October 1999

Interpret 2000 (October 1999)

Compressed data formats are at the heart of Landmark’s re-packaged interpretation suite.

New compressed data formats (revealed in PDM last June) are the at the heart of Landmark’s "Interpret2000" integrated interpretation suite. Compression offers faster data access and hence, improved productivity. Interpret2000 includes SeisWorks, EarthCube, StratWorks and OpenWorks and is based on the Y2K-tested Release 98Plus data model.


"Interpret2000 was designed with one goal in mind - maximizing asset team productivity, so they can easily access and analyze large volumes of integrated, multidisciplinary data much faster and in greater detail than has ever before been possible," said Landmark President and CEO Bob Peebler. "This release isn’t about just technology, but is directly targeted at dramatically enhancing workflows, so our customers are able to find and produce oil and gas with greater success."


New data formats include tiled horizons, bricked seismic and patented compression technology. John Gibson, Landmark’s COO said "Our scientists have developed an innovative ‘on-the-fly’ seismic data compression method that provides immediate, online access to data volumes in the 100 to 200 gigabyte range."


"Improved integration means interpreters will experience streamlined cross-product workflows. A more intuitive user interface contributes to improved interpreter productivity". Interpret2000 ships in December. More from www.lgc.com

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Phillips transcribes 120,000 legacy tapes (October 1999)

Phillips Petroleum Company UK Ltd.has awarded a contract to M-R DPTS to re-master all of its UK exploration tapedata to IBM 3590 high density media.

DPTS will transcribe Phillips UK data set using its Diplomat media re-mastering system. Diplomat runs on a PC under NT and transcribes any legacy format to SEGY or SEGD. Project Leader Brian Lucken, initiated the project to safeguard Phillips' data for future exploration work. Maintenance costs will be reduced and the use of high density media will also increase the capacity of Phillips' in-house data store.


The transcription anticipates future migration towards the online delivery and storage of seismic data. The project comprises 120,000 9-track tapes, 3480 and 3490E cartridges which will be output to approximately 3,500 output media. More from www.dpts.co.uk.

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.org or .com? (October 1999)

PDM’s editor Neil McNaughton ponders on some cries for closer cooperation between standards organizations and learned societies. He concludes that in addition, we need a re-alignment of such bodies with the needs of corporate and individual members.

Who does what in the world of standards, and what is the role of a learned society such as the SEG or AAPG? How do these bodies relate to dedicated standards organizations such as POSC and PPDM. And how do these in turn relate to the new wave of commercially-backed initiatives - COM for Energy and Synergy not forgetting this month’s ‘special’ - DEX?

call to arms

In this month’s PDM, we have a call to arms from POSC’s chairman, John Hanten - who asks for closer ties between the de jure standards organizations such as POSC, PPDM - along with the de factos - Synergy and COM for Energy. At the same time, Gustavo Inciarte, outgoing chair of the SPE asked for closer ties between SPE and AAPG along the lines of industry M&A activity, echoing Bob Peebler’s opinion voiced in the Oil and Gas Journal recently.

olde worlde

But these cries for closer cooperation hide a multitude of motives, which stem from the way the industry has changed. As oils move to the paradigm of low employment, the whole .org scene has acquired an "olde worlde" look and feel. In byegone days, a major oil co would probably have a few dozen people available to sit on .org committees and deliberate tranquilly on this and that. Nowadays, signing - up for any such extra-curricular activity must seem a high-risk activity, for your job!

the Agenda

This knocks - on to the real level of activity of the standards committee. Often, on the eve of the annual show, there is a flurry of activity. The Agenda is drawn up and circulated. At the show, the committee deliberates. Commemoration plaques are handed out. And afterwards? Well, the chances are that unless one or two individuals really have a bee in their bonnet about something, not very much will happen before the next Drafting of the Agenda!


Just as the oils are changing, the Societies themselves are evolving. Costs are cut. Efficiencies sought - to the extent that the main activity of the Society seems to be Advertising in one form or another - through the Annual Exhibition or the Journal. The Societies will no doubt claim that it is the advertising that subsidizes the ‘core activities’ - the Technical Sessions and Learned Journal. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the focus is increasingly the other way round.

de facto

So who does what in the world of standards? As Hanten has noted, there is considerable confusion arising from a ‘new breed’ of standards emanating from the vendors such as Landmark, SAP and Oracle. While these may reasonably be presented as driving ahead where the .org’s have failed to deliver, we need to look at the small print. Such attempts to manufacture de facto standards are inevitably accompanied by a commercial jockeying for position.

and XML?

