June 1998

DTI selects PetroVision for UK information hub (June 1998)

The UK Government's DTI has selected CGG-PECC's PetroVision data management system as the platform of choice for future data delivery and reporting.

Following Common Data Access' adoption of CGG-PECC's PetroVision data management system, the UK Government's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has selected the same product to act as an information hub in a variety of roles. In the short term, PetroVision will be deployed as a web server allowing oil companies to access data stored in the DTI's legacy data store OGIS. Data extraction from OGIS will be performed using Oilfield Systems DAEX software.

Web interface

The data extracted will be then stored on an isolated web server running PetroVision, and will be accessed by third parties through Oracle web software. Data will be presented as a POSC ASCII file or as a mapping to POSC - again via DAEX software. Currently, the available data is limited to well header information as the technology is tested. The system will be augmented later following consultation with industry. The website also hosts all the DTI data definitions and data mappings from OGIS to POSC. Working with the DTI on this project are CGG's subsidiary PECC, Oilfield Systems and Cap-Gemini. The website, www.dti.gov.uk/og should be going live next month.

CDA hook-up

The second use for PetroVision is as a staging post within the DTI for data destined for export to the UK's national data repository Common Data Access (CDA). The DTI will write DAEX routines in and out of PetroVision to help CDA keep all the indices up to date with public domain data. This same technology will also be used if CDA develops to store other data sets such as Deviation or Production data.

Window on world

A third, longer term objective is to move to two way digital data exchange for much of the data that is currently reported to the DTI on paper. PetroVision is destined to be the window on the oil industry world that will allow this goal to be realized. This project is a logical extension of the work above. It requires all of the data exchanges to be defined in POSC terms and will involve extensive liaison and discussion. Ultimately the DTI intends to port all legacy applications and data to the PetroVision system which will then become the DTI corporate data store.

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OpenWorks Development Kit - free download available. (June 1998)

Landmark has just released a freeware version of the OpenWorks development kit which will allow third party software developers to integrate their products into the Landmark suite.

The Open Works Development Kit (OWDK) is aimed at in-house software developers and commercial vendors. Hitherto the OWDK has had a $5,000 price tag plus maintenance but is now available at no charge. Users of the OWDK can extend Landmark applications, write links to existing data stores, and develop new applications that exchange data among proprietary and commercial packages.

Cottage industry?

The OWDK takes advantage of the underlying technologies of the OpenWorks framework and exposes the underlying components through application programming interface (API) libraries. While the OWDK is now freeware, it is unlikely to spark off a significant cottage industry in Landmark add-ons. While the OWDK may be free, the environment necessary to use the libraries is fairly heavy-duty; external requirements include:

Motif development libraries

An Oracle license

C, C++, and FORTRAN compilers

A runtime OpenWorks license

Objects Now!

The data access libraries includes the Geoscience Database Interface (GDI) which provides high-level data access based on standard geoscience objects such as wells and tops. The GDI includes high-level communication routines that enable programs to send and receive geoscience objects without writing low-level code. The Seismic Data Access Library provides API access to 2D/ 3D trace, horizon, and fault data used by SeisWorks. Also in the kit are a User Interface Library - GUI widgets providing OpenWorks look and feel for developed applications, the Session Management Library, Help System and Systems Library for debugging. The full version of the OWDK is still available for $5,000 and includes the source code for 15 sample programs and also full printed documentation. The OpenWorks Development Kit is offered on the following platforms: SunOS, Solaris, IBM RS/6000 AIX and SGI IRIX.

Happy users

PDM asked Mark Chidwick from Panther Software how useful the OWDK had been to their software development effort. Chidwick stated that Panther were very happy with the development kit and had been using it since 1994 to develop their data management software which integrates both OpenWorks and other industry standard environments. In particular, Panther were pleased and impressed by the fact that despite several version changes in OpenWorks over that period, they have never had to make significant changes to software developed using the kit.

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A visit to the field, geology, tests - what really happened? (June 1998)

PDM's editor goes on a geological field trip, finds himself in a familiar place and is forced to do some Knowledge Work with an aging brain.

