November 2007

Paradigm pulls IPO

A self-declared admission of ‘improper payments’ to foreign intermediaries delayed the initial public offering. CEO John Gibson tells Oil IT Journal that market conditions made him withdraw the offer.

In a letter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission this month (SEC), Paradigm president and CEO John Gibson requested that the registration be withdrawn, signaling an end to the initial public offering (IPO). The IPO was registered last year (OITJ Sept. 06) hot on the heels of Paradigm’s $56 million acquisition of Earth Decision.

Justice department

The float was delayed earlier this year as Paradigm’s own due diligence revealed ‘improper payments’ made by Paradigm to foreign government officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Paradigm voluntarily disclosed these to the US Department of Justice (DoJ), cooperated fully with the department and instituted ‘extensive remedial compliance measures.’

$1,000,000 fine

As a result of these mitigating factors, the DoJ agreed not to prosecute Paradigm, provided Paradigm satisfies its obligations under the agreement for a period of 18 months. Those obligations include: ongoing cooperation; further remedial steps, including the adoption of rigorous internal controls; retention of outside compliance counsel; and payment of a $1 million penalty.


Assistant attorney general Alice Fisher said ‘Paradigm’s actions in this matter, including voluntary disclosure and remedial efforts, are consistent with our view of responsible corporate conduct when FCPA violations are uncovered. Accordingly, the Department has resolved this case to permit the company to move forward on sound footing, governed by ethical business practices.’


John Gibson told Oil IT Journal, ‘These events relate to an earlier period when Paradigm was a smaller, foreign managed company. The due diligence and self disclosure has made us now one of the cleanest, most responsible companies in the marketplace. In the end, it was the changing market that decided us to withdraw. The subprime crisis in the US, the weakening dollar and our own growing international business and personnel made the board and I decide to take stock of the situation and look at alternatives. We are in a 30 day quiet period following the withdrawal so I can’t say any more right now.’


Companies cited by the DoJ include agents acting for Kazakhstan’s NOC, and CNOOC. Paradigm admitted to similar conduct in dealings in Mexico, Indonesia and Nigeria where representatives agreed to make $100,000—$200,000 payments to an agent acting for Nigerian politicians to obtain contracts with an NNPC unit.

No offers

We understand that Paradigm’s business is doing very well—which was confirmed by a global order from Chevron (more in next month’s issue). We also have it on good authority that there are currently no offers for Paradigm at the present time.

MMS outsources IT

Accenture gets a contract worth up to $100 million for US Minerals Management Service’s royalty financial systems’ $9 billion annual turnover.

The US Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) has engaged Accenture to operate its royalty financial system, associated databases and software.


MMS Director Randall Luthi said, ‘The new contract improves on a previous version, awarded to Accenture in 1999, and will ensure that MMS maintains the state-of-the-art computing capabilities necessary to efficiently collect and disburse an annual average of $9 billion in royalty receipts.’ According to a review team, Accenture submitted the best overall package to meet MMS’s requirements.

$100 million

The contract runs for a year from December 2007 with up to nine yearly extensions. Total value could reach $90 to $100 million over the life of the contract. The computing system accounts for rents and royalties’ distribution to various agencies and includes a database of historical financial and production information.


MMS reports that it has improved its internal controls following an earlier review and has developed ‘stronger in-house capability’ for cost estimates and acquisition processes and has ‘greatly enhanced its contracting officer representative function.’

Modeling subprimes, reservoirs and global warming

Oil IT Journal editor Neil McNaughton sees similarities in modeling of risk in the financial markets, reserves evaluation and global warming. How do you know when you’ve got the right model?

I was chatting to somebody at the Anaheim SPE ATCE who made a connection between risk management as applied to oil and gas exploration, decision support and the subprime fiasco. I pricked up my ears because I had just come out of a good talk* on the topic of how too much of our effort was spent on ‘risk’ evaluation and management and not enough on decision support.


The rapprochement between oil and gas risk analysis and subprime is both instructive and rather sensitive. For a while, risk management as applied to oil decision support has basked in the reflected glory of its use by financial institutions. After all, if the banks used it, it has to be valid. This is the old grass is greener argument. Since the French civil service is a big user of graphology, or because the US police once used a pendulum dowser, these techniques must be valid (not!).


One risk managers’ argument for subprime modeling failure makes reference to ‘outliers,’ unusual events that are ‘poorly represented’ by classical Monte Carlo modeling. Then ensues a sales pitch for a ‘new improved’ modeling technique, applicable both to financial services and oil and gas.

Ponzi scheme

But wait a minute. The subprime crisis was not a modeling fault. The problem of subprime was understandable with no fancy models by any dummy who had access to the facts. The models weren’t thrown off by an ‘outlier.’ It was just that the Ponzi scheme bubble burst! A boom and bust phenomenon that has been around for centuries. In essence, it was the use of a steady state model that failed in an explosively dynamic situation. In other words, it was the wrong model.

Reserves evaluation

But now that risk modeling in financial services has come unstuck, should we be looking at oil and gas risk analysis? Judging from the debate at the SPE and the ongoing discussions of all things risk and reserves related, it appears that not only we should but we do. One field where modeling is getting a big push at the moment is in reserves evaluation. A poster paper** argued that ‘simulator models constrained by a reasonable history match are likely to produce a reasonable recovery factor in a mature well or field.’ Here there is a push from industry that the SEC should admit more model-based estimates in financial reporting.


One reason that this seemingly innocuous notion is so hotly debated is that the history match itself is a little shaky. In some circumstances, like well understood, mature fields, it has obvious merit. Early on it is much harder to defend. The P10, P50, P90 categorizations lend spurious veracity to what are simple guesstimates. Late in a field’s life, when the field’s geometry, the rock’s wettability and a host of other parameters have been constrained by measurement, modeling can be used with more credibility.


So in general, oil fields and hence reserve numbers will fall somewhere along a spectrum of ‘unmodelable,’ experience-based guesswork, with a large degree of exposure to the sort of model ‘blow up’ that the subprimes experienced, to a hopefully more stable kind of modeling in the mature field where surprises are less likely. Quite how this spectrum of models can be rolled up into SEC reporting is beyond me.


Which brings me to my third modeling exercise of the month and an even bigger debate than subprimes—global warming. George Chilingar’s talk at the SPE was guaranteed to pull in the crowds. According to Chilingar, ‘Humans are not responsible for global warming,’ it’s all down to variations in the sun’s output (more on page 6). Chilingar’s thesis, backed by lots of back of the envelope calculations on ‘adiabatic this’ and ‘upper atmosphere that,’ boils down to a simple idea. That human energy output is and always will be a mere pinprick in comparison to the amount of energy that reaches us from the sun. So burning fossil fuels ‘makes no difference.’


This argument has been largely debunked***. Global warming is not about humans heating the earth up, but about greenhouse gases keeping the sun’s heat in. I find it strange that Chilingar, instead of taking the opportunity of debunking the debunkers and moving the debate along, just used the SPE to reach out to a new audience with his original spiel. But his argument was well received by the audience of petroleum engineers—especially so when a speaker from the US Environment Protection Agency offered strong backing to Chilingar’s position. This got me curious, was this official EPA position? Not exactly. Bottom line for the EPA is ‘Human activities are changing the composition of Earth’s atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases [...]are well-documented and understood [and are] largely the result of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.’


