July-August 2001

Paradigm’s PG 2.0

Speaking to the investment community, Paradigm Geophysical president, Eldad Weiss announced a new software environment PG 2.0 which will underlie Paradigm’s reservoir-focused application software.

Speaking at Paradigm Geophysical’s second quarter 2001 conference call, president Eldad Weiss announced ‘encouraging’ results which were in line with previous earnings guidance. Revenue was $18.5 million for the quarter, up 31% on the same quarter last year and earnings per share doubled.

PG 2.0

A new software product PG2 is in the final stages of release. PG2 will cover a broad spectrum of geological and geophysical workflow and will offer ‘next generation’ integration of the whole gamut of Paradigm’s software, from seismic processing through to reservoir imaging and interpretation.


PG2 will enable Paradigm’s customers to perform continuous integrated studies, and to work on very large data sets of 3D and 4D data. This latest release represents the outcome of two years of R&D resulting in a ‘unified reservoir analysis system.’


PG2 is currently in beta test within Paradigm and at selected client locations. PG2 will be rolled at the 2001 Society of Exploration Geophysics conference in San Antonio next September.


Paradigm sees PG2 as a vehicle for significant revenue growth. While some components of PG2 will replace the previous generation tools and will be included as part of Paradigm’s annual maintenance, the major new components, notably the new Reservoir Navigator will be at extra cost.


Weiss estimated that the new components of PG2 would be priced in the $50-100,000 range, offering a significant new revenue stream for Paradigm.


On page 3 of this issue Eldad Weiss talks to PDM about the new software environment, and describes how the new CORBA-based infrastructure is supporting Paradigm’s next-generation tools for reservoir visualization management.


Weiss explains how technology acquired from CGG is offering robust tools for working with the very large data volumes associated with reservoir studies.

Statoil database

Schlumberger has been awarded a contract to develop Statoil’s Corporate Data Store.

Speaking at the second quarter earnings conference call this month, Schlumberger Oilfield Services boss, Andrew Gould announced three significant new data management contracts. Two concerned GeoQuest’s Finder data management system, with one going to a ‘major gas company’ and the other to be used as core technology in a new African national data repository.

Not dead

But perhaps the most significant announcement concerned a deal struck with Statoil, where Schlumberger Information Systems is to develop a corporate data store and ‘leading-edge’ information management solution. So contrary to some reports, the corporate data store, for Statoil at least, is not dead!


The strategic importance of upstream data management was also evidenced in Halliburton Corp.’s second quarter conference call. President and CEO David Lesar defended the PGS Data Management acquisition, in the face of analysts’ probing. Lesar anticipates earnings growth from the PGS deal will come in 2002-2004 subsequent to ‘repackaging of technology and services.’ Halliburton is still on the lookout for acquisition targets, Lesar added.

Haptics, AI, what’s next?

PDM Editor Neil McNaughton’s poor track record for crystal ball gazing does not stop him from speculating on the future of new technology for seismic interpretation.

If you have not received a copy of the Petroleum Data Manager CD-ROM Archive with this issue - complain to someone! Us in fact, at pdm@oilit.com. If you have received it - check it out! Just pop it in your CD-Drive and wait for it to start. Have no fear, the CD has been checked for viruses, and will not load anything to your hard disk. Make sure you try the Buyer’s Guide - and if you are a software vendor or service provider - make sure you are in it. Also see the new ‘contributed papers’ section - and again, if you have some material you think would fit in with the PDM/Oil IT content - please let us know.

A secret

Enough plugging for this month. Changing hats from marketer to editor, I want to let you into a secret. Despite my monthly pontificating in these columns, I do not have a great track record as a forecaster of industry trends. I well remember visiting a colleague in 1975 who had the honor of interpreting one of the first 3D surveys in the North Sea. I was less than impressed. First, it seemed that folding the paper sections every half centimeter or so made the paper sections look as though they had been through the shredder (well I was right on that).


Secondly, it seemed to be an expensive way of doing the interpreters work of lining up the faults. Well, I was wrong, even if it took another ten years for navigation technology to catch up with the 3D ideal, and as much for visualization and interpretation software to spare us all that fastidious folding. The lesson that I have learned, and one that I try to apply to PDM, is that technologies, even esoteric, are probably more worthy of consideration than my cynical nature would normally accord.


This PDM I hope demonstrates this approach - with an update on haptic technology from Sensable and Norwegian startup Inside Reality, along with some signs that radical new interpretation technologies are being applied successfully to those 3D data sets that failed to inspire me a quarter of a century ago.


Haptics, wearable hardware such as that sported by Lara Croft, gives the user some kind of sensory clue (other than visual) as to the nature of the 3D world being observed. A user can literally feel a formation’s (acoustic) hardness, or hear a gamma ray signature as a musical sound. Head movements can be used to fly through the data, and instead of pointing and clicking, you can clutch and grasp a document - crumple it up and throw it into the recycle bin.

Killer app

There I go again, more unbecoming frivolity, I’m sorry, but it is easier to think of silly uses for haptics that to spot the killer application. Maybe that is why I am an editor and neither a software developer nor a venture capitalist. But at the EAGE, I did see some software that made me realize that we have some way to go before we are through extracting all the potential value from 3D. TotalFinaElf’s Sismage - which has somehow been given a second lease of life since it spun-off into CGG/Flagship/Paradigm’s StratiMagic - shows how much information could be extracted automatically from 3D seismic.


State of the art 3D is no longer about ‘just lining up the faults,’ but is applying artificial intelligence to model a whole basin’s history. De Groot Bril’s d-Tect appears to be leveraging such technology, and I don’t doubt that the major vendors are working away on similar projects.

Bye for now

So in guise of conclusion, and before I scoot off on my holidays, I would simply like to wish you all well for the rest of the summer. Oh, and look out for PDM at both the SEG in San Antonio, and the SPE in New Orleans, where we will be on the lookout for yet more futuristic trends.

HalLink to Africa

SAIC is to extend HalLink, Halliburton’s communications backbone, to link African operations in Nigeria, Angola and Algeria.

One battlefront in the slugging match between the oil and gas service behemoths is the degree to which services can be delivered ‘as advertised’ to remote parts of the world. Key to this is a secure, reliable communications network. Halliburton Energy Services (HES) has extended its high-speed satellite communications network, HalLink, into Angola, Nigeria, and Algeria. HalLink is already operational in the Americas.


HES president Jody Powers said “The extension of HalLink into Africa is a key component of Halliburton’s Real Time Reservoir Solutions strategy that integrates people, technology, and processes to improve the speed and quality of reservoir development decisions.” HalLink links field operations to Halliburton’s real time centers and visualization rooms at the customer’s office. In Angola, the HalLink network is now available for both onshore and offshore operations, with units mounted on two stimulation vessels – the Falcon Tide and the War Admiral.


HalLink system was designed and deployed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and includes specially-designed, stabilized, skid-mounted, quick-deploy communications units for use on semi-submersible rigs and other floating structures.

PDM - Interview, Eldad Weiss, president, Paradigm Geophysics

Paradigm president and CEO Eldad Weiss tells PDM about the new software release - PG 2.0. The new, CORBA-based infrastructure will support existing Paradigm application software, manage very large datasets, and introduce a new Reservoir Navigator 2D/3D visualization tool.

PDM - We were interested in the announcement you made during Paradigm’s conference call this month concerning Paradigm’s new integrated software environment. What exactly is inside PG2?

