November 2004

E&P xApps from SAP

Technical to business integration (T2B) is the focus of a new SAP NetWeaver-based infrastructure from Accenture and SAIC. xApp Integrated Exploration and Production targets production operations.

A new software platform from Accenture and SAIC targets the digital oilfield. SAP’s xApp Integrated Exploration and Production (xIEP) allows oil and gas companies to integrate production, operations and maintenance data with their software applications. xIEP leverages SAP’s web services-based NetWeaver infrastructure, first announced early last year (Oil ITJ Vol 8 N° 1).


Accenture energy program partner Peggy Kostial said, ‘SAP xIEP brings upstream operational and business support processes together into one integrated environment. This is the next step in unleashing value trapped in the upstream supply chain because of a lack of integration and sub-optimal business processes.’


SAP director Claus Heinrich added, ‘xIEP was developed to conform with Enterprise Services Architecture, SAP’s service-oriented framework. With the release of xIEP, we are delivering on our composite application strategy—of enabling customers’ industry-specific processes.’

Asset maintenance

SAP xIEP will initially support upstream asset maintenance, prioritizing work, reducing recurring maintenance, optimizing inventory levels and predicting high-impact equipment failures. The next step will be procurement, operations (planning, scheduling and maintenance) and accounting. When these capabilities are added, SAP xIEP will enable field and office workers to access the latest project-specific data from remote locations and view all relevant information including daily drilling and production data.


Field and office workers will be able to synchronize the data from different sources and collaborate remotely with team members—such as well engineers, geotechnical professionals and administrative teams—to support critical upstream business processes.


It‘s not the first time that SAP has made a pitch for the upstream. Back in 1999 (OITJ Vol 4 N° 9) SAP announced its Upstream Energy Integration Platform—a collaboration with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Landmark. xIEP will likely rekindle interest in technical to business (T2B) integration. One significant win will be the availability (to production applications) of the extensive SAP ‘taxonomy’ of equipment tags.

Seabed for MMS

The US Minerals Management Service’s Outer Continental Shelf Connect e-business project is to leverage Schlumberger’s new Seabed data model.

Schlumberger Information Solutions’ Seabed data model for the upstream (first revealed in last month’s Oil IT Journal) is to be deployed in the US Minerals Management Service’s (MMS) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Connect e-business project.


Speaking at the 2004 Petrotechnical Open Standards Consortium meet, OCS Connect project manager John Price said, ‘The Project includes replacement of legacy information management tools with state-of-the-art commercial products. Benefits include faster processing, improved sharing capabilities and secure Web access.’


SIS president Kjell-Erik Ostdahl added, ‘The MMS has a great responsibility to the public, government and the industry and we are pleased to provide the information management technology to enable this e-government transformation.’


Despite the POSC venue, the Seabed data model is a move away from ‘standards-based’ data models such as Schlumberger’s Finder production extensions—to a ‘performant, fit for purpose’ proprietary model leveraging Oracle extensions and a more pragmatic data modeling approach..

What’s wrong with the seismic business?

Oil IT Journal editor Neil McNaughton returns from the Denver SEG wondering why the geophysical business isn’t doing better. While many complain that the business model needs fixing, McNaughton wonders if it ever has been really viable. Geophysics, unlike say, the pharmaceutical industry, doesn’t know how to turn IPR into profit—and is stuck in a Faustian contract with the oil companies.

At the Denver meeting of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists last month, Mick Lambert, president of GX Technology, summed up the mood of the industry as ‘optimistic uncertainty’. This, he contended, is an improvement on the ‘pessimistic uncertainty’ of previous years! CGG president Robert Brunck contrasted the $3.3 billion revenues of the top four seismic companies with the $720 billion revenues of the top four oil and gas producers. Brunck spoke for many when he advocated a fairer share of revenues, especially at today’s high oil prices. Without this, the seismic business will experience a shortfall in R&D spending on new technology. Input-Output president Bob Peebler likewise bemoaned the disconnect between surging oil company revenues and the ‘struggling’ service sector.


The Q&A session revealed a generalized concern over what has been described as a ‘broken’ business model. ExxonMobil’s Bob Gistri ventured that R&D spend by oils and contractors alike needs to continue, but a dialog is needed to understand future challenges and how these could lead to profitable growth in the service sector. Peter Carragher (BP) intimated that this year would be different—with BP being more aggressive in field trialing of new technologies. These are funded at the group level, until their economics are proven. But Peebler insisted that the seismic industry is ‘good at coming up with new technologies and bad at getting paid!’ Brunck let out that seismics was a destroyer of value—and doubted that 4D would have a significant impact, because of the contracting industry’s lack of bargaining power.

4% ROI

The problem as we have discussed before is that, when the oil price is high the oil companies do well and the geophysical industry survives. When the oil price is low, oil companies do OK, but the geophysicists go to the wall. The upside for the investor in a geophysical concern (again, according to Robert Brunck) is an underwhelming 4% ROI. The downside is going bust!


All this discussion about business models and commercial success made me think about another industry that generally speaking does a better job of turning R&D into shareholder value—the pharmaceutical business. Here the model is simple; invest heavily in R&D, develop a drug that no one else has, and make a fortune. Why isn‘t the seismic business like pharma? There have been quite a few seismic candidates for company-making new technologies. But if CDP is the Aspirin of geophysics, where is the Bayer? Or, more appropriately perhaps, if Vibroseis is its Viagra, where is the Pfizer?


Those of you of a certain age will remember that both CDP and Vibroseis were actually patented by Conoco and sold under license to many different contracting companies. They therefore were not ‘company-making’ technologies in the way they might have been if a single contractor had invented them. In fact the geophysical business is complicated by the fact that, unlike pharma that sells direct, it plays second fiddle to very powerful buyers—the oil companies. And because of this, much technology is developed, not by geophysical companies themselves, but by various groupings, consortia and joint industry projects (JIP). While these are fun, and can assure good alignment of technology with users’ needs, they tend to spread the intellectual property rights (IPR) rather thin and wide. Conspiracy theorists will see an orchestrated campaign by the oils to keep contractors in their place—and assure multiple providers of any particular technology.


