I argued a while back that you need to take what you find on the web with a pinch of salt. Those who know stuff may not want to share and if they do, their voices will likely be drowned out by the unwashed hoard of Twitts. My last tilt (Oil ITJ March 2008) was against the absurdity of extracting any useful contribution to heating your home from sub-zero outside air—a.k.a. air geothermal energy.
It behooves me to take up the pen again to counter another ridiculous claim—that you can extract energy from water by splitting it into its component hydrogen and oxygen and burning these in a hydrogen powered engine.
The claim was made in a recent press release from Coates International* in which Coates claims to have solved the world’s energy problems with a water to hydrogen convertor. I summarize a brief email exchange I had with Coates’ Paul Casagrande.
NMcN—On your website you claim that your hydrogen reactor uses water as its only source of fuel. How can this be true? It takes energy to split H2O. So the energy available from the split H2 and O2 will necessarily be less than the input. Someone is trying to kid someone.
Casagrande—Thank you for E-mail response. We are not allowed divulge technical information to outsiders as you will understand, we have many patents pending on our hydrogen project. However you may go to our web site and view an engine operating on water split into hydrogen on demand.
NMcN—I am not contesting the feasibility of a hydrogen engine. I am saying that getting net energy from water is not possible and that the statement I quote from your website is scientifically untrue.
Let me put it simply—you can use electricity to convert water to its constituent hydrogen and oxygen. This will cost you some energy. You can then combine the hydrogen and oxygen to make heat and drive a generator which will use up some more energy.
So the electricity coming out of any such system will be a fraction (i.e. less than 1) of the energy used to power it. Your claims to the contrary (i.e. that you produce more energy than goes in) are clearly fictitious.
Casagrande—There is more energy and explosive power in one gallon of water than there is in ten gallons of gasoline. We are not about to educate you about our technology. Sorry.
NMcN—To see just how wrong (or poorly advised) you are ask yourself this question. What happens if you feed your hydrogen generator with the H2 and O2 from the split water? What comes out the exhaust? The answer is of course, water (that is why it is so clean). So you have ‘invented’ an engine that produces its own fuel, i.e. a perpetual motion machine! The US Patent office turns down hundreds of such applications every year as it will yours**.
Casagrande—I forgot to mention the exhaust is collected through a condenser that delivers it back to the reactor for re use continuously. Whereas gasoline is used once, costs $4 per gallon and pollutes the environment. Neil, get a real job.
Since this exchange, I still don’t have a real job and Coats is still plugging its technology. Its latest release includes a quote from president and CEO George Coates who claims, ‘We have engines operating on water split into hydrogen by a Coates water to hydrogen reactor. [...] I feel extremely confident that we have all the components and science for success. I am convinced that this technology could make the USA independent of foreign imported oil, create many new jobs and boost the economy. [...] The most abundant power on this planet is contained in water.’
Just as for the ‘air geothermal’ baloney you won’t get any decent information on Coates’ wild claims on the web. The company releases are dutifully picked up by Yahoo, Business Week and even the Wall Street Journal. Some have mealy-mouthed disclaimers along the lines of ‘our editorial department was not involved in the creation of this content.’ Which just about sums up the state of online publishing today!
I thought that I would add to the confusion with a trolling*** experiment. When I say ‘experiment,’ I mean what psychologists and social scientists call a ‘single case study’ i.e. an anecdote. My target was the Statoil-backed LinkedIn Energy Innovation forum, something which I visit occasionally before beating a hasty retreat from the wild claims, misconceptions and dialogs of the deaf. I innocently posted a pointer to the Coates website asking forum members what they thought of water as an energy source.
The first reply was a disappointing, ‘Water has no energy content. Why are you wasting our time with this nonsense?’ I was hoping for something more cranky. This eventually came in some rather hard to follow discourse on the energy potential of water, ‘If we become independent of fossil energy must be method to 100% water’ (sic) and intriguing speculation on the ‘power of buoyancy in the water.’ Another contributor congratulated me on my ‘awesome technology.’ Ouch.
Sometimes I wonder what Statoil’s PR department thinks of the monster they have unleashed. The chances of making any sense from such ‘crowdsourced’ information is pretty near zero. But no doubt it is all duly spidered and indexed by the search engines. After all, they are not after the ‘truth,’ just trying to get ‘right up to the creepy line****.’
* Coates International is not to be confused with the venerable Coates Engineering of Sensor simulation renown.
** Disclosure—I made this up. USPTO more likely passes hundreds of perpetual motion claims per year.
*** ‘A troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people.’ Wikipedia.
**** Eric Schmidt, Google CEO.
In a recent webinar, RasGas’ Mayan Shah and Dennis Lanahan (Owl Computing Technologies) explained how RasGas, Qatar’s main liquid natural gas exporter, has hardened its IT systems following a virus scare last year. RasGas operates seven LNG export trains along with natural gas production facilities, shipping contracts and a global partner network. The company was confronted by a pressing need for better security when, in August 2012, its office computer systems were struck by a virus (believed to be the Shamoon/Disttrack). To protect its facilities, the company immediately disconnected all automation systems from the corporate network and managed to continue production uninterrupted.
But the incident got the RasGas IT team reflecting on better ways of protecting its facilities than simply ‘pulling the plug.’ While network disconnection is a good defense, it does hamper operations by eliminating real time communications with the office network.
Enter OSIsoft’s PI ‘secure transfer support,’ an OEM edition of Owl’s electronic perimeter defense solution (EPDS). The key component of the EPDS is Owl’s ‘dual diode,’ an optical connection that ensures that network traffic can only go one way. Dual diode technology originated as Sandia Labs data diode and is used under license.
Since most data protocols actually require bi-directional communications, the device has to understand a multitude of control system protocols to handle both ends of the dialog.
The RasGas implementation uses Owl to replicate its PI database in real time—providing the office system with visibility into its operations. A virtual screen provides a replicated view of the control room to external support. Files and alarms are likewise sharable using certified and compliant hardware. The system provides enough bandwidth for all seven LNG trains—over 50k tag values per second. The diode hardware runs on Owl’s security-enhanced Linux (OSEL), a policy-based architecture that assures transfer security and reliability.