Weiss - We are very excited about PG2 which will be shown at the SEG convention in San Antonio this September. PG2 represents a complete integration of Paradigm’s reservoir analysis system [see figure below] which will offer major benefits to our clients. PG2 will integrate the whole reservoir evaluation workflow. Now seismic processing, depth imaging, interpretation and reservoir characterization will all have a common data infrastructure, which will provide a significant
productivity gain.

PDM - You mentioned the Reservoir Navigator in the conference call, tell us more about this new tool.

Weiss - Yes, PG2 will include the first production release of Reservoir Navigator, our latest software for 3D and 4D visualization. This will visually integrate the workflow through to reservoir simulation in a 3D canvas. Our focus in increasingly on production-related interpretation and modeling and another key innovation is our new data management system, which is highly integrated and tuned for the very large data sets involved in reservoir studies.

PDM - Has Reservoir Navigator evolved out of VoxelGeo?

Weiss - No, Reservoir Navigator is a navigation and browsing tool for all data types, we still have VoxelGeo for volume interpretation.

PDM - Last year Paradigm acquired the software assets of CGG unit Flagship, these included one of the first ever integrated interpretation suites, Integral Plus. Has this software contributed to the new environment?

Weiss - Yes, the experience gained with Integral Plus helped move our data management concepts forward. Having said that we do see a trend away from monolithic data management systems. The volatility of the industry today, especially in terms of acquisitions and mergers, argues against such rigid environments. We therefore provide flexible, web-based access to disparate data stores. The linkage is at the browser level.

PDM - We have talked before about Paradigm’s use of CORBA - is this still how it’s done?

Weiss - Yes CORBA is the underlying foundation of our interoperability technology.

PDM - Doesn’t CORBA give you trouble integrating with Microsoft Windows-based applications?

Weiss - We are in the process of porting our software to Windows NT, and also to Java so that the operating system is not as important as it used to be.

PDM - What becomes of Paradigm’s Ergos Epoch and Poros software?

Weiss - These subsystems - for seismic data analysis, interpretation and reservoir characterization all remain as components of PG2.

PDM - So in a sense, PG2 is a competitor for OpenWorks or GeoFrame?

Weiss - If you like, but we are not presenting PG2 as a head-on competitor with these environments. We still maintain our interfacing capability with these frameworks.

PDM - So you are going head-on with Open Spirit?

Weiss - If you must, at least on a technological level. But Paradigm’s real strength lies in the application arena. We see much of the competition as focused on data management and integration schemas, and perhaps forgetting about the basics of better science, better geology and geophysical interpretation tools.

PDM - So PG2 is basically new infrastructure for Paradigm?

Weiss - It is, and we do not intend to defocus on our interpretation software. Applications have always been, and will remain, our greatest strength.

Geoscience Software Innovators

In this bumper issue of PDM, we bring you a new section - Geoscience Software Innovators. We invited software vendors to submit contributed articles on their new software and services which we have ruthlessly edited - well, we have eliminated some of the hyperbole. Some may have a familiar ring to them - a measure of the fact that little escapes the scrutiny of PDM’s editorial team. But all serve to demonstrate the scope of upstream software, from geochemical measurement and modeling, through seismic survey design to E&P Geographic Information Systems and e-business. If you feel that we have left anything out - or if your organization would like to contribute to future editions of Innovators, email us at pdm@oilit.com.


Calgary-based Advanced Geotechnology Inc. (AGI) has reported progress on the latest phase of the StabView Jint Industry Project (JIP - see PDM Vol 5 N° 6). StabView 2 is set to reduce drilling and completion costs by addressing borehole instability, lost circulation, fracturing and sand production issues. Technical objectives are to develop and test new algorithms for implementation in the next release of StabView. The new version will address borehole collapse risks for inclined and horizontal wells, including the effects of weak bedding or fracture planes, temperature, and several non-linear rock failure criteria.


A new user interface lets users enter rock properties for an entire wellbore, and output graphical depth profiles of borehole instability, lost circulation, fracturing or sand production risks. Current participants in the JIP include Chevron, Nexen Energy, Baker Oil Tools, University of Alberta, Geological Survey of Canada, and Petrobras. The JIP has also been extended to members of the Drilling Engineering Association as DEA-147. The JIP will be completed in early 2002, with the delivery of the new software, a collection of case histories, and a series of training sessions. A beta release of the software is planned for the fall of 2001. More from www.advgeotech.com.


Web PeakView is an Internet visualization tool for viewing gas chromatography results from oil and gas laboratory analyses. Chromatograms are dynamically generated from processed data files residing on the Baseline web server. The service will be included in Basline’s online sample tracking program, a database hosting solution. More from www.baselinedgsi.com.


CGG has now ported all of its GeovecteurPlus seismic processing software to its Geocluster Intel/Linux environment. The suite is now available for use in CGG’s data processing centers and at client locations. Geocluster includes standard sequential processing modules, parallel processing modules, and interactive applications. For prestack time migration (PSTM), these clusters are as powerful as the largest supercomputers, PSTM is now part of CGG’s standard processing sequence. The clusters are also proving key to improved depth imaging, seismic inversion, 4D, and higher-order velocity analysis. All processing modules now include anisotropy and CGG’s processors give special attention to this subject. More from www.cgg.com.


The UK’s DEAL (Digital Energy Atlas and Library) aims to be the definitive source of geoscientific spatial and attribute data for the UK. DEAL will provide a map-based interface to vendor data products, and will offer entitlement-controlled access to data in distributed repositories. The web-base GIS system has been developed by the British Geological Survey (BGS) in partnership with ESRI whose Spatial Data Engine is used to serve spatial data held in Oracle to ArcIMS 3.0. An iPlanet web server offers text searching and report generation through Allaire’s ColdFusion dynamic page server. Key strengths of DEAL are a user-friendly interface, a rapid, browser-independent map server and the ability to map to any repository on the Internet. Use of parameters as strings in a URL allows parsing by remote repositories and dynamic generation of queries on in-house systems. The potential of seamless distributed database access ‘is now a reality.’ More from www.ukdeal.co.uk.


de Groot-Bril’s (DGB) d-Tect provides semi-automated detection of seismic objects such as faults, reflectors, anomalies, stratigraphic features and ‘chimneys’ – hydrocarbon or mineralization plumes that may occur above a reservoir. d-Tect V 1.0 is due for release in September 2001 and uses Statoil’s patented pattern recognition techniques to enhance, recognize and ultimately extract seismic objects. The software makes use of neural net technology. A ‘pick set’ of example locations is used to ‘train’ the system, which then generates an ‘object-probability cube.’ d-Tect is embedded in a new visualization environment from Norwegian software house GeoCap. Ultimately, DGB plans to create a ‘next-generation’ seismic interpretation environment, incorporating image processing and special extraction algorithms and workflows. More from www.dgb.nl.

ER Mapper

Earth Resource Mapping’s (ERM) Image Web Server (IWS) serves up GIS data over the internet. IWS features fast and seamless integration of city, state and countrywide imagery with GIS map servers and database information. IWS is based on a patented ECW wavelet-compressed bi-directional streaming protocol. IWS provides real time panning and zooming through terabytes of imagery, including GIS vector layers draped over imagery. IWS supports layer control and is tightly integrated with ESRI’s ArcIMS and MapObjects, MapInfo’s MapXtreme, Autodesk’s MapGuide, Intergraph’s GeoMedia WebMap, UMN’s MapServer, Vicinity’s MapBlast and other GIS map servers. More from www.ermapper.com.