Current thinking is that the new markup language XML is the panacea. So far though, its main use is in marketing. If it has ‘XML’ inside, it must be good. In reality the many existing standards - from Geoshare to RODE, passing though SEG-Y, Business Objects and WITS - all need to be evaluated in the context of the new paradigm.


But in addition, we need a business equivalent of XML to ‘federate’ all the stakeholders in the standards arena. The mooted Open Energy Exchange (see back page) could be just this - and is worthy of serious consideration and resources - even in these uncertain times.

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SPE - from lasers to knowledge work (October 1999)

PDM attended the Society of Petroleum Engineer’s Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition (ACTE) in Houston this month. We bring you some IT and non IT- related highlights. ( numbers in brackets refer to the SPE paper, available on CD-ROM fromwww.spe.org )


First a fascinating research program underway (56625) at the Gas Research Institute (GRI) applying the swords to ploughshares method to the US Army’s StarWars technology. Tests performed at the Army’s High Energy Laser Systems Research Center, White Sands New Mexico were described by D.G. O’Brien et al. The laser beam drilled at a speed of 450 feet per hour and has the potential to drill 100 times faster than current rotary techniques.


Murchie et al. (56686) described Schlumberger’s TransACT system for global electronic data delivery. TransACT is built around Schlumberger’s intranet ‘SINet’ but can be linked to secure ‘enclaves’ of the public Internet. The idea is to remove the distance factor from the decision making process entirely and to "put the bit on the seismic map" in real-time. TransACT uses a range of standardized data exchange formats such as Picture Description Standard for describing well log images, LAS, and DLIS for well data and the Wellsite Information Transfer Standard (WITS) for real-time drilling data. All these are encapsulated and broadcast across the net using RP66.


A similar theme was the subject of McGinley (56687) of Baker Hughes whose RigLink technology uses Java to let users view real-time data from any location through a browser. Again, WITS is used to communicate between third party applications at the rig, including instrumentation systems such as V-ICICS and Cyberbase. Email alerts can be broadcast if certain drilling criteria are met. Next step is to have a direct data feed from the rig into office models through initiatives such as Statoil’s Data Acquisition Real Time (DART) project.


Acquisitions and Mergers were the subject of a press briefing from industry notables. Richard Bergmark described Corelab’s break from Western Atlas in the 1994 management buyout, and subsequent IPO. Since then Core Laboratories has been acquiring and merging companies almost yearly. The strategy is to acquire technologies (such as Coherence Processing), to grow market share by buying competitors, or to expand into related business areas. Synergies are then built, such as the use of the Stim Gun as a downhole seismic source. Corelab has made 12 acquisitions in 18 months and claims ‘enviable’ earnings and revenue growth.


Dave Wooten told a similar story relating to Halliburton’s recent acquisitiveness. New targets are companies that support the strategic direction and add value beyond the simple addition of revenue streams. Halliburton will invest in long term technology plays. System integration has proved a tough nut and Halliburton is still working to unify IT throughout the corporation.


When Schlumberger acquired Merak, the WellView product was considered surplus to requirements. This has been spun-off into Peloton Computer Enterprises Ltd. Peloton took over product maintenance from Merak, migrated it to the 32 bit world, and added new features. WellView 6.0 is a well information management system for well planning, drilling, completion, testing and workovers.


Applied Terravision Systems Inc. acquired Artesia Data Systems last year, adding financial, land and production capabilities to technically focused ATS. ATS has two new products: Preview, an asset management tool and Interest Well, for well management. Both tools integrate data to improve the decision making process. A GIS capability is provided through Arcview.


M&A activity at IHS Energy has not been without pain, and troubleshooter Mike McCrory has been brought back to help with the transition. Previously with the PI unit, McCrory then went to work with IHS long before the merger, before leaving the group. Mike reports that IHS is making good progress in transitioning to the new realities of the merged landscape.

data integration

IHS has invested heavily in the merge of the PI and Dwights data stores into the PI/Dwights PLUS Internet-enabled repository. Will the PI/Dwights product line merge encompass Petroconsultants’ IRIS21? Pete Stark said that this was unlikely in terms of cost/benefits. Originally designed as the internal data store, IRIS21 is tuned to Petroconsultants’ work-flow. IRIS21 complexity is now hidden by IHS-developed data access layers which are "more easily used and understood by end users".