But whether this happens by accident or design, geophysics has indeed got suckered into the outsourced/subcontractor mode of operations. Just about everything is commoditized. From a square kilometer of acquired or processed 3D, through a high resolution 4D/4C survey and even to R&D itself (through the ubiquitous JIP) everything is offered by a multiplicity of suppliers at a competitive (value destroying?) price.


The problem is that the close relationship that geophysics has with the oil companies is a Faustian contract. By taking the oils’ money for R&D, a geophysical company sacrifices the IPR it might have had if it divvied up for the research itself. In the long run, he who risks the R&D reapeth the reward. A similar dilution of IPR happens when companies group together in a JIP, maybe with some taxpayers money thrown in. This may accelerate project start-up—but it ensures that no single company will walk away with the spoils and be in a position to make serious money from the new technology.


Not all of the oil service sector shares its IPR in this way. Logging contractors and well testing equipment manufacturers have a goodly chunk of ‘commoditized’ business—but they also regularly develop new tools and techniques. In their current quarterly reports, the major service companies cite new proprietary technologies for coiled tubing operations, stimulation or cementation. In seismic, Schlumberger’s Q technology is in the same category—and like the wireline hardware is closely followed by the investment community as a potential seismic game changer. So in a way, the ‘new business model’ has been here all the time. If your chosen path is that of selling commoditized services, you have to live with commodity prices. If you want to make big bucks like pharma—you need to develop your own, patented technologies and find some investors with deep pockets.

Oil ITJ Interview—Jeff Pferd, Petris Technology

Oil IT Journal met with Jeff Pferd, CTO of Houston-based Petris Technology. Petris’ Winds Enterprise infrastructure offers companies web-based browsing of multiple vendor data stores. Pferd described the patented, dynamic common model that makes this possible—and how W3C technologies will soon make it easier for companies to align taxonomies across different systems.

Oil ITJ—Petris Winds is described as a ‘seamless, easy-to-use interface that enables access to key oil and gas company data, anywhere, anytime, via the internet.’ What is the key enabling technology behind this solution ?

Pferd—Petris recently finalized the patenting of its transfer process dynamic common model (DCM). The patent claim defines this as ‘an aggregate of all mappings to and from native formats and dynamic common formats within a data integration application’. The DCM includes mappings for all data types in all native repositories. This makes it an adaptable system—that can be quickly tailored to any third party database or data model. We use XSLT to map and aggregate data transforms.

Oil ITJ—What does this mean to the end user?

Pferd—XSLT is used for instance to map and align different taxonomies—like well names—across systems. We will soon be exposing these XSLT mappings to end users. It will then be possible to map ‘comment field 3’ to ‘BH temperature’ as appropriate.

Oil ITJ—What integration platform do you deploy?

Pferd—We are a J2EE/BEA platform partner for portal and financial integration. We also have a Documentum link. But the DCM and other aspects of our technology extend the BEA platform. When you compare financial computing with upstream, scientific IT there are important differences. Finance has few variables and many transactions. In scientific computing it’s the other way around with a multiplicity of complex variables—but relatively few transactions.

Oil ITJ—Do you use a particular workflow engine?

Pferd—Currently this is embedded in Petris Winds. But we are looking into leveraging the business process modeling language (BPML) which can be ‘consumed’ by other engines such as BEA Web Logic.

Oil ITJ—It’s been a while since we spoke of the Petris Winds Application Service Provision. How many client applications are on offer today?

Pferd—Today there are about 20 different tools from a variety of vendors served as web services on the Petris Winds platform.

Oil ITJ—What other projects do you have underway?

Pferd—Along with our established deployments with companies such as ChevronTexaco and Burlington, we have been working with Total on the user interface to the GeoDrill Project and we have just done a deal to roll in MetaCarta’s geographical text search technology into our platform (see page 9 of this issue).

Oil ITJ—We learned earlier this year that Petris Winds was being used by Saudi Aramco as its E&P middleware of choice – that’s quite a coup!

Pferd—We’ve been working with Saudi Aramco for two years on a competitive pilot for workflow application to integrate its corporate data store, Schlumberger’s LogDB and other applications. Their need is to flow data under supervisor control into a variety of petrophysical applications: Geolog for environmental corrections, GeoFrame for annotation in composite log and LogTrack. Once this workflow is complete and approved, data is published to OpenWorks, GeoFrame and Geolog for use by interpreters. This was a fasciniating project for us, about a third of the time was spent discussing and understanding the processes.

Oil ITJ—What proved your value proposition to Saudi Aramco?

Pferd—As in any multi-vendor environment, our spidering technology was particularly appropriate. Over time, most companies finish up with a variety of ad hoc information capture mechanisms—for instance a status flag may be stored in a comment field. Rolling in half a dozen applications from different vendors requires a degree of independence.

Petris patent leverages W3C toolkit

The patent filed last year by Petris and Anadarko is described in a 17,000 word document.

US Patent N° 20,030,014,617* filed last year by Petris’ Aderbad Tamboli and John Jacobs of Anadarko Petroleum describes a data integration technique that spiders multiple data stores, converting data into a common meta-format, the ‘dynamic common data model.’


Data integration is achieved by leveraging W3C technologies and by mapping diverse data formats and matching data tags and unique identifiers. The patent application is described in a 17,000 word document broken down into some 50 distinct claims. While Petris’ technology is undoubtedly innovative, this kind of patent raises many issues—not least the fact that under current EU legislation, software cannot be patented.


On the broader front, does this judicious combination of domain knowledge and W3C technologies (XML and XSLT) really merit a patent? Is it enforceable? The EU position on patents is currently under review and has become a hotly debated topic—especially in the context of the growing Open Source movement. Previous patented software technologies—for example Amoco’s Coherency Cube (Oil ITJ Vol. 1 N° 6) have created more hot air than business—although as we argue in this month’s editorial: intellectual property rights are ultimately the only true market differentiators.

*Are there really 20 billion US patents? If they are all as long as the Petris Patent—that makes for about 340 trillion words in total! The mind can only boggle.

Exprodat Quality Metrics 2.0 for Shell

Shell has just accepted Exprodat Technology’s data quality tool for world-wide deployment.