EzTools, from OilWare is a suite of well log data conversion utilities accessible through a single graphical user interface. EzTools controls all aspects of the data conversion process and allows for selection and editing of files, time depth intervals, sample rate, curves and header information. A wide range of robust conversion routines are available for well logs in ASCII, LIS, DLIS and BIT formats. One useful facility is the ability to rename curves during conversion to accommodate corporate naming standards. OilWare also offers a freeware utility - TapeID to quickly identify well log formats and encapsulated data on tape. More from www.oilware.com.


Genetek develops the Earthworks seismic interpretation systems which runs on high-end Compaq Alpha machines. Genetek has pioneered access to prestack interpretation and visualization at the workstation by building partial stacks in real-time, and extracting and graphing amplitude vs. offset (AVO) attributes on-the-fly. Live-linked spatial visualization, with opacity control, enables visual scanning for 2D and 3D AVO anomalies in their natural structural position. EarthWorks now includes special tools for overthrust and compressional environments. More from www.genetek.com.

Green Mountain Geophysics

Variations in the thickness and velocity of thin low-velocity surface layers onshore, and irregular water-bottom topography and velocity variations in sediments cause poor seismic data quality and distort the seismic image. To compensate such near-surface effects, static corrections must be applied carefully. As part of its Millennium refraction statics package, Green Mountain Geophysics (GMG) has developed a turning-ray tomography solution, FathTomo, which subdivides the near-surface into a grid of 3-dimensional cells or voxels of constant velocity.

Ray path

Ray path travel-times are computed iteratively, and the model refined until differences between the measured values and the model are minimized. Analysis on 2D & 3D datasets indicates that traditional refraction techniques provide a better short-period statics solution in the presence of a layered model of varying velocity and thickness, whereas turning-ray tomography provides a better solution in the presence of continuous vertical velocity variations and long-period statics. Up to 60m depth, the model suffers less using delay-time analysis compared to the inversion procedure due to the acquisition sampling problem. However, beyond 60m, tomography indicates the presence of long period statics which are not detected using the conventional strategy. Combining the methods in a hybrid approach addresses the strengths and weaknesses of each technique and provides an optimum solution to the statics problem. More from www.gmg.com.


IES has developed a quick look tool for basin modeling ‘PetroFlash.’ The first release of PetroFlash is freeware and can be downloaded from the IES ftp site - ftp.ies.de. The package enables explorationists to familiarize themselves with basin modeling concepts. PetroFlash is one of the latest developments at IES and its functionality is fully integrated in PetroFlow 2D & 3D.


InfoLogic is collaborating with GeoQuest’s Data Management division to create a geochemistry data extension to GeoQuest’s Finder. The geochemical extension, which will be released later this year will allow Finder users to integrate geochemistry data into their master data store for general use. More from www.infologic-us.com.


Neuralog has released a new version of its map vectorizing package. NeuraMap version 3.0 has been validated on Windows 2000 and Windows ME and incorporates a new data-merging feature to allow captured data from multiple images to be merged in a new data set. For contours intersected by faults, the new Volumetrics algorithm automatically traces and visually highlights the newly calculated area. More from www.neuralog.com.

Cut & paste

A copy and paste location feature allows the coordinates of an entity of one map to be easily assigned to a calibration point of the same feature in another map. New ArcView shape file imports enable NeuraMap users to bring in this ESRI format and once loaded, the data can be edited, combined and regenerated in any industry standard format including ZMAP Plus and Finder. Other upgrades include shotpoint interpolation functionality and enhanced polyline editing settings. More from www.neuralog.com.


New developments from Petrosys are set to reduce the cost of tracking pay zones from well to well, and across fields and basins. The new Petrosys Wells module speeds new venture evaluations and resource assessment in mature production areas. The Wells module reads complex well data suites, quickly capturing both data and knowledge such as formation tops and producing zone information. Spreadsheet layouts for point and interval sampled downhole data can be defined and then populated with spatial and attribute information such as depths, thickness, porosities, and saturations. Engineers can define sands and other intervals that can be assigned independently of other zonations which might be based on depositional, chronological, or biostratigraphic criteria. More from www.petrosys.com.


German consultancy TEEC has developed a new workflow for assessing fracture porosity directly from seismic data. The technique uses three attributes (coherency, dip, azimuth) which are simultaneously inverted to extract visible lineaments. Maps of fault density, connectivity are then generated over the depth interval of interest. After calibration with core, log and production data, these are used to predict properties in untested blocks, and to plan horizontal wells. The workflow, implemented in TEEC’s CohTEEC suite, has been successfully applied to a range of geological settings and depths. More from www.teec.de.

High Performance Computing

The EAGE’s interactive session ‘High Performance Computing for Seismic Processing and Imaging,’ chaired by Shell’s Jack Buur and Vertitas’ Ed Mariner, turned out to be a polite battle between proponents of Intel clusters and the super scalar brigade who put up a valiant defense of purpose-built high performance machines.


SGI’s Igor Zacharov noted a fundamental difference between seismic processing (which requires large bandwidth for scalability) and reservoir simulation (which needs low latency). This gives an advantage, in reservoir simulation at least, to conventional high performance architectures such as SGI’s 64 bit CC-NOVA. These present one machine to software developers, and there is no limit to the memory available. However, economics dictate that cheaper commodity hardware should be considered for some types of algorithms. Zacharov compared the current situation in upstream computing with that in CERN in 1991. CERN’s SHIFT project aimed at detecting high-energy events involved a highly parallel problem, similar to seismic processing. The initial strategy was to decouple CPU servers, from disk servers and tape drives. However as the project progressed, a need to re-group the sub-units was recognized. Zacharov sees similar issues with the present trend towards PC-clusters - ‘a repeat of the same game’. Zacharov further notes that while CPU development is moving quickly, the same is not true for disks, tape and networks. Zacharov (and SGI) therefore advocate scalable shared memory machines (SSMM) acting as file servers to data on disk. Cheaper clusters can provide the CPU ‘bang’. Zacharov concluded with a little trashing of 32 bit architectures, to conclude that there is still a role for SSMM within a Linux cluster, and that considerable expertise is required to deign and tune such systems.


Exploration Design Software (EDS) specializes in making large clusters efficient in production seismic processing. Chris Stork claimed the 1200 CPU cluster designed by EDS for Spectrum EIT is the fourth largest commercial computer in the world. Such computers offer unparalleled price/performance of $950/Gflop (compared with $4,000 to $10,000/Gflop for Unix machines). Clusters offer a scalable architecture and a mature development environment including compiler documentation and expertise. Stork reports a stable, reliable hardware environment (unlike some commercial attempts at clusters), ‘computer companies come and go, but platforms stay.’ Stork claims both Windows and Linux can be used effectively on clusters - the choice is ‘mostly a personal preference.’ Windows, now ‘fully stable,’ adds 4% to cost of hardware, and offers a 15% speed improvement for compliers and I/O. Most EDS clients start with Linux and end with Windows because of above price/performance advantage. Stork offered a comparison between high-end and entry-level hardware [see table]. At a price performance of $950/Gflop, the comparison comes out strongly in favor of the ‘commodity’ machine. Key software features such as crash/fault tolerance and load balancing are crucial. Asynchronous inter-process communications are mandated - staging 100MB of data and collecting later avoids costly Gigabit Ethernet. ‘Message Passing Interface (MPI) is not sufficient, because it needs Gigabit Ethernet.’ Other tricks of the trade include disk-caching and tuning with micro code to use the SSE capabilities of the Pentium III (offering a 2-8 fold speed improvement). EDS has tested two design approaches. A master/slave configuration with data on a RAID array had I/O bottleneck problems, whereas peer-to-peer parallel I/O requires identical machines. Stork therefore advocates a hybrid approach with several masters.