The fallout of mergers has reached the SPE itself, which is not immune to the forces driving companies and individuals. President Gustavo Inciarte said that the status quo was not good enough and suggested that the SPE might seek closer ties with other organizations such as the AAPG, SEG or the EAGE.

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LAS V3.0 (October 1999)

Ken Heslop’s poster paper unveils new version of the Log ASCII Standard (LAS)

First proposed in 1990 the LAS standard has been a popular means of exchanging digital well log data. With the widespread use of complex logging techniques, notably devices recording array - type data, many users have proposed bespoke developments to accommodate these. The new Version 3.0 of the LAS standard intends to federate these efforts and adds mud logging and other non-wireline information to the standard. More from www.geologic.com

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IHS Energy FieldDIRECT (October 1999)

A combined oilfield data capture, storage and distribution system was launched by HIS Energy at the SPE ATCE this month. A customized handheld captures field data which is then managed by IHS, all for a monthly fee of $10 per well.

For a brand new GOM or North Sea development, SCADA and real-time data capture will be plumbed-in and provide for sophisticated data mining and production control from the word go. But what about the ‘legacy’ oilfields with just pipes, pumps and tanks. No SCADA, no real-time here - but perhaps where improved monitoring and control may be the difference between the field’s commercial life and death. FieldDirect from IHS Energy is destined to fill just that role by providing a web-based data collection service.


Data can be captured using the key pad on a phone, from a PC interface, and using a the new "PumperPad", a customized handheld PC. Innovative marketing offers data capture tools, processing and storage of data and company wide access via the Internet for $10 per month per well. PumperPad is a Windows CE-based handheld personal computer which shows the surface facilities on-screen. A pumper selects a facility such as a tank, with the stylus and a spreadsheet of appropriate collection attributes like date, time, tank level and temperature is displayed. Data can be input by pointing at icons such as a tape measure, or by direct entry with handwriting recognition.


But FieldDirect relies on PumperPad for more than just data entry. Logic at the handheld level helps prevent mistakes and provides the field worker with email, tools for production graphs, allocated production and a map interface as well as scaled down versions of Microsoft's Word, Excel and Internet Explorer. The PumperPad keeps field personnel in the loop as the recently captured data is sent back for verification. Captured data is relayed via the Internet through a COM layer on a transaction server into a production and a summary SQL 7 database. This central database is maintained by IHS and is physically deployed on seven separate machines for security.


FieldDirect also provides PC-based tools for the end-user for mapping, plots and reports. The service has been in development with oil company partners for two years. It was designed by engineers for operating and field personnel. Major selling points include: no upfront hardware/software investment, minimal setup effort, no additional IT support staff required and cost is based on the number of wells using the service. More from www.ihsenergy.com

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GIS and news (October 1999)

A novel offering from Geodynamic Solutions and SageMaker is set to integrate news sources, such as Reuters and Associated Press, with a geographical information system.

Geodynamic Solutions is in joint development with SageMaker Inc. to produce a new product which will combine online news sources with a geographic front end. SageMaker is an Enterprise Information Portal, using text retrieval software from Fulcrum and other technology providers. The deal with Geodynamics means that existing online news services such as Reuters or AP will now be GIS enabled.


Information is now accessible via map layers such as a country, permit or oilfield. Rules-based text retrieval makes for high quality information retrieval. Geodynamic’s president Kirk Barrell likens the new technology to "an inter/intranet scout." More from www.geodynamic.com

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From Eureka! to Knowledge Hub (October 1999)

GeoQuest’s in-house Eureka project mobilized 2000 Schlumberger researchers. The experience gained is to be productized as the
Knowledge Hub.

GeoQuest President Thierry Pilenko says that "knowledge workers should wear internet hats these days". GeoQuest plans to help out by providing a new line of knowledge management technologies and services to its customers. These products are based on Schlumberger's own experience with the intranet and knowledge sharing, and represent a "natural extension of Schlumberger GeoQuest's data management line".


Schlumberger Oilfield Services’ in-house "Eureka" Project is supported by some 1500 field technologists and 2000 research staff. Eureka offers secure collaboration "focusing on people, not technology".

