April 1999

Paradigm buys Petroleum Technology Mincom (April 1999)

Paradigm has acquired the E&P branch of Australian software house Mincom in a $9 million deal. This brings Mincom's Geolog software into the Paradigm fold and will augment the coverage of Paradigm's Ergos to include petrophysics.

Petroleum Technology Mincom (PTM) is to be sold to Paradigm Geophysical. Mincom's flagship product is the successful Geolog tool for petrophysical data management and interpretation. Paradigm, building on its GeoDepth origins, particularly with the Cogniseis acquisition in 1997 (PDM Vol. 2 N° 7) already offers a broad coverage in the geophysical field, so the fit between the two product lines is extremely good, a point that Eldad Weiss, Paradigm's president and CEO makes clearly in this month's PDM Interview. Mincom, PTM's parent group produces the MIMS Enterprise Asset Management software which has tended to dwarf the E&P focused PTM arm.


Recognizing the inevitability of the spin-off, David Merson, Managing Director of Mincom, said that the company had decided to offer PTM for sale so that the division could "better exploit its highly-specialized software capabilities in the oil industry". Merson continued; "The sale is good news for both Mincom and PTM as it will allow PTM to grow under a specialized parent company and Mincom to focus on its core business area, Enterprise Asset Management" Speaking of the bidders, Merson continued "from a field including many of the world's major oil and gas software companies, we selected Paradigm as the most dynamic, and the one with the best cultural fit for PTM. Under its ownership PTM should be able to grow strongly and its employees enjoy continued security as well as continuing to be in the forefront of technical development in this field." Geolog will ultimately be embedded into Paradigm's Epos data model, the core of Paradigm's new Shared Earth Model.


The PTM offices in Brisbane, Houston, Calgary, London and Aberdeen will all continue to operate under the new owners and all current PTM staff will be offered the opportunity to transfer to Paradigm. Paradigm Chief Executive Officer, Mr Eldad Weiss, said he was delighted to welcome PTM and its staff into his company. "We are a strong company with a mission to be the best in our business and PTM's world-leading software and staff will help us to achieve this." Weiss also expressed his pleasure at having a new part of his group based in Brisbane. "The existing operations of PTM in Brisbane, the world headquarters for PTM's business, will continue to be the hub of its network."


"With PTM in Brisbane, and our existing operations in Perth, Paradigm is well placed for growth in the region." PTM had its best ever results in 1997/8 with strong growth in European sales provided from French distributor CGG-Petrosystems. Consulting revenues also rose by 70%.

350 clients

Paradigm's software products enjoy an installation base of more than 2,000 licenses and 350 customers worldwide. The transaction is expected to complete by the end of April. More from www.geodepth.com.

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Auspex kicks-off Energy Unit (April 1999)

New Worldwide Energy Group to tailor Network Attached Storage solutions to the upstream.

Auspex clients such as Anadarko, Arco, and BP Amoco to name but three, have found that the traditional seat-of-the pants approach to network application and data servers is no longer good enough.

Mission critical asset teams require near 100% up-time and this is where the new Houston-based Energy Group comes in, providing scalable, high-performance network attached storage (NAS) solutions. These range in size from departmental

servers to enterprise-class, multi-terabyte systems. This high-end technology is needed to reliably and cost-effectively consolidate seismic data. Such datasets are often scattered throughout the enterprise, including on individual workstations, where they are difficult to manage and slow to retrieve. Bruce N. Moore, President and CEO of Auspex Systems claims "Auspex's patented NetOS software technology delivers the reliability, scalability, availability and manageability demanded by the fast growing energy industry,"


Tom Gardner, manager of the new Auspex Energy Unit explained to PDM that the specifics of E&P computing were such that generic network and server solutions were proving unsatisfactory. Elsewhere, the database server market has offers systems tuned to provide secure hi-availability data for databases, but not for the massive file-oriented data involved in seismic interpretation and processing. High uptime is also assured by the Auspex servers so that they can carry on providing data to users even if the controller goes down.


Miller told PDM that a major cause of system downtime is the instability of UNIX systems. Auspex's dedicated Functional Multiprocessing CPU architecture avoids such downtime. Additionally, administration can be carried out and new software can be added without stopping data delivery.

overhead down

At Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, a network infrastructure based on an Auspex system has eliminated network bottlenecks and data access delays, while dramatically reducing data administration overhead. "Auspex has a unique understanding of our industry's demand for high-throughput consolidated data," said Rick Stuart, Manager of Exploration UNIX Systems at Anadarko. Auspex has invested in a team of Houston-based oil and gas information specialists who have significant prior experience in managing oil and gas data centers.