Exprodat Technology Inc. has just released a new version of its Information Quality Metrics toolkit. IQM V 2.0 is a Shell-sponsored product, developed by Exprodat which provides data metrics reporting and analysis.

Data quality

IQM helps business managers, users and administrators assess the quality of the data they own and manage. IQM is designed to standardize the assessment process across the enterprise in an objective, consistent manner.


A query engine automatically interrogates a range of database targets, counting errors and producing detailed error reports. Results are stored in a database over time and can be readily analyzed through Web-based tools. IQM produces a single rolled-up IM key performance indicator (KPI) per asset.


This is aimed primarily at getting management attention, and for comparing between assets and over time. IQM also provides detailed reporting on errors. This is aimed primarily at the IM staff responsible for maintaining and correcting data. The product clearly highlights problem areas and suggests remedial actions. IQM will be rolled-out across Shell starting in early 2005.

API study finds 30% to retire in 5 years

API Workforce Task Force study suggests that companies have time to prepare for skills shortage.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has carried out a study of the oil and gas industry which ‘confirms a growing need over the next decade for petroleum engineers and geoscientists’. The survey was conducted by the API’s new Workforce Task Force which includes senior human resources officials at API major oil companies and suppliers. Twenty-two companies responded to the survey, some 17% of the industry workforce. Integrated, oil service and independent companies from both the upstream and downstream segments took part.


The survey indicates a large impact on the workforce from retirement five to ten years out, meaning that companies have time to prepare. Engineering and geosciences hiring needs are forecast at 38% of the current workforce in the next five years and 28% for operations.


Apart from the aging workforce, industry is confronted with recruiting challenges, ‘skill pool management’ and enhancing the attractiveness and awareness of youth to the energy industry. This is proving hard because of widespread negative perception of the industry in terms of its future potential, job stability, use of outsourcing and contractors, and safety and environmental records.

RAPID Production Data Analyst

New software performs virtual well tests on flowing wells. No need for shut-in or downtime.

Calgary-based Rapid Technology Corp. has just released a new software package for quick-look reserves evaluation from production data. Rapid’s Production Data Analysis (PDA) applies ‘sophisticated’ production analysis techniques to derive reserves, expected ultimate recovery, permeability and skin without the requirement for well shut-ins or down time.


PDA combines conventional decline methods, with diagnostic tools that provide estimates of reservoir flow capacity, stimulation effectiveness, and in place reserves of gas and/or oil. When required, more detailed production modeling can be performed taking account of heterogeneities, fractures compressibility and reservoir geometry.

Flowing build-up

PDA performs what amounts to a ‘flowing build up test’. Once an analysis has been completed, deliverability can be estimated taking account of facilities modification (compression) and even future stimulation. Flowing Material Balance can be used to estimate permeability, formation damage, and reserves. According to Rapid, no previous experience in well test or production analysis is required to use PDA.

iMOSS—new full wave synthetic package

Rock Solid Images has productized its in-house seismic inversion toolkit.

New software from Rock Solid Images Inc. promises interactive rock physics, seismic modeling and attribute analysis. iMOSS leverages state of the art rock physics analysis and computational algorithms to perform full waveform synthetic seismic modeling from well data.


The software—which is used internally by RSI—lets users model before inversion, quantifying relationships between reservoir properties and seismic attributes to guide analysis of the full data set. iMOSS targets the growing market of amplitude versus offset (AVO) seismic analysis which uses long offset seismic data to evaluate reservoir fluid content.

Tigress links to CGG and GeoLeader

Integrated interpretation suite doing well since MBO and expanding in Russian market.

A year down the road from its management buy-out from PGS, Tigress reports doubled turnover and has won several new clients—from the FSU, Nigeria, Colombia, Iran, Angola and Brazil. The company has also lifted the lid on the next release of its integrated interpretation suite and added third party applications to its Project Data Store.

Tigress 5.0

Release 5.0 will be available early in 2005 and will include a new version of the Project Data Store—PDS V 2.5. New applications include an automated reservoir characterization module, new production data management and reporting modules, new velocity QC and integration with third party tools. Tigress connects directly to OpenWorks through the Landmark API and to GeoFrame through an updated Geoshare half link.

Russian market

Tigress has been active in the CIS for ten years and has teamed with GeoLeader and its joint venture patner CGG to integrate applications including GeoLeader’s GeoTop petrophysical package and CGG’s 3D interpretation package GeoMig and its seismic quality tool geoQC. Tigress’ flagship client is Italian major ENI, but the largest interpretation conducted with the package was performed by a Russian client—on a field with 17,000 wells.

New release of TerraStation

TerraSciences II supports Open Spirit-based data transfer and Monte Carlo net pay modeling.

TerraSciences and Open Spirit have built an Open Spirit gateway which allows TerraStation II users to access third party datastores. Open Spirit (OS) lets TerraSciences’ users access data in GeoFrame, OpenWorks and SMT Kingdom databases removing the need for external file formats such as LAS or other ASCII formats. A bi-directional link allows for interpreted data flowing back into the database from TerraStation.

New release

Terrasciences has also lifted the wraps on the next release of TerraStation—due out early next year. This will simplify navigation through the extensive use of property sheets. Other usability enhancements include increased use of right click menus, and the ability to pick values from cross plots and histograms and assign the value to a geological or run parameter, Z-variable, or well constants.


New modules will include a probabilistic net pay option using Monte Carlo techniques, a new Well Data Management and Copy/Paste from tables to/from the clipboard for data exchange with Microsoft Excel. Wizards have been added for many routine input/output and other tasks and new functionality now simplifies cross section generation and data interpolation between wells.

Ikon teams with TEEC on fault detection

TEEC releases new processing workflow and extends automated fault detection methodology.

Ikon Science Ltd and TEEC are to join forces to develop automated fault detection software. The first product of the collaboration is the incorporation of TEEC’s patented high resolution heterogeneity algorithms into Ikon’s FaultX automatic fault detection software.

Millwood Hargrave

Ikon MD Martyn Millwood Hargrave said, ‘We are pleased to form this new relationship, combining TEEC’s patented leading algorithms with FaultX’s robust workflow and connectivity to existing interpretation and modeling platforms. Our customers and the industry will receive an optimum fault picking solution for the modern seismic interpreter and geological modeller’.