Of course one-way communications means that control—even advisory—is impossible. Here Owl has another solution (not currently deployed at RasGas), its ‘dual path’ technology. Here, a second device provides unidirectional traffic into the plant—leveraging OSEL and Owl’s software controls to ensure that only kosher data gets back to operations. More from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cindy Crouse has ‘found a good home’ for her Petroleum Network Education Conferences (PNEC) organization which has been acquired as a going concern by Oil & Gas Journal publisher, PennWell.
Crouse, who hosted a successful 17th conference last May (Oil ITJ June 2013), is to continue as a consultant to PennWell and will be organizing next year’s edition, scheduled to take place May 13-15th in Houston.
PennWell president and CEO Bon Biolchini said, ‘We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with Mrs. Crouse on the development of this prestigious conference founded by her late husband, Phil, a long-time petroleum engineer and consultant. No industry is more reliant on accurate, comprehensive, and well-managed data than oil and gas and PNEC has developed a loyal following among major operators, independents, NOCs and technology companies. We will also be leveraging our publishing assets and event expertise to maintain the quality of the conference content.’
Management of PNEC will now be handled by PennWell VP Mark Peters. PennWell also organizes the Deep Offshore Technology conference and the MAPSearch portal of North American pipeline infrastructure. More from PNEC Conferences.
American Energy Mapping (AEM) claims that Hart Energy has ‘obtained information from AEM through nefarious means and, in violation of AEM’s license agreement, disbursed said information to Hart’s current and proposed customers.’ The tussle revolves around an alleged improper use of AEM’s geographic information system (GIS) data licenses. AEM is suing Hart for fraud, breach of contract, and interference of contracts.
End users should not be concerned as AEM owner Damien Wolff explained, ‘I do not believe that the customers in question are a voluntary participant in these wrongful activities, and I am willing to not pursue license violation remedies for those companies who come forward if they were unknowingly involved by Hart Energy and are willing to resolve the matter directly.’ More from AEM and Harts.
UK-based Ikon Science has begun a legal action against Norwegian Blueback Reservoir for the ‘disclosure and expert review’ of its rock physics source code. The action, that was filed with the English high court, requires that Blueback releases for review ‘all development versions of the source code’ of Blueback’s newly released Rock Physics product. According to Ikon, this was developed by an ex-Ikon Science software developer who has worked on its own ‘RokDoc’ for over eight years. Ikon is seeking the disclosure to clarify whether similarities between RokDoc and Blueback’s product amount to infringement of Ikon’s intellectual property rights. More from Ikon and Blueback.
Texas-based gas leak detection and services provider Leak Surveys has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Wilsonville, Ore.-based FLIR Systems claiming that FLIR’s gas detection infrared camera systems infringe two of its patents. These cover inventions developed by Leak’s founder and president David Furry for detecting gas leaks in petrochemical plants, pipelines, utilities and other industrial settings. More from Leak Detection and FLIR.
Paris, France headquartered GDF Suez is to roll out a reserves management solution from P2 Energy Solutions of Houston to its international upstream operations. The P2 reserves management system (RMS) consolidates reserves volumes, classification, status and volume changes to volumes into a single database and will provide ‘transaction transparency’ to GDF Suez’ reserves reporting.
Matthieu Plantevin, Reserves Manager at GDF SUEZ E&P International said, ‘Consolidating reserves data to a single repository is a high priority for us and will significantly reduce administrative and resource pressures by eliminating errors and duplication of effort. The system will also support regional regulatory compliance and facilitate the yearly dialogue with our independent reserves evaluator.’
GDF SUEZ’s wide geographic spread, with operations in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Caspian and Asia-Pacific, has made corporate reserves evaluation a complex business, mandating the deployment of a corporate reserves solution capable of streamlining its annual reserves booking process. More from P2ES.
Highlights released from the Alexander Group’s national survey of oil and gas executives show high turnover in the last two years, a trend that is expected to continue. The survey, which covered US-based executives, found that over 90% of companies surveyed have ‘transitioned’ senior officers in the past two years.
Such transition breaks down as follows—resignation (36.5%), retirement (24.3%), termination (17.4%), promotion (13.9%), lateral moves within the company (4.3%) and demotion ( 3.5%). Two thirds of the transitioners’ replacements came from within the company.
Alexander Group MD John Lamar commented, ‘The energy industry is facing an imminent shortage of executive talent as well as a lack of qualified employees. In our survey we found the CEO role experienced the highest turnover (28.9%), followed by COOs and divisional or regional heads. Counsel and public affairs roles saw the least turnover (1.7% each).’
While most C-suite occupants who quit went to pursue other opportunities, an unexpectedly large number retired. This was put down to an improved economic climate that convinced many who had deferred retirement, because of personal finances or through an obligation to see the company through the downturn, now believe they can safely retire.
The result is that oil and gas industry has seen a 41% growth in available positions from July 2012 to July 2013 and the general feeling is that this situation will persist for the next two years, with particular hiring needs in the finance and operations functional areas. More from the Alexander Group.
Nick Vlad writing on the Madagascar development blog asks, ‘how far is Madagascar from being a production system?’ Madagascar is a seismic processing environment with a mission—to foster ‘reproducible research’ (Oil ITJ July 2010). The system has now reached a degree of maturity that might qualify it for production use.
Madagascar currently falls short of ‘production’ status. It lacks dataset exploration tools for understanding headers and data and for deciphering ‘messed-up’ SEG-Y and ‘arcane’ formats like SEG-D! Better handling of geometry mapping between coordinate systems and grids is another requirement as are interactive picking, editing and handling of borehole logs other objects.
But Vlad insists, the tool is an ‘excellent research, learning and technology platform.’ Further progress is hampered by the fact that established companies already have such features. Start-ups might be a source of new modules but appear to be reticent to contribute, hoping to monetize their work at a future date. Vlad encourages developers to regard Madagascar as being ‘like the operating system.’ The required infrastructure (as opposed to algorithm kernels) should not provide a competitive advantage. Sharing development costs is the logical thing. The result would be an improved platform, a larger user base and more resources available for core business. More from Madagascar.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) has updated EarthDataModels.org, (EDM) with a high level metadata model for earth and environmental sciences. Researchers have a tendency to produce ‘numerous, isolated, incompatible databases’ and EDM sets out to make them aware of ‘prior art’ and canonical database projects in the hope that the community will develop ‘a single, integrated environmental data model for environmental data.’