Knowledge Hub

Individual expertise has been concentrated into the "Knowledge Hub", and now knowledge-seekers can tap into the collective wisdom of the corporation. As an example, a problem that took 110 days to solve is now down to 30. The Knowledge Hub, a "one-stop info-bazaar" is also a place to capture and share best practices and to navigate the communities of practice. Such repositories are as diverse as Email, Bulletin Boards, Documents and Work-flows.

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Risky but busy (October 1999)

Palisade Corp’s one-man booth was busy showcasing the latest version of @RISK

@RISK is a horizontal add-in for Excel offering Monte Carlo simulation. Great interest was expressed in the latest version of @RISK 4.0 and the companion Accelerator product.


This ingenious add-on allows compute intensive simulations to use all available CPUs on a server or network. Routing of jobs across the network is transparent to the user. Palisade claims near-linear speed increase as a function of the number of CPUs. More from www.palisade.com

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EarthVision 6.0 preview (October 1999)

3D viewer EarthVision now runs on NT and Linux. Baker Hughes INTEQ is an enthusiastic user.

EarthVision 6.0 promises enhanced performance and display capabilities, and data export to the POSC RESCUE model for input to the reservoir simulator. New too are a workflow manager, well display modules, well path enhancements and data import from SeisWorks. Previously a UNIX-only tool, EarthVision now runs on Windows NT and Linux. Baker Hughes INTEQ (BHI) is enthusiastic about EarthVision and uses the software for real-time horizontal well placement. "We have successfully used EarthVision models to track progress of the AutoTrak and Navigator systems in recent drilling projects", said Bob Macdonald, BHI technology VP.


Synchronized demonstrations in the Baker Hughes and Dynamic Graphics booths at the SPE showed how a 3-D model can be adjusted in minutes based on MWD formation measurements from INTEQ's geosteering assemblies. Art Paradis, president of Dynamic Graphics, adds, "Visualizing the formation structurally during geosteering allows the engineer to optimize wellbore placement for maximum recovery. In hazardous geologic environments and older fields, this combined technology also offers engineers improved risk management and collision avoidance that goes beyond conventional technology." EarthVision 6 is due for release early next year - more from verna@houston.dgi.com

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4D seismics for BP Amoco (October 1999)

PGS completes benchmark time-lapse seismic West of Shetlands.

The PGS Ramform Vanguard has shot 375 sq. km. of time lapse 4D seismics over BP Amoco's Schiehallion, Loyal and Foinaven fields located West of Shetlands. Foinaven has been a proving ground for the 4D methodology which is used to map fluid movement during production (see PDM Vol. 1 N° 12) . The initial 3D seismic survey carried out in the area surrounding Foinaven in 1993 by the PGS vessel Nordic Explorer was the biggest in the world at that time, covering 2,050 sq. km.


Speaking of what has become a "symbiotic" technical and commercial relationship between PGS and BP Amoco, Dave Bamford, head of UK Exploration said "We have been impressed by PGS’ commitment to innovation in seismic operations and its safety management. We have built-up a mutually beneficial relationship."

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4Sight’s massive 4C shoot (October 1999)

Schlumberger and Seitel have teamed to shoot a massive multi-component seismic survey covering 35 Gulf of Mexico offshore blocks.

Schlumberger and Seitel Inc., teamed as the 4Sight Alliance have announced that pre-commitment to an ambitious multi-component seismic survey in the Gulf of Mexico has been satisfactory. The initial shoot will cover 35 offshore blocks in the West Cameron region with subsequent coverage of over 400 blocks.

bottom cable

Schlumberger's Reservoir Evaluation Seismic group will be responsible for performing all surveys and will provide bottom cable and other equipment, as well as personnel necessary to perform the survey and all data acquisition and processing work for the alliance. Both companies will participate in the process of securing underwriting for the individual surveys.

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Petrosys wins over CanOxy (October 1999)

Canadian Occidental Petroleum is so pleased with Petrosys’ mapping software that it is retiring third - party subsurface mapping tools.