Henning Trappe, TEEC MD added, ‘This development is seen as a response to the demand for a new generation of software tools also known as ‘data driven’ analysis tools. This new direction of software development is complemented by TEECware’s neuroTEEC for automatic seismic facies classification and their CRS programme suite for macro model independent seismic processing’.

CRS workflow enhanced

In a separate announcement, TEEC revealed enhancements to its Common Reflection Surface (CRS) seismic processing workflow. CRS provides high resolution images of complex structures by compensating for reflector dip and curvature. According to TEEC, CRS improves signal-to-noise ratio over conventional NMO/DMO or Pre-stack migration.


TEEC was recently awarded a processing contract by Maersk Oil Qatar and Qatar Petroleum for 6,000 km of 2D and 2,200 sq. km. of 3D seismic data offshore Qatar. TEEC’s CRS technology was selected for these surveys following extensive testing. TEEC’s CRS-AVO technology will be applied to the whole dataset in order to improve the resolution and reliability of AVO anomalies.

Society of Petroleum Engineers 2004 Houston ACTE

With a reported 10,482 in attendance (the largest since the early 1980‘s), 500 papers and 350 exhibitors, you would have though that the Annual Conference and Technical Exposition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers would have been buzzing. It wasn’t. Maybe it was the Houston location. Maybe, with oil breaking the $50/bbl barrier, folks were too busy. But a lot is happening in the PE space. Real time operations centers have come of age in drilling although production is proving a harder nut to crack. The components are already there, from sophisticated valves, multi-phase meters to optical sensors and actuators. Managing, and extracting useful information from the ‘data avalanche’ is a growing concern. In this space, marriage is back in vogue, with Landmark and Weatherford‘s E-Production Solutions teaming up in one corner and Schlumberger and Aspen Technology in the other. In the software field, we noted a brand new ‘seismic to simulator’ interpretation suite from JOA Jewel, a spin-off from Shell’s .NET migration. In the simulation arena there is interest in high-level surface/subsurface optimizing toolkits which run simulators from major vendors under the hood. Elsewhere independent vendors are applying techniques like streamline and network modeling to simulate various parts of the production system.

Real time

Ron Cramer (Shell Global Solutions), described work done in the Real Time Technical Interest Group (RT-TIG). Looking at published literature, case histories were compiled, analyzed and presented in the form of lessons learned. The existing RT toolkit is not very well understood, its value is hard to measure and there is too much of a focus on technology. Overall a saving of 4-10% of capex was observed from the application of RT.

According to Mike Mitchell (Data Horizons), an instrumented oilfield collects a million values every day from multiple sources and a variety of hardware and software. Communication protocols such as Modbus, SQL, OPC etc. are all deployed. Firewall complexities and data feed interruptions mandate careful planning for success. Mitchell believes most value lies in the marginal wells even if the data historian is an investment hurdle. SCADA is no big deal today, you can capture meaningful SCADA data with a handful of devices.

Carrie Popa described a semi skunk-works data mining project on ChevronTexaco’s century-old Kern River field. Kern River produces 95kbbl/day out of 8,000 producers and 1,200 injectors. With over 1,200 wells per engineer there was no time for in-depth analysis. Popa used Neural Networks’ NeuroShell along with in-house developed fuzzy logic tools to estimate oil production from all drainable sands. Cost and risk of workover type (clean, lower pump, add perforation, sidetrack) were also considered. 15 wells have been recompleted following the study. Production has typically risen from ~5bbl/day to 10 or 20. Such ‘lucrative’ preliminary results have triggered an expansion into a field-wide reservoir study.

Well testing

Sami Bustami described Schlumberger’s progress towards the goal of a downhole PVT lab. Well testing requirements vary with phases of operations. In exploration, testing provides fluid characterization for facilities design. In development it refines the reservoir model and in production, testing monitors water or gas breakthrough. The exploration phase will benefit particularly from technologies which enable downhole measurement of H2S, pH, dewpoint, density and viscosity. Schlumberger’s dream is to ‘put a PVT lab downhole’. A new behind casing testing tool was introduced at the show, designed for very low permeability reservoirs. Here Schlumberger’s goal is ‘continuous permeability measurement’. The FSI FlowScan Imager helps producers determine what flows come from which reservoirs.

David Kemshell’s (Shell Petroleum Development Oman) presentation showed how Smart Fields ‘link data asset to the value loop’. RT permanent monitoring with a permanent downhole gauge is used for hydraulic fracturing and seismic monitoring. Distributed temperature data from a steam flood pilot shows growing steam zone. IT is the key: web based data access gives a ‘holistic view’ of all aspects of field development.

Steve Norris (EnCana) described the use of Schlumberger’s cased hole dynamics tester (CHDT) to monitor pressure communication in tight fluviatile sands in the Piceance Basin, Colorado. EnCana uses science to identify economic plays in these discontinuous sands where inter-well communication is ‘a challenge’. The ingenious Schlumberger CHDT drills a little hole through casing, does a test and then plugs the hole. This typically produces 20ccs of fluid from a very tight formation—with permeabilityas low as 0.06 mD. CHDT has proved ‘an attractive tool for monitoring pressure in a timely manner’.

4D time lapse seismics

4D seismics has entered the reservoir engineering workflow as Steve Pannett of Shell’s Todd Oil demonstrated with a study of the Mari B reservoir in New Zealand. A synthetic seismogram was generated from the reservoir model and an impedance difference map compared with 4D seismics. 4D markers were imported to the dynamic model to create nine cases - gas/water, oil/gas, etc. Compaction was neglected in this well-consolidated sand with little or no pressure drop.

Hirofumi Yamamoto (Colorado School of Mines) is also leveraging 4D to monitor CO2 sequestration. CO2 from coal gasification in Dakota is piped 300km into the Canadian Williston Basin where it is sequestered in the depleted Weyburn field. Three 3D/4C seismic surveys were performed by EnCana.

Gioia Falcone’s paper described History matching Using Time-lapse Seismics (HUTS) on Total’s Girassol field. A 3D baseline survey was acquired in 1999 and repeated in 2002. Petroelastic modelling study from logs and cores was performed to predict the time lapse effect.