At the risk of repeating myself I would like to point you back to my October 2003 editorial where, back from another ATCE , I located a great modeling quote from Hugh Gauch’s book—Scientific Method in Practice**** in that, ‘a model cannot be judged from its performance in predicting the data that were used to fit it in the first place’. What exactly does this mean for history matching, for oil and gas or climate change? I’m not sure I know, but perhaps we should ask ourselves if we really have the right model from time to time, rather than worrying too much about the minutiae of a particular probability distribution.

* SPE 109610, ‘Decision making in oil and gas.’ Eric Bickel (Texas A&M).

** SPE 110066 ‘Simulation in reserves—a guide for SEC/SOX compliant reporting.’ Dean Rietz,(Ryder Scott).

*** For debunking of Chilingar and other denialists see

**** ISBN 9780521017084.

New study investigates GIS usage in Oil and Gas

Exprodat survey finds low standards take-up and ‘very basic’ usage in ESRI-dominated upstream.

UK-based Exprodat Consulting has completed a study of the role of geographic information systems (GIS) in E&P. The study proposes a technology-independent deployment model for companies implementing a GIS strategy, applicable to any size of organization and reviews common GIS technologies, including desktop, image processing, 3D visualization, web-based GIS, the spatially enabled RDBMS and ‘globe’ GIS products.


The survey investigated participants’ GIS usage, spatial data management and investment in technology and support. Most E&P GIS use was ‘very basic’ although things are improving as GIS is better understood. The industry is dominated by a single GIS vendor (ESRI). Google Earth is not perceived as threatening ESRI’s position although most companies use it as a complimentary tool. There is limited take-up of Open Source technologies and formal standards in E&P. The multi-client study, originally sponsored by Maersk, ExxonMobil, Total, Chevron, PGS Reservoir, Petro-Canada, BG Group, Woodside Energy, Premier Oil, Wintershall and Nexen, is now available for purchase. More from

Landmark’s AssetConnect leverages Engineous technology

Software integration platform from aerospace links myriad production optimization applications.

Landmark has introduced a new approach to facilities design and optimization that leverages an interesting horizontal integration platform from Engineous. Engenious’ iSIGHT software integration platform is used in automobile and aerospace to automate component design. iSIGHT embeds optimization techniques such as large scale Monte Carlo, design of experiment and ‘design for six sigma’ to optimize workflows across multiple third party simulators. AssetConnect was unveiled by Michael Szatny at the SPE. Szatny described the production engineering ‘challenge’ where multiple technical applications and data sources are commonplace. The new technology was demonstrated with a frac job optimization study involving petrophysics, interpretation software and specialist tools like PinnacleFrac, ProPT and Corelab Predict-K. By plugging these tools into the AssetConnect infrastructure, design time was cut from 16 to 6 hours. The resulting workflow can be ‘packaged’ for re-use by other engineers and component software packages can be exchanged to cater for local preferences.


Engineous CEO Janet Wylie said, ‘AssetConnect is the logical extension of Engineous’s capabilities to oil and gas. Optimized and integrated workflows are essential in industries like aerospace and automotive design. Bringing such workflows to production engineering makes a lot of sense.’ Plug ins for AssetConnect include Landmark’s Nexus and third party applications like PROSPER/GAP, HYSYS, and Microsoft Excel—as well as custom in-house software.

Santos extends mapping, data management software license

Petrosys builds on 15 year long ‘strategic relationship.’ MD claims 97% customer retention rate.

Australian oil and gas exploration and production company Santos has signed a two-year extension to its license to Petrosys’ mapping software. The new agreement builds on a fifteen year long strategic relationship with Petrosys and provides Santos employees with full access to Petrosys exploration and production software. The Petrosys system covers mapping and data management for well, seismic, lease, culture, spatial and prospect information.


Petrosys MD Volker Hirsinger said, ‘Petrosys is riding a wave of investment in technology. We deliver value-for-money through an active, customer-focused development program, coupled with customer support and training. Once customers begin to use Petrosys, they realize how much more effectively they can work.’ Petrosys claims an average 97% customer retention rate. More from

Petris spatializes RigCount, delivers Operations Center to Laredo

WindsEnterprise technology adds map interface to Baker Hughes drilling information service.

Baker Hughes has engaged Petris to ‘spatialize’ its Rig Count service. Baker Hughes’ (BH) Rig Count is provided as a service to investors. The site is reported to be one of the busiest websites following the weekly update. The 500 strong US BH sales force gathers the information during weekly visits to rigs. The system is now live in the US, Canada will be online in Q1 2008 and by the end of 2008, coverage will be world wide. Information is claimed to be very accurate although there are some challenges internationally—with Saudi Arabia, China and Russia. Petris GIS-enabled the BH dataset with its WindsEnterprise, ESRI-based technology.

Operations Center

In a separate announcement, Petris has deployed its Operations Center (OC) technology at Laredo Petroleum. OC ‘streamlines’ the acquisition and management of drilling and production operational data and incorporates it with corporate financial systems.


Laredo COO Jerry Schuyler said, ‘OC offered a cost effective, integrated approach to the management of our drilling, workover and production data.’ OC is a business intelligence system spanning engineering, drilling, completion, production, operations, and accounting departments. Petris acquired OC from ProductionAccess earlier this year (OITJ June 2007).

Knowledge Systems teams with Roxar, NSI Upstream

Joint ventures target production surveillance with downhole gauges and Oil Field Commander.

Houston-based energy consultants Knowledge Reservoir (KR) has made two deals this month targeting reservoir monitoring and production surveillance. A new alliance with Roxar is to combine KR’s RightTime Analysis Service (RTAS) for production and reservoir surveillance with Roxar’s Integrated Reservoir and Production Management (iRPM) downhole gauge monitoring system. The joint venture originated in a monitoring job on a complex North Sea field with work performed remotely in Houston.


Roxar CEO Gunnar Hviding said, ‘Our downhole instrumentation provides customers with intervention-free reservoir surveillance and value-added iRPM analysis services. Partnering with Knowledge Reservoir will ensure that the maximum amount of value is generated from this data.’

NSI Upstream

In a separate deal, KR has teamed with NSI Upstream (formerly known as NetSCADA) to offer NSI’s Oil Field Commander (OFC) well and facility management software system as a component of KR’s RTAS. OFC provides a unified view of disparate data sets across multiple wells and complex reservoirs. Data can be calibrated, tagged, manipulated and verified, with outliers identified and stored for later review.

Paradigm sales to Pertra, Maersk. New Sysdrill and Geolog releases

Drilling and well planning gets automation and WITSML interface. Geolog sees workflow enhancements.

