by the notion of ‘declarative integration’ which, being interpreted, seems to mean ‘integration via SharePoint,’ although these are our words not Microsoft’s.

Now Mura has again transmuted as indicated by new white papers on the Mura website*. These show a paradigm shift as Mura is retooled for the cloud. The new vision puts ‘cloud services’ at the heart of technology delivery to the energy industry. Microsoft is ‘leading the industry to the cloud and providing the foundation for next generation of oilfield solutions.’

Microsoft argues that corporate upstream IT infrastructure is unable to support today’s business needs and exponential E&P data growth. Much of this data is trapped in upstream applications, making it difficult or impossible to use. Enter the new revitalized Mura—with the promise of a ‘cost-efficient, cloud-based plug-and-play business logic.’ If a technology supplier comes up with a better web-based seismic viewer, it can just plug into the Mura cloud.

Along with the regular Energistics and PPDM standards that Mura purports to support we have ‘OData,’ a spec that was recently backed by Shell’s Johan Krebbers (OITJ May 2013) as a solution to upstream data woes. But as previously, just as you think you’ve ‘got’ Mura, the marketing material backs off from the concrete, retreating into the old ‘declarative’ rather than prescriptive notion. This is backed up by no less than 27 ‘guiding principles’ for use by Mura developers including ‘published interfaces and information models.’

Comment—repositioning Mura in the cloud may be more than just a marketing shift. Microsoft cites Ubiterra’s Ubiseis and Halliburton’s FieldPlan as being served from the Azure cloud. Although it is harder to see where other claimed Mura successes like Schlumberger’s Petrel Studio and Invensys Archestra fit in. Moreover—whether in our out of the cloud, Microsoft’s Mura poster children have not miraculously developed plug and play capabilities. Mura? Maybe it should be Mums—Microsoft upstream marketing strategy.

* On the Mura home page.

DI bags Transform

Drillinginfo to offer Transform’s non conventional ‘sweet spot’ identification technology to subscribers to its upstream data services.

Austin, TX-based Drillinginfo (DI) has acquired Transform Software of Denver, CO. The acquisition extends DI’s upstream data and analytics offering with Transform’s non conventional focussed seismic interpretation package. Transform’s technology addresses sweet spot identification from seismic and other data. This will now be available to subscribers to DI’s data services and hosted decision support software to ‘address the challenges of unconventional oil and gas development.’

DI CEO Allen Gilmer said, ‘We look forward to enhancing our customers’ analytic and interpretation results with the breadth of Drillinginfo data, enabling more accurate sweet spot targeting and more efficient well optimization. The combination of our SaaS platform and E&P data and Transform’s tools will enable faster and better decisions.’

Drillinginfo will retain Transform’s Denver-based office and all of its employees. Transform’s CEO and co-founder, Dean Witte, is now senior VP R&D and CEO of the Transform division. Murray Roth, Transform’s president and co-founder, is now VP worldwide consulting for DI and president of the Transform division. More from Drillinginfo.

Groundhog Day for semantics. Winston Churchill on shale oil.

Editor Neil McNaughton ties up some loose ends before heading off on vacation. This edition of Oil IT Journal provides a birds-eye view of many facets of oil and gas IT. The overview spans process control, data, semantic technology, GIS and more EAGE analysis of the UK’s shale gas potential.

We have been playing catch up in this issue, the last before our summer break, with reports virtual and real from various key tradeshows, user groups and conferences—some of which took place a few months ago. Such ‘management’ of the news is required because we do try to attend as many shows as we can and it takes time between visits to get down to some writing and analysis.

The spin off for us and I hope you too, is that this issue is an opportunity to take stock of the oil and gas IT landscape, to see what’s hot and what’s not, which is what I will try to do now.

I like to think of Oil IT Journal as represented by a Venn diagram of interlocking sets representing disciplines and communities. Individual readers may be more familiar with a particular set—say process control, or geosciences. But as we have seen before on many occasions, the big picture is only visible to those with a view of the whole—the familiar and the less so.

So to start with what was for us a less familiar field. Our visit with Belsim was quite an eye opener. Imagine, a whole world of process modeling churning away just to get the data points right before they are consumed by, inter alia, process models. The approach is obviously of interest in the context of data quality. There are echoes of Hess’ ‘Technically validated database’ (Oil ITJ Feb 2010). The idea is to validate data before it gets consumed by applications, databases and models.

What is interesting in the Belsim approach is that while SQL data modelers fret about the ‘fourth dimension’ (time), process modelers seem to have recognized that this is not really an issue that IT is capable of handling without help from physics. This is a theme that I will be returning to after the break. The next conference I will be attending is OSIsoft’ Users conference to be held on our doorstep in Paris.

Leaping across to another set of the Venn we have the Petroleum Industry Data Exchange (PIDX) events covered on page 6. This is a little out of my own Venn comfort zone and I find oil and gas e-business rather tricky to evaluate. While everyone seems happy enough that e-commerce is happening, it does not seem to be happening in quite the way that the original standard was sold. Instead of widespread endpoint use of the standard per se, several e-commerce hubs have sprung up—some of which share clients from other Venn sets such as chemicals. This has led to yet another layer of providers who offer mapping technology to connect clients to suppliers to hubs and so on. All very interesting and again, a field that we will be returning to with some improved coverage real soon.

A virtual visit to the Norwegian Semantic Days conference let us take stock of the semantic/ontology movement. As we have seen before, it seems to be losing momentum in oil and gas, and the 8th SemDays event seems to have less oil involvement and more from defense and government. There is also a Groundhog Day feeling at SemDays, the technology seems to be stuck in time warp. It is always full of promise and yet to deliver. One argument in support of the semweb is that SQL is ‘too hard for engineers.’ Nils Jacob Berland thinks that Sparql is easy. But there again he has a PhD in informatics, stochastic optimization and parallel computing. Your mileage may vary.

The next ‘big thing’ in semantics is the EU Seventh Framework ‘Optique’ project, which is taking semantics to another Venn set, process control. You can see why the EU puts so much faith in the semantic web. It was invented in the EU by an EU IT hero (there are not many of these) and promised the earth. That was circa year 2000. Since then it has received countless hours of developer time and millions of Euros of taxpayer money with somewhat underwhelming results.

On page 7 we have a summary report from a geographic Venn set—the Esri Petroleum User Group, the PUG. This hugely successful technology brought together some 1,700 GIS specialists from 450 companies. ESRI’s GIS continues to muscle-in on the data management arena with an impressive enterprise deployment chez Total. GIS is also great at adapting to novel data types—witness Waypoint’s spectacular drone-based video acquisition.

We had another catch up session from the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers this month (page 7). The big theme of the London EAGE was, unsurprisingly, the shale gas potential of the UK. Here much was made of the Institute of Directors’ report, ‘Getting shale gas working.’ This is an extraordinarily detailed, if somewhat oriented report on the UK’s shale gas potential. It appears to be more concerned with promoting employment and economic activity. The IoD does not claim that the cost of shale gas in the UK will be particularly low. But what will it be? I couldn’t find any specific numbers in the report so I divided the estimated overall spend by the total amount of gas produced. This gives a figure of around $6 per bcf which may have been the number that the IoD dreamed up in the first place. On the other hand, given that it is time honored tradition in the industry to overestimate production and underestimate costs it does not appear likely that the consumer will benefit greatly from the shale gas bonanza.