New software

Advantek’s @Frac package models frac jobs in soft rocks—notably for waste disposal. The tool was developed for BP to monitor grind and injection (a.k.a. crush and flush!) of over one million lbs of waste during Prudhoe Bay pit closure. @frac will model sulfur sequestration in the Kashagan supergiant.

EnSight’s Cyclops uses CAD and VR to visualize and manipulate reservoir data. The tool was developed for Petrobras using EnSight’s Harpoon mesher and visualization engine. Shell, Chevron and Exxon use EnSight to visualize chemical process simulations.

DPT’s NetTool extends network hydraulic modeling to the formation. Users can create and investigate wellbore hydraulic in extended reach laterals and multi-laterals.

Enersight’s Production Planning software applies a holistic approach to combined modeling of reservoir and surface facilities to show where wells are able to produce to capacity. Working from a base case, users can add incremental components and see how they affect the network. Enersight uses a linear programming engine to optimize project and networks.

Exploration Consultants has begun commercialization of TechSIM, a black oil/compositional reservoir simulator originally developed by AEA Technologies. TechSIM has been used in house for some time. TechSim supports black oil and IOR simulation on large field models, cross-sections, pattern floods and radial coning problems. Local grid refinement allows for the representation of complex reservoir structures. The simulator supports naturally fractured reservoirs with a dual porosity, dual permeability model.

CSIRO spin-off Genesis Petroleum Technologies’ Analyzer uses the best composite cost (BCC) methodology to analyze drilling performance. The goal is to define a best practice for each component of the drilling process. Genesis Designer applies similar methods to perform predictions for new wells from historical data.

Sciencesoft was also showing a reservoir to surface network link with S3 Graf/Connect which allows for the simultaneous use of GAP and Eclipse to model rate constraints of surface network on production. The software also optimizes Eclipse license use during simulation.

New interpretation suite

Our star of the show award goes to JOA’s ‘Jewel’ .NET-based, componentized suite to perform static and dynamic modeling from seismic to the flow simulator. Jewel uses web services for machine-to-machine interaction. Custom ‘Jewels’ can be added such as proprietary algorithms, data base connections or complete applications. Jewel is used by Shell to interact with proprietary fault cleanup applications – particularly JOA’s patented orthogonal grid technology. JOA was also previewing a .NET framework that leverages ‘software-based data clustering’ prior to rendering with OpenGL.


Schlumberger’s Real Time offering now extends from the wellbore to surface facilities and promises standard workflows spanning different technologies. RT is considered mature in well construction and fracturing. Production applications are now available as ‘web enabled’ services—so a well’s productivity index can be monitored to see if it degrades over time. Schlumberger is working on ‘closing the loop’ from Electric Submersibe Pumps (ESP) to downhole control valves. The association with AspenTech has introduced a dynamic link from PipeSim to HySys. SIS and AspenTech are to further develop integrated solutions leveraging Eclipse, HySys and economics.


The Weatherford EPS and Landmark joint venture was showing how material balance and nodal analysis can be leveraged with Landmark’s application software. Subsurface data captured in EPS’ ReO is imported into the Engineer’s Desktop. Also on show was the EPS controller for CIDRA intelligent completion with optical sensing of distributed temperature, pressure, flow and seismic measurement. Weatherford has ‘built a whole company built on production optimization’. EPS’ PanSystem is also tied to Aspen Tech‘s HySys. Pan System is integrated with fiber DTS gauges to drive a hydraulic sliding sleeve on a flow control valve. To counter the ‘no jewelry down hole’ complaint, Weatherford’s downhole devices are designed for robust operations with control via hydraulics and data capture over passive fiber.


Ahlbrandt of the USGS described the United Nations attempts to harmonize reserves classifications from SPE, World Petroleum Congress and the AAPG. The plan is to migrate these to the UN‘s framework classification for solid fuel and mineral resources (UNFC).This would align oil reserves with reserves for uranium, coal and other minerals.

Zebra Imaging provides ‘glasses-free’ 3D for the boardroom or reception area. The digital holographic images contain 1 TB of data. The 3D is compelling but it hard to see how the technology could be used in other than a presentational environment. Zebra recently received $12 million venture capital to develop speedier printing.

Google was showing off its search appliance - a colorful Linux box that plugs straight into the corporate network. Web browser-based configuration tells the appliance what directories to spider. An in-house Google catalog results. Auto language detection - works with HTML, PDF, MS Office, IBM Office Suites and ‘200 other formats’. Clients include ConocoPhillips and Grant Prideco.

IHS Energy’s iNodes are self contained devices for data capture in the field. Devices are self-powered, wireless and come with a solar panel, bi-directional radio/satellite transmitter, and back-up battery. iNodes products include pressure monitors, flow meters and tank level monitors. Communications devices include a compact flash radio and ModBus concentrators.

At the end of the proceedings, the SPE itself drew the biggest crowd of the show—with a $1,500 cash giveaway. No competition, just enter the draw and wait for your cash. We’re not sure how this raises awareness of petroleum engineering, or advances any of the SPE’s lofty aims. But it does qualify as the silliest thing we have seen at a tradeshow since the SEG unveiled its Doodlebugger statue.

This article has been taken from a 26 page illustrated report produced as part of The Data Room‘s Technology Watch Reporting Service. More from

Folks, facts, orgs etc…

API, Energy Solutions, IronMountain, Shell, CGG, Linux Networx, Maurer, Zettaworks and Bengal.

ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva is now also chairman of the Board of the American Petroleum Institute.


Al Jacob has joined Energy Solutions as Executive VP of Global Services. Jacobs was previously with EDS and Koch Pipelines.


Bob Brennan has been named President of Iron Mountain’s North American operations. He was previously CEO of Connected Corporation.


Shell has awarded a four year extension to it contract with CGG for the provision of in-house seismic data processing services in the Netherlands, Aberdeen and Stavanger.


Linux Networx is the beneficiary of $40 million of funding raised by Oak Investment Partners and Tudor Ventures.