With a proven track record, the group provides consulting services to energy customers, with systems integration performed at Auspex's Santa Clara headquarters. At the enterprise level, the Auspex Energy Group will support solutions built around Auspex' 4Front NS2000 system, which rapidly and reliably delivers network data to large numbers of heterogeneous clients and servers. The result of an 18-month program of strategic initiatives, the NS2000 provides multi-terabyte data storage as well as high-speed network interfaces for continuous data access.


The Group will also deploy the new Auspex 4Front AS100 and AS200 appliance systems, which bring Auspex's technology to entry-level workgroups and departments in an "easy to buy, install and manage all-in-one appliance". Auspex's motto is to deliver "All the Data, All the Time".


Auspex is currently working with Panther and Ovation to integrate their file servers into the PetaSTAR architecture. More from www.auspex.com.

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Living with oil at $0.00 per barrel? (April 1999)

This month, Neil McNaughton reflects on industry reaction to the recent downturn and more optimistically, on the various signs of what increasingly looks like light at the end of the tunnel. Well at the end of this tunnel, perhaps.

An article in the April Financial Times Energy Review by Robert Mabro, director of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies undermined the recent popular rationalization of the low oil price. Mabro's argument is that oil price commentators (and I would add - those CEO's and consultants running the show) misinterpret the falling oil price as a structural change.

excess capacity

The argument goes that modern oil finding techniques and excess capacity mean that we are going to have low oil prices for some time. Consequently, the truly modern oil co. can but adapt to the new scenario. I confess that in what follows I am embellishing Mabro, and I would recommend those seeking accuracy and a good read to check out the original article on www.ft.com

mega merger?

Conventional wisdom would have it that the appropriate reactions to these structural changes are mega-mergers, downsizing, and the like. The most amusing argument along these lines is a reductio ad absurdam type of reasoning which says that we should re-tool our industry to be able to exist with an oil price of, you've guessed it, zero. The new wisdom involves a business plan that has at its core, the action of giving away the oil free! A nearly credible scheme involves giving away the oil in the ground and "charging rent". But some of the zero oil price reasoning, while coming from impeccable sources, is rather hard to take seriously. In recent conferences I have heard this game plan being advocated by speakers from major oil companies and their consultants. One notable "knowledge worker" offered an interesting example of the post-zero oil price oil co.


If oil is worthless, what do you sell in a gas station? Well that's an easy one, coffee and cookies of course. You think I'm kidding? A gas-less gas station has recently opened its doors in London's Strand. I have yet to visit this new wonder and I am intrigued to see if it represents the ultimate downsizing of the extremely grand buildings of the parent company or whether the whole thing is just an April fool!

cycles not trends

But to get back to Mabro, the alternative to structural trend leading inexorably to zero-cost oil is that we are not living through a trend at all, but just another cycle. Which is pretty much what 99% of the actual oil industry knew all along. It just took one academic to say that the unholy alliance of CEOs and consultants was talking nonsense!


Of course can say this with some smugness now that Brent is inching its way back up towards $16. But smugness is not really the order of the day. We have had the mergers, the service side is hurting as the oil co. knee has jerked yet again. And in some respects this is the natural order of things, when the price is down, retrenchment is inevitable. But do we really need the accompanying baloney? Anyhow, in this context, what is likely to be the real winning tactic in the long term? Retrenchment, or seeking out the bargain basement opportunities that emerge?

bitter pill

My personal belief is that much of the trends and zero oil price talk is aimed at sweetening the bitter pill of letting people go rather than reflecting corporate intent. But it is pernicious talk and can have serious effects on the health of the corporation. In the study that The Data Room performed for Total SA on Upstream Information Management (see this month's back page) a pattern emerged of a tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water during restructuring. The library function, while not a spectacular activity within the oil co., has been the unfortunate victim of successive waves of downsizing in some companies.


Unfortunately, as readers of PDM will appreciate, there are still many tasks which have yet to be successfully computerized, and that strange mixture of fastidiousness and intelligence which is the hallmark of the good librarian is almost the antithesis of Information Technology. Companies have suffered from restructuring, and lost corporate knowledge as a result. This is itself is not new, the K-Management gurus are telling us this all the time, but what is less palatable is that the management consulting business at large is purveying downsizing as a panacea, and then coming along with K-Management as a solution to deal with the ensuing havoc.