Sometimes happenstance helps the editor pressed for a pithy comment prior to a holiday break. I was havering about renewing my subscription to the International Herald Tribune which, just like in the good old days, is hand delivered to my door by 6 a.m. This morning I was intrigued to read the following … ‘In the British Isles alone, twice as much oil as the navy used last year could be produced from shale.’ What, I hear you say, that’s not very interesting. Except that a) it was said by Winston Churchill and b) he said it in July 1913! My check for another year of the IHT is in the post.


2013 Belsim User Meeting, Brussels

Boris Kalitventzeff on the origins of Belsim Vali. Microsoft BizTalk and full physics data validation at heart of new build Middle East refinery’s information systems. Dana Petroleum—software more reliable than multi-phase meter. SharePoint portal for energy use monitoring. Hess’ soft sensing.

Oil IT Journal went downstream last month, attending the 19th Belsim User Meeting in Brussels. Before the meeting kicked off, we chatted with Belsim founder, president and chairman Boris Kalitventzeff who explained how the company originated. As the name implies, Belsim is a Belgian software house with its origins in the simulation field. Kalitventzeff’s early work at Liège University saw cooperation with Houston-based academics on process modeling. It was clear early on that matching models with real data from refining and other industrial processes held some surprises. It was frequently impossible to get a decent match of both model inputs and outputs. There appeared to be structural problems with recorded process data.

It was then that Kalitventzeff realized that instead of using modeling to simulate a process, it could be put to better use in the first instance to validate data prior to its use in other applications like monitoring or, indeed in simulation and forecasting. This represented an opportunity for the development of a suite of tools leveraging full physics modeling to validate data in an industrial plant. The technique was first tested in a naphtha plant where it proved to be very successful.

A second industrial user heard of this success and asked to use the toolset. But by then, Kalitventzeff, in true academic fashion, had gone on to work on other research topics. When the second plant owners complained about the lack of attention, the university and Kalitventzeff realized that this was actually an opportunity to start a company.

‘We started out with simulation, but the real niche we found was data validation.’ Today Belsim develops and markets its flagship Vali data validation engine to process companies including refineries and, increasingly, upstream users. Vali, now in release 5.0, can act as a pre-processor for process models—but also simply to provide operators with reliable plant data for maintenance and operations.

One Middle East operator described the role of Vali as at the core of its new information system for a greenfield refinery. The refinery information system supports multiple business applications across the supply chain, planning and scheduling, optimization and safety. The ‘truly integrated’ system, built atop of Microsoft BizTalk, displays physical and logical flows in its GUI, stores and ‘historizes’ model runs. Vali provides cleansed data to SAP and other applications.

Vali was selected because it provides both reconciliation and mass/energy balance in a single tool. Data validation and reconciliation is performed across 7000 tags and three ‘very large full refinery models’ for daily, monthly and offline DVR. Data comes from lab measurements, flow meters, oil movement and manual input from Excel. Output goes to Vali’s reporting tools. Reconciled values are captured to the data historian and input to SAP and the information system dashboards.

The system is used to identify faulty meters and to provide early warning of instrument and equipment failure. The offline models act as a pre-processor to provide validated input to simulators. Vali is a key component of the system and provides plant-wide data validation of daily mass and energy balance of thousands of refinery processes and tanks.

Quirinius van Dorp decribed Dana Petroleum’s use of Vali in upstream data reconciliation. Dana operates the North Sea P11b De Ruyter Platform in the Dutch North Sea. Belsim Vali was used here to provide ‘virtual flow metering’ leveraging an ‘abundance’ of upstream data. The VFM provides a best estimate of true flow for use in well integrity and process optimization base on thermodynamics and mass balance. The system also allows safety systems to ‘kick in quick’ when required. In 2010 Dana was acquired by the Korean national oil company and undertook a major program to deploy multi phase flow meters (MPFM) for custody transfer on its new Medway project. This was problematical as the MPFMs did not prove reliable. Meanwhile the project itself was increasing in complexity as the oil rim was developed requiring new separators and a desalter. Medway is now a very large process with 1200 tags. Prior to Vali all this was ‘managed’ in a ‘monstrous’ spreadsheet which proved hard to maintain and check.

Vali now provides a graphic interface showing process flow and instrumentation diagrams along with validated models. It is easy to see where tag values do not fit in thermodynamic balance and drill down to get a list of all parameters involved in a calculation. Red boxes show data that is out of range—indicative of a failed meter.

van Dorp concluded that Belsim’s software has proved more reliable than the MPFM, whose data was found to be plagued by spurious spikes and erroneous flow rates. Vali also satisfies the contractual obligation to use all available data to arrive at the best result. This is done by combining temperature measurements, choke equations, mass, energy balance (and a lot of other parameters) every hour. Vali takes under one minute to process the data. Use of the model has helped Dana decide which meters to buy and where to put them. The software also detects failing meters before they go down. Vali models are static, values captured during transient events may not be accurate but they are usually acceptable. In all events, models need to be checked throughout the life of field.

Another use case outlined Vali’s use in energy performance management at a Middle East plant. Raw measurements of energy use are often meaningless and/or show a systematic bias. Vali is deployed in a SharePoint portal that allows operators to drill down into the plant structure and pinpoint major deviations. Cleaned data is saved in a SQL Server database. Data can be rolled-up into a site-wide energy use metric using the US EPA Energy Star grading. This has demonstrated a 5-8% energy saving from the software. KPIs are shared with users (and the CEO) to create incentives for further savings.

Antonio Martino presented Hess’ use of virtual metering on its Equatorial Guinea Ceiba project. Here well tests were providing uncertain rate allocations and formation gas/oil ratios were hard to estimate because of flow line gas lift. Further uncertainty came from gauge reliability and calibration. Vali was used to build a virtual metering system (a.k.a. soft sensing) that has allowed for accurate volume reporting and reduced well testing downtime. The model has matched well test rates within 5%. More from Belsim.

Millwood Hargrave’s new mantra, ‘software plus content’

Ikon Science CEO on ‘triangle’ of rock physics, geopressure and geomechanics.

Speaking at the London EAGE last month, CEO Martyn Millwood Hargrave, revealed that Ikon Science has sold 200 new licenses since last July. Ikon’s RokDoc is an integration platform for rock physics, inversion, reservoir characterization and geopressure. The next step for Ikon is ‘knowledge integration’ and the company is now in the process of building rock science ‘knowledge bases’ that will allow it to offer both software and content.

Another development is the addition of geomechanics to the toolset—leveraging technology acquired when Ikon bought JRS Petroleum. This completes what Millwood Hargrave refers to as the prediction ‘triangle,’ of rock physics, geopressure and geomechanics. The holistic approach is good both for explorationists and for companies that need to show best practices in stewardship of their assets, minimizing exploration risk.