The new model for metadata is a simplified data model based on BGS’ own database that is aligned with international spatial metadata standards such as the European INSPIRE Directive and ISO 19115. Other items of interest on the rather sparsely populated EDM include a lexicon of named rocks data model (sans the names it would appear) and a few pointers to other industry efforts such as GeoSciML.
Of more interest is BGS’ announcement of the world’s first 3D virtual fossil collection. Digital fossils can be browsed, downloaded and printed in 3D. Visitors to UK geology museums are invited to enter a competition to try and spot 3D imposters ‘seeded’ into displays. Would be followers of Jacques Deprat will likely also be intrigued by the possibilities of digital alteration or fabricating new type localities. More from BGS.
A new resource provided by the prestigious Smithsonian Institution provides a real-time overview of fracking activity in the US. The latest contribution to the Statoil-funded Energy Innovation Smithsonian minisite leverages ESRI’s interactive mapping technology to visualize both non conventional targets and actual drilling and fracking activity. The mapping technology behind the resource comes from ESRI’s ArcGIS.com along with US Government data and the FracFocus chemical disclosure registry.
A separate communication from the American Security Project titled ‘The US Tight-Oil Boom, Geopolitical Winner or Long-Term Distraction?’ noted that in 2012, there were 1,919 active drilling rigs in the US, more than the rest of the world combined. But the report offers some words of caution. Typical tight oil wells experience very high decline rates and ‘a vast number of new wells must be brought online to maintain production. The report observes, ‘it is unclear at this early stage if the industry can keep up such a frenetic drilling pace in order to meet the heady projections for oil production in the years ahead.
The Petroleum Extension Service (Petex) of the University of Texas at Austin has announced an Interactive Offshore Oil Rig (IOOR). This 3-D ‘e-product,’ a snip at $99, is claimed to provide a ‘unique learning perspective’ on the inner workings of a semi-submersible oil rig. PETEX director Zahid Yoosufani said, ‘The IOOR is useful for oil and gas industry personnel seeking a better understanding of the individual parts of this extremely complex mechanical unit. With thousands of offshore rigs actively drilling for oil and gas around the world, effective training is now more critical than ever.’
The IOOR provides an inside view of rig components along with visuals and audio describing ten different areas of the rig including a 360 degree Rig View, Power and Hoisting Equipment, Circulating and Cementing Equipment and much more. The IOOR includes an online assessment. Users who pass the test earn a completion certificate from UT. The IOOR was developed by Petex eLearning Specialist Itzel McClaren with assistance from the university’s Faculty Innovation Center at the Cockrell School of Engineering. The tools used to develop the IOOR are 3D Studio Max, Adobe Illustrator, and Articulate Storyline. Delivery is provided by Moodle LMS. Checkout the Petex/IOOR demo.
Neuralog’s high-speed well log printer NeuraLaserColor II prints 22cm/8.5” wide logs at up to 28cm/11” per second. The printer supports industry standard formats including native PDF support.
Interica (ex Pars) has announced a new project resource manager tool to let clients interrogate live discs to discover the data landscape created by a wide range of geoscience applications.
NecesSea has announced a new oil and gas cargo manifesting module (CMM) for cataloging offshore and marine equipment items. The CMM stores documentation from manuals, receipts and other sources and tracks inventory by location, vendor, manufacturer and/or serial number. Other NecesSea tools track people on board, vessel movement and costs.
A new release of Visage’s well completions and frac database, WCFD V2.2 and the launch of Canadian Discovery’s direct data access platform means that users can access the WCFD back-end and integrate completions data with production data for insights into completion design and production results.
eSeis has announced a ‘pre-drill mud log’ (PDML) that derives a variety of properties of interest to drillers from seismics. PDML estimates include pore pressure, fracture gradients, lithology and fluid content. During drilling, comparing predrill calculations with real time data is claimed to minimize non productive time.
FuelFX’ augmented reality technology integrates 3D objects, sounds and information with the surrounding environment. Software installed on mobile devices leverages the camera viewfinder to see nearby objects and overlay augmented objects and information on the device screen, allowing the real world and virtual world to blend seamlessly. BP is said to use the technology to train plant operators.
V5.6 of ETL Solutions’ Transformation Manager includes a new ‘inlined’ procedures feature for faster data loading. A new auto generation feature simplifies creation of data mappings.
Kepware Technologies’ new ClientAce 4.0 includes an OPC UA .Net toolkit with support for secure OPC UA and OPC XML-DA communications. Deliverables include a .Net API for building custom applications and .Net controls rapid development of client applications.
Mechdyne has announced ‘Meeting Canvas,’ a collaborative tool that allows users to connect into and actively participate in a meeting irrespective of their location. MC is a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) virtual meeting room that supports shared data, images and documents in multiple windows.
DGB Earth Sciences has announced OpendTect 4.6 with ‘SynthRock,’ a new plugin for synthetic seismic generation, and inversion and XField 2D for potential field modelling.
Dr.DE, the latest version of Pegasus Vertex’ drilling engineering toolbox lets engineers access industry-standardized technical references and resources. The web based package includes 176 daily engineering calculations.
Rigzone has announced a free iPhone app targeting oil and gas jobseekers.
Landmark is to release an OpenWells module that will support Rushmore Review’s drilling, completions and shale performance reviews. Peloton’s WellView V9.0 will likewise be compatible with the shale performance review data workbook.
Tecplot RS 2013 R1 provides new means of exploring fluid flow near faults and novel display options. Other enhancements include local grid refinement display, animated streamlines and more.
An article* in Total’s TechnoHub magazine describes a novel use of OSIsoft’s PI System to gather and transmit metocean data with remote shore-based meteorologists. A 2008 pollution incident on Total’s Angolan Dalia complex revealed that its legacy oil slick tracking tool performed poorly and that consequently, drift prediction was unreliable.
Total set out to develop a solution, Spill Watch, leveraging new developments in satellite imaging, data transmission and weather forecasting. Total SVP HSE Thierry Debertrand said, ‘Good prediction models make it possible to forecast the drift of an oil slick, identify areas for intervention teams, predict the timing and areas of potential impact and inform neighboring installations, authorities and NGOs.’
Metocean data, including high-frequency radar imagery, of wind, currents and temperatures at the surface and in the water column are captured to an OSIsoft PI System data historian for transmission in real time to the French meteorological service Météo France. Here, location-specific metocean models have been created and calibrated with accurate drift models.