Paradigm has released new versions of its Sysdrill drilling and well planning suite and Geolog, its well log and petrophysical package. Enhancements in Sysdrill V 3.0 include automated well planning, casing wear prediction, well control, volume and packer calculations. The new release also increases interoperability with interfaces for Halliburton’s DEX and WITSML.


Paradigm director of well planning and drilling Robert Innes said, ‘Market analysis shows that poorly integrated applications are a leading cause of dissatisfaction among well planners and drilling engineers. Sysdrill’s new level of integration enables faster, easier use and productivity-driven workflows.’

Pertra, Maersk

This month Paradigm announced a global Sysdrill sale to Norwegian Pertra AS. Pertra’s Terje Pedersen said ‘We evaluated drilling software from several vendors, and Sysdrill was found to be superior to the competition.’ In a separate announcement, Maersk Oil has selected Paradigm’s Geolog as its corporate standard for petrophysical analysis.

Geolog Beta

Version 6.7 of Geolog was on show at the SPE ATCE. The new version includes enhanced workflow creation, recording and play back. Also included is 3D model support for geosteering. A beta release of Geolog 6.7 is available for testing. Roll out is ‘real soon now.’

Chevron Canada leverages Safe Software FME in GIS solution

Case study of Hibernia lease map shows complex workflow enabled by GIS transform toolset.

A paper from Safe Software describes how Chevron Canada Resources has used Safe’s FME to create its Hibernia lease map. Lease information is often stored in a region-specific grid system. Hibernia uses the Canadian Federal permit system survey grid. Going from the survey grid to the geographic coordinates required by mapping systems can be a compute intensive process that can significantly impact workflow productivity. Consequently, according to Safe, companies like Chevron are creating processes to generate these features automatically.

FME Workbench

Chevrons’ Calgary-based application and IM team uses an FME transformation workflow to extract data from disparate databases and generate its lease polygons. The data transformation workflow, built in FME Workbench, requires ten FME transformations.


The open source SQLExecutor extracts text-based lease descriptions from Chevron’s Oracle database. This is used to query the SDE database for coordinates which are converted to NAD27. Further FME tools merge the cells together to build the final lease polygon that is written back into SDE as a layer, ready for import to Chevron’s mapping applications.

Statoil’s Enterprise Google Earth

In-house enhanced version of popular mapping tool gets top-level endorsement.

Speaking at a StatoilHydro’s seminar earlier this month, Ole J Martinsen, StatoilHydro’s VP of exploration research described some flagship new technology development the company has recently implemented. One breakthrough was the application of new ideas and the re-analysis of old data which resulted in the Ormen Lange discovery. Martinsen believes this approach will have other applications on the Norwegian continental shelf as ‘large areas remain unexplored and new opportunities lie in areas where operations are currently underway.’

Google Earth

Martinsen made particular mention of one novel application, ‘We need new technology and new ideas to move ahead. StatoilHydro’s development of its own version of Google Earth, where all data can be viewed in context, is an example of what we’re after. Together with Google, we have further developed the tool for use in our exploration activities. We have had good results internationally including in the Middle East and we have great hopes for the technology’s future and in the application of knowledge gained elsewhere on the NCS.’

Software, hardware short takes ...

Entero, ffA, Fugro, Geovariances, Peloton, AGI, CEI, Roxar, Transpara, National Geographic, MetaCarta.

Entero’s evMOSAIC has updated its royalty model to include the new Alberta royalty framework, first announced on October 25, 2007. Subsequent updates to the framework from Alberta Energy will be rolled out to clients as they are released. evMOSAIC provides multi-level fiscal models of oil, gas, ethane, NGLs and oil sands for the Canadian market.

Foster Findlay Associates (ffA) has announced a new release of its SVI Pro seismic image analysis and interpretation package. SVI Pro is now available in a stripped-down ‘core’ version for rapid data screening and delineation of geological features such as faults or stratigraphic geobodies. Optional modules extend functionality with volumetric frequency decomposition, 3D attribute cross plots and direct hydrocarbon indicator analysis.

Fugro-Jason has enhanced its Jason Geoscience Workbench (JGW) with a new solid modeling tool, EarthModel FT, a 3D grid builder and ‘RockScale’ for upscaling to corner point grids. JGW integrates geological, geophysical, petrophysical and rock physics information into ‘a single consistent model of the earth.’

Geovariances has released version 7.0 of its Isatis geostatistical flagship, now optimized for huge datasets on 64-bit machines running Unix, Linux or Windows platform. Isatis now implements multi-threading in its kriging and simulation algorithms—performance is ‘drastically improved.’ A new interface with AutoCad DXF files allows for wireframes in 3D visualization.

Peloton has released a new version of its RigView product with multiple enhancements for managing rig scheduling for drilling, completions and all well servicing. New features include cross discipline support scheduling for drilling, construction, land, and geology. Job dependencies can be defined such that work schedules can be tuned to resource availability.

Advanced Geotechnology plans to release a new version of its flagship software product STABView before year end 2007. Version 3.5 includes a new 3D wellbore viewer and borehole breakout and tornado sensitivity plots. The new release includes sample cases demonstrating the new graphs and 3D visualization.

Computational Engineering International (CEI) has announced a new interface for its EnSight linking the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) package with ADINA R&D’ CFD solver for ‘high-end’ visualization.

The latest 6.4 release of Roxar’s Tempest fluid flow simulator offers parallel processing and improved compatibility with ECLIPSE. Other new features include better co-visualization of measured and simulated data. Steam injection modeling and tracer tracking allows fluid movement to be tracked, providing insights into the recovery process.

Transpara Corp. has announced Visual KPI 3.0, a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) package for delivering KPIs from multiple data sources to laptops, desktops and mobile browsers. The new release allows hundreds of real-time KPIs to be consolidated into a single view of the asset hierarchy. One application is to create visual alarms for users of OSIsoft’s PI-System data historian. Other interfaces connect to Invensys InSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SmartSignal, OLE DB and Web Services.

National Geographic and MetaCarta have just introduced ‘CartaLens’ a geospatial digital asset management solution. CartaLens content, including structured data, photos, video, audio and documents, can be viewed dynamically in Google Earth and ESRI’s ArcGIS Server.

Contrasting views of standards at EU PIDX meet

BP believes in standards—but not sure which one to use! Pemex fast tracks PIDX deployment.

Around 80 turned out for the European meeting of the American Petroleum Institute’s ‘PIDX’ committee for e-commerce standards in petroleum. EU PIDX chairman Dave Wallis reported on take-up of the standard with a flagship deployment underway at ConocoPhillips (CP). The PIDX standard is being tested on CP’s SAP materials management system for over 1 million equipment items. CP has submitted several hundred new items and templates for inclusion in the standard PIDX. CP’s use shows that ‘increased use brings better definitions.’