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Fakespace adds new hardware to product line (April 1999)

The latest virtual reality display from fakespace is the Immersive WorkWall, offering high resolution stereoscopic imagers with dimensional accuracy. The 'SPIN' interface, an optional steering wheel controller allows 'non-technical senior managers to rotate the computer generated models'.

The Immersive WorkWall (IWW) is the latest in a range of three dimensional virtual reality interpretation systems from California-based Fakespace. An entry level IWW costs around $200,000. The system offers interpreters up to 4 megapixels of display on a "seamless display area of up to 8 by 24 feet.


The IWW is powered by two Electrohome Marquee CRT projectors, and comes with the Fakespace Virtual Library (VLIB) software of device drivers and API's for major SD Visualization software. More from www.fakespace.com and Jim Angelillo, jima@fakespace.com.

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PDM Interview - Eldad Weiss, Paradigm's President and CEO (April 1999)

PDM interviewed Eldad Weis, Paradigm's founder and President. We were especially interested to learn more about Paradigm's pretension to offer an integrated product suite, and its relation to industry interoperability initiatives. Weis told PDM of Paradigm's plans to take-on the majors with its own Shared Earth Model technology and its relationship to industry standards.

PDM: Is the emerging integrated platform from Paradigm to be a rival to OpenWorks and GeoFrame?

Weiss: We see it more as an alternative. Our scope is different. Whereas the majors may have greater coverage, our products are focused on the reservoir. While other talk about the Shared Earth Model, to us it is a reality, right now. In this crucial field we are able to offer a scaleable solution on both the PC and UNIX platforms as a truly integrated alternative to the more data-bus oriented offerings of our competitors.

PDM: What is Paradigm's relationship with POSC and other industry standard bodies in the field of the SEM?

Weiss: We are certainly tracking POSC's efforts, and the Open Spirit initiative, but we find that our clients requirements are for deliverable product now, rather than ongoing "work in progress". We can and will adapt as and when standards emerge. But our history has put us in the position of having realized the importance of the SEM early on, and we are now able to deploy a single, integrated reservoir model into which we embed our software.

PDM: You are talking of the EPOS product now, would you like to tell us about the origins of this data model.

Weiss: With Paradigms original product Geodepth, we discovered early on that a common centralized model (in depth of course) was essential to perform, for instance, true seismic inversion. Subsequent products fitted into this framework; first the Focus product line which developed our geophysical infrastructure, then VoxelGeo, which is intrinsically a 3D model based tool. We are now in the process of integrating Geolog into the EPOS SEM to provide a fully scoped interpretation suite.

PDM: Other SEM initiatives have been built around generic geometrical engines such as XoX Shapes and TSurf's GoCAD. Does EPOS use such bought-in core technology.

Weiss: We use similar technology, our SolidGeo is the equivalent of the XoX or GoCAD products, but as I said, EPOS has evolved naturally as a SEM, and we have always considered the 3D engine to be the heart of the modeling problem. SolidGeo, which is our own development is the heart of our software and we consider it to be a real production-strength tool.

PDM: One issue for software vendors in the current marketplace is the extent to which independent vendors can offer a competing framework to the majors. Do your customers really deploy the Paradigm SEM in a stand-alone environment, or do they 'piggy-back' OpenWorks and or GeoFrame?

Weiss: I must admit that today, the majority of our clients still use our products in conjunction with the major vendors' software suites. We will naturally continue to support this. However, a significant number are keen to see our offering develop into a fully fledged integrated platform, and that is very much where we are heading today.

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SEG Ancillary Data Standard (April 1999)

Destined to standardize the way in which observers logs are written during seismic acquisition, and thereby to speed up data processing, the SEG's Ancillary Data Standard (ADS) is now available for public review and comment. The ADS is a collaborative development between the SEG and UKOOA. The proposed standards can be downloaded from the SEG website seg.org/publications/tech-stand/.

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Data analysis software (April 1999)

German software house Datan is offering generic time series and filtering software in their new Dataplore package.

On offer are time-frequency spectra, linear and nonlinear filters and noise reduction methods, correlation and coupling analysis statistical tests, and more. Packaged in a convenient graphical user interface, Dataplore includes an easy-to-learn macro language for implementing user-defined algorithms. More from http://datan.de.