Météo France integrates the local data with the World Meteorological Organization’s real time system. Historical data is shared with the SIMORC (System of Industry Metocean data for the Offshore and Research Communities) database and made available to the wider community. Total’s location-specific spill models have been fine tuned and now provide five day forecasts of current and wind information.
Spill Watch was activated in 2012 when a gas leak on the North Sea Elgin field occurred. Here the condensate slick’s shape and drift were forecast and used in organizing Total’s response. Spill Watch proved a ‘valuable instrument for communicating with the authorities.’ Real time metocean data, satellite images and modeling reports were communicated to crisis managers and the regulator.
Spill Watch has allowed Total to coordinate geographically dispersed resources and to advance its understanding of local metocean conditions, slick-tracking and drift-prediction.
* Spill Watch, Total Techno Hub N° 4, July 2013.
The inaugural EAME user group meeting of the pipeline open data standard (PODS) association was hosted by OMV in Vienna earlier this year. There were over 60 attendees at the conference, from 14 different countries.
BP’s Ian Neilson provided the keynote presentation on the current role of PODS in the industry. For Neilson, PODS is ‘probably the only common standard in the pipeline industry with close to universal acceptance.’ While pipelines have a good safety record compared with other transport modes, recent spills have put the industry in the spotlight. This has led to increasingly proactive regulation in the US and elsewhere with demands for the implementation of pipeline integrity management systems supported by accurate data on pipeline routing and condition. The US Pipeline research council international (PRCI) organization has identified data integration and decision support tools as key. And access to ‘traceable, verifiable and complete data’ (read PODS) underpins all these efforts.
Abdelrahman Saad (Adco) teamed with Abhay Chand (Petro IT) to show how a GIS-based construction management system was key to the Shah-Asab-Sahil project’s success. Adco elected to develop a GIS-based operations and maintenance system for its pipeline network based on the PODS data model. The plan was to capture accurate detailed as-built information during construction and to develop a data management system which would become the foundation of an O&M/business intelligence system post handover. In the event, a proprietary system was developed by Petro IT, using elements of the PODS data model. The system has extended the basic PODS model into the areas of construction and materials management. Capturing granular data such as welding inspection reports has meant that O&M systems are fully populated with detailed historical data. Saad concluded noting the joint PODS/IPLOCA effort on data standards for new construction.
PODS director Janet Sinclair led a workshop that provided an informative look back at PODS evolution. Pipeline modeling, rather like seismic, involves a sometimes complex interplay between data as measured (along a pipe route) and as displayed on a map or geographic information system (GIS). While PODS does not need a GIS to function, it was designed with spatialization in mind and will work with any GIS.
The main event for 2013 has been the release last May of PODS V6.0. This release sees the PODS standard broken down into 31 modules which can be implemented separately. With some restrictions (some core modules are mandatory), operators can select which parts of the model are key to requirements and only implement modules applicable to their operations.
On the topic of PODS and GIS systems, Craig Hawkins described an implementation of the PODS/ESRI spatial data model at BP. While early deployments of PODS at BP were relational (sans GIS*), a ‘strategic decision’ was made in 2013 to implement a PODS/ESRI spatial version. While the relational version of PODS remains the canonical standard, the ESRI spatial edition implements the PODS model in an ESRI geodatabase. The geodatabase stores and manages pipeline data in an Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server database that contains the PODS tables. BP’s implementation, the ‘Golden Build,’ is an ‘enhanced standard version’ of the PODS/ESRI Spatial. BP is planning to share its Golden Build enhancements with the PODS Association for incorporation into the standard. The PODS association is ‘committed to maintain consistency’ of future enhancements to the relational standard and the ESRI geodatabase implementation.
Al Tudhope presented Nova Chemicals’ use of the PODS data model. Nova uses its system to manage the integrity of some 2,000km of pipeline including some densely populated parts of Alberta. Nova wanted a system that offered a quick turn around from receipt of corrosion data that included a display of corrosion severity along with history data of previous repairs. To ensure that the system was engineering company vendor independent, Nova chose to develop its own system with help from Cylo Technologies of Calgary. The system supports the full lifecycle of the inspection process. Comprehensive asset models are built by reverse engineering from in-line inspection data. A set of selection criteria (maximum allowed operating pressure, high consequence areas etc.) are evaluated to prioritize inspection. Google Earth displays are leveraged as a GIS. The resulting tool, CyloPipe has been productized and is available from Cylo Tech.
Jean Alain Moreau and Yves Giraud made a joint presentation of French utility TIGF’s PODS-based data infrastructure. TIGF Manages 5,000km of natural gas pipelines in south western France along with two large underground storage facilities. Recent French legislation has mandated deployment of pipeline GIS and technical databases and TIGF has responded with a PODS database coupled to an Intergraph GIS. Under its ‘Vigie’ project, these tools have been linked to a project planning tool and a separate in line inspection database. PODS relational running on Oracle has been extended with Intergraph’s Geomedia tools to provide 3D spatialization. The speakers provided some informative metrics on project costs. It took a year to develop data loading tools and populate the initial instance of the database from Microstation V8 at a cost of some €2 million. Ongoing maintenance and development costs are estimated at around €200k. TIGF has put considerable effort into marketing the tool internally. One key add-in is an ‘update flag’ which users can set when they spot a shortcoming in the database. Data managers are encouraged to react quickly to such update requests to keep the user base onboard. The authors conclude, ‘It has never been easier to share information between people who are located in different places.’
Achim Kamelger presented OMV’s own pipeline management system—or rather systems, as the company has acquired several, built on Autocad, ESRI, Valis and Smallworld GIS and for one unit, leveraging PODS. Naturally, multiple systems make for problematical data consolidation with the risk of errors and complex interfacing issues. Enter OVM’s vision for a new PMS—based on a technology stack of a PODS database, ESRI ArcGIS Server and ArcSDE supporting a variety of endpoints.
Read the PODS presentations here.
* BP bridged the GIS gap with a data link from PODS coordinate tables to ESRI.
OSIsoft, developer of the ubiquitous PI System plant and process data historian has just announced PI Cloud Connect (PCC), a novel means of sharing plant and process data with stakeholders such as suppliers and joint venture partners. Speaking at the OSIsoft Users’ Conference in Paris this month, Ray Hall and Brian Bostwick sketched out a use case involving Petrolux, a fictitious oil company, its real supplier of yellow iron, Caterpillar and other stakeholders a performance analytics vendor and joint venture partners.