Always on the look-out for excitement, I signed up for a geological field trip to the Jura fold-belt conducted by the Association Française des Techniciens de Pétrole (the French equivalent of the AAPG or PESGB). Having had some experience of the area (in fact having been responsible for a highly unsuccessful exploration program that ultimately caused the demise of the company I managed - thereby precipitating my sideways step into E&P IT) I expected that we would touch on some familiar themes. I was more than a little surprised though, to find myself on the site of one of our exploration wells addressing the assembled throng of eager geologists, trying to explain our mistakes. The essential ingredient of failure (and of course success) in oil exploration is a "good prospect". This one was great. A more or less virgin basin, the first well with a good show and some light oil tested.


Large structures were all over the place, so much in fact that we had to cheat the economic potential down so that it wasn't too totally fantastic. The next well tested some more oil, yet more of a tease really, and the third and fourth were the dusters that busted the company. Well that was more or less the story, and what exactly happened is not relevant to the discussion here. What did cross my mind though was how poorly the knowledge gained during this short and recent period had been preserved. What also impressed me was the impact of a photograph of the well being tested that one of my better prepared ex-colleagues had brought along.

Crass mistakes

After the various interludes that punctuate a geological field trip in France (wine tasting and 3 hour long meals - not to mention the odd World Cup match on the telly), I was led to muse further about knowledge capture, management and ownership. Since a geologist once described a core upside down, I have been an advocate of video-taping such mission critical activity as core description and well-tests as a matter of record. Apart from avoiding crass mistakes, this would bring posterity closer to the thinking process of the person-on-the-spot. In a similar vein, a video-tape of the partner meeting that signs off on a drilling location would provide a record not only of the logic of the actual well drilled, but also of some of the alternative hypotheses. These may be of great interest later - especially if they turn out to be correct! The possibilities of better recording the process involved in deciding a drilling location, or even a development program are endless and I am personally surprised that the Knowledge Management industry is not promoting such simple solutions.

Lost to posterity

The ultimate fate of such information - along with more conventional data such as well logs, seismics and so on is also an interesting topic. All the data and information that my company had acquired was sold on to a third party which has no current interest in the area as far as I know. This dataset is effectively hidden from all but the most perspicacious newcomer. The Major that operated the permit has no doubt kept a complete dataset, but they too have written-off the area and are unlikely to re-cycle this information. Reporting regulations mean that the government only gets a sanitized subset of information collected - well logs, test data etc. - so they are only a limited source of information about what "really" happened.

Who's knowledge is it?

This leads me to a further musing. If we ever get to the stage where Knowledge management allows us to preserve and share much more information about prospect development than is currently the case, then who owns the Knowledge? There are some generally accepted practices - a geologist who leaves a company can use the knowledge he has in his head, but cannot take reports or notes away from his or her employer. Many "classical" data types are reported to government according to sometimes widely different local legislation as The Data Room has recently determined. But new technologies may pressure some accepted practices. Think of the following scenario. An association works up a prospect area with a virtual asset team which communicates using Knowledge Work-oriented tools such as Lotus Notes. During the work process, the association builds up a number of Notes databases that collectively make up a complete record of the history of the activity on the permit.

Knowledge brokers?

They may also be storing workstation interpretations if the application vendors ever dream up a way of achieving this! Now lets imagine that subsequently the partners turn their back on the prospect and abandon the permit, the joint venture is disbanded. Returning to the question "who owns the Knowledge?", it is not the joint venture - it doesn't exist anymore. The individual companies will probably still be there. But unless they decide to re-work the area, the information will likely be lost to posterity. Governments too may be interested in these datasets as forming the basis for information packages to be used in promoting exploration. In the past, interpretation has been effectively kept out of the public domain. But the data spectrum, from acquisition through interpretive processing to workstation ready data has effectively blurred the distinction between raw and processed data. Maybe we will have Knowledge brokers - just as we have seismic brokers today. In the future, not being able to access the workflow database may become as anachronistic as not having access to digital data today.

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Conoco Integrates the Enterprise (June 1998)

Conoco is implementing an enterprise-wide information management strategy and reveals their vision of Upstream Information Management.

John Adams, GeoData Manager with Conoco Houston, speaking at the Philip C. Crouse and Associates Inc. (PNEC Conference Division) Data Integration Conference in Houston described their experience "from the front line" in integrating a heterogeneous enterprise-wide information management strategy. Conoco's Vision of Upstream Information Management is one of an Information Pipeline running from Finding (exploration) through engineering to the accounts department. The information pipeline should allow "any-to-any" computing with all domains being able to access data in any location. While such a vision may appear commonplace to the casual trade show visitor, Adams was critical of most demonstrations of interoperable software which only work on a simple dataset. The real world is a much harder place to operate in.