IBM’s John Watts described the Open Source movement as both the ‘new economic landscape,’ and, for commercial vendors, as ‘terra incognito.’ Notwithstanding the uncertainty, ‘all IBM hardware and software is Linux-ready.’ Watts recalled a recent past when the super scalar chip led to an ‘explosion’ in the Unix workstation market - with around half of the world’s seismics processed on IBM SP2 machines. Now we have ‘PC chips with attitude!’ Since the Standish Group reported in 2000 that ‘Linux was becoming very muscular in high performance computing,’ IBM CEO Louis Gerstner is spending $ 1 billion a year on Linux. Watts’ message, like SGI’s, steers between Intel cluster advocacy and a reminder that there is still life in the RISC chip which retains its place in the CPU ‘fitness space’ - especially with a 375 MHz RISC chip offering an order of magnitude better I/O performance over a 1GB Pentium. For its part, IBM brings a common file system, high availability and distributed system management and support.

EDS cost/performance comparison of Intel hardware


High end


2 x 1 GHz

$ 700

2 x 1.5 GHz Xeon

$ 13,000


256 MB

$ 150

1 GB

$ 1,100


100MB Ethernet

$ 50

Gigabit Ethernet

$ 900



$ 200


$ 700


$ 800

$ 800



$ 0


$ 1,000



$ 5,800


$ 950

$ 1,900

PDM footnote: Sandia National Labs, a forerunner in the development of clustered supercomputers with its massive Intel-based ASCI-RED machine, has released its cluster controller software C-Plant into the public domain through the Open Source movement.

Andersen’s Knowledge Space

PDM was invited to sit in on a recent edition of the exclusive Ark Group conferences ‘Developing an Effective Knowledge Management Intranet.’ We report here on an illuminating presentation of the Arthur Andersen* approach to knowledge management and Intranet deployment.

According to Michel Meyer, Arthur Andersen (AA) has one of the largest Lotus Notes networks in the world and its experience in the field goes back over 15 years - before knowledge management or Intranets were even though of. AA works along the lines of a three dimensional matrix of communities. These group workers geographically, by discipline and by industry sector.

Knowledge Space

AA’s Knowledge Space Portal (KSP) reflects this matrix organization and leverages intranet technology to allow these internal communities to communicate. The basic idea is to ‘learn local and share global.’ The portal offers simple, effective tools to effect such global sharing - of knowledge and best practices. Portal home pages are expert-authored, but users on engagements can submit content through a globally-available ‘contribute’ button. Such submissions are published in draft form before certification.

Intellectual capital

Logging on to the KSP, one is met with an entreaty to speak! - to explore and share AA’s intellectual capital. Search is possible through SQL Server-based Lotus Notes, but some AA communities have developed Thesaurus-based text searching. The knowledge base population was described as patchy - reflecting the difficulty of getting consultants to stop and capture knowledge gained on an engagement. But the 15 years of AA best practices have made up a substantial knowledge base, such that the KSP is more of a structured front end to the AA content, rather than a demonstration of the latest bells and whistles. Best practices are available through a set of hyper-linked documents. AA is ‘activating the knowledge pyramid’ by developing more best practices for its communities. Studies of usage patterns has allowed several experts to be identified.

Knowledge capture

Some 40-60 people are involved full time in writing for the KSP. There is a natural tension between work on an engagement, and developing the knowledge base. But as users see the benefits of the KSP, they are more likely to contribute. AA offer incentives to contributors - such as a mention in the annual job review rating. Overall KSP responsibility is shared - ‘no one is responsible for this lovely organic mess!’ A bad previous experience (Andersen Online) means that AA no longer believes in the dictatorship of a global Chief Knowledge Officer.

* Since this presentation, Arthur Andersen has become Accenture. We have preferred to keep the old terminology for this article.

Shell opts for ESRI GIS

Shell is to standardize on the whole suite of ESRI’s Geographic Information System (GIS) software for world-wide, corporate deployment as part of its universal server technology program.

Shell International Exploration and Production (SIEP) has selected ESRI software as the basis of its standard suite of Intranet and desktop GIS products. SIEP’s enterprise GIS solution comprises ESRI’s full suite of software, including the ArcGIS family of desktop software (ArcView, ArcInfo, ArcEditor), ArcIMS, and ArcSDE, closely integrated with a spatially enabled object-relational database management system.


The global agreement between ESRI and SIEP allows Shell Operating Units and Affiliates to deploy ESRI software throughout the business. Global support will be provided by dedicated Shell and affiliates staff, and a network of regionalized ESRI distributor technical support centers, to cover the multiple time zones of Shell’s global business.

de Langladure

Jerry Larthe de Langladure of the SIEP Geosciences Leadership Team said, “The selection of ESRI reflects our strategy of adopting universal server technology, through strategic global partnerships, utilizing commercially available off-the-shelf GIS products that integrate enterprise database management systems.”


GIS-enabled projects are already underway in a variety of business areas including asset management system, biodiversity mapping, southern North Sea exploration, UKCS ‘opportunity mapping,’ and a variety of new ventures worldwide. Migration of Shell’s legacy spatial data is expected to be complete by the end of the year.


ESRI President Jack Dangermond said, “We thank the SIEP team for helping us work out the complex issues inevitable in an agreement of this magnitude. Such an agreement successfully demonstrates the powerful capabilities of our software, as well as our ability to provide global support to a major multinational company. We look forward to working with Shell for many years to come.”

EAGE 2001

The annual conference and exhibition of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) was held in Amsterdam last month. The show was better attended than some of the more exotic locations of recent years, but comments from many exhibitors suggest that the EAGE could be better value for money. PDM concurs in this as the EAGE is the only show which makes us pay to get in! Bitching apart, we are pleased to give a wider audience to software exhibitors and report here on new developments in virtual reality, haptic devices and geostatistics. On the hardware front, the new 9.2 megapixel ‘QUXGAW’ display from IBM was spectacularly noteworthy.

TotalFinaElf (TFE) E&P president, Jean-Luc Vermeulen, in a keynote address gave examples of how technology was enabling an aggressive drilling program on the $4 billion Venezuelan Sincor heavy crude project. TFE is currently drilling some 1500 horizontal wells, each with over 1000m of horizontal section. This activity is supported by high tech integration of measurement while drilling (MWD) data from the field into the reservoir model via a satellite link*.


Ed de Mulder (no, Sculley couldn’t make it) of the Netherlands Institute of Applied Geophysics - TNO made a valiant attempt to place oil and gas exploration and production in the context of sustainable development. He pointed out that “a lot has changed for the better in exploitation over the past two decades.” For example deep seismic is now achieved in urban areas with little or no impact, and waste from drilling activity is now properly contained and disposed of. Mulder exhorts the geoscience community to communicate more, with for instance, public websites monitoring the environmental impact of oil production. By 2050 everyone will know more about Planet Earth, in part thanks to public databases like TNO’s DINO.

Inside Earth

Inside Earth from Norwegian startup Inside Reality (IR) is set to offer Magic Earth competition in high-end virtual reality-based interpretation. Norsk Hydro has 4 IR installations where geologists, reservoir engineers and geophysicists collaborate. IR’s differentiator is the use of head-tracking to ‘fly’ through the data set. As the operator squats down to look under the reservoir - the display adapts accordingly. The operator is ‘really present in the data world.’ The view of the 3 D data set is different to Magic Earth, with more reliance on section views than ME’s 3D ‘cursors.’ But the Cave also offers an arbitrarily-oriented cube - whose transparency can be altered - an impressive facility which lets the operator fly through transparent data and only ‘see’ high amplitudes. Region-growing is also available - both as a ‘surface grower’ and as a ‘volume grower.’ Hydro’s Oseberg asset team uses the software ‘daily’ to plan horizontal wells.