Caterpillar uses PI Server 2012 for secure access to streaming data and PI Coresight to build custom dashboards for monitoring real time performance and comparing data from geographically dispersed units of the same type. But sharing data with different stakeholders is challenging because many companies are involved and they won’t want to share all their data. Enter OSIsoft’s network operating center service for managed PI, PCC and the Windows Azure cloud.
A publish and subscribe model allows for data streams to be shared with selected partners via the Azure cloud. Interestingly, in its current manifestation, PCC does not place any data in the cloud. The system is a mechanism for replicating data from one PI System to another and to enable assets to be managed by remote experts. The cloud is claimed to be an ‘excellent way of addressing security’ as there are no open public endpoints to the PI constellation.
PCC is strangely familiar, back in July 2011 we reported on Industrial Evolution’s WellShare system that re-allocates streaming production data from PI Systems deployed on Gulf of Mexico assets. WellShare, like PCC addresses ‘complex entitlement issues as shareable operational data may be mingled with proprietary data from other assets.’ We pinged IE’s Simon Wright for his take on PCC.
The cloud message can be confusing, people are used to ‘product’ and ‘service,’ but with the cloud these get blurred. In summary though, we are service company and OSIsoft is a product company. PCC is just another way of getting data into a hosted PI System. Our customers may choose to continue to do that with PI-to-PI over a VPN or may select PCC. We can accommodate all methods including for non-PI data, too.
When PI itself is available as a Cloud service, someone still needs to manage it. With PI in the Cloud, OSIsoft will administer the system (i.e. the product) to ensure it is always up-to-date and installed well and has a good fail-over capability. But we will continue to offer services to interface it to data sources, configure it, build displays and support users and more. We will still do that and it does not matter if it is on the customer’s PI System, on our hosted PI System or on a future PI in the Cloud. More on PI Cloud Connect and from Industrial Evolution.
Speaking at the 2013 management board meeting of USPI-NL the Dutch plant and process industry standards body in Amersfoort earlier this year, Jason Roberts, (Shell) and Joep Mintjens (PLM Consultancy) provided a progress report on the capital facilities information handover specification (Cfihos) project that kicked-off last year. Cfihos will help owner operators specify engineering information required for future operations and maintenance and will establish a de-facto industry standard that is to form the basis of a new ISO standard.
The requirement for improved information management in engineering projects is very well illustrated by the following statistic from the Cfihos project. When the Kashagan Phase II project kicked-off, the number of process tags was estimated at 50,000 and the number of engineering documents put at 15,000. In the event when the mega project was finally handed over, it involved around a million tags plus a million documents!
Mintjens set out the Cfihos project deliverables as a handover specification for the process industry comprising a specification document, a reference data library (RDL) along with tools for owner operators to create their own requirements documentation. The standard is set to be de facto in 2013 and to align with international standards in 2014. The standard does not appear to provide standard content but rather a structure for engineering information derived from Shell’s internal standards.
In a remote presentation, Roberts stated that Shell has put a lot of effort into standardization to drive costs down. By making the Cfihos material available to the wider community, Shell hopes to ‘convince others of the value.’ Cfihos is based on existing discipline standards content such as ISO 13706 (for air cooled heat exchangers). This like others comes in a data sheet format and should not be reinvented.
Alignment with ISO 15926 parts 2, 4 & 11 is seen as desirable but there are lots of gaps, especially in Part 4. Here Cfihos takes the Shell RDL as starting point, the fruit of 10 years of work, and makes it more generic and less Shell specific. Part of the process is to identify where information is lacking and to submit change requests to ISO.
A similarly pragmatic approach is taken for documents. What exactly is required, should a P&ID sheet be translated? Is a hard copy required? And in what format and at what security level? A demo showed a practical example of generating a new information specification using a shopping cart metaphor as used in Shell’s internal engineering information specification (EIS) engineering design tool. This allows for exhaustive search of what specs are already in use and if a new spec is needed, it can be in a compliant fashion. The system is used to generate contract documents from cloned templates showing what goes out to a contractor and what Shell expects back. Actual documents may be in Excel or a ‘contract ready’ Word document ‘100% aligned with EIS.’ The system also generates mappings for Shell’s data loading and QC tool ‘IDB.’ Visit USPI-NL and the Cfihos home page.
Fossil Creek Resources’ Lee Krystinik is president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG).
Paula Gant has been appointed deputy assistant secretary of oil and natural gas at the US Department of Energy.
Mike Stephenson has been named science and technology director of the British Geological Survey.
James Brown is now principal scientist with Applied Instrument Technologies. He was previously with ExxonMobil.
Linda Ruiz McCall has joined the Bureau of Economic Geology as Information Geologist and Resource Center Manager.
Leandro Toniello heads-up ETAP’s new Brazilian Office in Ribeirão Prêto.
Tulio Campo has joined FairfieldNodal as a regional sales consultant in Bogota, Columbia.
FMC Technologies has appointed Clarence Cazalot and Peter Mellbye to its board.
Geotrace Technologies has named Mingqiu Luo as chief geophysicist.
Grant Thornton has named Kevin Schroeder as energy industry managing partner.
Holland Services has named John Sabia as senior VP. He hails from Goldman Sachs.
William Davies has joined HRH Geology as advanced gas supervisor. He was previously with Weatherford.
Ikon Science has appointed Michel Kemper as R&D director, Denis Saussus as VP development, Cameron Davis as senior VP, global sales, and Vispi Dumasia as VP EAME.
InterOil has appointed Michael Hession as CEO. He was formerly with Woodside.
Kelly Beauglehole heads-up ION Geophysical’s GXT seismic data processing center in Perth, Australia.
KBR has appointed Jan Egil Braendeland as President, Oil & Gas Business Unit.
Randy Clark, former president & CEO of Energistics has joined Noah Consulting.
The new Petrad MD is Geir Egil Eie. He was formerly with Statoil.
Joanne Sykes of TransCanada has been elected to the PODS board.
Jarle Aakre is new CEO at Robotic Drilling Systems. He was previously investment director with Styrbjørn.
Rushmore Reviews has recruited Peter Milne and Ronnie Singer to its IT team.