Dirty data - dirty work

Conoco's methodical approach centered around the establishment of a company-wide Unique Well ID (UWID) for each well Then came the problem of cleanup of the multiple data sets in use. Conoco deploys Petroconsultants, IEDS and several internal data bases. Wells are linked through the UWID but problems remain with inconsistent data - notably location. Some 70% of wells were successfully matched electronically, but the rest required hand matching. Dirty work but not without its rewards. The geochemistry data base had no location information so the integration with other databases allowed mapping of the geochemical data providing immediate added value. Rules for the matching effort include

consistent daily operations - "don't make the mess bigger".

capture new data continuously on active projects

for legacy data - prioritize and do in "bite-size" chunks.

During this process many documents were located which were not referred to in the well list. It turned out that 2/3 of these were in reality new wells for Conoco.

Hot projects required a different approach. First, catch your project. Adams suggests the coffee machine is a good hunting ground. Check out what data is being processed. "Infiltrate" the workflow and build in unique ID's to be presented through a master catalogue, rather than a stand alone spreadsheet. Conoco's adopted integration standard is Petroconsultants' Iris21.

Tricks of the trade

Adams rounded off with some practical recommendations as follows ;

Focus on process not tools.

Undersell capabilities

Find projects before they become "too hot to touch"

"Walk" items through data flow.

Don't outsource during a project. This is "really not recommended".

Outsource well-defined projects rather than functions.

For software developers, Adams advised;

Never assume that data can be linked by name

Stabilize ID's - these should never change

Manage multiple values - e.g. reserve estimates, but be able to flag "official value"

Define staff roles for enforcing UWI.

For matching, use Well Name, Spud Date, location.

All this effort has had very little help from E&P vendor applications which are described collectively as "very disappointing - they do not realize that they are only one of many". In fact much of the work was done with Microsoft Access, commercial products "are not designed for this kind of work". Conoco hope that there will be more tools developed by vendors and are currently working on this with GeoQuest.

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Panther automates data loading and confirms PetaSTAR alliance with Ovation Data Services (June 1998)

Panther Software Corp. have just announced a joint development with GeoQuest, of the industry's first fully automated post-stack seismic data loading software.

The Seismic Autoloader links the interpreter at the workstation directly through to the bulk data store. Stacked seismic stored near-line in the data warehouse will be accessible to the interpreter seamlessly. Through this agreement, Panther becomes the first seismic data management software vendor to license the GeoFrame Developers Kit (GFDK). "Panther looks forward to using the GFDK to extend the availability of our seismic data loading technology," says Brad Youmans, president, Panther Software Corp. "By integrating the expertise of our SEG-Y technology with GeoFrame, we will be able to deliver the functionality and value currently available to users of Landmark SeisWorks and Paradigm SeisX software to users of IESX and Charisma applications.

Seems seamless

Panther and GeoQuest are uniquely positioned to deliver seismic data seamlessly from a digital archive directly to a geoscientists' target application." The development of a seismic autoloader application will strengthen the technical integration path of Panther's core suite of data management libraries and products with the GeoFrame architecture. Panther Software's Mark Chidwick described the development to PDM as "the next generation in data loading software, but the first step in data management - which should be invisible to the user". Initially target repositories will be Schlumberger's SeisDB and the PowerHouse. The joint project development team, based in Calgary, expects to deliver a commercial release to customers by the third quarter of this year. In addition to Panther, GeoQuest has been licensed as a nonexclusive global remarketer of this unique Panther software. Panther will retain ownership of the developed technology.