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Free digitizing in Houston! (April 1999)

Houston-based data capture and conversion outfit Geodigital Services, Inc. is offering a free trial of their digitizing prowess. Sign the guest book on www.geoservices.net/guestbook.htm and get 20,000 curve feet digitized free on your next well log. Geodigital also performs map digitizing.

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Reshuffle at top of Petrosys (April 1999)

In a boardroom shuffle, Managing Director and co-founder Wence Sula is stepping down and reducing his shareholding in Petrosys.

The slack will be taken up progressively by Volker Hirsinger, the other co-founder of the company, and Executive Director Michael Brumby. Hirsinger is also to replace Sula as MD.

130 sites

Petrosys has built a reputation amongst its 130 client sites throughout the world with its high quality mapping software and its ORACLE/PPDM-based dbMap databse. More from www.petrosys.com.au.

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NSM DVD Jukebox boasts 3Terabyte capacity! (April 1999)

German CD-ROM and DVD jukebox manufacturer NVD Jukebox is offering up to 3TB storage, if not on the desktop, at least beside the desk.

With an estimated 100 million DVD drives in use by the millennium, DVD technology is worth watching. DVD potentially offers both performance and, because it is a commodity, it should become cost-effective.


The latest in NSM's line of CD-ROM and DVD Jukebox products, the DVD-RAM contains up to 620 Digital Video Disks and up to 14 drives. NSM's Turbo Time to Deliver Data (TDD) technology reduces data access time for an individual DVD to around one second. Transfer rates of up to 2.7 MB/s are still lower than high-end tape, but are respectable and certainly worth considering for Document Management Systems and project archival. The Jukeboxes come in different sizes and with various combinations of readers and writers. More from nsmjukebox.de.

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Epicentre and POSC/CAESAR Part 3, conclusions (April 1999)

Nigel Goodwin of Essence Associates concludes his three part series on upstream data modeling with a discussion of data modeling styles and an analysis of the future of POSC and POSC/CAESAR.

data model styles

There are many ways of modeling the same data structure. But while there are also many books on data models, database management systems, etc., nothing is published, as far as I know, on how to make a good data model, nor is this taught in school. At its simplest level, we gather things into entity types where those things share some common information.

levels of abstraction

Data model styles can be represented by a graph relating the number of entity types to the level of abstraction (see figure). At one extreme, there is a very complex data model with a large number of entity types and relationships, and the business rules are represented explicitly in those relationships. At the other extreme, there are very few entity types, and the business rules need to be represented in terms of dependencies between data held in the entity types.

the catch

However, there is a slight problem. Although data model definition languages such as SQL can adequately model relationships between entity types, they cannot model relationships between data held in entity types. As an example, if there are entity types ‘father’, ‘mother’ and ‘child’, then the relationships between parents and children can be modeled using a relationship between the entity types, using SQL.


However, if there is a single entity type ‘person’, then relationships between parents and children must be modeled in terms of the population of the ‘person’ entity type. It then becomes more difficult in SQL to represent rules such as ‘a child can have a natural father and different step fathers at different times, but it cannot have more than one natural father’. This has motivated data modellers to use a fairly rich set of entity types.

too many types

In some circumstances it is not possible to use detailed entity types. In engineering there are hundred of thousands of different types of equipment and components. Nobody would sensibly propose having a different entity type for each type of equipment.


These types of equipment are therefore stored as data in an entity type called ‘equipment classes’. The problem remains, however, of how to adequately model the interdependencies between these classes. How can you say that ball bearings made be made of steel, but may not be made of cotton wool? Of course, the real problem is not how to model the rules, but the fact that there is an enormous combinatorial explosion of these rules.


In POSC meetings where such style issues were discussed, there was concern expressed over the Epistle and POSC/Caesar style of modeling. In the end it emerged that when dealing with large numbers of class information, the only feasible approach is to store them as data in a general ‘class’ entity type.

rich set

This still left a question over Epicentre. In most of Epicentre, there is a fairly rich set of detailed entity types. As Dan Schenck of POSC said, "POSC members would not accept the absence of a ‘well’ entity type!". In some areas, particularly facilities and equipment, the modeling style is the same as POSC/Caesar Indeed, in the current versions of Epicentre you can find a significant subset of the actual POSC/Caesar class population, stored in equivalent entity types.

culture gap

In the oil and gas industry, there is a significant cultural gap between the geosciences and the facilities engineers. There is little discussion of how business process might be changed to take advantage of closer collaboration between these groups. Concepts such as rapid platform design changes based on new reservoir evaluations are rarely discussed. There is therefore a strong tendency to say that POSC and POSC/Caesar should go their own ways.