SPE member Haveluck Harrison is offering over 50 free Java-based calculators for a variety of petroleum engineering problems on his website


Maurer Technology has released a new version of its free electronic Tally Sheet for Pocket PCs. This program was developed under DOE sponsorship.


Eric Roch has been named CTO of EAI specialists Zettaworks. Before joining Zettaworks, Roch was with TIBCO Software and Deloitte Consulting.


Bengal Development has conducted a study of information sharing outside the firewall to help operators share non sensitive information in their ERP systems.


In our lead on Microsoft’s upstream ERP offering last month we wrongly stated that Microsoft Axapta was developed by Navision. Tommy Christensen of Wellpoint Systems tells us that Damgaard Data wrote the original tool, before merging with Navision.


Knut Bulow of Landmark Graphics points out a more ‘complete and correct’ account of the NDR5 conference is available on Bulow also states that while ‘Diskos is a leading NDR facility, it has been over emphasized to the detriment of other innovative NDR approaches’.

Q3 service sector results—revenues boom

Service companies see record revenues. Some even report bottom line growth.

Halliburton’s Energy Services Group (ESG) announced quarterly revenues of $2.1 billion, a 17% increase over the same period last year. Chairman Dave Lesar said, ‘ESG had record quarterly revenue, operating income, and margins. We continue to see revenue growth and profit improvement in ESG. The rig count continues to increase, while our uplift in pricing, coupled with our focus on cost control are providing stronger margins.‘


Production Optimization was particularly buoyant with operating income for the quarter at $222 million, 88% up. Landmark Graphics achieved a modest 3% revenue growth due primarily to increased software sales in Mexico.


Schlumberger’s third-quarter 2004 operating revenue was $2.93 billion ($2.54 billion in Q3 2003). Oilfield Services revenue of $2.61 billion increased 16% compared to the same quarter of last year. Even WesternGeco’s revenue was up 14% year-on-year.


Chairman and CEO Andrew Gould said, ‘Pricing in North America showed good improvement, and overall activity trends remained very positive particularly in the Eastern Hemisphere. New technology revenue from Wireline was particularly impressive in the quarter. WesternGeco had an excellent quarter with pretax operating income approaching the levels we set as an objective 18 months ago.’

Core Laboratories

CoreLab’s third quarter revenues were $109 million, an all-time quarterly high, up 11% over Q3 2003. The record results were due to ongoing reservoir description projects, increased demand for new technology, services and products and the success of several new studies.


CoreLab president and CEO, David Demshur commented, ‘Our commitment to new technologies and services for reservoir performance has resulted in all-time record quarterly and nine-month financial results. Incremental production from existing fields is generating much interest as spare capacity drops to historical lows.’

Baker Hughes

Chad Deaton, Baker Hughes’ CEO reported, ‘Solid third quarter with a 16% hike in revenue compared to the same quarter a year ago. Oilfield revenue from outside the United States was at record levels and exceeded $1 billion in a quarter for the first time ever.’


TGS-NOPEC net revenues, at $43.5 million, were 36% up on Q3 2003 with A2D contributing some 11% and TGS Imaging (NuTec) another 2%. A2D has completed cataloging the Riley and Divestco logs into its LogLine+ database. The North American library now holds over 4 million logs from approximately 1.8 million wells. Of these, 3 million logs have already been digitized.


I/O revenues were up substantially, from $30.3 million in Q3 2003 to $80.9. I/O president Bob Peebler said, ‘VectorSeis sales are expected to grow in both the land and marine environments as acceptance of this new technology continues. The additions of GX Technology and Concept Systems have added the necessary key pieces we needed to build a seismic solutions company.’


Veritas had to restate its fourth quarter and fiscal 2004 results to ‘properly reflect’ a $3.7 million adjustments. Veritas chairman and CEO Thierry Pilenko said, ‘We will complete the restatement process as quickly as possible and will resume our regular soon.’ Veritas does not expect these adjustments or the restatement to have a significant effect on its operations or future results.


Weatherford International revenues for the third quarter were $794.3 million, up 23 percent from the same quarter last year. Corporate expenses increased mostly due to Weatherford’s Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance project.

Petris, MetaCarta team on GIS/text search

GeoDrive GIS and text search will be integrated with Petris Winds Enterprise data browser.

MetaCarta and Petris Technology, have signed a marketing agreement in which MetaCarta’s GeoDrive technology will be integrated with the Petris Winds Enterprise platform. GeoDrive is a search engine that enhances traditional text and file search by adding geographic search technology (see Oil ITJ Vol 9 N° 5).


MetaCarta VP Mike Odell said, ‘The challenge for oil and gas workers is to locate relevant information in a growing volume of unstructured documents from a variety of often un-indexed sources. GeoDrive bridges the gap between GIS and text search, allowing unstructured data to be geographically indexed.’


Petris CTO Jeff Pferd added, ‘Companies rely on unstructured text documents to make most decisions. Adding geographic identifiers to unstructured data results in a comprehensive, location-specific data collection that can be combined with existing structured data. The combination of MetaCarta GeoDrive and Petris Winds Enterprise will allow all information to be available at the right time and place, to enable better and faster business decisions.’ For more on Petris Winds see our interview with Pferd on page 3 of this issue.

Peloton rolls-out WellView 8.0

New functions include data audit, multi-well reporting and upgraded well test coverage.

Peloton has just announced a new version of WellView, its well information management system for planning, drilling, completion, testing and workover operations. WellView 8 introduces new real-time oriented functionality and includes a Data Auditor which applies rule-based quality control to data to ensure that key data is correctly captured and ‘realistic’ values are recorded. Data audits can be performed on multiple wells and typographical errors avoided through a customizable spell check.


A multi-well reporting tool creates ad hoc reports from any data in the database and operational planning now includes planned vs. actual analysis of estimated costs and times by phase. The WellView database has been upgraded to store all of the major reservoir tests and production data and now covers testing, volumes, equipment settings, annular fluids and artificial lift equipment. Standard reports are included for tasks, geology, material transfer, safety, and production subject areas with graphical cost summaries included in the reports.

Data HealthCheck from Intervera

An automated quality control package offers a rules repository for well and seismic data.