1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes

In a separate announcement Panther have confirmed the strategic alliance with Ovation Data Services of Houston centered around the PetaSTAR geotechnical data management system. Featured in PDM Vol 2 N° 11, PetaSTAR is a hardware-software-services offering. Front end technology from Panther and Ovation handles domain specific tasks such as managing E&P data types including seismic, well log, map, image files, text etc. The Storage and Archive Manager File System (SAM-FS) middleware from LSC Inc. running on a Sun Ultra Enterprise server then provides transparent access to bulk storage on hardware such as Sony's DMS automatic tape libraries, and DTF tape technology. The "Peta" in the product name refers to a possible storage capacity approaching one thousand million megabytes - a "petabyte". More information from Brad Youmans on byoumans@panther.ab.ca. Please note also the correct website for Panther is http://www.panther-group.com

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Elf Exploration Production Selects GeoFrame for Project Database (June 1998)

Elf Exploration Production (Elf EP), technology company of the upstream activities operated by Elf worldwide, has selected the GeoFrame reservoir characterization system as its project database repository.

The selection of GeoFrame 3.0 follows a six-month internal evaluation of GeoFrame done in technical cooperation with GeoQuest staff in Paris and Houston. "We have foreseen a need to invest in our oilfield data administration within Elf by using modern technology and industry standards," said Gilles Rappeneau, senior vice-president of Elf EP-Technology. "GeoFrame was selected by our domain experts for its compliance to POSC standards and its proven capacity to behave as a data repository for the variety of applications that Elf EP is using from numerous vendors."

GeoQuest will provide installation, training and support services for deployment of GeoFrame in Elf's environments in France and its overseas subsidiaries. Deployment will begin in June at Elf EP technology centers in Paris and Pau, France. "We are looking forward to a long-term relationship with Elf Exploration Production to build a solid technological support to efficiently manage project data worldwide," said Francis Mons, vice president of GeoQuest Africa and Mediterranean.

As revealed in PDM Vol 1 No 4, Elf have previously selected CGG-PetroSystems' Petrovision data management product as the core of their technical data management system Archidex, based in the Exploration and Production division in Pau (France). Initially, Petrovision was to be closely coupled with Integral Plus, a joint CGG, Total and Elf developed integrated suite of E&P applications. The move to GeoFrame can therefore be said to represent a significant evolution of Project Data Store technology within Elf EP.

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Shell's Geophysical Chief looks to the future (June 1998)

Yoram Shoham, Shell's geophysics guru analyzes E&P fundamentals and speculates on our future.

Speaking at the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) annual conference and exhibition in Leipzig, Yoram Shoham, head of geophysical research at Royal Dutch Shell analyzed some fundamentals of the E&P business and made some forecasts as to where the industry would be 15 years or so hence. Shoham estimates total world-wide E&P spend as approximately $400 billion per year. This make for a giant market, but one which, seen from the eyes of a fund manager, is stagnant. Annual growth is only about 2-3% in this sector - well below the minimum 10% expected from today's greedy investment community.

More mergers

The pressure is on therefore to do something about this low growth, and the conventional wisdom is that the economies of scale obtained through mergers and acquisitions are the way forward. Notwithstanding the financial fundamentals, technology does play a role in growth and Shoham gave the following examples of technology driven growth opportunities observed in the Shell group;

Engineering has allowed a tension-leg platform to be installed in the Gulf of Mexico in 1000 meters of water and work is in progress to push this limit to 2000 meter mark.

3D seismic has made extraordinary progress and has impacted bottom lines all over the world. 3D can and has been acquired in mountainous terrain and by the end of 1999, the Shell group will have acquired a total of 165 million square kilometers

Amplitude studies have doubled success rates in certain areas.

Enhancement in seismic imagery has allowed, for instance, the detection of a 20 meter wide graben and detailed sedimentological analysis has been performed at 3000m depth

A commodity?

Shoham asked rhetorically "has geophysics become a commodity?" Of course not - there is still plenty of scope for human ingenuity. Touching on a theme dear to PDM readers, Shoham described the move from integration of tools to integration of disciplines, allowing a "minimizing of the white-space". But progress in this field has a long way to go. We should be aiming to "merge everything into a well integrated puzzle". This would allow us to circumvent the scaling problem whereby different disciplines see the model at different scales. Looking to the future - up to 15 years from now, Shoham sees real-time processing of multi-component seismo-elastic data recorded with "smart" disposable geophones. Other mid term progress is anticipated in the areas of 3D stratigraphic reservoir prediction, reservoir management through smart well sensors and real-time adaptive control systems. Shoram concluded that is was geoscience that was turning these dreams into reality.