Write On

GeoQuest’s WriteOn provides PowerPoint-like (or perhaps that should be Open Journal-like?) functionality to users of GeoFrame (3.8.1 up). An interpreter can capture data from Charisma into an XML data store. Norsk Hydro wanted the ability to draft sequence boundaries and facies - they decided this could best be done with a graphical layer. Text and even speech annotations can be added. Hydro interpretation advisor Paul Spencer said, “WriteOn is an effective media for communicating exploration concepts graphically within Charisma. The ability to turn-off and switch between layers allows several ‘storyboards’ to be constructed as the interpreter gets his message across during a meeting. The integration of URL facilities allows immediate access to online reports, graphics, well summaries and external journals, thus increasing the content and impact of any presentation or technical work meeting”.


Novint is a spin-off from Sensable Technogies which develops oil and gas interpretation interfaces between Sensable’s haptic interface and interpretation software. The idea is to be able to feel rock properties such as acoustic impedance, with the haptic device - aiding the 3D pointing and selection process. Novint’s VoxelNotePad (VNP) makes it possible to work in 3D with 3D data, by adding haptic feedback and providing real time, 3D interaction to existing visualization techniques. Novint is developing VNP to enable geoscientists to ‘touch and view their data in 3D and in real time.’ A VoxelGeo interface was developed for Mobil and GoCad interface for Chevron. Aramco has also experimented with the software and even tried sonification - letting the interpreter listen to seismics.

Interpretation Workflow

TotalFinaElf’s Vivien de Feraudy presented a detailed workflow for the deep offshore combining structural modeling with geostatistics. The case history involved an unnamed Upper Miocene turbidite field offshore West Africa. Tools used included commercial applications and in-house developed software. The theme of the presentation was how uncertainty was propagated through the modeling workflow. Initial modeling was performed in GoCad - with time to depth conversion a major source of uncertainty. TFE’s ALEA package was used to generate 300 ‘uncertainty maps’ of rock volume above the oil water contact.


Many showed a saddle, cutting the pool into two parts - a ‘surprise.’ Sedimentological modeling followed, with a probabilistic association of net to gross with architectural elements. The results were gridded in a 270,000 cell model - of which 50,000 cells were active in the simulator. T-Surf’s Jacta was used to generate 300 simulations which were populated with facies, net to gross, water saturation and permeability. Oil in place was computed for all 300 simulations - and realizations selected for export to the flow simulator. Geometry proved the main uncertainty. Probabilistic production profiles, showing a range of profiles from ‘catastrophe’ to ‘jackpot,’ were used to right-size the surface facilities.

9 megapixel display

IBM has released a 22" diagonal super high resolution (9.2 million pixels, 3480 x 2400) flat panel display, intended to replace twin-screen setups as used in seismic interpretation. The sexily-named “QUXGAW” display was driven by four Matrox G200 cards, but performance was abysmal! IBM was waiting for the arrival of Wildcat 5110 cards, which are expected to change this. The display is so crisp that you may need to change your specs to get the full benefit.

ISA GeoBrowse

ISA GeoBrowse is a GIS-based data browser offering an attractive Microsoft Windows-based front end to data in OpenWorks, Finder, GeoFrame, dbMap and IHS databases. Data can also be imported from SDE, AutoCad ESRI Shape files and bitmaps. The latest release, GeoBrowse 2.3 offers one-click macro icons, advanced forms filtering, and display of well directional surveys and project. Apache has used the software in its NW Australia exploration effort. ISA claims one North American client. More from www.isa-web.com.


ECL’s Vega provides planning and QC of land and shallow marine 3D surveys. The Windows application contains tools for mapping, and editing SPS formatted positioning data. Vega also provides 3D binning coverage analysis and display tools and an SPS data and format checker.


Geovariances has launched a new package “Isatoil” for constructing stacked sequence reservoir models. Isatoil integrates deviated wells, seismic layers and faults into the geostatistical model and also offers several geostatistical time-depth conversion methods. Volumetric calculations are performed with stochastic simulations and process control is assured through visualization of a base case. ISATIS has sold over 600 licenses of its generic geostatistical modeling package to companies such as Shell, Statoil and TotalFinaElf.

Open Spirit

Open Spirit CTO Clay Harter gave PDM an update on the E&P middleware platform’s progress. Open Spirit has around 10 corporate sales including Chevron, Shell, AGIP and TotalFinaElf. The following software runs on the platform, T-Surf’s GoCad, GeoQuest’s Variance Cube, and Anadrill’s Interactive Web Witness (measurement while drilling). Continuum Technology offers Open Spirit data access while Chroma Energy (a new technology offshoot from Arco) has Open Spirit-compliant seismic attribute extraction. 10 other companies are working on software pilots. Open Spirit is looking to demonstrate the ‘real value’ of the software at the San Antonio SEG. For Harter, the ultimate rationale for Open Spirit is the Virtual Application (using OS-compliant components) running the Virtual Project (with disseminated data). Open Spirit currently has 21 employees.

Bell Geoscience

Bell Geoscience was launched a couple of years back with great fanfare. At the time Bell was touting gravity technology, developed by the US navy for submarine warfare, as about to replace seismics. It didn’t, and Bell Geoscience went into Chapter 11 in July 2000. The company has been reborn ‘in a modest way’ and is now ‘doing things more seriously.’

Dynamic Geoscience

Dynamic Geoscience is a joint venture between Fairfield Industries and Edinburgh’s Heriott-Watt University. Current work is mostly on academic-focused projects - including developing a 32 node Intel/Linux cluster, used for reservoir modeling (Fairfield US has a 1000 node cluster for seismic processing). The reservoir modeling software may ultimately be productized. The unit is one year old and should “grow into an important part of our business.”


GeoQuest’s Application Service Provision (ASP) will be offering remote, web based access to the full suite of GeoQuest applications for companies based in Aberdeen from August 2001. The European Service Center will also be offering data management and other services.

*More detail on the Sincor project is available in Landmark Solutions Vol. 6 N° 2. Drilling rates of over 150 meters per hour are commonplace, with a well drilled in as little as four days. Up to five rigs may be drilling at any given time generating a massive amount of data. Sperry-Sun (a Halliburton company) uses its InSite rig information to ‘beam’ real-time information to Landmark’s OpenWorks. Gamma ray, resistivity and directional data is sent every 2 seconds via satellite, and the OpenWorks geology database is updated every 2 minutes. Sincor chief geophysicist Yves Kremer said “We are drilling much better wells by using real-time technology.”

CGM debugger from SDI

SDI has released a ‘WYSIWYG’ computer graphics metafile debugger - CGM Scope.

System Development Inc. (SDI) has released CGM Scope – a tool for analyzing and debugging Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) images. CGM Scope provides a ‘what you see is what you get’ (WYSIWYG) verification of CGM files, and generates a listing of the graphical elements in the file. CGM Scope also tests for best practice conformance and provides automated error flagging.


CGM Scope supports the ISO CGM 1992 standard (Versions 1 to 4), and specific industry profiles: Petroleum (CGM+, CGM PIP), Air Transport (CGM ATA) and U.S. Government (CGM CALS).


CGM Scope is a diagnostic utility for programmers, system administrators, publishers, and end users of CGM files. These can be time-consuming to diagnose, slow application development, and delay technical support and inter-vendor problem resolution.


SDI president Forrest Carpenter alliterates, “With a total commitment to providing the best products possible and the most comprehensive service program in the industry, we guarantee that every project we undertake will be painless plotting personified.”