Whatever the business benefits of sharing data between the platform and the subsurface, there are pragmatic reasons for the two groups to co-operate and share resources. Large parts of a data model, maybe up to 40%, are ‘utilities’ which cross over industry domains. Examples are units of measure, organization, project planning, document management, geographical co-ordinate systems. Also, a common application programming interface would help implementers.


So what has prevented closer collaboration? First, ISO. POSC/Caesar has recently spent more energy liaising with other ISO data model groups than with Epicentre. In general, it is also difficult to get two groups in different continents to agree! Finally, there is a recognized need for ‘stability’ in Epicentre. As POSC/Caesar was formed after version 1 of Epicentre had been issued, it would have been technically and politically unacceptable to radically alter the structure and style of Epicentre. Indeed, even if both groups had been working in tandem, there are good business reasons why Epicentre should not have completely embraced the Epistle style. Organizational overlap has also been limited to date.


A lot of the POSC/Caesar style of modeling is already in parts of Epicentre.

To some extent, the style of data modeling is an implementation issue, hidden from end users.

When discussing different styles, it is necessary to consider the criteria against which those styles can be evaluated.

Data model styles can be different because business needs are different.

There is no perfect data modeling language, so different data modeling styles emerge because of the constraints of particular languages such as SQL.

The two data models are, supposedly, different domains, but in fact there is a large domain overlap.

There are two types of inheritance – at the entity type level, and at the data level. Tools to manage one type may not be useful for the other.

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Paradigm beats off stiff competition for Indian 'Centre of Excellence' (April 1999)

India's Oil and Natural Gas Commission has awarded Paradigm Geophysical a $10 million contract to supply a seismic data processing center and interpretation software.

India's ONGC is to create a "Center of Excellence" in seismic data processing, inversion and interpretation. The ONGC has selected Paradim's Echos and Ergos products after a benchmark trial, along with post-installation services including staff training, workflows and technology transfer consultancy, maintenance and support. Paradigm's President and CEO, Eldad Weiss claims "Our new integrated software solutions were evaluated against the strongest and best-known industry competition, and this stringent evaluation showed the clear technical and productivity advantages of our solutions over thise of our competitors".

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PetroVentures - farmin opportunities on the Web (April 1999)

PetroVentures, the Australian farmin information supplier, is moving its business to the web.

PetroVenture's Managing Editor, Mr. Wolfgang Fischer believes that access to timely, accurate information is an essential ingredient in the development of forward planning strategies in the upstream petroleum industry. Because the traditional "grapevine" of personal contacts is no longer sufficiently effective for oil company decision-makers PetroVentures is moving its services to the web at the same time offering a faster service, greater flexibility, and an online archives of over 300 past listings.


To celebrate its growth, listings are currently free. The brainchild of Mr. Fischer, PetroVentures is an international guide to petroleum exploration and development opportunities around the world that offers "up-to-the minute, succinct, accurate information about farmout deals and government acreage releases - as they come to the market". Started in 1993,. PetroVentures now has representative offices in Europe and North America.

no more rumor

In response to subscriber requests, PetroVentures has upgraded the previous black and white, bi-monthly magazine format to a more frequent color bulletin service. PetroVentures' information is provided by the company offering the opportunity. There is no second-hand, outdated 'rumor'. PetroVentures claims to be independent. It does not act as a broker or intermediary, but rather publishes the facts and gives them worldwide exposure through its global subscription base.


PetroVentures includes announcements by governments about acreage releases and bidding rounds, changes in government policies and new initiatives which influence decision-making. Its background briefings on countries offer companies an insight to regions they may be considering as exploration targets.

spec data

The service also provides information about non-exclusive seismic, geological and other data sets and reports to assist those looking for opportunities in their evaluation of the prospectivity of petroleum provinces in different parts of the world. PetroVenture's information is available for as little as US $5.50 per week and clients will soon be able to order PetroVentures on CD-Rom. Visit PetroVentures on www.petroventures.com.au.