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Advanced Visual Systems announced Spatial Data Interface (June 1998)

Advanced Visual Systems Inc. (AVI), announce link to ESRI's Spatial Database Engine (SDE)

AVI's products allow visualization of 3D datasets and is incorporated into products from companies such as GeoQuest, PGS and Western. Oils such as Shell, Agip and Chevron use the AVS toolkits to view data from their in-house developments such as reservoir simulators. As horizontal (cross industry) software, AVS has an impressive client base with products and solutions in use at 2,000 companies and 12,000 sites around the world. AVS clients work in engineering, scientific, government, energy, medical and environmental applications. Recently, the company has begun to implement visual solutions for financial services and telecommunications. AVS claims around 30% of the market for visualization of E&P data.


The Spatial Data Interface (SDI) is a suite of modules that enable applications built using AVS/Express to access data from the ESRI SDE. Using the visual programming environment provided by AVS/Express, AVS’ flagship visualization product, users can:

Visually mine spatial databases.

Create a visual front-end to spatial databases.

Support images, elevation, and other multidimensional gridded data.

Use visual techniques to dynamically pose spatial queries.

Harry Cochran, President of Advanced Visual Systems, said that, "The combination of Spatial Database Engine from ESRI, advanced visualization software solutions from AVS, and more powerful hardware is enabling organizations to turn geospatial data into meaningful information for business decisions. Our new Spatial Data Interface lets users blend spatial queries and spatial analysis with data visualization to make the most of the data they have collected." More information from Bernie Buelow (1) 781-890-4300, ext. 2265, bbuelow@avs.com, URL: http://www.avs.com

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GeoQuest Releases Upgrade to QLA well log analysis software (June 1998)

GeoQuest have released an upgrade to QLA well log analysis software, a petrophysical interpretation application for use on a PC.

QLA 3.0 features simultaneous display of data from multiple wells for easy correlation of zones and markers. "We combined the multiwell display functionality with a 32-bit architecture to increase QLA's speed and accuracy," said Frank McKay, vice president of Software Product Commercialization and Support for GeoQuest. "Petrophysicists can now see more data at the same time and make better interpretations." Newly designed for Windows 95 or Windows NT, QLA's point-and-click graphical interface is easy to use for beginning or experienced log analysts. Users can convert paper logs into digital format or import Log ASCII Standard (LAS), flat ASCII files or Tape Image Format (TIF) files. With this release, logs also can be imported from GeoQuest's OilField Manager production database application that stores, accesses and analyzes reservoir data.

QLA offers the option of working in the office, at the wellsite or on the go. The interactive log analysis also features

standard or customized crossplots to compute the hydrocarbon and water saturation as well as the porosity, permeability and lithology of the reservoir

display of logs from different dates and locations, which lets the user perform comparative analyses

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Caesar Petroleum Systems announce new risk management software (June 1998)

A new product from Caesar Petroleum Systems, Petroleum Venture and Risk (PetroVRTM), combines integrated E&P development engineering with economics and risk analysis.

PetroVRTM allows users to "measure money while they measure barrels," equipping engineers, economists and project managers with better control over the evaluation process and better knowledge of project risks. PetroVRTM takes account of key exploration, engineering and financial uncertainties. Caesar is led by 24-year industry veteran Jerry S. Blinten who developed and tested PetroVRTM under industry conditions as a decision support software for oil and gas project teams. Versions of the program are currently in use on several high profile developments in the former Soviet Union. "This is a product that has proven itself time and again as an essential tool for project evaluation, exploration, production, risk management and analysis," said Blinten. "It puts quick answers to a myriad of fundamental project questions at one's fingertips thereby saving time and money better spent on the exploration and production process." Blinten has assembled a team of specialists at Caesar Petroleum Systems to offer support and service to PetroVRTM users.

Monte Carlo

A new feature, Function Programming allows any input variable to be a function of any other input variable and a selection of calculated values, such as OIP and reserves so that, for instance, facilities cost and capacity used in the model can depend on the size of the reservoir. This makes the model self adjusting and avoids complex decision tree analysis. Computation can be performed deterministically or by Monte Carlo simulation.

Country specific models are now available at the Caesar web-site. In the development model, depreciation methods, salvage value and useful life can be defined for each facility and well type. Cost categories are now user definable. A "Land Purchase" or an "Offshore Pipeline" category can be created to facilitate cost center accounting.