Calgary-based Intervera has announced a milestone for its DataVera data management package. DataVera HealthCheck, an automated data quality solution, has been tested on 370,000 wells and over 1 million seismic lines since its availability last year. HealthCheck leverages a dynamic rules repository that currently includes 5,000 rules for seismic metadata and 8,000 rules for well drilling and completions data.


Intervera president Paul Gregory said, ‘Companies understand the risks of poor data quality in an environment of zero tolerance for operating and reporting error. Intervera has a significant role to play in overcoming critical data problems.‘


HealthCheck is a technology and platform independent solution that improves data quality from any combination of in-house or third party data sources. HealthCheck is used by Devon Energy, Husky and Occidental. Earlier this year, EnCana Corp. engaged Intervera for strategic IT consulting services.

Stanford JIP for StreamSim

Joint industry project targets streamline history matching.

StreamSim Technologies announced a new release of its 3DSL package and kicked off a new Joint Industry Project at the SPE last month. 3DSL V 2.2 has been ported to 64bit SGI systems, PC-based memory access is now upped to 3GB and the software now supports dual-porosity, well layer rate output and multiple initialization regions. The JIP is to fast track initial streamline-based history matching results obtained at Stanford University into a deployable, commercial grade, software product over a three year period (2004-2007). Sponsors prepared to divvy-up $ 35,000 per year are sought.

Inverness Capital buys Energy Solutions

Private equity group completes its acquisition of pipeline software specialists.

Inverness Capital Partners, part of the Graham Group, and Shoemaker Investments have acquired oil and gas pipeline software house, Energy Solutions International. Following an initial $2 million investment earlier this year, Inverness is to inject up to $3 million of additional capital to fund growth opportunities and continue advancing Energy Solutions’ technologies.


Inverness’ Ken Graham said, ‘Our work to restructure Energy Solutions during the first investment phase is complete and the company is positioned to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities available in the midstream market. Energy Solutions provides best-in-class tools that help pipeline companies improve safety and throughput management and reduce operating costs, three very powerful benefits in today’s competitive environment.’


ESI’s flagship PipelineStudio optimizes offline planning and design simulation through advanced simulation of both natural gas and liquid pipelines. PipelineStudio leverages techniques such as steady-state and transient hydraulic analysis to deliver ‘quality business decisions’ and better financial performance. Once an offline engineering model of the pipeline network has been built, the same model can be embedded into custom applications to enhance specific business processes.

Oildex Connect for ChevronTexaco

Revenue interest holders will receive revenue, reports and tax filings via online system.

ChevronTexaco is to provide its 20,000 revenue interest owners with access to oil and gas revenue data through Oildex on-line service, Owner Relations Connect.


Owner Relations Connect provides interest owners with a paper-free resource available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to view and print revenue information and year-end tax summary reports. Owners may opt to receive their payments directly into their bank accounts using electronic funds transfer (EFT) and eventually eliminate unnecessary paper by retrieving their check detail on-line.

Mobile approval

In a separate announcement, Oildex unveiled a beta release of SpendWorks Unplugged Edition (SUE), a mobile approval system for field operations. SUE lets managers electronically review and approve invoices, field tickets and work orders from the field, with or without connection to the Internet.


Oildex President Peter Flanagan said, ‘Industry professionals drilling and operating wells require access to information and the ability to authorize and approve purchases while away from the office. SUE, an add-on to SpendWorks, provides users with offline access, enabling electronic review and approval of invoices, field tickets and work orders and allowing users to synch with the on-line program when convenient.‘ Key SpendWorks customers are participating in the SUE beta test.

SAIC and Wellogix design purchase to pay

New automated e-procurement system targets complex oilfield operations and maintenance.

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and Houston-based Wellogix have teamed to implement an automated, paperless purchase-to-pay (P2P) system tailored to complex oilfield energy services. Implemented as part of an operational procurement and financial process improvement initiative, the Wellogix Evaluated Receipts Settlement (ERS) lets clients pay service providers with approved field-tickets, eliminating the cost and paperwork of a traditional invoice process.


SAIC designed, developed and implemented the ERS solution, integrating Wellogix’ eField-Ticket software with the client’s SAP financial and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). The system allows field engineers to quickly and accurately identify and resolve pricing discrepancies and off-contract charges for complex oilfield services within a controlled and compliant process. The solution reduces administrative costs and ensures accurate and expedited payments to service providers with greater controls over the purchasing process.


SAIC VP Stuart Lunn said, ‘We have a unique perspective of what modifications to existing software will bring maximum benefits and saw that coupling SAP CMMS systems with Wellogix software would bring an immediate return on investment affecting purchase-to-pay, finance and accounting.’

Woodside deploys high tech on NW Shelf

Aveva, Autodesk and Halliburton to build state of the art engineering IT solution for TWWA.

Woodside Energy, through the Transfield Worley Woodside Alliance (TWWA) is to deploy a state of the art engineering IT solution on the North West Shelf Venture – Australia’s largest energy project. TWWA comprises several huge gas and condensate fields. To optimize engineering productivity, minimize project handover issues and support post-project operations and maintenance, the company plans to invest approximately AUD $10 million in information and design technology over the next five years.


Kicking off the IT project, Woodside has awarded a AUD $ 4.5 million contract, spread over 18 months to supply a range of engineering IT solutions, the majority from its VANTAGE solution suite. Edward Benfield, Engineering Data Management (EDM) project manager, said, ‘Following the successful execution of a pilot EDM project last year, we are going for full implementation of the EDM Project across the North West Shelf Venture.‘


Aveva’s Vantage plant lifecycle suite supports plant design, data and project management and integration with third party software for procurement and ERP systems. Vantage differs from conventional 3D approaches by not requiring a drawing engine, but producing graphics directly from a single, coherent data model of the entire plant.


Aveva recently teamed with Autodesk, Inc. to demonstrate integration of Vantage with Autodesk’s AutoCAD at the International Symposium for Engineering IT in Houston. The alliance was formed to open the exchange of information between Autodesk and Aveva’s solutions. Vantage Plant Engineering features a portable schematic drawing solution that can be used off-line by anyone familiar with AutoCAD and then synchronized with the master project database.