Following Marathon’s purchase of Petrosys dbMap (see PDM Vol. 4 N° 6), Canadian Occidental Petroleum (CanOxy) is to deploy the mapping package company-wide. CanOxy is to retire most of its existing third-party subsurface mapping licenses in favor of Petrosys tools. An eight month evaluation and testing program confirmed the productivity increase - especially for new users. On one 3D project the productivity gain over the former subsurface modeling program was estimated at between 30 and 50%. More from www.petrosys.com.au

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Largest Image on Internet? (October 1999)

ER Mapper behind 150 GB image of S. California

A one-meter resolution image covering 40,000 square miles of Southern California is now viewable at www.earthtec.com.  Believed to be the largest image on the net, the image was created with ER Mapper 6.0 from a mosaic of 2,980 USGS Digital Ortho Quarter Quads. Enhanced Compressed Wavelet (ECW) image compression technology compressed these from 150 down to 5 GB.

free download

ECW compression is included in ER Mapper 6.0 and available as a free download. Serving such large image mosaics over the Internet is possible with ER Mapper’s Image Web Server (IWS). IWS allows multiple, simultaneous users to view images from an intranet or Internet - eliminating storage, network traffic and data distribution problems. Stuart Nixon, President of Earth Resource Mapping, noted "The free ECW plug-ins for GIS, CAD, Office etc. mean you can use this imagery from within your application via the Internet".


A fly in the ointment however is a complaint for patent infringement filed by LizardTech over the ECW process. ERMapper denies such infringement and is defending its use of the technology. More from www.ermapper.com

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WINDS blow at HARC (October 1999)

Houston Advanced Research Center and Petris have teamed to improved data use in energy. Focus of the deal is Petris’ WINDS Enterprise distributed data browsing technology.

As part of a new collaborative agreement between the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and Petris Technology, HARC is to implement Petris’ WINDS Enterprise, a data integration technology. The new agreement means that HARC and Petris will develop and promote new energy technologies. Created in 1982, the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) is a private, not-for-profit, university-linked organization managing research programs in energy and the environment and promoting economic development through technology transfer.


WINDS Enterprise is a web-based application designed to "enhance the visibility of an organization’s data". WINDS enables geoscientists to see their enterprise’s exploration data, regardless of location. Bob Hodgson, HARC vice president for energy said "This agreement allows each party to tap into the other's technology and expertise." Petris VP Jim Pritchett added, "Our initial goal will be to work together on research and technology transfer related to data integration within energy. Much of our work will center on the use of our data integration system WINDS Enterprise."

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Flagship sails off (October 1999)

Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG) has spun-off all its activities in the field of oil & gas data interpretation software into a new subsidiary The Flagship Group.

CGG’s first upstream software, Integral appeared in 1984. More recently the appearance of Stratimagic brought a new paradigm to E&P software with the productizing of licensed oil company developed technology. Stratimagic plugs and plays with industry standard frameworks such as OpenWorks and GeoFrame. Stratimagic’s success led to the founding of a Houston-based unit, focused on the growing software business.


The new Flagship Group is to house CGG’s entire software publishing business, with 110 employees world-wide. This includes development teams in France and Calgary (previously GeoNexus). "The operational autonomy granted to this new subsidiary will allow it to further increase the quality of its services and the market focus of its products" says Thierry Le Roux, Senior Executive Vice-President for the Products Division of CGG, and chairman of the Board of the Flagship Group. More from www.flagshipgeo.com

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Chimney detection automated (October 1999)

New patented neural-net technology, jointly developed with Statoil, reveals hydrocarbon migration paths above thereservoir.

De Groot-Bril’s (dGB) ChimneyCube technique uses neural network technology to detect gas-charged sediment over a reservoir. Claimed as commercial ‘first’ the service exclusively offered by dGB uses a seismic object detection method jointly developed by dGB and Statoil. A worldwide patent has been applied for and dGB believes the method has the potential to become the ‘next generation’ seismic interpretation system.


Work performed on 3D seismic data cubes for drilling hazard detection led to the realization that high-amplitude reflections, pockmarks, mud-volcanoes and other geological features were connected in space via hydrocarbon migration paths - seismic ‘chimneys’. Statoil workers realized that emerging neural-net techniques could be applied to automatic locating of such anomalies.


Initial results obtained with a ‘supervised Multi-Layer-Perceptron’ classification network were described as ‘stunning’. Migration paths could be followed down to the source, distinguishing charged and dry structures.

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Robertson (October 1999)

Robertson Research has acquired the assets of Reservoir Research Ltd. from the liquidator.