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PDM Interoperability Survey - the view of the Public Petroleum Data Model Association (June 1998)

Following last month's contribution to PDM's Interoperability Survey from David Archer of POSC, Dave Fisher and Doug Benson of the Calgary-based Public Petroleum Data Model Association (PPDM) describe their 'pragmatic' approach to the problem.

The PPDM approach to interoperability is above all a pragmatic one. We believe that it is important to promote implementable "solutions" to the industry that can be profitability developed by vendors to be installed in a cost effective manner to Oil Companies. We advocate methods and tools which can be put to real, immediate use. Some of the PPDM benefits are:

standard definitions for a common physical database accessed by all inter-operating systems (admittedly, something of an ideal). However, the industry will never get to a interoperability model definition and technology unless we provide a measurement process which will help point out deficiencies in our standard model product.

standard definitions of views on non-compliant databases allowing for interoperability between foreign applications. We want to application developers improve the ROR on their investments. Foreign applications besides being proprietary systems or other standard models, can also mean "older" versions of PPDM.

definition and measurement of compliance with the published data model. Each of these benefits have direct financial "added-value" to all of the PPDM member participant constituencies. While commercial interoperability may be hard to define, even a rough and ready compliance measurement allows users and buyers to initially estimate the overhead involved in incorporating a new database. A attractive feature of vendor software to the oil company market place will be a high rating of PPDM Compliance.

a reference data model for developers working in the area of inter-application data exchange and transformation

a standard data model for operational databases and data warehouses with data transfer to domain specific applications for limited inter-operability

real-world solution

The world is increasingly moving to multiple-database systems and this is where we believe PPDM's design principles and philosophy can be put to good effect. By offering real-world solutions to common problems of database design, and by offering cross-platform views of data, users can link different commercial PPDM implementations with minimal effort. Our measurement of compliance even allows an evaluation of this effort before implementation. Ultimately the PPDM route to interoperability, like all other non-commercial efforts, has not brought about interoperability through a single "mega", or virtually distributed, database. However, this technical issue has not been important enough to address and solve by the membership when measurement to the standard has not been necessary in the past. But this paradigm generally seems to be losing ground in favor of the linkage of multiple domain-specific databases. This is where databases designed utilizing the PPDM data model, or even deploying PPDM views of data are beginning to provide users with interoperable solutions. This is in reality a very similar approach (minus the hype!) to that adopted in the various 'Business Objects' initiatives.


Finally we would like to underline another major difference between PPDM and other database models, which although it has nothing to do with interoperability, is arguably more important. A technically non-measurable solution is financially impractical. PPDM's pragmatic approach enables application developers and commercial data vendors to deploy systems that ensure integrity, quality assurance, currency and accessibility in a measurable, cost-effective manner. It is the facility of deployment of the PPDM data model that has enabled users to leverage the PPDM solution into industrial-strength, robust solutions both commercially and in the context of the corporate database.

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PetroTrek selected by PGS as GeoBank front end. (June 1998)

The Information Store's PetroTrek Product has been selected as the basis of PGS Data Management's seismic sales and trade front-end for GeoBank.

Data Management are acquiring The Information Store (The Store)'s PetroTrek Seismic Sales and Trading System. Modified by PGS, PetroTrek is used to give an overview of the contents of PGS' GeoBank for prospective purchasers of seismic data. A Netscape client exposes a high level catalogue of seismic data that is either owned by, or available to the user. PetroTrek manages security and permissions so that a user is recognized and only shown data that he/she is entitled to see. Buyers can interactively browse and order data deposited on the system. Sellers, seismic data brokers and others, will also be able to access GeoBank through PetroTrek and will be provided with a record of who has bought what and when allowing for better market intelligence. Another PetroTrek module, Seismic Program Planning is already in use at PGS' Exploration subsidiary.

PetroTrek offers ;

intuitive access to available data stores regardless of base technology, vintage, or geographic location,

both geographical and text based views of data,

user access to a variety of data models including mixed legacy/new standards-based solutions,

selection, ordering and exporting of data,

Internet and Intranet technologies and communication protocols.

The Store has previously set up the US National Geoscience Repository (featured in PDM Vol 1 N° 2), and is now focused on the production area with its Java-based PetroTrek environment.