Returning to the knowledge base theme, Millwood Hargrave stated that Ikon’s ambition is for global knowledge bases that will help reduce the industry’s dry hole count. ‘As a business, we have spent something like $70 trillion drilling dry holes over the last 30 years, an astonishing number. I believe that by mining the huge amount of data from thousands of wells will help us identify signatures and develop algorithms that combining seismics and dispersed regional databases. Software plus content is our mantra now.’ More from info@ikonscience.com.

Eurotech, IBM, Tarmin consolidate Premier Oil’s disparate data

First sale of IBM/Tarmin ‘GridBank’ multi terabyte, multi site, defined data storage solution.

A group led by Boston, MA-headquartered Tarmin is providing Premier Oil with a ‘data defined storage’ (DDS) solution for its growing seismic data set. Tarmin, along with IBM and Eurotech Computer Services are to supply the DDS leveraging Tarmin’s Gridbank offering.

The DDS is a component of an ongoing ‘big data’ project that sees Premier consolidating disparate repositories and securely storing business critical information. The combined DDS solution is the first customer win in a multi-year agreement between IBM and Tarmin to market a joint solution based on Tarmin GridBank and IBM Systems.

Premier Oil group CIO David Edwards said, ‘The new approach to unstructured data management that Gridbank offers will optimally position us to respond to new opportunities in oil and gas exploration, development and production. The integrated solution delivers multiple data management objectives in a single, cohesive offering.’

The multi terabyte, multi-site solution provides media independent data storage, dedupe, encryption and failsafe replication. The DDS also provides unified search across 500+ file types, including oil and gas specific formats. More from Tarmin.

FracFocus 2.0—now with added XML

Groundwater protection council and Interstate oil & gas compact re-jig frac chemical reporting site.

FracFocus.org, the US national hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure registry, has just upgraded its online portal to what is dubbed, ‘FracFocus 2.0.’ New features address system usability and information content.

FracFocus 2.0 sees a conversion to an XML database that allows users to easily search for well site chemical information. The new system also offers a GIS front end. Users can also search and pull reports by date ranges, chemical names or chemical abstract service (CAS) numbers.

FracFocus was set up by the Groundwater protection council and the Interstate oil and gas compact commission in 2011. The project offers transparency on chemical data used in hydraulic fracturing along with educational information and state by state regulations. Twelve state regulatory agencies now mandate chemical disclosure via FracFocus. So far over 400 companies have reported chemical data for 43,000 wells across the country. Visit FracFocus.

Laredo Petroleum’s information ‘Parthenon’

Business intelligence for the intelligent business. Information system built on PPDM.

Speaking at a PPDM event in Houston earlier this year, Laredo Energy’s Steve Jaques described information strategy and well data management in a small E&P company. Laredo’s information systems group works with the company’s geoscientists, engineers and landmen to align their business goals. In this context, well data management emerged as a top investment priority.

Laredo’s well data management system includes several databases including a well master based on a SQL Server instance of PPDM 3.8. Operations, especially in the non conventional arena mean that the company needs to acquire and quickly act on good information. The plan is to ‘drill, complete, and produce wells on leases with stacked pay zones, to sell de-risked assets for a premium before full development and ... repeat.’

Jaques observed that achieving its goals meant being an ‘intelligent business.’ It does not require a great leap of the imagination to see how ‘business intelligence’ fits into the picture.

Jaques sketched out an information system ‘Parthenon’ built to support the business intelligence goal. The data landscape on which the Parthenon is built was evaluated with data maturity spider plots. The results helped spec out the well master data management strategy. Data now flows from IHS Pirls, through EnergyIQ tools into Laredo’s PPDM master. FME’s ETL tools are used to push data into Kingdom, ESRI and a proprietary operations data mart. Read Jaques’ presentation here.

Software, hardware short takes

ArkEx, Emerson, Energy Navigator, Calsep, Enertia, Entero, ETL, ffA, Geomodeling, INT, Kepware, Lloyd’s, Geotrace, Tendeka, Triple Point, Oildex, Fracture Technologies, SSI.

ArkEx has released XField, a plug-in that adds potential field data integration and modeling with DGB’s Open dTtect.

Emerson’s new Rosemount 3308 wireless Hart bus guided wave radar transmitter, extending continuous level monitoring to hard-to-reach locations.

The 6.2 release of Energy Navigator’s Val Nav oil and gas reserves forecasting suite includes a ‘Five year equation’ method for unconventional reserves reporting.

Calsep’s PVTsim 21.0 release includes multiple improvements to the reservoir engineering pre-processor and enhanced data exchange with third party tools.

Enertia Software has amalgamated its legacy toolset into ‘E-Go,’ a data mining add-on to its upstream ERP and land suite.

The 2013 edition of Entero Mosaic oil country asset management solution sees new tools for unconventional planning, analysis and reporting.

The 5.4 edition of ETL SolutionsTransformation Manager integration toolkit includes connection aliases and a wizard for building custom adapters.

FFA’s GeoTeric package now includes ‘IFC+,’ advanced seismic facies classification and a ‘rich multi-attribute environment.’

Geomodeling’s AttributeStudio 7.3 includes fractured reservoir characterization with Avaz, Vvaz, volume curvature, and other attributes. Vector visualization ‘highlights fracture patterns hidden in conventional displays.’

Interactive Network Technologies (INT) has announced version 3.3 of J/GeoToolkit, its cross platform, upstream data visualization toolkit. The new release includes ‘ultra-fast’ data rendering in the GPU using the Java OpenGL library.

The 5.12 release of Kepware’s KEPServer offers a security policies plug-in, leveraging OPC UA authentication to restrict server access to qualified users.

Lloyd’s Register has announced an ‘integrated software intensive systems’ (ISIS) software notation to address safety and efficiency issues impacting offshore drilling operators. ISIS is a component of Lloyd’s mobile offshore unit rules.

Geotrace has announced RiskRes, a statistical tool that assess the probability of drilling success from high resolution seismic.

Tendeka has released ‘SwellGen’ for the design of zonal isolation with swellable packers. The free app is available from the Apple Store.

Triple Point has announced Commodity XL 8.0. The ‘strategic planning and procurement’ solution 8.0 with new market-based analytics and risk management capabilities.

Oildex has released Spendworks Complete, its latest oil and gas paperless invoice processing solution.

Version 3 of Fracture TechnologiesWellWhiz well flow simulator includes new advanced perforation and open hole gravel pack modeling.

The 2014 release of SSI’s ShipConstructor package sees the addition of design and construction of piping systems and a new marine drafting tool creating 2D drawings in DWG format from a 3D model. Other enhancements include P&ID design validation and PipeLink, an interface to third part applications leveraging the PCF format.

Semantic Days, Stavanger, Norway

Semantic asset tracking for X2X Maritime. DNV/Aibel’s material master. Mimosa’s OGI 2.0.

Speaking at the 8th Semantic Days conference in Stavanger, Norway earlier this year, Nils Jacob Berland, who is CTO with oil and gas logistics specialist X2X Maritime described himself as a semantic beginner. Berland has built a system for tracking containers and associated events using a semantic toolset comprising a simple ontology, Apache Jena Node.js and the Sparql query language. A working demo was up and running in a few weeks and performed well*. Queries that are tough problems in SQL are quite easy in the graph database. Berland thinks that semantic technology is cool and that you can start fast, once you understand Sparql.