BP supplier enablement

John Aberson stated that BP views standards as a way of reducing variability and costs. The key question is, and here BP’s experts don’t agree, which standard should BP adopt? PIDX, CIDX, XCBL, GS1, EDIFACT, IDOC or what? BP has a broad spectrum of e-activities spanning sales, refining and the upstream. The world is becoming IDOC compatible (the SAP standard). ‘Currently BP has adopted PIDX but continues with multiple others. BP’s i-Buy initiative addresses ‘indirect procurement’ of IT, consultancy services, stationary etc.. In the upstream, purchase to pay e-commerce is implemented with SAP SRM on the Maddog and Holstein developments. Elsewhere there are ‘tactical initiatives such as the use of OB10 e-invoice to speed up payment. For BP, e-invoicing is a Field of the Future enabler.


Bill le Sage (OFS Portal) presented a fast track PIDX deployment for e-enablement of Pemex’ $97bn annual spend. OFS Portal has supplied a PIDX-based solution offering full integration with PIDX documents. Some interesting language and cultural issues were noted, for instance, Factura means ‘invoice’ in Spanish except that ‘it is not an invoice!’ In the end the term ‘tax document’ was used. The project involved what is probably the first end to end PIDX purchase to pay implementation.


Gary Benson presented OB10’s commercial business to business invoicing. OB10 started in 2000 and now has around 30,000 suppliers on its network. OB10 implements a buyer-specific supplier enrollment program including data cleansing, and prepares tailored invitations to a client’s suppliers. OB10 has many large clients but as yet no oils. ‘Any to any’ data formatting is available with no new hardware or software for clients. While OB10 recognizes the ‘seduction’ of standards, its system was built to ignore them. Instead, OB10 uses ‘any format and transport protocol,’ and provides its users with the data in any format they want, standard or not.

Society of Petroleum Engineers ATCE 2007, Anaheim

The usual rich offering from the SPE’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition included contrasting views on risk analysis and decision making, more and more down hole high tech ‘jewelry’ including the drillstring Ethernet, a call for standardized personal protection equipment, an iconoclastic view of the origin of global warming, Saudi Aramco’s ‘giga cell’ simulator, a session on drilling automation, and a new standard for upstream engineering design—CAPE-OPEN.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers 2007 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) claimed an 8,000 plus attendance with 380 papers presented and 400 exhibitors. The numbers are impressive, but the exhibition floor seemed a bit thin on the ground. With ten parallel tracks to choose from, attendees were faced with some difficult choices—aside from the option of a quick visit to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland next door.

Decision making

For a couple of years now, the SPE requires attendees to ‘check in’ with an electronic card reader before a presentation. This must produce some fairly dubious numbers as, like in Hotel California, nobody ever ‘checks out.’ Notwithstanding this, and assuming that the number of people in attendance actually means anything at all, (after all folks may attend and be disappointed) the number one topic as far as we could observed was exemplified by SPE 109610, ‘Decision making in oil and gas,’ presented Eric Bickel (Texas A&M). Bickel reported a ‘dramatic’ increase in use of probabilistic methods in the last decade.


The authors conducted a survey earlier this year to find that 50% of large companies report ‘significant use’ of probabilistic uncertainty analysis. Unfortunately, lack of management understanding, inter alia, means that such analyses are not reflected in improved decision making. The bottom line is, quantifying uncertainty has no intrinsic value and more focus is needed on decision making. The goal is not to ‘reduce uncertainty’ but to make the right decision. The authors state categorically, ‘We often hear people in the industry speak of reducing uncertainty by building a model. Modeling uncertainty does not reduce it. [..] Uncertainty can only be reduced or altered by our choices [actions].

Value of information

The authors advocate more application of ‘value of information’ studies and a process that identifies the key uncertainties which are modeled for decision support. This process has to be ‘simple enough to keep it understandable.’ To which end, there is a need for ‘nimbler models’ from the software developers.

Personal Protection

Hopefully this does not reflect the level of interest in personnel safety in the industry, but Stephen Knight’s (Gardin-Haag) presentation (SPE 109177) was rather poorly attended. Knight introduced a joint industry project on personnel protective equipment (PPE) and ‘informatics integrity.’ The JIP kicked-off in 2006 to investigate and reduce oil and gas workforce exposure risks. The issue is that today’s PPE is not designed as a system. Gas masks may be kept in the wrong place and can prove hard to don. Improvements are made piecemeal, to hard hat, goggles or breathing equipment but there are ‘gaps and duplication.’ Emergency response and communications during a disaster are likewise problematical—and are addressed in the JIP with a ‘hazard identification’ (HAZID) approach and i-HAZ software. Situational awareness can be enhanced with real time data and high reliability PPE systems with data sensors and communications embedded in clothing. Knight invited interested parties to join the JIP’s next phase to kick off, under the auspices of the Oil and Gas Producers Association in London next February.

Carbon Session

Attendance at the Carbon Management special session was generally good—especially for the provocatively titled ‘Humans are not responsible for global warming’ paper (SPE 109292) from USC’s George Chilingar. Chilingar (a petroleum engineer by trade) began by complaining of the difficulty of ‘scientific debate’ in the current climate. His thesis is that variations in solar radiation are responsible for global warming. The increase in C02 is due to ‘mantle outgassing and possibly microbial activity.’ Anthropogenic CO2 is less than 0.00022% of total C02 naturally degassed from the mantle and so is negligible. Moreover, an increase in CO2 causes global cooling! For any remaining doubters, Chilingar offers a council of despair in so far as all attempts to change are doomed to failure because of the magnitude of natural processes. The ‘scientific debate’ tables were turned as one questioner had the temerity to ask about a possible anthropogenic cause of the huge increase in CO2 over the last 200 years—a ‘childish question’ for Chilingar. His thesis nonetheless got a strong endorsement from an EPA employee who believes that the sun’s activity (and C02) will rise through 2010 before declining.


The other (less well attended) papers in the Carbon session reflected the received views that global warming is both real, manmade and that something needs to be done about it quickly. Chakraborty (ONGC) reflected on how we might account for and assure sustainability of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Suggestions include increased insurance premiums and the implementation of ‘apparently infeasible’ projects with long term benefits. The strategy includes quantification, ISO 14064 certification and transparency. Subodh Gupta (Encana Corp.) proposed a novel biomass sequestration approach. To avoid the decay of natural biomass sequestration, Gupta suggests ‘capturing’ Carbon as charcoal. This is ‘stable for hundreds of years’ and the approach is both verifiable and a ‘ready source of energy stashed away for posterity.’ A possible downside is the fact that a land mass ‘about the size of Africa’ is required.


In our report from the 2003 SPE, we cited an operator who, referring to the increasing sophistication of downhole monitoring and control systems said, ‘I don’t want jewelry in my wells!’ Judging from the 2007 edition of the SPE’s ATCE, ‘jewelry’ is, if not everywhere, at least getting good traction. The obvious targets for sophisticated downhole control valves and real time monitoring are the high end offshore developments and the supergiants of the Middle East. But there are applications for high end technology in ‘cost sensitive’ brown fields too.