Before its liquidation earlier this year, Reservoir Research performed wireline-based petrophysical facies analysis using its Petrofacies process. Robertson has acquired title to the Petrofacies methodology and related non-exclusive studies and data. Robertson will continue marketing the 20 current non-exclusive products, covering most of the Norwegian and UK Continental Shelf. Robertson intends to integrate the Petrofacies studies with its own database to produce new products and services.

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Fast Volumes and DMO from Sattlegger (October 1999)

Latest release of Sattlegger’s interpretive seismic processing system ISPoo3 includes fast volumetrics for oil in place.

German software house Sattlegger GmbH has a new version of ISPoo3/Release 9.4, the interpretive seismic processing system. New functions include a flexible ASCII loader, high precision, and multi - field digitizing which has been extended to 2D data, allowing for the digitizing of highly distorted documents. Other innovations include a Fast Volume Analyzer for estimation of hydrocarbon in place, and functions to calculate DMO for attribute analysis. The software comes as a stand-alone package or integrated with OpenWorks and SeisWorks. More from www.sattlegger.de

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Million logs scanned by QC Data (October 1999)

QC Data has invested $ 3 million in scanning and enhancing 1 million Canadian logs and in developing the AccuMap data delivery system.

QC Data of Calgary has been scanning Canadian logs since 1998. At about the same time, QC acquired the software house AccuMap Enerdata and have since invested some $3,000,000 in the scanning process, and in enhancements to the analytical and visualization software. The result is a digital information bank of one million oil and gas well log records representing more than four decades of Canadian exploration.


As PDM has reported before high bandwidth communications are a way of life in the Calgary service sector. QC Data has upped bandwidth and IT infrastructure to enhance access to the dataset. The combined software and data package is marketed as "AccuLogs", and to date boasts 90+ clients.


QC Data President John Redfern used a suitably Canadian metric to describe the project’s size - "Imagine large boxes of paper well logs stacked as high as a city bus and covering an entire hockey rink. Our challenge was to get all of these records into a modern computer usable format. At the project's peak, we had 120 people working in Calgary, Victoria, Regina and Saskatoon processing a total of 11,000 well logs per day. Many of the well logs were up to 240 feet long".

coffee table

The resulting information makes-up a three-terabyte database, residing on a server no bigger than a coffee table in QC Data's Information Hub in Calgary. Redfern concludes "The Canadian oil industry now has a unique advantage over other countries in having easy access to this type of data, delivered over high-speed connections. In most other areas of the world, such data is simply not available, even in hard-copy format".

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52 TB seismic data system (October 1999)

Seisland and Veritas have teamed on a high capacity seismic data management system using Seisland’s Manager and Veritas’ Grau Robotics

Veritas GeoServices and Seisland Surveys have interfaced the Seisland Manager inventory data management application with a 52 terabyte, mixed-media Grau Robotic storage silo. The new system offers both Veritas and Seisland clients an inventory data management system connected to virtually unlimited storage capacity.


A user can browse an entire company's data set and retrieve data in ‘seconds’ over a network connection. Calgary’s city-wide fiber infrastructure lets the data manager arbitrate data storage locations and contractors.

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'Beowulf' supercomputers on the cheap (October 1999)

Beowulf - clustered Pentium - based PC’s running Linux are making headway in compute intensive work at Advanced Data Solutions and Princeton University.

The Beowulf project was initiated by NASA in 1994 and involves achieving super-computer power with low cost hardware and open software. This means running tuned and optimized open-source compilers on LINUX based Pentium clusters. The Advanced Data Solutions’ (ADS) initiative was launched in response to the Oil & Gas industry's demand to streamline costs and improve productivity. A cluster of 84 Pentium CPU's is currently being used for production seismic processing at ADS. The Beowulf cluster has proven to be a stable seismic processing environment with exceptionally good economics.

plate tectonics

Princeton University’s Department of Geosciences has been modeling the solid earth since 1985 to study the deep seated origins of plate tectonics. The TERRA Earth model has been ported to high-speed Beowulf clusters using a parallel Fortran compiler from the Portland Group Inc. Princeton’s Hans-Peter Bunge explained that porting TERRA to a Beowulf cluster turned out to be quite simple. Performance of 10 GFLOPS is expected on the new 72 processor Pentium II Beowulf cluster under construction.