CGM Scope allows for zoom and pan, supports overlapping objects and object mode selection with auto-scrolling of CGM listing and runs on HP, IBM, SGI, and SUN. More from www.sysdev.com.

Qatar Petroleum and Shell move to global e-procurement

Qatar Petroleum and Shell International have both implemented online systems for desktop e-procurement.

Shell has selected SAP’s e-procurement system SAPMarkets and has contracted SAP to synchronize its heterogeneous back-end systems. Shell will use the Enterprise Buyer e-procurement system across all its businesses and MarketSet will be deployed as a private exchange, integrating procurement activities.


Shell MD Harry Roels said, “Shell will use this technology to make e-procurement transactions through the oil industry exchange Trade-Ranger. E-procurement will deliver substantial benefits through greater transparency, better information, increased efficiency and standardization.”


SAP executive board member Peter Zencke adeed, “For many years SAP has been committed to providing Shell with the best IT solutions to help them stay competitive and run their business well. One of the greatest challenges in business today is the lack of integration among hundreds of independent IT systems.


SAP and SAPMarkets are the only companies that can deliver this level of integration, and we remain committed to Shell’s continued leadership and success as it executes its e-business strategy.”

Qatar Petroleum

In a separate announcement, Qatar Petroleum (QP) chairman and Minister for Energy, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah has launched a new Intranet for use by over 5000 QP employees. The Intranet facilitates QP’s commercial business, and now offers on-line procurement.

700 orders per month

Current QP procurement activity is valued at QR 250 million, with some 700 orders placed month. The system lets QP employee place orders from the desktop and offers workflow capability with procurement forms, and approvals routed to suppliers by email.


The system also provides control over order documentation, material specification, order confirmation and approval. Order tracking lets QP employees follow the fulfillment process on-line through to delivery.


Silicon Graphics (SGI) has implemented Arc Internet Map Server on IRIX, the operating system for SGI’s top-of-the-range servers.

ESRI and SGI have ported ArcIMS and ArcSDE, along with Oracle database support, to SGI’s IRIX operating system. ESRI president Jack Dangermond said, “ArcIMS and ArcSDE have now been extended to support IRIX, one of the industry’s most robust and mature versions of UNIX.”


SGI VP Desh Urs added, “With ESRI ArcIMS and ArcSDE software running on IRIX, organizations building GIS applications will now be able to take advantage of IRIX’s scalability, high-performance data management, real-time applications support, and media streaming.”

One million users

ArcIMS and ArcSDE run on the SGI IRIX 6.5 operating system. ESRI claims over one million users for its GIS and mapping software.

PDM CD-ROM Archive

Along with this issue of Petroleum Data Manager you should have received a copy of the PDM CD-ROM Archive. This year, the Archive offers on on-line buyers guide, and a new section of valuable contributed papers. Installation is simple and no files are installed on your computer. You’ve got to try it!

First, a big thanks to this year’s sponsors (whose logos adorn this page) for making the 2001 Petroleum Data Manager CD-ROM Archive possible. The Archive contains the full text of Petroleum Data Manager from 1996 to the present, along with valuable information from our sponsors. Indexes are provided for access by year and month, and also by Company, Topic and Product.


The CD contains a wealth of information with:-

Over 1000 company references

Over 900 people

Over 1300 product references

350 technologies

180 general topics in Oil and Gas IT

The Archive offers regular conference reports, standards body activity, interviews with industry leaders and of course, all of Petroleum Data Manager’s acclaimed editorials. Finally, contributed materials from our sponsors make the CD a unique reference for oil and gas IT.

Getting started

On a PC, the PDM Archive should start automatically. If the CD does not auto-run, double click on the file ‘index.htm’ in the CD Home directory. The PDM Archive will run on any system (Mac, UNIX, PC). All that is needed is an internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape, that supports frames (most do these days). Once the CD Archive is running you will see the business-like interface to the PDM
Archive. Navigating the Archive is easy. First select an index (top of page) next chose either the month (for calendar index) or sub-topic. This will display a list of article titles in the right hand pane. Click on one of these and read the full text of the PDM Article.


This year we bring you two new features - an on-line Buyer’s Guide where you have instant access to contact information for key upstream software houses and service companies. Another innovation is our new section for contributed papers - don’t forget to read this material for more valuable information on oil and gas IT and data management.


If you need assistance, or would like information as to next year’s sponsorship opportunities, email us here at helpdesk@oilit.com.


Once you’ve tried out this single user edition of PDM you’ll appreciate why major oil and gas companies now subscribe to PDM’s monthly Electronic Edition. Offer your knowledge management teams and upstream communities of practice valuable content for their intranets. PDM is also available on a secure website for extranet use. PDM covers most major oil and gas conferences and exhibitions with on-the-spot reporting and is acknowledged as the journal of reference for upstream Information Technology. For details email intranet@oilit.com or fax +331 4623 0652.

Important Please Read!

This edition of the Petroleum Data Manager is a single user license for subscribers to PDM. It is distributed according to the following terms and conditions. This is a Single User License for the PDM Archive Do not alter, duplicate, copy to any media or distribute the contents of the CD. Lan/wan/intranet deployment strictly forbidden. All material remains © 1996-2001 The Data Room unless otherwise stated. On-the-fly text searching of the CD is allowed providing the original CD is physically in the drive. Storing and or distributing indexes of any kind to material on the CD is forbidden. If you are not in complete agreement with these terms and conditions, destroy the CD forthwith.

New data management from A2D

A2D’s LogLine Plus promises secure off-site management of corporate well log data.

A2D’s Log-Line Plus is a new service offering secure management of proprietary well log data. Log-Line Plus is an extension of Log-Line, A2D’s internet-based well log data delivery system, already used by some 260 clients.

Service offering

Log-Line Plus is a service offering rather than a product - allowing for customized connection to disparate databases and supporting multiple platforms.


Log-Line Plus combines a view of public domain data with proprietary data in industry-standard formats like LAS, LIS, Raster, and smartRASTER.

Chevron expands e-business

Chevron ASP provider UpstreamInfo is to augment its services to include asset management with technology from The Information Store.

UpstreamInfo, the e-business portal set up by Chevron last year is now providing ‘asset management services’ to Chevron and its affiliates.


UpstreamInfo president Glenn Breed explained, “Chevron has expanded its use of our services and technology. Our business solutions address activities such as producing property rationalization, acquisitions and divestitures and mergers and acquisitions. Our software also addresses production-related activity such as workovers, production allocation and reporting as well as economics, HSE, and other industry workflows.


Our intranet-based solutions get the work done, on demand, anytime, anywhere.” Asset Management Solutions use The Information Store’s PetroTrek business solutions, used by major petroleum companies for over five years.

Fakespace sales

FakeSpace reports sales of its ConCave and RAVE Virtual Reality systems.

Fakespace has sold a ConCave visualization system (PDM Vol. 5 N° 5) to Petrobras. The deal includes an ImmersaDesk R2 stereoscopic display driven by a Silicon Graphics Onyx2. Originally developed by Phillips Petroleum Co. (PPCo), the ConCave is an alcove-type display that projects seismic data onto a curved back wall and flat floor. Phillips have installed 5 concave displays at locations around the world.


Fakespace has also developed ‘Avignon,’ an interactive 3D mapping API for the conCave. Avignon will be available to oil and gas software developers later this year. PPCo senior principal research geophysicist Dennis Neff said “We are pleased that Fakespace Systems is making Phillips’ technical innovations commercially available.”.