The first deployment of Baker Hughes’ ‘Intellipipe’ drill string ‘Ethernet’ was reported by StatoilHydro’s Henrik Wolter. Tests on the Troll supergiant gas field in a 2700m lateral proved very successful in high frequency geosteering around large calcite nodules in the reservoir. Today’s data rates are 9,600 bps compared with 20 bps for conventional mud pulse transmission. A video of Aker-Kvaerner’s ‘Stroker—Shifter’ illustrated the increasing sophistication of well intervention and Well Dynamics’ high end electro-hydraulic offering is seeing take up in Norway. Saudi Aramco’s Ali Al-Rabba described the multi lateral ‘maximum reservoir contact’ wells drilled in the Harahd III development as ‘game changing’ technology. Monitoring and smart completions with downhole control valves are used to increase production and minimize the risk of water breakthrough.

Gigacell simulator

Tom Dreiman presented Saudi Aramco’s in-house developed Powers ‘Gigacell’ simulator—designed to simulate supergiant reservoirs without sacrificing the accuracy of fine grain geological models. Massively parallel technology is used to model bypassed oil and fine grain water breakthrough that was masked in the coarse model. The Shaybah field was previously studied with 14 different models. Now one model simulates hundreds of millions of cells and 800 wells, some maximum reservoir contact (MRC) multi lateral ‘smart wells.’ Smart wells have reduced the new well count from 800 down to 600. A ‘mixed paradigm’ of MPI and OpenMP is deployed on Aramco’s Linux clusters. CPU counts vary for different jobs. As an example, a 258 million cell model with 60 years of history runs on a 400 CPUs.


StatoilHydro according to Lars Olav Grøvik strongly believes in integrated operations with real time data links enabling users to see the same data and geomodel on and offshore. Data transfers are enabled by WITSML but there have been ‘challenges,’ with infrastructure, with WITSML dialects, and in implementing the new work processes. Vendors do not always understand the problem. One told Grøvik recently, ‘Our software use depends on well behaved users.’ Grøvik ironized ‘Have you ever seen a well behaved user?’


Julian Pickering outlined BP’s standard real time information architecture for drilling and completions. The intent here is to develop WITSML to the point where it has the same kind of authority as OPC in process control. For Pickering, ‘openness delivers discipline health.’ BP’s real time architecture currently relies on data management by third parties in proprietary systems and formats. Ultimately this is to evolve with contractors managing data inside BP’s systems with wall to wall WITSML. This is considered key to the ‘field of the future’ initiative. According to Pickering, operator hosted data ‘gives a sense of ownership.’ A new skill base will be required with digital project managers, security consultants, network architects, automation engineers, application managers, remote visualization and data management consultants.

Drilling automation

An entertaining session on the automation of drilling began with a historical review from Bill Eustes (Colorado School of Mines). Over the years, the drilling industry has been an enthusiastic early adopter of new technology, although generally, these ‘bleeding edge’ experiments failed. The advent of computer controls in 1971 was a significant breakthrough. In the panel discussion, David Reid (National Oilwell Varco) reported ‘exponential’ growth of sales of its ‘Iron Roughneck’ automated pipe handling system, although the industry is still reluctant to adopt full automation. Safety, quality and speed are the prizes and reliability and affordability the challenges. Consultant John Thorogood stressed the need to ‘close loop’ with computer control. Unfortunately, we are ‘locked in the manual control paradigm.’ A step change is required. Ultimately there will be just ‘one man and a dog’ in the doghouse—the dog is there to see man doesn’t touch anything!


Martin Gainville from the French Petroluem Institute (IFP) presented the results of the ‘transient integrated network analysis’ (TINA) project—a joint venture with Total. TINA leverages technology and standards from the process control industry to perform flow assurance modeling from reservoir to facility—going beyond the traditional ‘black oil’ approach. A multiplicity of industry tools including ECLIPSE, PumaFlow, Reveal, Prosper, OLGA, TACITE and PIPESIM have been incorporated in a standards-based interoperability framework for transient and steady state analysis and optimization. Rules and interfaces were constructed using the computer aided process engineering interoperability CAPE-OPEN. A ‘simulation executive’ from the IFP’s RSI unit is used to orchestrate the overall process with individual software components plugging in like ‘Lego building blocks.’

Gas lift

One case study investigated gas lift optimization with some interesting results. Design optimization with ‘infeasible path analysis’ was used to identify pressure and other constraints. The plug and play framework showed that different solvers give different results! Gainville concluded that CAPE-OPEN proved efficient, modular and could be leveraged to integrate R&D developments into ‘a unique process model.’ A questioner noted the similar approach to optimization with PRODML—to which Gainville answered that the areas of operation differed but that Total was working on models that combined CAPE and ProdML interactions, ‘they are not incompatible.’ More on CAPE-OPEN from

Beyond money...

Amanda Sibille from Collarini Energy Staffing asked, ‘Beyond money, what’s important to professionals?’ Collarini surveyed some thousands of industry professionals to learn that, for women, the main issues were their boss, men and ‘challenging work.’ Work life balance was more important that generally recognized. Sibille believes that ‘companies are misreading what makes people happy—strong relationships and a supportive boss.’

And also ...

The meeting of the SPE IT Technical Section proved a sad affair. Progress since last year was minimal and momentum has been lost, judging by the very poor turn out. The SPE’s habit of withholding information on such meetings from the conference program hardly helps, causing us to miss what might have been an interesting meet of the SPE’s R&D Section—we will never know!

This article is based on a longer, illustrated report from The Data Room. More information on this subscription-based service from

Folks, facts, orgs ...

Industrial Defender, API, BNP, Caesar Systems, CDA, Chevron, Deloitte, Aspen, FMI, Spectra Seis, Geotrace, Halliburton, IHS, Innotec, FDT, Iron Mountain, Shell, BJ Services, Object Reservoir ...

Industrial Defender has appointed Donald Simoneau as senior VP worldwide operations, Jonathan Pollet to VP North American field operations and Dan Davis as VP international operations. Peter Lee heads-up a new Singapore sales.

Chambers Li is to head-up the The American Petroleum Institute’s new representation in Beijing, China, assisted by Lisa Liu.

BNP Paribas has appointed of Ian Fay as head of its Energy & Natural Resources Americas team in New York.

Milko Moussirou has joined Caesar Systems as manager of client services for Shell E&P based in Rijswijk, The Netherlands. Moussirou was previously with Decision Strategies.

Centrica PLC has joined the UK’s Common Data Access (CDA) organization.

Chevron has named John McDonald CTO, replacing Don Paul who is retiring. Paul Siegele was named VP Strategic Planning.

James McCormack has joined Deloitte Petroleum Services’ MEA-CIS team.

Aspen Technology has joined the FIATECH process engineering design and operations standards body.

Marisé Mikulis has joined FMI as consultant in its utilities division. Mikulis was previously oil industry manager with Microsoft Corp.

Brice Bouffard has been hired as VP Sales and Marketing with Spectraseis. Bouffard was previously with Schlumberger Information Solutions.

Michael Fleming is to head-up Geotrace’s new marketing outlet in Dubai.

Halliburton has opened a 5,575 square meter Technology Center in Pune, India. A second Eastern Hemisphere center is to open in Singapore in 2008. The company has also named Christian Garcia to VP of investor relations and Evelyn Angelle as VP Operations Finance.