Johan Wilhelm Klüwer described how DNV built oil and gas engineering service company Aibel’s material master ontology/catalog. Klüwer observed that ‘there is no such thing as a standard project’ and that both design rules and material catalogs are project specific. The master material catalog (MMC) therefore serves to uniquely identify material and allow for the selection of the right material and documents from perhaps some 10,000 options. What was novel in the Aibel project was the use of a linked data paradigm for the MMC. Starting from a namespace internal to Aibel, every term in the ontology has its own web address (URI) that provides a) an HTML page with a look-up service for users and b) the linked data RDF/Sparql endpoints that carry the information required by the calling application. The data source can be queried for reference information using familiar terminology. Klüwer argues that the approach improves on current practices where IT staff craft complex SQL queries which are then tweaked by engineers ‘hoping to hit the target!’
Alan Johnston provided an update on the Mimosa oil and gas interoperability (OGI) pilot which has support from Aveva, Bentley, IBM and Worley Parsons. Use cases include Norway’s integrated operations/OpenO&M initiative and the SPE drilling systems automation technical section (DSATS). Plans for 2013 include ‘OGI 2.0’ with a switch to PCA RDL endpoints. The OGI club is expanding with new members from the EPC, engineering design, ERP software (IFS) and automation suppliers Emerson, Invensys and Rockwell. Microsoft is also bringing its Chemical reference architecture Chemra (no not Mura!) toolset to the table.

* Recommended reading, ‘Programming the semantic web’ by Toby Segaran, Colin Evans and Jamie Taylor, reviewed in the July 2010 issue of Oil IT Journal.

PIDX member meetings—US & EU

ConocoPhillips on procure to pay. ACT on web services. Actian on reducing DSO. Shell and the BoL. Marathon—visibility for suppliers. Shell’s century of catalog standards. Platon and the SafeTPin. Genpact speeds order to cash. Amalto KSI case history. Elemica on e-business automation.

Here we summarize and concatenate presentations made at Petroleum Industry Data Exchange (PIDX) member meetings held earlier this year in Houston and London. PIDX, which has been in business since 1987, develops and maintains oil country e-business standards. These now comprise some 14 documents and processes spanning procurement to pay and order to cash interactions between trading partners. The most up to date release is PIDX V5 which includes a new global bill of lading, a right to lift standard and a supplier KPI framework. Looking ahead to what has been dubbed ‘PIDX 2.0’ the group is looking into business processes and global practices, catalogues and classification and regulatory reporting.

James Thompson presented ConocoPhillips’ procure to pay (P2P) metrics as key to supply chain transactional excellence with e-invoicing. After initial North American deployment in 2006, the standard P2P process went international in 2010. The issue now is sustainability which is assured by a support group and P2P metrics of process effectiveness, efficiency and compliance. Key performance indicators are monitored in a procurement dashboard developed with SAP NetWeaver. This allows leading indicators of business satisfaction and process efficiency to be monitored. The system feeds data into multiple reporting and analytical tools including SpotFire, SAP Business Warehouse and Xcelsius and good old Excel. ConocoPhillips is now planning trials of ‘big data’ technology—SAP Hana and Teradata.

ChrisWelsh (ACT Global) argued that the cost of business integration could be reduced with web services and smart devices enablement. ‘RESTful’ web services are seeing mass adoption and PIDX needs to move ahead with smart phone-enabled field ticket leveraging SOAP and JSON for iOS and Android devices.

Daryl Fullerton (Actian) observed that smaller, ‘Mom and Pop’ organizations are struggling with late payment—a.k.a. day sales outstanding (DSO). Some are even going to the wall. Better visibility of e-invoicing and other purchase to pay (P2P) KPI metrics can both reduce DSA and improve supplier relations. Fullerton presented work done for Marathon where Actian’s e-business visibility dashboards help reduce paperwork, reduce re-work and automate validation. The system provides a three way match of purchase order, invoice and remittance. Costs have also been reduced to under $1 per invoice.

Gary Woodward described Shell’s deployment of the bill of lading (BOL) standard. Shell is ‘nearing the end of its standardization journey’ with processes and supporting IT systems in place. Next comes the challenge of communication and data quality and timeliness from any source. Shell’s data exchange program aims to implement an internal data clearing house for loading data and develop an external standard format for exchange of terminal data. The project represents a major shift for the downstream but Woodward reports good progress with 31 EU terminals already exchanging PIDX BOL data.

Paul Hines and Stefanie Ruddick (Marathon) showed how increased supplier visibility reduces P2P errors and better aligns DSO with net terms. Marathon processes some 44,000 invoices/month (60% paper and 40% electronic) on its SAP, Pervasive BX and IBM systems. Marathon’s P2P initiative centered on a joint approach with suppliers to address invoice errors and DSO alignment. Marathon now has better visibility of trends and produces ‘right first time’ invoices, sharing the success with net terms alignment.

Kay McDonald observed that Shell has been involved in materials management and classification for a century, its first materials catalogue was set up in 1914. Since then the company has evolved its catalogues and coding standards as technology evolved—from the Telex, through CD-based data exchange and today’s e-business. Post year 2000 Shell has successively deployed global ERP systems, master data management, data quality standards and KPIs. Current e-business standards used include Trade-Ranger’s open content standard (this is being phased out) and externally, PIDX, Norsok, Unspc and eClass are leveraged. These hook in to a constellation of engineering and construction standards for 3D-models, piping and instrumentation and more. The multiplicity of systems and standards means that there are in reality many material masters across different ERP systems.

Paul Mayer (Platon) floated the idea of ‘SafeTPins,’ safe trading product ID numbers that provide a unique identifier for all products sold to the oil and gas industry. The unique code should link the product to the manufacturer and serve as a primary key for supply chain data management. SafeTPins should be provided at source and available to all customers. They are to be free, but it is not clear how they should be funded.

John Salek (Genpact) sees software as a service impacting order to cash (OTC) transactions as best of breed remote applications enhance ERP systems. E-commerce adoption is growing, paper decreasing and more orders and payments initiated from mobile devices. Genpact’s Akritiv finance and accounting software as a service platform is claimed to automate the whole OTC process.

Other vendor presentations showed oil country e-commerce to be a complex process involving buyers, suppliers and hubs. Jean-Pierre Foehn (Amalto) enumerated some of the hubs working in the drilling field ticket space. These include Oildex, ADP, Ariba and Cortex—each used by different major clients. This complex landscape can be bewildering for buyers and suppliers alike. Foehn presented a case history of oilfield service company KSI which was challenged by error-prone scanning of paper field-tickets. Amalto developed an automation solution leveraging its ‘PIDX-enabled’ B2Box e-business appliance.

Elemica’s Gary Neights emphasized that e-business collaboration requires automation. But while the potential value is clear enough, obstacles abound—particularly bad ERP data. Neights cited a speaker at last year’s PIDX who revealed that in one study, 70% of material numbers tagged for removal 9 years ago are still in use!

Visit PIDX here.