Fakespace has also sold a RAVE system to Norwegian research institute NTNU, in what is claimed as the first non-military use of RAVE. NTNU will use the device in its Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics, financed by Norsk Hydro.

IDC rolls-out EnerGISite

International Datashare’s EnergGIS uses Autodesk’s MapGuide to power its GIS-based data vending portal.

International Datashare Corporation (IDC) has launched EnerGISite, - a Geographic Information System-based portal to Canadian E&P data from IDC along with partners International PetroData and Request Seismic. IDC claims significant GIS expertise following the acquisition of AnGIS and MSI Capture. Phase one of the enerGISite launch delivers Interactive Data links using Autodesk MapGuide to allow users to view and purchase data for well spots, grid and culture. Initially, raster and digital well logs will be available.


IDC president Norm Stein said “IDC plans to be a leader in the provision of GIS solutions, we will continue to enhance our data and software offerings to increase the productivity of our customers.” Logs may be purchased through a subscription or on a transactional basis. Search is both text-based and through AutoDesk MapGuide GIS. Partners, International PetroData Ltd. (IPL) and Request Seismic will soon be offering seismic data, and IPL’s reports.


Autodesk’s David Newman said, “GIS technology provides critical, up-to-date, and accurate electronic information for many industries, including oil and gas. With Autodesk MapGuide, IDC has taken a significant step in providing its customers with a scalable GIS solution that lets users find the information that they require.”

Flow modeling from reservoir to facility

Baker Jardine and Hyprotech are jointly developing software to allow simultaneous computer modeling of production and process facilities. Asset performance improvements of up to 12% have been recorded.

Baker Jardine and Hyprotech are are integrating software products to build what they claim will be the first fully integrated production system model. The first product of the alliance combines Baker Jardine’s Pipesim 2000 simulation software with Hyprotech’s Hysys Process simulation tool, facilitating modeling from well completion through to production facility.


A number of Pipesim well, or pipeline flow models can be embedded in Hysys Process to build a production system model that maximizes production rates from wells connected to a production and process system. Process simulation ensures on-spec production, while the hydraulic simulator determines maximum well deliverability. Benefits of up to 12 percent in improved asset performance are claimed.


Baker Jardine MD Alan Baker said, “The combination of production and process simulation, using tools with which each side of the industry is familiar, will provide information for design and operation options that has never been available before.”


Wayne Sim, CEO of Hyprotech, added “This shows how an effective alliance can combine two best-of-breed technologies into higher value offerings. Both companies share a vision of lifecycle simulation which dramatically increases production and reduces the cost of model ownership through shared software components.”


The next development is to integrate the Pipesim 2000 Network Module, BJ’s Field Planning Tool and Prodman with Hysys Process to further integrate field planning tools. Hyprotech, a subsidiary of AEA Technology, has 1500 clients throughout the world.

New data model for Geoshare

Geoshare, the data exchange organization, has released a new version of its API RP-66 based upstream data model.

Geoshare has released version 13 of its data model. Geoshare is used to move data from one application to another by way of software ‘half-links,’ which transform application-specific data formats into a vendor-neutral data model.


The latest version of the Geoshare data model enhances the checkshot and synthetic seismic models, provides support for the new fluid sample and analysis model and adds new attributes to well deviation surveys and the zone model. Geoshare is built upon the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice 66 data exchange format.


A great resource for users of the API RP66 data model and Geoshare is available on the GeoQuest website at www.geoquest.com/pub/dwnld/. RP 66 and Geoshare toolkits are available along with a digital geology model assembly tool kit. This research prototype, written in Perl/TK, takes comma-delimited location data from geologic outcrop measurements and creates OpenInventor and VRML files that can be used as analogs for reservoir characterization.

Accenture to implement Kalido

Accenture has bought into Kalido and will henceforth offer systems integration services around Shell’s data mining software.

Accenture has taken an undisclosed equity position in Shell Services spinoff Kalido. Kalido (see PDM Vol. 6 N° 2) provide data mining and management information systems to global corporations. Kalido lets users access information, ‘without the risks associated with large-scale integration projects.’ The Kalido and Accenture alliance will offer organizations a single view of disparate information in Finance, CRM, Marketing etc.


Accenture partner Stewart Clements said, “Our clients rely on business intelligence and data warehousing solutions to achieve and maintain a competitive edge. They need solutions to improve information flow and integration. Kalido integrates operational and business information while ensuring data consistency.”


Kalido CEO Andy Hayler adds, “By teaming with a top-flight consultancy such as Accenture we are able to provide truly innovative solutions to meet the information integration needs of our customers and help them gain an edge over their competitors.”

Shell Oil

Kalido was awarded Information Management’s ‘Best Data Warehousing Project of the Year 2000’ for a strategic European-wide project in Shell Oil Products. More from www.kalido.com.

DrillWorks joins Open Spirit platform

An interface to the OpenSpirit integration platform means that KSI’s DrillWorks geopressure software can access data from multiple sources.

Stafford, Texas-based Knowledge Systems, Inc. (KSI) has announced that its geopressure software DrillWorks is now compatible with the OpenSpirit framework. Users can now import, export and dynamically share data for the DrillWorks applications from a wide variety of sources and platforms including Landmark’s OpenWorks and GeoQuest’s Geoframe databases. Any combination of data from wireline, MWD/LWD, seismic, mudlogging and other sources can be used to create a pre-drill geopressure prognosis in Drillworks.


KSI president, Jim Bridges said, “We have observed that data collection from multiple sources often requires as much as 80% of the time and cost to make a geopressure or geomechanics analysis in DrillWorks. The OpenSpirit framework substantially reduced this time, making it possible to consider more cases and permutations. While DrillWorks is the market leading software for these applications, it’s value is greatly enhanced by utilizing this advanced distributed data objects technology.”


OpenSpirit is an integrated, ‘vendor-neutral’ platform for inter-domain communication. OpenSpirit is owned by Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, and Schlumberger.

Roxar’s Rendering record

VoxelVision’s Voxel Space Interpretation offers high performance volumetric visualization on commodity hardware.

Norwegian VoxelVision is claiming a record in volume rendering with over 100 million voxels per second on a single CPU. The test was performed on a 1.3 GHz Pentium 4 processor with a Diamond FIRE GL3 graphics card. No additional hardware was used. A 21.5 by 32.8 km North Sea 3D dataset was loaded, and rendered in less than 3 seconds.

Under $5000

With a hardware cost under US$ 5000, VoxelVision claims unmatched price-performance. A new interpretation tool - Voxel Space Interpretation (VSI) was released at the EAGE.


Ola Fjeld, VoxelVision MD believes that established vendors suffer from the need to be ‘backward-compatible’ with outdated ideas. “There is no longer any place for traditional line by line interpretation, The future is visual. The race between Intel and AMD has turned the PC into a high performance number-cruncher. Our software is designed to utilize this platform to the maximum extent.”

Push technology from PetroWeb

PetroWeb’s agent technology now offers change notification to users of its online data portal.

PetroWeb, the GIS-based portal to E&P data vendors including A2D Technologies PennPoint PGS, Tobin and Veritas, has introduced a new notification service, PetroAgent. Registered PetroWeb users can now obtain a personal PetroAgent.


PetroAgent lets users create a profile that is used to search the site for specific information of interest. When such information is updated, the agent notifies subscribers by email. Alerts can be configured for new prospects and properties in specific areas of interest, upcoming events, new deal room activity and updated international opportunities Check out the agent on www.petroweb.com.

Ødegaard allies with RSI

Ødegaard and Rock Solid Images are sharing rock physics technology and collaborating on a North Sea catalogue.