Ryder Scott has hired petroleum engineers Don MacDonald, Clark Parrott, Pablo Castellon, Laurymar Perez-Mejias, Syed Rizvi and Adam Cagle.
In a recent presentation to analysis, CEO Paal Kibsgaard
Schlumberger has 27 petaflops of computing power, ‘the fourth largest private installation in the world.’
Alastair Cole is to head up Spencer Ogden’s new oil and gas contract staffing division in Houston.
Summit ESP has appointed Mark Neinast to director of marketing and Mike Nieman to director of special projects. Both hail from GE Oil & Gas.
Tiandi Energy has recruited Rob Condina, Justin Laird, Kevin Rohr and Pete Rullman to its sales team.
Mattias Isaksson has been appointed as head of marketing and communications for Tieto. He hails from PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Wood Group Mustang has named Bob Lindsay president of its offshore business unit.
President Maria das Grašas Silva Foster revealed that Petrobras is to invest R$4 billion (approx $2 billion) in 2013 and R$ 21.2 billion between 2013-2017 in IT in a move to ‘protect its strategic information.’ Despite reports that the US National Security Agency targeted Petrobras through espionage, no violation of its systems has been recorded.
Australian Laboratory Services (ALS) has acquired Reservoir Group in a $533 million transaction.
Epsis and Arild Bøe have established a new company Production Monitoring.
Lloyd’s Register is acquiring Senergy.
Aker Solutions has acquired asset integrity management specialist International Design Engineering and Services, IDEAS.
CEDA International has acquired the Quality Group, provider of services to energy companies in Alberta.
Citec has bought Norwegian oil and gas engineering company M7 Offshore.
DrillMap has closed a $6.5 million funding round led by Rockport Capital that included ConocoPhillips.
Flotek Industries is planning to acquire enhanced recovery specialist Eclipse IOR Services in a $6.5 million cash and paper deal.
DC Capital Partners affiliate Integrated Mission Solutions is acquiring Michael Baker Corp. for $397 million, a 37% premium on its share price before the deal.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has taken a 27% stake in RigNet.
Nvidia is acquiring the Portland Group, provider of compilers and tools for high performance computing—notably Cuda Fortran.
Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures has taken a stake in InflowControl AS.
Sagentia Group has acquired OTM Consulting.
Inmarsat has sold its retail energy operations to RigNet for $25 million. The deal includes microwave and WiMAX networks in the Gulf of Mexico, VSAT interests and its worldwide telecommunications systems integration business. 2012 revenues for the unit were $81 million.
On the better late than never principle we report virtually from the 36th gas lift workshop held in Stavanger Norway earlier this year, co-hosted by the Artificial lift R&D council and the International petroleum training institute of the American society of mechanical engineers.
Asbjørn Andersen (WellMaster) and Alan Brodie (PTC) presented Exprosoft’s reliability management system (RMS). The RMS is managed by ExproSoft as a joint industry project and is claimed to be the world’s largest repository of well experience data. RMS holds 20 years of data from 5,000 completions and 30,000 well-years of production. The data is used for vendor benchmarking, risk-based completion design and cost estimates of life-of-well intervention strategies. ExproSoft offers commercial added-value software and services to equipment suppliers and service companies. PTC showed how the RMS was used to evaluate the reliability of its own gas lift valves.
Shell’s Wayne Mabry discussed recent revisions to the API 19G2 standard for flow control devices. The API 11V1 spec for gas lift equipment was discontinued in 2012. Today the situation is complex with different ‘standard’ specs emanating from the API, ISO and Statoil. Meanwhile technology and deepwater requirements make for more complex use cases. Mabry observed that today, the ISO oilfield process has stopped and the standards are ‘stagnant.’ ISO and API are not working together and there is currently no mechanism for updating or improving the ISO document. All in all a standards ‘train wreck!’ There is some hope in the soon to be released API 19G2 document which will include Statoil’s requirements and should be the de facto industry standard—especially for deep Gulf of Mexico applications.
Bin Hu of Schlumberger’s SPT unit showed how Olga’s dynamic modeling was used to model and understand transient effects in situations such as slugging, thermal and liquid loading and artificial lift. For gas lift, Olga is used to model transient multiphase flow in tubing and annulus including thermal interactions, downstream and upstream boundary conditions including choke and gas lift valve characteristics. Another use case involved gas ‘robbing’ in dual completions which was shown to be eliminated by optimizing gas lift pressure.
Cameron Laing of Laing Engineering Training Services offered an iconoclastic look at ‘gas lift nonsense.’ Laing’s nonsense includes the observation that test rack pressure is regularly being set too high because of the use of a static temperature gradient. Valve set up is frequently sub-optimal and usually neglects valve aging. Few operators or service companies are interested in learning about valves’ true condition from tear-down inspections. And finally, operators frequently lose track of valve positions and keep poor reliability records. Finally, gas lift modeling frequently uses over simplistic models. Laing advocates use of Petex’ Prosper in this context.
Read the ALRDC presentations here.
DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) and Kappa Engineering have announced a strategic alliance to further oil and gas field production forecasting and unconventional reserves evaluation. The deal kicks-off with the commercialization by Kappa of D&M’s Citrine field performance analysis package. Currently, Citrine offers multi-well performance analysis, data mining and empirical production forecasts using decline curve methodologies.
Kappa is to further develop Citrine with the integration of Topaz NL numerical models to offer a complete workflow spanning production diagnostics, model-based analysis, decline curve analysis and numerical simulation to evaluate multi-well and full-field production data. D&M is also to extend capabilities in the Kappa workstation where Citrine is to replace the field production analysis module.
Citrine will have a particular application in unconventional reserves evaluation where the use of conventional Arps* plots is considered outmoded and error prone. Citrine will also access specific models developed in the framework of the Kappa consortium on unconventional reserves. More from Kappa and D&M.
* Method developed in 1944 by J.J. Arps.
At the Summer NAPE Expo in Houston last month, ‘serial entrepreneur’ Rodney Giles launched his new company, ‘eOilBoom.com.’ eOilBoom, claimed to be the first oil and gas crowdfunding platform, leverages a ’ proprietary and patented pending’ platform to link oil and gas deals with accredited investors. The entire process, from due diligence to completion of a transaction takes place online. Giles stated, ‘The masses now have the opportunity to invest in oil and gas instead of the traditional volatile stock market. With our platform, they can acquire a working interest in a lease or royalty stream. We provide both drilling prospects as well as long life production deals.’ More from eOilBoom.