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POSC/CAESAR rolls out V1.0 of facility lifecycle data model. (April 1999)

POSC/CAESAR, the organization which is working towards a data model for the offshore construction industry is about to release version 1.0 of the Facility Lifecycle Product Data Model.

POSC/CAESAR is to the offshore drilling and construction industry what POSC and PPDM are to the upstream. POSC/CAESAR debates and recommends standard computer models to describe the hardware (real hardware, nuts, bolts and pumps!) involved in major construction projects. A draft of the model is available now for review and comment (by the membership). The POSC/Caesar Oil & Gas Facility Lifecycle product model consists of the Data Model and a reference population of the data model known as the Reference Data. We remind PDM readers that the POSC and POSC/CAESAR data models have been the subject of a three-part series by Nigel Goodwin which concludes in this issue. More from the POSC/Caesar WEB site www.posccaesar.com .

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Olympic Seismic selects Kelman DMASS solution (April 1999)

Seismic data specialist Olympic Seismic has signed with Kelman Technologies Inc. (KTI) for the databasing, archival and on-line data retrieval services for their rapidly growing seismic database.

Calgary-based Olympic Seismic Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Seitel Inc. specializes in the initiation of 2D and 3D seismic surveys as well as sales from existing databases. Olympic’s goal is to provide the Oil and Gas Industry with a maximum of 48-hour response time to any request for seismic data. To fulfill this requirement, Olympic will implement the DMASS system provided by KTI. Christopher Talbot, President of Olympic Seismic said "We were faced with some very specific challenges with the size and time frames associated with our recent acquisitions. KTI’s solution enabled quick, reliable transition to the electronic data management realm.".

Extensive review

Susan Fitzsimmons, Geophysical Operations Manager, Olympic Seismic added "We conducted an extensive review of potential data management suppliers before determining that KTI had the qualities we desire in a comprehensive data management company.

Largest in Canada

KTI will electronically database and archive data for Olympic’s growing seismic database, allowing on-line, instantaneous data transactions. As a result of recent acquisitions Olympic Seismic is the largest seismic data provider in the Canadian marketplace. Kelman Technologies Inc. is a publicly traded Canadian company listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange, trading symbol KTI, with offices in Calgary, Alberta and Houston, Texas. More from www.kelman.com.

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GeoQuest Releases ECLIPSE 99A (April 1999)

A new version of the Eclipse reservoir simulator improves workflow and reduces simulation cycle time.

GeoQuest has released the latest version of the ECLIPSE reservoir simulation software. ECLIPSE 99A, now described as "Year 2000 ready," is now enhanced with the incorporation of two new software products acquired last year. FrontSim offers streamline reservoir simulation and GridSim pre- and post-processing software. As part of ECLIPSE 99A, FrontSim and GridSim improve the modeling-to-simulation workflow and "strengthen GeoQuest's commitment to model-centric workflow solutions."


FrontSim is a three-dimensional, two-phase fluid flow simulator that employs the streamline method to perform simulations on large and complex reservoir models "up to 100 times faster" than standard simulators, without grid orientation effects or numerical dispersion. GridSim builds the grid design for FrontSim.

shared earth

"With FrontSim, reservoir engineers can now directly simulate large shared earth models," said Larry Denver, vice president of Marketing for GeoQuest. "In combination with ECLIPSE, FrontSim also can be used to rank realizations that improve the final simulation model."

ECLIPSE 99A components


ECLIPSE black oil and compositional reservoir simulation software

GRAF graphics software for evaluating simulation results

GRID geologic modeling and simulation grid design software

Schedule well data transformation software

SimOpt interactive history matching optimization software

VFPi vertical flow performance modeling software.

This latest release upgrades the multisegment and multilateral well models in ECLIPSE and Schedule for better management of complex well trajectories.

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Paradigm moves software line to Windows NT (April 1999)

Paradigm Geophysical Announces Initiative to Provide Microsoft Windows NT Versions of its Product Suite

Paradigm Geophysical Limited has announced an initiative to provide its entire integrated suite of products on the Microsoft Windows NT platform. The company expects that the product migration will be completed by the end of the year, with the majority of its ERGOS suite of interpretation and modeling solutions available as beta releases on qualified Windows NT platforms as early as June.


The initiative was launched in response to the Oil & Gas industry's need to "streamline costs and to better integrate the computer systems of geoscience professionals with the rest of their computing organization." The transition to Windows NT will allow for the use of one workstation for both seismic data processing and interpretation as well as office computing applications.