EAGE, London—Part II

More from the reserves session—BG on probabilistic reserve estimates. SGS Horizon on the five year rule’s ‘inconsistency.’ Shell critical of IoD’s ‘new North Sea’ report. The Carbon Crunch.

We left the EAGE last month in the middle of the reserves evaluation with an enigma. On the one hand, the SEC now accepts geophysical ‘evidence’ in support of reserve evaluation, on the other hand, we had the example of Norway’s ‘seismically transparent’ Ringhorne field. The SEC now accepts ‘probabilistic’ reserves estimation which Carolina Coll (BG Group) said was previously considered ‘mumbo-jumbo.’ A ‘scenario method’ can be used to build model and investigate sensitivity across a decision tree, or a Monte Carlo investigation of all parameters can be used. Coll suggests that ‘You don’t need to go nuclear on all cases.’ Experimental design can be used to see what needs modeling and to identify key uncertainties. More from the SPEE Monograph 3.

Enrique Morales (SGS Horizon) homed-in on the SEC’s five year time limit on likely development and its different interpretations. Using examples from 10K filings and company reports, Morales showed that different companies use different commercial requirements—even on the same field! Inconsistencies and loopholes have been created. Some projects are booked as probable when the five year limit cannot be fulfilled. All which can give ‘confusing messages to banks and investors.’

Jamie Spears (Imperial College) noted confusion between ‘reserves’ and what will ultimately be recoverable. A new URR estimate is required summing future production plus reserves growth and ‘yet to find.’ In the UK, BERR/DECC stopped reporting (conventional) reserves by field due to inconsistent reporting from operators. Reserves increase with time as technology and geological understanding improve. For unconventional there is an even wider range of (ambiguous) terminology and estimates.

In the ‘executive session’ on the global gas challenge, Shell’s Matthias Bichsel said, ‘I don’t like the hype around unconventional. There have been success stories, but there has been a fair number of disappointments like the Green River basin. Some countries may be setting themselves up for disappointment.’ Bichsel opined that the UK Institute of Directors was premature in categorizing the UK’s potential as a ‘new North Sea.’ To make non conventional work requires automation in the field. Shale gas needs hundreds of wells, not manpower. Enter Shell’s ScadaDrill autonomous control system. Remote monitoring means that one expert works on several wells. Shell has published a handbook of best practices for shale exploration.

Oxford University’s Dieter Helm gave an overview of the world energy scene based on his book, The Carbon Crunch. The new abundance of fossil fuel has turned energy policy on its head. Helm was scathing about the EU’s enthusiasm for renewables and on the decade long lag between policy and events. In 2005, a major energy policy framework was formulated in ignorance of non conventionals. Obama’s energy policies likewise got short shrift from the fervent professor. All have got it wrong! There are abundant supplies and demand is falling. Today, the world potential supply of gas is ‘practically infinite.’ On regulating climate change, emissions are accelerating—nothing has been achieved in 25 years. If all the fossil fuels get burned, ‘you had better hope that all the climate scientists are wrong—which is unlikely.’ Helm sees salvation from technology—smart grids, storage/batteries and next generation solar and renewables and gas as a transitional fuel. He also advocates ... a carbon tax.

More from the Esri Petroleum User Group

Fidelity’s well catalog. Waypoint’s full motion georeferenced video from drones. OMV—GIS in mature field management. Total’s Eureka GIS project. Schlumberger embeds ArcGIS in PipeSim.

John Farrell described how Fidelity E&P has built a US well catalog from its own database and IHS’ 4.4 million well data set. Farrell stressed the importance of automation in keeping the catalog current—there are ‘no humans in the loop.’ A fairly powerful server applies business rules on source data priority overnight. Tools of the trade include a SQL Server database, Python, ArcGIS, IHS Enerdeq API and Microsoft’s task scheduler. The system has been running for over two years. Farrell described the Enerdeq web services API as ‘sensible, stable and fast.’

In a rather spectacular presentation, Devon Humphrey (Waypoint Mapping) and John Klier (Texas State) showed how full motion video (FMV) from drones and other aircraft can be rendered as an operational GIS layer. FMV along with point cloud and high definition digital orthometric views can now be collected in a single flight. FMV is recorded using a standard from the Motion industry standards board (MISB). Use cases include pipeline route planning, environmental impact assessment and emergency management. The presentation showed how airborne-derived situational awareness was key to managing the Deepwater Horizon incident. Here Arc Server and Adobe’s Flex were used to serve near real-time imagery of the spill to multiple endpoints. Real time processing of full motion video developed for the US Reaper and Predator drones provides real time, georeferenced GIS-ready data. The presentation ended with collection of drone images and imagery.

At the end of an impressive demonstration of corporate GIS deployment, OMV’s presenters summarized the role of GIS in information management throughout the life cycle of a mature field. For OMV, ‘GIS can bring enormous strategic, tactical and operational support to asset monitoring, data gathering and visualization.’

In a similar vein, Sylvain Bard-Maïer demonstrated how GIS circumvents many of the problems of ‘traditional’ data management with a presentation of Total’s Eureka project. Total has embedded a complete E&P data model in an ESRI file geodatabase that allows for access and visualization of a range of geosciences and engineering objects.

Mack Shippen described how Schlum-berger has embedded an ArcGIS for Windows presentation foundation interface in its Pipesim pipeline flow assurance package. The interface allows for topographic information to be extracted from the GIS and used to derive elevation profiles and to map network topology. Schlumberger is now working to create networks from shape files and the PODS/APDM data model. More from the PUG home page.

Folks, facts, orgs ...

ABB, Absoft, CMG, Intsok, Willbros, Lloyds, MDU, Mobius, Mustang, Visionaire, Decomplatform, Energistics, Entero, WorleyParsons, GE, Geoforce, Langan, Lithicon, NDB, Spectraseis, Noah, Oiltanking, OPC Foundation, Geotrace, Senergy, SPE, Badger Exploration, Stork, Texas Digital Library, Tiandi, OGP.

Adam Hems has joined Halliburton to lead its Cloud initiative. He was previously CTO for Oil & Gas at Microsoft.

ABB has appointed Ulrich Spiesshofer as CEO, succeeding Joe Hogan.

Absoft has appointed Scott Simpson director of its oil and gas business unit.

Computer Modelling Group has appointed Sandra Balic as VP, Finance and CFO, replacing retiree John Kalman.

Gunn Vik and Bjørn Erik Noren have been seconded from Statoil to Intsok.

Earl Collins is now president of Willbros Group’s oil and gas segment.

Lloyd’s Register has appointed Chris Finlayson and Ellis Armstrong as non-executive directors.

MDU Resources Group has named Dennis Haider VP business development.

Mobius Institute has introduced ‘iLearnReliability’ for maintenance and reliability training.

Wood Group Mustang’s onshore business unit has appointed Charles Johnson as general manager, Bakken region. Ken Anthony has joined as VP business development for process plants and industrial. Anthony hails from CH2M Hill.

Continental Energy CEO, Richard McAdoo and CFO Bob Rudman have joined the Visionaire Energy board. Per Arne Lislien has been appointed CEO and Morgan Lunde CFO.

The electronic market for information on decommissioning of offshore installations, decomplatform.com appears itself to have been … decommissioned!