Rock Solid Images (RSI) and Ødegaard have formed a strategic alliance to combine technology, development and marketing to leverage their complementary leading-edge science. Ødegaard will participate in the Rock Solid Images Project (see PDM Vol. 3 N° 9) and will provide its OSIRIS synthetic seismograms software. Rock Solid Images will transfer rock physics modeling software and technology to enhance Ødegaard’s impedance inversion and AVO services. The companies are also collaborating on a new regional well log and rock physics catalog focused on the Norwegian Sea.

New GMI Imager functionality

GMI’s well bore imager package extends support for data formats and enhances 3D ‘Virtual Core’ functionality.

GeoMechanics International (GMI) has released a new version of its GMI Imager well bore image analysis package. Imager 4.5 offers access to all types of wellbore image data and provides measurement and classification tools required for
geomechanics, structural, and formation evaluation applications of image analysis. Version 4.5 adds new import functions for image data in DLIS, LIS, ALT’s OBI-40 optical tool and FAC-40 acoustic logs. All image data importers have been redesigned for ease of use.

Virtual Core

The virtual core 3D View has been enhanced with a three-dimensional depiction of borehole wall topography. Characteristics such as the polygon count and surface exaggeration may be customized by the user. Enhanced printing options include versatile report and hard copy design. Tadpole and caliper plots may now be printed. Roll paper printing has also been added and Halliburton EMI color schemes are now available.

Marathon to sell through Network Oil

Marathon Oil will manage and dispose of surplus oilfield inventory through NetworkOil.

Marathon Oil has signed with e-commerce portal NetworkOil for the online sale of surplus oil field equipment worldwide. Network Oil will provide Marathon with a range of ‘strategic investment recovery services’ designed to ‘maximize the value of idle equipment.’


Marathon Oil global supply chain manager, Dana Porter said, “This approach breaks new ground for Marathon and raises the role of investment recovery to a strategic level. NetworkOil is a specialist in this area, with the right combination of experience, traditional business capabilities and technology know-how to make this venture a success.”


Sales events will likely include negotiated sales, traditional gavel auctions and Internet auctions. NetworkOil COO Kevin Bartol added, “We are looking forward to working with Marathon to maximize its return on the sale of surplus equipment. We are able to do this by implementing a proven, well-planned and efficient process, and by taking care of all the details on Marathon’s behalf.”

POSC calls for well log formatters

POSC is calling for participants in a study aimed at cutting the costs of reformatting well logs.

As Landmark CEO John Gibson told PDM recently, the cost of well log data reformatting is estimated at several hundreds of millions of dollars per year.


POSC, which had already done the groundwork on an XML schema for well log data, WellLogML, has initiated a study to determine the extent and nature of well log reformatting costs. Following the study, POSC plans to develop a strategy aimed at a significant reduction of such costs.


POSC is calling for participants in what should be an ‘objective and straight-forward’ study. The study is being organized now and is planned to begin by the end of September 2001 and to be completed by year-end.


Companies that have measured well log reformatting costs in the recent past and that are willing to share the methodology and/or results should contact POSC through www.posc.org. You do not have to be a POSC member to participate.

@Risk training on CD-ROM

Palisade offers interactive CD-ROM based training for @Risk users.

A new CD-ROM based training program for newcomers to the @Risk economic modeling add-in to Micrososft Excel has been released by Palisade. The courseware has been prepared by Wayne Winston, author of ‘Financial Models Using Simulation and Optimization’ and ‘Decision Making Under Uncertainty with RISKOptimizer.’ The interactive course is not oil and gas specific (for that, see our review of Murtha - PDM Vol. 5 N° 9) but describes how to use @RISK 4.0 and Excel to solve a range of business problems such as the value at risk (VAR) of an investment portfolio, acquisitions, cash flow modeling and capital expenditure forecasting. More from www.palisade.com.

AI for seismic interpretation

A TotalFinaElf researcher showed prototype software at the EAGE that could change the way we look at seismic data. Sismage applies image processing and artificial intelligence to the 3D dataset - to extraordinary effect!

Naamen Keskes - the inventor of Stratimagic has struck again with an increasingly functional tool for stratigraphic interpretation of seismic data. TotalFinaElf’s (TFE) Sismage was originally the core of CGG-Petrosystems-Paradigm’s Stratimagic, but since Stratimagic’s productization, TFE’s researchers have been working away on enhancing the original research tool.


Keskes, a born showman, started his demonstration at the EAGE by picking a couple of seeds in the deep offshore seismic data volume and hey presto!, Sisimage auto-extracts a whole meander system. Keskes believes that “No one wants maps or blocks - they need [geological] objects.”

Neural net

The neural network technology originally developed for Stratimagic has been extended so that with a small initial learning phase - almost any geological feature can now be auto-extracted from the data. Autopicking faults for instance gives a rosace diagram of strain. A chaotic, high amplitude facies is instantly translated into a myriad of geobodies - and their cumulative volume pops up in a spreadsheet.


If your game is direct hydrocarbon indication - a special stacking tool tests multiple stacks to emphasis sub-horizontal events associated with potential oil-water contacts - a previously invisible flat spot leaps forth out of the data! Near trace gathers are exploited in conjunction with a database of outcrop analogues and the neural net identifies facies patterns against pre-computed near and far trace behavior.

Vail et al.

Seismic stratigraphy of the Vail school your bag? The seismic is instantly filled with downlaps, toplaps and triple points. A time-stratigraphic chart is extracted from the seismic data and re-injected into the seismic framework.

Tour de force

For Keskes, success comes from combining images, texture and sequence boundaries. A final tour de force was the extraction of color-coded wormy fluvial bodies from the Angolan Dhalia field. Even though some of the demos appear a bit contrived, for instance, the ‘worms’ all seem to have the same lateral geometry, one feels that one is looking at the future of seismic interpretation here; that the amount of information to be obtained from the 3D seismic dataset is without limits.

Shell’s IBM MegaCenters

Shell is consolidating its world wide information technology infrastructure into three centers. Located in Houston, The Hague and Kuala Lumpur, the ‘MegaCenters’ will house IBM hardware.

Shell is to create three computing hubs, or ‘MegaCenters’ in Houston, The Hague and Kuala Lumpur as part of a five-year strategic agreement with IBM. The alliance supports Shell’s standardization and consolidation of its IT application infrastructure in a deal valued at over $100 million.


The MegaCenters will initially provide infrastructure for SAP and eBusiness solutions which will be delivered through a global IT application hosting environment. The agreement includes IBM’s eServer systems, Enterprise Storage Server, tape drives and libraries, Storage Area Network switches, storage management software from Tivoli, and related technology. Shell has pre-negotiated options for IBM Financing, Technical Support Services and Maintenance. The deal is planned to reduce Shell’s total cost of ownership (TCO) and will establish a ‘harmonized infrastructure platform’ to accelerate deployment of eBusiness applications.


Shell IT manager Alan Matula said, “We were looking for a trusted technology partner to help us achieve aggressive TCO targets in our MegaCentre project, one of the most important IT initiatives in our history. We selected IBM because of their industry-leading technology and ability to provide full-scope infrastructure worldwide. IBM is well positioned to help Shell maximise return on investment.”


IBM Server Group VP, Mike Borman added, “Shell has been at the forefront of the eBusiness revolution and recognizes how important it is to build a secure and reliable infrastructure. IBM is proud to help one of the world’s largest corporations execute such an impressive vision of the future.”


The announcement follows an earlier agreement between IBM and Shell (see PDM Vol. 5 N° 11) to develop the world’s most powerful Linux supercomputer for seismic research.

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