IHS Inc. has promoted Ron Mobed and Jeff Tarr to the positions of co-presidents and co-COOs. Mobed was previously president and COO of IHS’ energy unit, Tarr held the same position in the engineering segment.

Matthew McKinley has been appointed president and CEO of Innotec IT Plant Solutions. McKinley was previously with Aveva.

Invensys’ Hartmut Wallraf has been named chair of the FDT Group, a consortium of manufacturers and vendors targeting process instrumentation interoperability.

Iron Mountain has appointed Eddie Ingram VP EU operations.

Jonathan Jenkins is heading up JOA’s new UK office.

Anwar Kharusi is heading up Knowledge Reservoir’s Middle East business development effort and a new alliance with Kuwaiti oilfield service company Napesco.

Shell has named Willem Schulte Chief Scientist, Reservoir Engineering.

BJ Services has appointed Bruce Campbell as operations manager, Europe & Africa Region and Jan Frieling as Libya country manager of its well services division.

Object Reservoir has named Jeff Johnson as VP of integrated reservoir services. Johnson was previously with Earth Decision and Paradigm.

Meanwhile, Paradigm VP Pablo Pascual has relocated from Brazil to Caracas, Venezuela. Pascual heads-up Paradigm’s Latin America operations.

DNV has appointed David Walker as director of strategy and business development. Walker was previously with BHP Billiton.

Phil Longorio has been named to the SensorTran Board of Directors. Longorio was recently CEO of WellDynamics.

Swagelok has named Matt LoPiccolo VP and CIO.

Pat Delany is general manager of Wood Group’s new 27,000 sq ft Glasgow engineering facility.

The US National Energy Technology Laboratory has released its 2007 coal power plant database with emissions and location data for some 1,700 US units.

In the current issue of its ‘Premier IT’ Magazine Intel reveals that all systems purchased before its Vista roll-out will be based on 64-bit hardware and will support an OS upgrade.

New paper

A new paper ‘A lightweight, integrated SVG-based oilfield web GIS platform’ by Man Yuan et al. is available on The paper describes GIS enablement of China’s Daqing supergiant oilfield.

Publishing, e-discovery, geoscience and spatial data quality specs

New standards from Open Archives, EDRM, OGC, GeoSciML and reflections on seismic data on disk.

The Open Archives Initiative is to release its Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) ‘s-scholarship’ specification next year. ORE is to improve on the traditional paper/PDF academic publishing paradigm with ‘complex aggregations,’ of media, semantic relationships and storage locations. The ORE data model uses a unique identifier to facilitate citation and metadata description. ORE leverages the XML-based Atom syndication format and RDF/XML. The initiative has backing from Cornell University, Los Alamos National Lab., the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Microsoft and the National Science Foundation. More from


The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) association has released an XML standard for information exchange between applications used in the legal discovery process. The standard helps practitioners store, collect and review corporate or legal documentation. ‘e-Discovery’ is enabled across metadata, documents, email, attachments and files. EDRM has received backing from Autonomy Corp. whose Zantaz unit is to deploy the protocol in its e-Discovery and information risk management solutions. More from

Spatial data quality

The Spatial Data Quality workgroup of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is researching how spatial data quality can be defined and communicated across spatial data infrastructures. The workgroup, which includes OGC members Blue Marble and 1Spatial, is currently conducting a survey of spatial data quality across OGC membership. More from

GeoSciML 2.0

A candidate UML model for GeoSciML 2.0 has been developed by the Commission for Management and Interoperability of Geoscience Information (CGI). GeoSciML targets XML schema based geoscience data exchange and web services in its Version 2.0, due for release in August 2008. More from

SEG data on disk

Stuart Levin (Halliburton) has written a short paper on the different ways that seismic tape data can be encapsulated to disk. The paper serves as a basis for discussion and a brief outline of legacy encapsulation techniques and the more modern TIFF and RODE. Read Levin’s full paper on

ISS Group’s BabelFish application suite gets majors’ take-up

BP Indonesia to deploy tools on $5bn Tanggug LNG project. BG signs global deal for data platform.

ISS’ Asian unit announced a major BabelFish sale to BP Indonesia for use on the $5 billion Tangguh LNG project. BabelFish is will provide for surveillance and diagnostics across the plant facility. These include end to end data capture, reporting, allocation and visualization. Additional modules are being delivered to service production requirements from process data capture, production accounting, cargo planning and shipping documentation. The deal is worth approximately A$1 million.

BG Group

ISS Group has also signed a corporate-wide multi purchase agreement with BG International (formerly British Gas) for its BabelFish operational data integration platform and its Oil and Gas Application suite. In an initial deal worth approximately A$750,000, BG has purchased software server licenses and design services for a subset of their global sites.

New tools allows PipePhase simulations from within Excel

Invensys’ SIM4ME technology adds Excel-based front end to multiphase modeling flagship.

Invensys unit SimSci-Esscor has released an update to its PipePhase simulator that uses Microsoft Excel as a front end. PipePhase 9.2 incorporates new SIM4ME technology which enables the Excel integration. This lets users drag and drop multiphase flow model parameters such as wellhead pressures, gas oil ratios and PVT data into Excel. Bi-directional communications between the simulator and Excel require no user coding, allowing for easy creation of intuitive interfaces.


Jim Browne, SimSci-Esscor’s fluid flow manager said, ‘The ability to access any model parameter easily, change its unit of measure, and determine its status (as either an input or calculated value), from within Excel puts the user in the driver’s seat for data manipulating and integration. Microsoft Excel provides an ideal platform for engineers to create an operations interface that can be used by experts and non-experts alike, tapping the user’s imagination in ways that would be all but impossible with a pre-configured interface.’

Multi phase

PipePhase simulates multiphase flow in oil and gas wells and pipeline systems with capabilities spanning single well parameter sensitivity analysis to multiyear facilities planning over an entire field.

Energy Navigator tools analyze proposed Alberta royalty changes

Tristone Capital report leverages Value Navigator to show ‘tax disincentives’ of new regime.

Energy Navigator Inc. has released a new version of its Value Navigator suite of engineering, fiscal modeling and economic tools. Value Navigator 4.7 includes independently verified royalty calculations based on the new Royalty Framework for Alberta. The new release will assist Canadian operators evaluate their projects in both the old and new royalty regimes to see, for instance, if projects are still economically viable and if changes need to be made to 2007 year-end reserves.

Tristone Capital

A recent report from Tristone Capital made intensive use of test builds of the new Value Navigator to study the impact of Alberta’s new fiscal regime. The detailed analysis of the impact of the new royalty framework for Alberta claims that the Alberta Department of Energy has failed to assess how Alberta’s regime compares with others, that the data used was ‘out of date and incomplete,’ and that the new proposals will cause government revenue to fall by $2 billion by 2010. This is due to tax disincentives—Tristone cites EnCana’s $1 billion spending cut as a proxy for the ‘risk to Alberta’s revenue and broader economic growth.’

Wescorp Navigator operations and maintenance embeds RFID

Strategic Decision Sciences acquisition addresses O&M for ‘unconventional’ operations.