ExxonMobil upstream technical computing manager Gerry Wolf has been elected to the Energistics board of directors.

Jill Wyatt is manager of Entero’s Mosaic team. She hails from Schlumberger.

WorleyParsons’ Jim Purvis has been elected to the Fiatech Board of Advisors.

Hasan Dandashly is VP, downstream technology with GE Oil & Gas. Jamere Jackson is VP & CFO drilling.

Mario Azar has been appointed CEO of Siemens’ oil and gas solutions unit.

Jason Wible is leaving Geoforce for the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin, Texas. He will remain a Principal at Geoforce.

Langan Engineering & Environmental Services has opened an office in Bismarck, North Dakota, headed up by associate Sigrida Reinis.

Digitalcore and Numerical Rocks have announced the establishment of the new company Lithicon, specialized in core imaging, analysis and interpretation for the Oil & Gas industry. It will have offices in Canberra, Australia and Trondheim, Norway. Odd Hjelmeland is CEO.

Lisa Fretwell has joined NDB as senior geologist.

Spectraseis has appointed Todd Chuckry as interim CEO. He was latterly with Calmena Energy Services.

Jim Crompton, formerly of Chevron, has joined Noah Consulting.

Oiltanking Partners has appointed Jon Ackerman as VP and CFO, replacing Ken Owen who is now terminal manager of Oiltanking’s Houston complex.

John Bentham has joined the OPC Foundation as Marketing Director. He was formerly with Dell.

Phil Beale has joined Geotrace as EAME reservoir services manager. He was previously with Schlumberger.

Senergy has appointed Ian Williamson and Dave Reed to VP roles.

Statoil’s Helge Hove Haldorsen is the 2015 SPE president.

Steinar Bakke is Badger Explorer’s new CEO. He hails from Schlumberger.

Former COO of Fugro, Arnold Steenbakker is now CEO of Stork technical services.

Debra Hanken Kurtz is the new director of the Texas Digital Library.

Tiandi Energy has named Karl Alfeld as VP of Staffing. He was formerly president of Seis-Stream Global.

Gordon Birrell (BP) is now chair of the OGP management committee. Roland Festor (Total) is director EU affairs.

Done deals

Cach for ArkEx, Cisco buys Composite, Emerson and Groveley, Enoia bags Babcock Borsig, IHS acquires PFC Energy, Invensys and Sarla, Schlumberger buys Gushor, UtiliPoint shuts up shop.

ArkEx has raised $15 million in equity from Paris-based 4D Global Energy Advisors. The monies will be used to expand ARKeX’ full tensor gravity gradiometry data library and services.

Cisco is to acquire data virtualization specialist Composite Software in a $180 million deal involving cash and retention-based incentives. Composite’s data virtualization offering will be rolled into Cisco’s SolveDirect integration platform.

Emerson Process Management has acquired UK-based Groveley Detection, provider of ultrasonic gas leak detection solutions for oil and gas installations. Groveley will integrate Emerson’s Rosemount business unit.

Netherlands-headquartered Enoia has acquired Chennai, India-based Babcock Borsig Softech Engineering, a multi-disciplinary design and engineering consultancy.

IHS has acquired PFC Energy, a provider of energy information and research and advisory services to the global oil and gas industry.

Invensys has acquired the SmartGlance mobile reporting technology from Sarla Analytics. SmartGlance provides KPIs of operational data sources to mobile devices leveraging a software as a service model. SmartGlance will integrate Invensys’ Wonderware brand.

Schlumberger has acquired Gushor, a Canadian-based petroleum geochemistry and fluid analysis company that provides innovative production and exploration solutions in the heavy oil and oil sand (HOOS) industry.

UtiliPoint has rolled down its services globally and is to finalize all its operations this month.

Verdande CBR—from heart attack to stuck pipe

Conference hears on drilling, medical applications of case-based reasoning technology.

CTO of Verdande, Frode Sørmo, speaking at the 21st International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) held this month in Saratoga Springs, New York drew a parallel between oilfield blowout prevention, corporate finance and real time monitoring of patients undergoing heart surgery. All three fields have fairly well established risk models based on historical data. But the models are put to the test during operations as real time data comes in that may conflict with the pre-existing scenarios.

In medical, risk models based on patients’ age, gender and medical history quickly become irrelevant once surgery starts as what occurs during surgery can change the picture drastically. Verdande’s approach is to combine risk models with real-time data captured during the surgery and provide feedback to the medical team.

Likewise Verdande’s DrillEdge leverages pattern recognition across historical data to pinpoint root causes of problems like stuck pipe or potential lost wells. Multiple real time measurements are compared with historical cases as drilling progresses. A multi segment risk ‘radar’ plot warns of potential problems. Sørmo sees application of CBR in finance where ‘big data’ in motion can be compared against ‘at rest’ historical data sets to provide early warning signs of situations that have previously caused financial embarrassment. More from Verdande.

Energistics reports progress on completion object

Witsml and Prodml workgroups team on ‘major new’ life-of-well spec.

Energistics’ Witsml and Prodml workgroups reported recently on progress on the ‘completion object project’ (COP). The COP kicked off in 2011 with support from Chevron, Weatherford, Peloton and others. The COP spec, delivered earlier this year to participants and public for review, has now been released in final form and is seen as offering a ‘major new capability for life of well completion data management.’

The primary initial use of the COP is for data handover from drilling to production. The ‘agnostic’ COP format facilitates database to database transfer and knowledge retention for future completions and workovers. These will later be extended to other use cases including life-of-asset well services and data transfer to engineering applications.

The COP was designed to provide a snapshot of completion information at a point in time along with a change log of events (the ledger) which subsequently alter the configuration. The COP also provides copious information on well metadata including business associate information, work order number and cost data. The spec also hooks into other Energistics standards—with references to more information in a Witsml object and/or a Resqml layer. More on the COP.

AuraPortal for Refinery of the Pacific

BPM developer automates Petroecuador/PDVSA joint venture’s day-to-day processes.

Business process management (BPM) software developer AuraPortal has implemented its eponymous allocation at Refinery of the Pacific’s (RoP) Eloy Alfaro plant in Ecuador. RoP has leveraged AuraPortal BPM to reorganize its workflows and automate day-to-day processes. The solution has helped identify bottlenecks in real time and allowed solutions to be applied immediately. AuraPortal has also helped with RoP’s drive to a paperless environment as documentation is now archived digitally.

RoP’s Stalin Lopez said, ‘AuraPortal is a flexible solution. Changes that users have requested have been implemented in near real time. The ability to change something, try it and immediately put it into operation is a big plus.’ RoP is a PDVSA and Petroecuador joint venture that is building a refining complex with 300,000 bopd capacity. Other AuraPortal oil and gas clients include Pemex and Chilean state oil company ENAP. Visit AuraPortal.

Proact provides storage solution to SMB

NetApp FAS 6220 and CommVault for SMB Schiedam.

SBM Offshore’s Dutch unit, SBM Schiedam has contracted with Kista, Sweden headquartered Proact IT Group for the delivery and implementation of an enterprise storage and back-up environment. The three year agreement includes software, hardware support and storage optimization. The solution comprises three NetApp systems, including the latest FAS 6220 and a CommVault-based back-up solution.