Woodside also recently contracted with Halliburton’s Energy Services Group for the provision of production optimization services consisting of completion products and services, sand control, and tubing conveyed perforating services and products for Australasia and Mauritania. The contract has an estimated ‘value opportunity’ of USD $58 million.


John Lau, Halliburton’s country manager said, ‘This is a long-term partnership between our companies and will be a foundation for Halliburton to service Woodside globally in the future. We are honored with the confidence that Woodside has shown in our ability to deliver value and service quality.’

AspenOne for Oil and Gas

New bundle from Aspen Technology offers ‘enterprise-wide’ visibility of upstream operations.

Aspen Technology rolled out its AspenOne for Oil and Gas at the 2004 AspenWorld user group meeting in Orlando last month. AspenOne is designed to give upstream oil and gas companies ‘enterprise-wide visibility and control of operations’. AspenOne spans facility design, planning and operations, to portfolio management. According to AspenTech, the new software enables companies to ‘predict and maximize profits’ by viewing operations as a single, interrelated system.


Production systems consist of a combination of reservoirs, wells, pipeline networks and processing facilities. To optimize the profitability of the overall system, business managers must understand the contribution of each element as well as interrelationships that affect the performance of the system as a whole. According to AspenTech, most asset managers today are not seeing the big picture and are making decisions based on incomplete information.


AspenOne’s three component solutions cover facilities engineering, production asset management and portfolio management. AspenTech is partnering with third party solution vendors to deliver its integrated asset models and upstream solutions including Schlumberger, Petroleum Experts and Scandpower.


Schlumberger Information Solutions was also present at AspenWorld and demonstrated a jointly-developed asset optimization solution that combined components from SIS production engineering software products and AspenOne. The project linked closed loop gas-lift optimization with SIS’ PipeSim and AspenTech’s HySys process simulation technology integrated within the AspenOne’s Open Simulation Environment—previously AssetBuilder.


SIS president Kjell-Erik Ostdahl said, ‘This is the first of a series of new integrated solutions with AspenTech. These will realize our i-Field vision of an integrated workflow from the reservoir to the processing facility. The alliance bridges the historic gap between reservoir and surface facilities, and addresses the needs of our upstream customers to optimize their production operations and field development plans.’ The next target for integration is SIS’ Eclipse reservoir simulator which will be linked to the AspenTech asset model for reservoir management and optimization.


AspenTech president and CEO David McQuillin added, ‘The alliance brings optimization technology used in the petroleum downstream process industry into the Schlumberger oilfield domain. Our alliance with SIS will provide customers with a portfolio of new solutions, using a common environment with shared data models, based on industry-leading applications from the two alliance companies and third parties.’

Aramco chooses Siemens XHQ platform

NetWeaver-based Enterprise Management Systems links wellhead to SAP real time system.

Saudi Aramco is to deploy Siemens XHQ operations intelligence platform as the foundation of its Enterprise Management Solution (EMS). XHQ will link all of Aramco’s production and business data into a single information portal. The scope of the solution spans wellheads, crude oil processing, gas oil separation, gas processing, to refineries and loading terminals.

Whole enchilada!

Siemens unit IndX Software is to supply the EMS which promises a ‘comprehensive overview‘ of operations and real time analyses of everything from production and plant utilization to trends in demand, market prices, order status and costs.


Saudi Aramco CIO Ibrahim Mishari, said, ‘Aramco will be deploying the innovative XHQ solution throughout the company from the wellhead upwards. Using XHQ, Aramco will integrate its production operations with its real-time SAP system for a truly unified real-time enterprise.’


Siemens is to integrate the XHQ real time system with SAP’s NetWeaver, already a component of Aramco’s SAP deployment. Siemens Industrial Solutions president Joergen Ole Haslestad added, ‘The partnership between Aramco and Siemens creates a complete business solution that ranges all the way from the automation and planning levels right up to the corporate management level.’

$32 million data contract for Landmark

PetroBank is to form the hub of PetroChina’s integrated data management infrastructure.

PetroChina has awarded Landmark Graphics a three-year, $32 million contract for an integrated, multi-tiered information management system to support the full life cycle of PetroChina’s oil and gas data.


PetroChina CTO Liu Xijian said, ‘This is the biggest E&P information technology project in PetroChina’s history. This is a critical component in our information management strategy and we are keen to work with a long-term partner like Landmark which is committed as we are to the success of this endeavor.’


Landmark’s PetroBank solution is at the heart of a ‘collaborative working environment’ for PetroChina’s E&P branch companies and their affiliated assets which are to deploy an enterprise-wide standard, secure, and integrated information management system.


Landmark president Peter Bernard said, ‘This contract is exemplifies the partnerships that are created when global organizations like Landmark and PetroChina leverage advanced technology. The Asia Pacific region is very important to Landmark and this contract expands our presence in China providing not only technology but a complete in-sourced service solution.’


The deal includes E&P applications OpenWorks, PowerExplorer, PowerJournal and WOW. Landmark is also to implement an integrated operations and engineering platform for drilling and production tasks leveraging Tow/cs, EDM, DSS and TeamWorkspace.

Suncor to deploy IXOS for SAP, Livelink

Software contract targets enterprise collaboration and ‘business critical’ content management.

Suncor Energy Services is augmenting its Open Text information management solution with the addition of the IXOS Suite for SAP. Suncor is also to deploy Livelink to support integrated collaboration and content management activities throughout the enterprise.


Open Text unit IXOS provides Enterprise Content Management solutions which manage ‘business-critical content’ and the flow of information within and beyond the borders of an organization. IXOS features single architecture for high-volume data management, provides lifecycle content management and satisfies regulatory compliance requirements


In addition to existing solutions for SAP data and document archiving, Suncor plans on using Open Text to support the archiving of corporate e-mail, in order to capture and manage this content as items of corporate record.

Engineering drawing

Suncor will also use Open Text to manage engineering drawings and content for its refinery facilities and integrate data from its SAP system to improve the management of resources and inventory needed to maintain these assets.


Open Text president, John Shackleton said, ‘Our ability to support ad hoc collaboration and unstructured content management alongside structured data is critical to our energy customers. Suncor recognized this challenge and has taken a major step forward to make collaboration easier, as well as to support the management of information and processes critical to its core business.’

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