Calgary headquartered Wescorp Energy has announced a new solution for both conventional and unconventional oilfield operations. The operations and maintenance (O&M) management solution is underpinned by Wescorp’s Navigator, a process management toolset, acquired in September 2007 when Wescorp bought Houston-based Strategic Decision Sciences.


Wescorp COO Scott Shemwell said, ‘The process starts with an analysis of an operator’s current field processes. We then recommend changes to those processes and provide the necessary hardware, equipment, and personnel to implement the changes. The result is the client improves operations while lowering production costs.’


Another newly announced product, the Intelligent Field Resource Management system, an RFID-driven solution is currently being tested in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic. Information related to tagged equipment is tied in to the Navigator system.

OSIsoft joins ‘green grid’ data center monitoring program

PI-Historian developer signs up to consortium targeting power and cooling systems optimization.

OSIsoft, developer of the PI System data historian, has joined the ‘Green Grid,’ a consortium dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers and business computing. OSIsoft will support the consortium’s efforts to develop platform-neutral standards, measurement methods and new energy efficiency technology.


OSIsoft CEO Pat Kennedy said, ‘This will advance our commitment to enhance performance, improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs by treating the data center as a single combined system of IT and facilities. The PI System offers end-to-end performance gains by visibility of real-time data and forensic performance monitoring of both IT and facilities assets.’

PI System

PI System helps operators address issues such as IT assets power consumption, cooling systems, server load and cost of power, condition-based maintenance and capacity planning.

Department of Energy

The Green Grid recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the US Department of Energy to promote energy efficiency by educating IT managers on both the technical implementation of a greener data center and the associated financial benefits. The Green Grid, a non-profit consortium, was launch in February 2007. Members include EDS, EMC, LSI, NetApp, OSIsoft, Storewize and Verari.

Enterprise Enabler extends BizTalk/SharePoint

Stone Bond eases deployment and extends Microsoft’s XSLT engine to native mode industry formats.

Stone Bond Technologies has enhanced its Enterprise Enabler (EE) integration solution to accelerate the deployment of Microsoft BizTalk Server and enable rapid integration of complex information into the Microsoft’s SharePoint Server environment. Enterprise Enabler is claimed to be a ‘universal adapter’ for information availability, providing transformations and ‘semantic alignment.’ The solution targets data integration and processing and display of almost any data on these combined environments. The latest EE enhancements handle behind-the-scenes BizTalk complexity. EE’s transformation engine extends Microsoft’s XSLT engine with ‘native mode’ industry-specific formats. For oil and gas these include WITSML, PIDX, OPC and PPDM.

Digital oilfield

EE manages processes and data workflows such as those deployed in the digital oilfield. EE combines an Enterprise Application Integration framework, Extract Transform Load technology and workflow management in a single environment.

Vetco Gray

Drilling company Vetco Gray leveraged EE to automate its invoicing system and comply with the PIDX e-commerce standard. The development was performed at the request of Chevron, Vetco’s main client, to link in to Chevron’s ARIBA purchase to pay system. Other EE-based developments cover ERP, SCM, CRM and real-time SCADA. More from

Done deals, acquisitions, mergers and more ...

CB&I, ABB, Rockwell, Pavilion, RPS, Scotia Group, Core Lab, Temco, Schlumberger, Eastern Echo, SARS, Andronics.

CB&I has completed its acquisition of the Lummus Global business from ABB. Philip Asherman, president and CEO said, ‘This acquisition brings world-class process technology and a complementary EPC business, broadening our capabilities and our geographic base. The addition of 3,000 experienced employees gives us a strategic advantage in responding to the growing demand for energy infrastructure around the globe.’

Rockwell Automation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire process control, production optimization and environmental compliance specialist Pavilion Technologies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Pavilion’s management and employees will become part of Rockwell Automation’s Architecture & Software segment and Pavilion’s software products will integrate Rockwell’s Automation FactoryTalk line of business. Rockwell VP Steven Eisenbrown said, ‘Combining Pavilion Technologies’ predictive modeling capabilities with our Integrated Architecture will create a more agile, efficient and consistent production environment.’

RPS Group has acquired The Scotia Group Inc. which has become part of the RPS Group’s Energy Division. Scotia will now trade as RPS-Scotia. The combined group operates worldwide from regional offices in the USA, Canada, Europe, SE Asia and Australia. The deal enhances RPS’ offering in North America will also provide access to key markets in Central and South America.

Core Laboratories has acquired Temco Inc. a manufacturer of core analysis testing equipment. Paul Brauer, former President and owner of Temco, is now general manager of Core Lab’s Instruments Division.

Schlumberger has offered to acquire all outstanding shares in Eastern Echo Holding Plc., at a price in the range of 11-12 NOK per share. The offer values Eastern Echo at approximately NOK 3,672 million. Eastern Echo has six high-performance 3D seismic vessels under construction and holds options for two more. Schlumberger CEO Andrew Gould said, ‘This potential acquisition further boosts our plans to meet continuing substantial demand for market-leading WesternGeco Q-Marine seismic technology.’

SARS Corp. is to acquire Andronics Ltd., a provider of ‘two-way data solutions’ for monitoring remote assets. Andronics’ UtilityEye monitors remote LPG tanks, both above and below ground, identifies fuel levels and sends alarms and other data via satellite. Andronics’ ‘Leocate’ uses GPRS cell phone technology to track and monitor vehicle movement and fleet utilization.

IHS and SAP launch master data management solution

Deal sees IHS standard modifier dictionary gain ‘Powered by NetWeaver’ status in joint MRO solution.

IHS has teamed with SAP on a master data management (MDM) solution for materials data as used in maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) activity. The deal leverages IHS’ ‘Intermat’ content and services for standardized, ‘enriched’ descriptions for plant equipment such as pipes, valves and bearings. Intermat’s standard modifier dictionary (SMD) can now populate SAP’s NetWeaver MDM. In return, IHS gets a ‘Powered By NetWeaver’ accolade for its SMD.


Atul Sareen, VP SAP India said, ‘SAP MDM manages large quantities of MRO records. Data integrity is essential when managing many thousands of MRO item descriptions. IHS and SAP MDM assures customers that they can manage and optimize their MRO inventory—whether they have one plant or a hundred.’


IHS Intermat Bert Turner added, ‘With rapid growth and expansion companies are relying on their enterprise systems to make informed and efficient business decisions. This solution addresses the need for MRO inventory and asset management resulting in decreased cost and increased throughput.’ The agreement includes joint marketing, cross-training, development and ‘partnership performance management.’ IHS’ SMD is compatible ERP and EAM systems, such as IBM’s Maximo, Indus Passport, PeopleSoft, Oracle and SAP Materials Management.

BP signs Yokogawa as global main automation contractor

Production control and automation deal delivers ‘transformation performance’ to upstream segment

BP has signed a global deal with up Tokyo-based Yokogawa which is to become the main automation contractor for BP’s Exploration and Production division. BP and Yokogawa are committed to managing their business relationship in an ‘open, performance focused, and collaborative manner’ with a shared desire to deliver ‘long term value.’