Erwin Sparreboom, Senior IT Manager SBM Schiedam, said, ‘During the selection process Proact showed a clear vision of storage and cloud-related services which they shared with us.’ More from ProAct.

Sales, contracts, partnerships and deployments

Autonomy, Cortex, Interica, ABB, Palantir, openIT, Emerson, Ikon, Aker, Earthworks, Matrikon, GE, HP, IFS, Infosys, Infotechnics, Geotrace, Prospectiuni, Reservoir Group, Sharecat, PDF, WEX.

Australian oil and gas engineering group Georgiou has deployed Autonomy WorkSite to manage its corporate email. Worksite’s ability to handle email on the iPad was a deciding factor in the deployment.

Calgary-based oil and gas e-business specialist Cortex Business Solutions is partnering with spend management solution provider Coupa Software of San Mateo, CA.

Interica has signed a five year agreement with an unnamed major oil and gas company for the provision of its PARS archiving technology. This new contract secures a user base of some 150 software installations. Interica was formed from the merger of InfoAsset and Enigma Data.

ABB has been awarded a terminal automation project by Foster Wheeler for the automation of bulk inventory operations management at the Sadara complex, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow.

Dana Petroleum has extended its contract with Palantir Solutions for the provision of its economics solution, PalantirCash, for a further three years.

Engineering simulation software developer Ansys has partnered with license management specialist Open IT to establish a ‘collaborative technical relationship to help both companies deliver best-in-class IT solutions to their mutual customers.’

Santos has selected automation technology from Emerson Process Management for deployment on its $18.5 billion Gladstone LNG project in Queensland, Australia. Santos’ operations centre at Brisbane, approximately 500 kilometers south of Gladstone, integrates data from the gas fields, pipelines and plant for 24/7 real-time monitoring and collaboration with teams in the field.

Pertamina has signed a three year master service agreement with Ikon Science for the provision of its quantitative exploration software, RokDoc. The deal sees RokDoc’s user base extended from a small group of specialists to wide deployment across Pertamina’s exploration teams.

Aker Solutions has been awarded a contract by Repsol Sinopec Brazil for the provision of managed pressure drilling systems and riser gas handling services. Aker also won a contract from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering for the delivery of a drilling equipment package for the Mariner North Sea production platform.

Salisbury, UK-based Earthworks Reservoir is to provide its HIIP prospect evaluation software to ExploHub, an exploration training centre located at the University of Aberdeen.

MatrikonOPC has acquired OPC Unified Architecture (UA) Embedded Server Software Development Kit (SDK) technology from Embedded Labs.

Statoil has awarded GE Oil & Gas a $147 million contract for the provision of technology for deployment on its Snøhvit field carbon dioxide injection project. The subsea system will re-inject CO2 that is naturally present in the reservoir. This will be separated from the gas onshore and then pumped back to the reservoir via a dedicated pipeline.

HP is to provide EPC Black & Veatch with ‘full-scale IT and applications services.’ These include data center, server management and enterprise security services. HP network services will enable employees to access massive 3-D models and other files.

IFS is partnering with Infosys to develop sales to targeted industries in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific. The deal also covers training in the use of IFS Applications ERP suite. The partners will collaborate on industry-specific solutions based on IFS Applications suite.

Aberdeen based Infotechnics reports a strong start to 2013, securing new contracts worth in excess of £750,000 thanks to an expansion of its Opralog advanced operational reporting tool into the UK oil and gas Market. Clients include Dong Energy and ConocoPhillips.

Geotrace Technologies and Prospectiuni have joined forces to provide high end seismic processing services from Prospectiuni’s Bucharest HQ.

Reservoir Group unit Omega Well Monitoring Canada has signed a ‘seven figure’ contract with Calgary-based well installation services provider Planet Services which will see its eight staff join the Omega team.

Tower Resources has signed with oil and gas consultants PDF for the provision of an outsourced exploration department. PDF’s ‘OExD’ offering includes personnel, applications and data management. PDF has a strategic relationship with Paradigm for software provision.

Sharecat Solutions is to provide EPC WorleyParsons with software and services to improve and expand its information and content management capabilities for oil and gas projects worldwide. Sharecat also won a contract to support a best-practice, cost-reduction drive for an unnamed oil and gas supermajor owner/operator which is standardizing its greenfield project supply chain information.

WEX, a provider of corporate payment solutions, has signed a long-term agreement to provide private label and co-branded universal fleet card services to Citgo.

Standards stuff

EU Joinup federated assets. MDIS OPC UA for topside systems. Oasis Virtual I/O device.

The EU has announced ‘Joinup’ a set of federated ‘semantic assets’ for information sharing and reuse. The online collections are maintained by public administrations, businesses and standards bodies leveraging the asset description metadata schema (ADMS).
, an international oil and gas production industry network group whose mission is to optimize the Master Control System (MCS) and Distributed Control System (DCS) interface of topside systems, has selected OPC UA as its protocol standard. OPC UA will provide ‘secure and reliable data transfer for offshore oil and gas production.’

Oasis has started a Virtual I/O Device (VIRTIO) technical committee to ‘define an efficient, extensible standard’ for virtual devices that will work across environments and operating systems. Proposers include IBM, Oracle and Red Hat. More from Oasis.

Deloitte brings NASA risk management to oil and gas

Offering brings space age mitigation of ‘black swan’ events to drilling, pipeline and production.

Deloitte & Touche has teamed with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, to bring ‘space-age’ risk management to the oil and gas industry. Deloitte principle David Traylor explained, ‘Deep-water drilling, subsea production and pipeline operations all face the same kind of ‘black swan’ events that threaten space exploration. The alliance with NASA combines the agency’s 50-plus years of experience of preventing and recovering from catastrophic accidents with Deloitte’s advanced-risk strategies. Proactively identifying and mitigating low-probability, high-impact events can save lives, money, reputation and environmental disruption.’

Deloitte and NASA are to offer a range of risk-science services such as risk modeling and simulation including Bayesian networks and agent-based modeling that reduce uncertainties in engineering and operations. Other techniques include precursor analysis, event trending and artificial-intelligence tools applied to remote decision-support systems.

The offering also addresses risk KPI monitoring to assess the effectiveness of employees and contractors. NASA regularly measures its own safety culture using assessment reviews to identify warning signs of ‘cultural deterioration’ that might lead to poor decisions. NASA sees the partnership as expanding beyond the oil and gas industry, advancing its mission to commercialize its scientific capabilities. The service offering will emanate from Deloitte’s Center for energy solutions. More from Deloitte.

Geoforce asset tracking built on Rails

New iOS release of oil country asset tracking application leverages Ruby on Rails.

Geoforce has announced an iOS version of its GPS-based oil country asset tracking solution for use on Apple iPhones and iPads. The Geoforce Mobile App offers a field asset search function and Apple Maps-based turn-by-turn driving instructions to reach a target location. Asset data is hosted at Geoforce’s SAS 70 compliant managed hosting center at Ashburn, Virginia.