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GeoGraphix Releases WellXchange and new version of SeisVision (June 1998)

Landmark subsidiary Geographix announces a new solution for data transfer between GES97 and OpenWorks, and enhancements to the SeisVision interpretation package

WellXchange provides a Windows NT-based tool that gives GeoGraphix and Landmark users the capability to move well data between GES97 and OpenWorks 4.1. GES97 is described as "the industry-leader in PC-desktop mapping, data management, and analysis software for the exploration and production industry". GES97 enables users to integrate all forms of geologic data, including cartographic, well, production, and seismic data into an extensive mapping, surface modeling, 3D, and final presentation environment. "Our goal is to provide our worldwide customers with the broadest range of scalable solutions across the complexity spectrum," said Landmark president, Bob Peebler. WellXchange allows users to transfer project data across the spectrum of the tools provided by GeoGraphix and Landmark.

No more ASCII

"WellXchange is a Windows NT program that eliminates both manual ASCII and FTP data transfers across PC and UNIX platforms," explains David Hicks, Senior Vice President of Development at GeoGraphix. "WellXchange benefits geologists who pick tops in GES and need to share them with geophysicists using SeisWorks. It also aids StratWorks users who wish to map well data in GES."

GeoGraphix have also announced the release of version 4.0 of SeisVision, a 2D/3D seismic interpretation and mapping system for the PC desktop. Version 4.0 adds three new interpretation tools: SynView, an interactive planimeter tool, and a 3D Fault View.


SynView is an interactive synthetics generation and correlation tool that lets users generate synthetics from sonic logs and correlate the synthetics to the seismic section in real time. The time/depth series and the correlated synthetic may be automatically updated in the seismic views and the SeisVision database.

The 3D Fault View allows users to correlate faults faster and easier with improved accuracy. The tool allows users to correlate faults in a 3D perspective. The viewer displays fault planes, fault segments, and wells. Users may rotate the view and reassign the segments, or open the seismic line to an optimum position for editing. The 3D view is designed to be totally interactive, and all changes made to the fault may be automatically updated in the database.


Version 4.0 also provides a planimeter tool that calculates acreage by digitizing an area on a map. SeisVision version 4.0 has adapted a new and improved security system that is designed to allow users to run the program in a network or a standalone environment. All of the new functions of SeisVision 4.0 are included in the base-price of the package. More information from GeoGraphix on http://www.geographix.com.

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PGS boasts record first quarter results and confirms PDS acquisition (June 1998)

Strong first quarter results from PGS herald new 20 streamer operations and teraflop computing capacity. As reported in last month's PDM, PGS Data Management has bought back the (ex - Tigress) Project Data Store from IBM.

Petroleum Geo-Services ASA has reported record 1998 first quarter revenues and earnings. Revenues for the first quarter of 1998 surpassed 1997 first quarter revenues by $45.4 million, or 48%. Operating profit increased 35% to $19.8 million. PGS operates what is claimed as the most advanced marine seismic data acquisition and processing fleet in the industry, including four high capacity Ramform vessels. Two new Ramform vessels are expected to be delivered during the first half of 1999. These vessels will be able to pull up to 20 streamers. To handle the massive data volumes produced by these acquisitive behemoths, PGS now boasts data processing capacity exceeding one teraflop. The Company will also work on two of the largest 3D seismic contracts tendered by Norwegian operators Statoil and Norsk Hydro, with expected aggregate volume of 11,000 to 12,000 square kilometers and 10 to 12-streamer mode operations.

PDS Done deal

As anticipated in last month's PDM, PGS Data Management has acquired the Project Data Store (PDS) from IBM. Arvid Qvanvik, President of PGS Data Management said "IBM had enhanced the PDS technology greatly and PGS will continue to deploy the PDS as key technology that our business and E&P customers can rely on. PGS plans to further enhance and customize the product to meet the ever-changing needs of the E&P marketplace. Internal use of the PDS will help make PGS the most productive oil field services and data management company in the world. Our previous knowledge of this product will ensure continuity of support and development for existing users." Industry observers have suggested to PDM that the acquisition of IBM's Project Data Store may not be the end of the story. Practically all PetroBank implementations today are managed by PGS under the GeoBank moniker. It would therefore seem a logical next step for the PetroBank Master Data Store to follow the PDS into its new home.

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