Neil Shaw, E&P Technology VP of projects and engineering said, ‘BP’s E&P segment chose Yokogawa for its major projects with the objective of improving performance. We are looking to develop a longer term relationship with Yokogawa to deliver transformational performance.’

Production control

Products and services covered by this agreement include production control, safety systems and plant resource and asset management. Other components include productivity software, field instrumentation, project management and system integration engineering services. These product and service solutions are being provided under the umbrella of the ‘VigilantPlant’ initiative a.k.a the ‘Automation Blueprint,’ a.k.a. the ‘Field of the Future’ program.


Teruyoshi Minaki, Director and Executive VP with Yokogawa added, ‘This global agreement will deliver innovative and reliable upstream automation solutions. This deal paves the way for Yokogawa to become No.1 in the industrial automation market by 2010.’ Yokogawa, a $4 billion company, has a global network of 18 manufacturing facilities, 84 companies, and 650 sales and engineering offices in 33 countries.

IBM Maximo Spatial leverages ESRI ArcGIS Server

Joint offering blends ESRI and Maximo Java objects to bring geographical decision support to MRO.

A new solution from IBM’s Maximo unit brings geospatial query and visualization capability to the capture, analysis, and reporting of assets, locations, and work orders. IBM’s Maximo asset management solution has been extended with ESRI’s ArcGIS Server to spatialize asset data. The idea is that geospatial context will help resources allocation for servicing and emergency maintenance.


IBM Maximo VP Jack Young said, ‘Maximo Spatial is the first fully GIS-enabled enterprise asset management application. Users can now leverage business processes and the power of GIS functionality within a single environment. We look forward to working with the joint ESRI/Maximo user community to implement this solution.’


ESRI director Dave Wieseler added, ‘Our architecture enables the integration of our respective technologies. ArcGIS’ ArcObjects and Java capabilities have been seamlessly integrated with the Java-based IBM Maximo Business Objects to provide an integrated solution and database that respects enterprise-level IT architecture with a scalable growth path.’

IBM BladeCenter system for TETRA Technologies

Turnkey operating system delivers database and virtualizaton bundle to oil services company

Oil service company TETRA Technologies, with help from Sirius Computer Solutions has deployed IBM’s i5/OS on IBM’s System I business computing platform connected to a 28 blade IBM BladeCenter. IBM’s i5/OS is a ‘turnkey’ operating environment that comes with a relational database (DB2), security, web services, networking and storage management. i5/OS is a foundation for packaged third party business solutions and includes a virtualization of IBM’s AIX, UNIX and Linux with load balancing with the IBM POWER Hypervisor.


TETRA Technologies’ CIO Michael Lobin said, ‘The reliability of i5/OS combined with the redundancy of BladeCenter ensures that our system is always available. This integrated solution addresses our requirements for growth, security and scalability.’ IBM also announced that its POWER6 processor-based blades will support i5/OS applications.

PetroLAB front end for Calgary Data Center

geoLOGIC and PE Energy Solutions are teaming on data and decision support offering.

Calgary-based geoLOGIC and P2 Energy Solutions, (formerly Qbyte) have teamed to offer value added data and decision support software to the Canadian market. The deal integrates P2ES’ Petro-LAB front end with geoLOGIC’s Data Center which opened a couple of years back (OITJ June 2005).


geoLOGIC president David Hood said, ‘We belive that engineering, land, geology and management professionals should be able to access the data they want, using the software tools they choose. This collaboration will open our data to a new segment of users within the industry, while giving our current geoSCOUT users access to the best features of Petro-LAB.’


Peter Huggard, P2ES senior VP added, ‘Current clients have the choice of using Petro-LAB to query multiple public and proprietary data sources including the geoLOGIC Data Center (gDC).’ The companies are planning more data services over the coming months, details will be released after consultations with existing and potential customers. The gDC leverages a PPDM V3.7 database to serve a user base in Canada, the US and overseas. Hardware includes dual redundant, high performance UNIX servers with live failover capability. More from

EDS reports on major development for BP Canada

HR and payroll system leverages PeopleSoft, WebLogic in bespoke outsourced system.

EDS has just issued a report based on the successful deployment of an HR and payroll system for BP Canada Energy Company. BP Canada’s operations span eight Canadian provinces and territories and the company is the country’s largest natural-gas supplier. Following an evaluation of various in-house and outsourcing options, BP Canada decided to engage EDS to develop a new bespoke payroll-processing and HR information system.


The new implementation displaces a legacy mainframe-based system with a client/server environment running PeopleSoft. Other components of the system include WebLogic, People-Tools for employee ‘self-service’ reporting and Oracle’s VisionCraft for creating checks. An e-commerce solution from the Toronto Dominion Bank was also deployed. The system is operated by a team of BP employees, HR consultants and EDS staff.


Stuart Blair, HR Consultant with BP Canada said, ‘We wanted to reduce costs by outsourcing the payroll function and still maintain quality service. We also needed a partner with a broad service-delivery capability—capable of providing the right experience at the right cost.’ According to EDS, BP Canada has reduced payroll administration costs by over 50% during the first five years of the contract, without any increase in staff.

Hyperion’s PI-Compare links historian data with simulator

New tool aligns training simulator initial conditions with real plant condition data.

Cyprus-headquartered Hyperion, has released a new tool to align its Operator Training Simulators (OTS) with data in an OSIsoft PI System historian. The OTS is a ‘high fidelity’, real-time simulator, custom-built to match the dynamic behavior of a facility and its control systems. OTS are used throughout a facility’s lifecycle for operator training, startup and shutdown planning and to optimize operations.


The new tool, ‘PI-Compare’ is used to identify simulator initial condition that best matches real time historian data immediately before a disturbance. Instructors and engineers can then identify which simulation matches a particular state, and use the simulator for further investigations in either a training or troubleshooting scenario.


Hyperion VP Dean Jones said, ‘Our novel tools support the needs of our customers. Dynamic modeling and training simulators generate significant value for the process industries. Tools such as PI-Compare enable customers to obtain additional value from their investments.’ Hyperion clients include BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and Saudi Aramco.

Chevron and MIT team on ultra deepwater R&D

$5 million contribution to MIT Energy Initiative includes two Chevron Energy Fellowships.

Chevron and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have announced a joint initiative to develop remote, ultra-deepwater exploration and production technology. The $5 million Chevron Remote and Ultra-Deepwater program targets water depths ‘up to and greater than’ 3,000 meters.


The deal includes the creation of two ‘Chevron Energy Fellowships.’ Chevron is also now a sustaining member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI). The five year program will also support MITEI’s energy research seed fund to promote the development of innovative energy technologies across the Institute.


MITEI director, Ernest Moniz said, ‘The need for affordable, sustainable energy is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Conventional oil and gas supplies will play a critical role in meeting global energy demand for the next several decades, and advanced technologies are essential for producing these resources in environmentally sensitive ways.’


Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, the UK’s Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks announced the creation of an ‘employer-led’ oil and gas academy, the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO).

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