An oilfield specific GIS taxonomy of rig names and lease information is embedded in the application which can be edited to add specific groups of assets, such as water trucks and frac tanks—thus facilitating the dynamic routing of service vehicles. The app also provides days-on-location and speeding vehicle reports. Quarterly security scans are used to test the system which has passed security audits run by clients including BP and Schlumberger.

Geoforce’s primary software technology is Ruby on Rails. The company is planning a presentation at next year’s ‘BigRuby’ conference to ‘show off how Geoforce supports massive global traceability, and asset velocity initiatives within oil and gas.’ More from Geoforce.

Chronos—oilfield services staff turnover ‘staggeringly high’

White paper outlines personnel challenges for oil service companies and recommends some fixes.

A recently published white paper* from Chronos Consulting investigates the top human capital, supply chain and operations concerns for oil and gas service companies where turnover rates for blue-collar and white-collar employees is ‘staggeringly high.’ The paper, co-authored by Chronos’ Imaad Mahfooz and Gordon Smith, professor of supply chain management at the University of Houston, explores how oilfield service companies can improve the performance and morale of their people.

Mahfooz explained , ‘Oilfield services companies manage dispersed teams which creates logistical and communication challenges. We offer insights into managing such teams while reducing turnover and minimizing cross-cultural issues. By nurturing talent and developing cross-functional, global teams, companies can enhance profits and productivity, improve retention and leadership development and mitigate the costs of doing business on a global scale.’

The report focuses on improving global and ‘virtual’ team performance in five key areas. Companies should develop a ‘global perspective’ on talent management, including hiring and training candidates from other industries and from emerging markets. Turnover rates of 35% and more need to be addressed with better hiring and onboarding and much improved career and leadership development, including the use of social media to acquire and develop talent. New technology—data and analytics in the cloud—means that business are set to develop ‘broader and deeper workforce analytics and measure key indicators of performance.’

* Unleashing people performance for global profits and productivity.

DBMap with added SP functionality

Structuring SharePoint can be ‘daunting.’ Petrosys simplifies integration.

Petrosys has announced new functionality in its dbMap flagship upstream database and mapping application. Petrosys clients increasingly deploy Microsoft SharePoint to manage technical documents. But associating and matching these with the correct structured, master well and seismic data can prove to be a ‘daunting’ task.

dbMap now simplifies SharePoint integration providing the ability to link well, seismic and land information in the database with SharePoint documents. dbMap extracts key index data from the SharePoint repository and links them to existing master records. Document filing and management is still centralised in SharePoint but documents are now accessible from the map. More from Petrosys.

Total outsources IT to Sogeti

Cap Gemini unit wins Total E&P’s ‘Spirit’ project—business, geotechnical and reservoir IT.

Total’s Exploration & Production division has awarded Sogeti France, a wholly-owned Cap Gemini unit, a major IT outsourcing contract. The five year deal, dubbed the ‘Spirit Project’ and said to be worth ‘tens of millions of Euros,’ was awarded via a service level agreement and will see Sogeti create a team of around 120, most located at Total’s center in Pau, southwest France. The new IT organization is to develop ‘innovative’ industrial-strength IT processes and solutions and migrate Total’s IT to the cloud.

CIO Philippe Malzac, said, ‘We chose Sogeti to provide the competencies and tools we need to transform our datacenters and applications. Our operations will be able to benefit from new technologies improving performance, responsiveness and cost-efficiency.’

Spirit covers Total E&P in France and certain subsidiaries worldwide, with bilingual services provided in French and English.
Sogeti CEO Christophe Bonnard added, ‘This contract demonstrates our ability to transform clients’ delivery models with the implementation of complex outsourcing solutions.’ The contract will leverage Sogeti’s ‘Rightshore’ global delivery model and includes business, geotechnical and reservoir engineering application release and datacenter management. The service extends to Total’s major infrastructure including FPSOs. More from Sogeti.

Bomgar remote point-of-sale monitoring for Murphy Oil

Hosted solution remotely monitors point-of-sale transactions with added video.

Murphy Oil USA has awarded Jackson, Miss-based Bomgar, a provider of ‘secure remote support solutions,’ a contract for the provision of point-of-sale (PoS) security solutions. Murphy’s retail gas stations will be kitted-out with Bomgar’s security camera and gas pump systems at 1,200 outlets in 23 States. The high-volume, low-cost retail gasoline stations and convenience stores are primarily located at Wal-Mart Supercenters.

Murphy operates a national support center where 75 support representatives field up to 9,000 calls per week. Murphy’s manager of retail infrastructure, Bryan Ogle, explained, ‘If we have a question about a PoS device we can watch the videos recorded for any Bomgar session at that store and make a determination about exactly what happened. PoS computers control fuel pumps, back-office computers for accounting and paperwork and security machines that control the store video cameras.’

‘When the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was formalized, a PCI compliant remote support solution became a requirement. We began looking for a way to consolidate on a single remote support tool that could meet all of our needs, including compliance and that led us to Bomgar.’

Bomgar’s co-founder and head of strategy, Nathan McNeill observed that securing remote systems is essential as these are the ‘top attack pathway for hackers.’ More from Bomgar.

Oil and gas track at Oracle developer KScope13 meet

Peloton Group—Essbase for Superior Energy. Perficient on Carrizo’s performance management.

At KScope13, a.k.a. the Oracle developers user group, held last month in New Orleans, three presentations centered on oil and gas financial applications. Peloton Group’s Marc Hadd presented work performed for Superior Energy where Oracle Essbase, Hyperion financial management (HFM) and business intelligence enterprise edition (OBIEE) have been deployed to ‘provide easier access and a unified view of general ledger financial data supporting the operational reporting and corporate accounting close process.’

Oracle Platinum Partner Perficient presented work done for Carrizo Oil and Gas where an Oracle enterprise performance management reporting solution has been implemented. Working with the CFO, Perficient reviewed Carrizo’s financial and reporting needs and decided to implement HFM, Essbase and a data quality management process to restructure the monthly close. This now provides lease operating statements for gross and net dollar amounts, and reporting based on general ledger and production dates. More from KScope13.

Petrofac SOX-compliant decommissioning for Sasol

Multi-discipline asset retirement study paves way for end of field life … in 2024!

UK-based Petrofac has delivered a ‘multi-discipline asset retirement obligation study’ to Sasol Petroleum in fulfilment of the company’s obligations under US Sarbanes Oxley legislation covering the decommissioning of its Pandé and Temané gas fields in south-eastern Mozambique. The two fields, which export gas to South Africa via an 865km pipeline, came on stream in 2004 and are expected to continue to produce for over 20 years.

The project leveraged engineering expertise from Petrofac’s consulting services, offshore projects and well engineering unit SPD. Project scope included the costs of decommissioning the central production facility for the two fields and environmental remediation.

Petrofac decommissioning director Ian Whitehead said, ‘Our Aberdeen team offers extensive experience gained on major decommissioning projects including Brent Delta and North West Hutton. In addition we can co-opt engineering, subsea and well expertise from other parts of the group.’ Other recent clients for Petrofac’s decommissioning expertise include Ithaca Energy, Apache and ENI. More from Petrofac.

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