Commenting on the move, Eldad Weiss, Paradigm's president and CEO, said, "As the industry continues to demand improvements in productivity and cost reductions, a unified Windows NT/UNIX strategy would be the most logical solution for IT and business decision-makers. Indeed, we are uniquely qualified to serve in this regard, because our products will permit the co-existence of UNIX and Windows NT solutions, thus providing a smooth transition path. By making this early entry decision on Windows NT, we allow the industry to plan on Paradigm as a partner in their phase-in to this platform as well as co-existence strategies."

rational trend?

Scott Fawcett, manager global energy industry, Microsoft Corp., added, "There is a rational trend across the energy industry to move to Windows NT-based solutions because of the reduced operational costs, increased functionality and ease of integration the Windows platform provides. Paradigm will be the first high-end integrated provider of Oil & Gas E&P solutions to announce that its entire suite of products will be available on Windows NT." Recently, Paradigm announced a new version of SeisX, its regional line-based interpretation system, which supports both UNIX and Windows NT.

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PrismTech offers mapping help (April 1999)

PrismTech Limited has announce the launch of OpenMigrator, an innovative new tool for migrating data into E&P data stores.

This new tool is designed to dramatically reduce the time and cost involved in building links between data repositories. It achieves this by having a Java code generation engine at its heart. This engine takes a formal mapping document as input and outputs a Java transformation program.


The use of Java results in an innovative solution to the old problem of how to migrate data between systems. Java's "write once run anywhere" (also known as "write once, test everywhere"!) capability now even extends to the database server. Modern database servers can act as Java servers and thereby allow data migration to take place entirely within the server! General availability of OpenMigrator is planned for June 1999.

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Cambrian release Wotan, claimed as 'first ever' CGM publishing software (April 1999)

Cambrian Geosolutions have released Wotan - Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) publishing software for Microsoft Windows 98, 98 and NT.

Originally developed for Cambrian's own electronic reporting and publishing needs, Wotan has evolved into what is described as "a sophisticated preview and publishing product." Designed for Microsoft Windows, Wotan allows full access for CGM graphics files generated by industry standard applications running on both UNIX and Windows. Unlike other Windows CGM interpreters such as the one bundled with Power Point, Cambrian's software allows viewing and printing of all embedded graphics and data types including maps, well logs, seismics and montages. The current version of Wotan complies with the ISO CGM standard as well as the POSC CGM Petroleum Industry Profile (CGM PIP). Wotan is named after the Germano-Nordic all-seeing mythological god. More from info@cambri.com.

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New study released on Upstream Information Management (April 1999)

Initially prepared for Total SA (now Total Fina), a benchmark study investigating Information Management in the upstream Oil and Gas sector is available from IT consultancy The Data Room.

The benchmark study of Information Management (IM) in the upstream sector of the world-wide oil and gas sector involved 11 units of international majors in Europe, Canada and the United States. Companies deployed IT-intensive solution successfully in areas of established E&P activity, but in frontier areas and New Ventures, more reliance was made of traditional library functions. Of particular note was the position of the participants in the business process cycle.

digital trap

Some of those having shed traditional library management functions during reorganization reported lost business opportunities as a result. Others, using Asset-focused business units, also reported problems managing data beyond the life-span of the Asset. Some companies reported running into a 'digital trap' whereby traditional library functions were disbanded before adequate digital management of data was assured. Neil McNaughton, Director of The Data Room commented, "What interested me most in this study was the fact that some of the simplest ideas had the most impact, whether this was a weekend spent indexing data from dusty cardboard boxes prior to a bidding round or capturing a minimalist subset of information from an asset prior to closure.

no 'big-iron'

In the area of New Ventures, none of the companies deployed 'big-iron' IT solutions to the IM problem. Successful companies were those that have either maintained traditional library functions, or those in a 'post BPR' phase of development, who were developing relatively light-weight solutions to recording the corporation's previous experience." Patrick Fréchu, Director of Research and Data Management with Total SA said "The results of The Data Room's survey have been integrated into our corporate Information Management strategy, providing a sound basis for our decisions in the fields of data management tool selection, investment arbitration and corporate policy".

The Data Room's study, originally commissioned by Total is now available for purchase by third parties and costs $2,500. More from UIM@the-data-room.com.

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