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DEX - Drilling Data Exchange (October 1999)

Landmark’s XML - based DEX data exchange protocol promises open data exchange technology for drilling software

Landmark has launched a new data exchange standard using XML to enable drilling applications to trade data. President Bob Peebler said "Landmark is not only integrating our own drilling software, but we are also making the DEX objects freely available on our Web site so that anyone can use them."


DEX is ‘based on the XML standard’ (see PDM Vol. 4 N° 8), which allows data to be used across multiple computing environments and applications. For example, a directional survey can be generated, and a wellpath refined in COMPASS and then transferred, via DEX, to StressCheck. Here, the impact of that change on the casing design can be quickly determined.

data objects

The following DEX data objects are currently defined: well data, casing scheme, directional survey, pore pressure, fracture gradient, temperature profile, pipe inventory, casing wear, bit data, mud data, and cement data. A DEX Development Kit will be available from Landmark.


Landmark insists that DEX is neither a database management system, nor inter-process communication. It is "just a data exchange technology". DEX object definitions are available on Landmark’s Web site www.lgc.com/solutions/DEX/DEX-tech.asp  - but intriguingly, there is no mention here of XML!

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DrillWorks deploys DEX (October 1999)

Landmark’s first DEX customer is a world leader in pore pressure prediction

Knowledge Systems’s Inc. (KSI) is a leader in the field of pore pressure prediction with most all of the world’s major oil and gas companies as clients. Flagship software is the DrillWorks suite. KSI ’s president Jim Bridges told PDM that the connection with StressCheck had been extremely easy to deploy using XML.

$ 7 million saving

Shell recently reported a $7 million saving resulting directly from a DrillWorks prediction on a North Sea well. KSI is a private company and does not post financials, but Bridges told PDM that revenue growth has been a strong 30% despite the recent industry downturn. More from www.knowsys.com

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Gulf Canada and Kelman rewarded (October 1999)

Gulf Canada’s seven terabyte seismic data store has won it, and supplier Kelman the IT Excellence Award

Gulf Canada and Kelman received the prestigious Canadian IT Excellence (ITX) award in Toronto last month. The award was made for Gulf Canada’s 7 terabyte seismic library - which is replicated at Gulf Canada and Kelman’s offices. Prior to the new on-line archive, Gulf Canada’s seismic data was indexed in seven different databases and spread across a wide range of legacy media in five warehouses. Now, robotic servers and fiber optics allow Gulf Canada personnel round-the-clock access to clean and reliable data. The pervasiveness of IT, and the demonstrable gain in productivity were key factors in the award.

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QLA 3.5 (October 1999)

Latest version of log analysis software now links to GeoFrame and OilField Manager

The new version of QLA 3.5, now links to both GeoFrame and OilField Manager (OFM). New enhancements enable multiwell analysis, crossplots and reporting. QLA 3.5 can also read LAS, irregularly sampled data and bit maps for integration of core data. Core images can be animated in 3D and controlled with a new voice activation system.

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MoBPTeCh’s Grand Challenge (October 1999)

The MoBPTeCh consortium issued a Grand Challenge to Schlumberger - how to ensure that the first well drilled in a project is ‘best in class’. The answer - build a simulator with technology from the aerospace industry.

MoBPTeCh is an E&P technology sharing initiative sponsored by Mobil, BP Amoco, Texaco and Chevron. Started in 1996, the organization issues selected research partners "Grand Challenges" to create radically new E&P technologies. The present challenge is to achieve "best-in-class" performance on the first well on a project, and to reach the technical limit by the second. MoBPTeCh has teamed with Schlumberger-GeoQuest to build the prototype of a commercial drilling simulator. The prototype consists of PC-based applications and high-end interpretation and visualization tools and will model the drilling process from well planning through real-time optimization and post-well analysis.


The simulator will also incorporate technology developed by Marconi Aerospace Defense Systems, sponsored by the MoBPTeCh cooperative. Researchers at GeoQuest and Schlumberger Cambridge Research are working with MoBPTeCh drilling engineers and Marconi Aerospace researchers to complete the project by April.


Schlumberger research director Stuart Jardine said "Our experience in creating Drilling Office and our work on the Shared Earth Model, puts us in a unique position to deliver a commercial drilling simulator." MoBPTeCh representative Heidi-Lynne Balasch said "Utilization of computer simulation technology offers the MoBPTeCh companies an effective way to optimize the well construction process, incorporating both the technical and economic aspects of drilling. More from www.mobptech.com

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