Energy Solutions International (ESI) has been selected by the UK’s Oil and Pipelines Agency to implement the Synthesis solution across the 2,000km government pipeline and storage system.
Chevron Pipeline has selected Blackstone’s Trellis platform to manage its Bridgeline Holdings natural gas pipeline asset.
Cortex Business Solutions has engaged Liolios Group to develop a new investor relations and strategic financial communications program.
Marquis is rolling out Quintiq 5.0 across its crude oil business.
Seminole Energy Services has selected Allegro Development’s Allegro 8 to manage its energy products and services operations.
ARKeX has entered into an agreement with Lockheed Martin to supply next generation full tensor gravity gradiometers for airborne and marine geophysical surveying.
Turner Industries has turned to CyrusOne for backup and disaster recovery solutions.
Shell has extended its relationship with FleetCor Technologies for the provision of fuel cards and workforce payment products to its US commercial fleet line of business.
Halliburton and Gazprom Neft are to cooperate on the development of technology solutions for hard-to-recover reserves, unconventional resources, deepwater and other projects.
The Antipinsky Refinery CJSC in Tyumen, Russia is to deploy Honeywell’s Experion process knowledge system to create a single, central operations center.
IHS has partnered John Wiley & Sons to resell Wiley’s scientific and engineering titles as part of IHS’s subscription-based offerings.
LMKT’s V-Secur has been chosen by Mari Petroleum for its Islamabad HQ. The project comprises biometric and RFID-based access control solution integrated with CCTV and a vehicle management system. LMKT is a spin-out of LMKR.
Oil country engineering service provider Aibel AS has selected Intergraph Caesar II to standardize pipe stress analysis and facilitate integration with its design tools.
Interica has executed a five year agreement with ‘one of the world’s largest companies’ to provide its PARS upstream data archival solution.
Craig Group has deployed NetIQ’s PlateSpin Forge disaster recovery solution for its physical and virtual Microsoft Windows servers.
Ofserv has added Paradigm’s Sysdrill well planning and drilling software to its West African drilling support services.
Jetta Operating Company has deployed Oildex Owner Relations Connect, a cloud-based well data management solution.
Kosmos Energy is to deploy P2 Energy Solutions’ Beyond Compliance solution to power its workplace incident tracking system and management of change process.
Faroe Petroleum is to deploy Palantir Solutions’ Cash and Financials applications to consolidate its international asset portfolio and improve economic and financial forecasting.
RigNet has deployed VT Systems’ iDirect satellite hub in Guaratiba, Brazil to accelerate its penetration of the region’s oil and gas and energy maritime markets.
Senergy’s survey and geo-engineering division is to supply Statoil with geotechnical client representatives for site investigations and provide technical and HSE assurance.
Halliburton’s Landmark software unit is to leverage the UReason Solution Environment (USE) for real-time analytics. USE will be combined with Landmark’s drilling software portfolio.
Total has signed an agreement with telecommunications provider Orange to distribute Orange Money, its payment and money transfer service, at service stations in Africa and the Middle-East..
The professional petroleum data management (PPDM) association is seeking volunteer experts to develop a new global data analyst exam. PPDM has also updated the American Petroleum Institutes’ well numbering system. PPDM/API 2013’s first ten digits are the same as the old system. Digits 11 and 12 are reserved for identifying each wellbore in a standardized manner. Optionally, positions 13 and up allow for information on completions, plugbacks, and drilling modifications to the wellbore. The standard is a free download.
The geomatics committee of the UK’s Oil and gas producers association (OGP) has announced a new ‘shapes’ component for its mapping database, the EPSG geodetic parameter dataset . The new polygons show the geographic extent of coordinate reference systems to assist users of geographic information systems to select the correct mapping reference framework. Download the shapes in GML format.
Energistics has announced the beta release of its Witsml test tool for v126.96.36.199 servers. The test program includes a new certification program for the latest Witsml servers. This includes an open source testing tool to automate a suite of tests including queries, data-object definitions, and behaviors defined in the Witsml schemas and store API. More from Energistics.
The World wide web consortium (W3C) has announced a ‘premium’ validator suite for checking web pages in HTML, CSS and more. The validator service scans an entire site and produces a report. W3C will continue to operate and enhance its free validators. More from W3C.
The XBRL organization has just published a white paper on ‘integrated reporting’ i.e. the extension of XBRL to embrace social responsibility, carbon and sustainability reporting. Such reporting is said to facilitate the disclosure of non-financial risks for a company ‘e.g. BP’ that may have ‘significant downward impacts on their share prices.’ More from XBRL.
GE Oil and Gas has joined the UK-based Fire and blast information group (Fabig). Fabig, set up following the Piper Alpha disaster, provides research and design guidance on fire and explosion engineering. Fabig’s interim guidance notes (IGN) are now used in the design of most of the UKCS North Sea projects. Fabig, which has over 100 corporate members in 16 countries, is lead by project manager Guillaume Vannier of the Steel Construction Institute where he developed an audit software tool for integrity management of safety critical elements on offshore installations.
Houston-based Flotek Industries is to sponsor applied research at Texas A&M University to investigate the impact of nanotechnology on non conventional oil and gas production. The research addresses the oil recovery potential of ‘nanofluids’ and surfactants under subsurface pressure and temperature conditions of liquids-rich shales.
Flotek president John Chisholm said, ‘Nanofluids have enhanced production from tight formations. A better understanding of the interaction between chemistry, geology and of the physical properties of nanofluids in the completion process will enhance unconventional completions.’ More from Flotek.
ABB and Statoil have initiated a joint industry program to develop a ‘subsea factory’ of deepwater power and control technologies. The $100 million R&D program encompasses solutions for transmission, distribution and power conversion systems designed to power and control subsea pumps and gas compressors at depths of 3,000 meters and over vast distances. The agreement is said to be ‘an important step on the path to develop complete subsea oil and gas producing facilities.’
The five year program sets out to develop technologies for the large-scale subsea pumping and gas-compression projects that are planned for the Norwegian continental shelf, the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. The aim is to provide up to 100 megawatts over a distance of 600 km at up to 3,000m water depth through a single 36kilovolt cable. More from ABB.
Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) has announced a novel wireless sensor network, webs of sensory devices a.k.a. ‘motes,’ that function without a central infrastructure. Project manager Sami Ayyorgun believes that motes will ‘rival the impact that the Internet has made in our lives.’ One use case envisioned is ‘monitoring miles of gas and oil pipelines stretching across arid land for ruptures, damage, and tampering.’ Under the hood is a technology based on a ‘self-organizing stochastic communications paradigm.’
Premier Oil has awarded a $17 million contract to Emerson Process Management for the automation of a new offshore production platform in the Solan oil field West of Shetland. Emerson’s PlantWeb technology will support remote operation of the production platform, located approx 160km offshore, from a remote operations center in Aberdeen.
The Solan field’s reserves are put at 40 million barrels of oil with an initial daily production of 24,000 bopd by year end 2014. The new platform is designed for unmanned operations and will serve as a model for future marginal field developments.
Emerson is the project’s main automation and electrical contractor and will provide project management, design, commissioning and startup services. Emerson’s PlantWeb digital architecture is at the heart of the project along with DeltaV automation and safety systems and the AMS predictive maintenance software. Emerson is also to provide satellite communications and an operator training solution that simulates real-world situations to prepare operations personnel for incident management. More from Emerson.
Rockwell Automation has teamed with Cisco on a ‘comprehensive industrial security initiative’ a.k.a. the ‘secure, connected enterprise,’ that sets out to respond to ‘growing’ cyber-security threats to industrial control systems. The initiative will help automation and IT professionals to secure processes with a combination of control system design best practices, technology and professional services from Rockwell, Cisco and other partners.
Sujeet Chand, senior VP and CTO with Rockwell observed, ‘The rapidly evolving nature of the industrial security landscape makes it critical that today’s manufacturers view security as an ongoing business imperative, rather than a one-time investment. A more secure network infrastructure will allow companies to deploy emerging technologies such as mobility, virtualization and cloud computing, while still performing mission-critical automation functions.’
A three pronged approach includes a defense-in-depth methodology, a secure automation architecture and ‘enterprise-ready’ network security. Core to the initiative is implementation of a secure network infrastructure based on the use of the standard internet protocol.
While the initiative targets initially manufacturing, Rockwell spokesperson Carly Snyder confirmed to Oil It Journal that the initiative is cross-industry and ‘will impact oil and gas.’ More from Rockwell.
Shell and Baker Hughes have announced a software license and joint development agreement to produce a ‘high-end platform’ for geological and reservoir modelling of non conventional reservoirs. The new system will be based on Baker Hughes’ Jewel Earth platform. Jewel was originally developed by Shell’s own R&D department, spun out to JOA which was acquired by Baker in 2010.
Baker Hughes’ Jewel Suite—the retail interpretation package—targets, inter alia, unconventional workflows with microseismic data visualization, horizontal well pattern analysis and frac design. Jewel Earth is the Jewel Suite development platform and plug-in environment based on Microsoft’s .NET framework.
Baker Hughes CTO Mario Ruscev said, ‘JewelEarth operates at multiple scales, from basin to wellbore scale, from a single data source. This will provide an innovative modelling and optimization platform for the fast-growing Shell user community.’
The .NET dev kit will support Shell migration to 64 bit Windows client workstations. Migrating the Shell’s tens of millions of lines of legacy code in its proprietary GeoSigns environment has proved more problematical. But the new Shell/BHI platform is said to ‘complement’ GeoSigns which will ultimately comprise an ‘integrated working environment for Shell’s exploration and modelling experts.’ More from Baker Hughes.
A new Petrel-based workflow from Schlumberger, ‘Mangrove,’ offers a holistic approach to stimulation design in both conventional and non conventional reservoirs. The Petrel earth model is the basis for geomechanical and fracture network models that are input to a ‘completion advisor.’
A range of inputs is used to derive two critical parameters—reservoir quality (a measure of source rock potential) and completion quality (a ‘frackability’ indicator). These parameters combine to highlight potential sweet spots. These are further investigated with a variety of fracture simulators including a new unconventional fracture modeler, UFM.
The UFM model claimed to be the ‘first commercially available complex hydraulic fracture model to incorporate fracture-to-fracture interactions.’ The model rolls-up information on natural fractures, geomechanics, fracture propagation and fluid and proppant transport. The UFM allows engineers to maximize well productivity. Schlumberger’s Intersect simulator computes fluid flow around the borehole using a variable density unstructured grid.
A paper in Schlumberger’s Oilfield Review described how two Marcellus shale operators have successfully used Mangrove workflows. The paper also describes PetroChina’s use of Mangrove to design a stimulation program for a conventional clastic target in China’s Ordos basin.
Since it acquired Global Majic’s 3D virtual reality last December (Oil ITJ Jan 2013), Aveva has leveraged this core technology in a new Activity Visualisation Platform (AVP). AVP allows asset owners to build immersive, interactive virtual environments of their facilities. These are then available for employee familiarisation, training and emergency planning—even before the real world plant has been delivered.
Aveva COO Derek Middlemas said, ‘Preparing people to work safely in potentially hazardous plant environments is essential. People learn best by doing and AVP enables users to practise anything, from the simplest inspection walk-around to complex maintenance in a realistically simulated live plant environment. Operations staff can now learn and practise tasks in complete safety before going onsite, instead of having to do so for the first time in a potentially dangerous environment.’
Simulations are created directly from the plant’s original design model, they are visually convincing, realistic and accurate. Trainees can be immersed in a scenario and interact both with the model and with each other as avatars asking practical questions such as ‘Can I drive a forklift around this area?’ More from Aveva.
ArkCLS has announced new ‘data collaboration’ technology, GeoDataSync (GDS) offering access to multiple software packages and seismic data management functionality. The package was released this month at the 2013 annual conference of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in Houston.
GDS addresses problems associated with seismic interpretation workflows such as multiple interpretation systems, data storage and duplication. Data in multiple interpretation systems can be managed with the same user interface and accessed in situ—removing the need to copy large 3D seismic data volumes. GDS also manages horizons, faults and well data.
Initial GDS development was sponsored by a major operator and the tool is now available as a Petrel plug-in. GDS also allows access to seismic and other data in dGB Earth Sciences’ OpendTect seismic interpretation system. Plans are afoot for additional plug-ins to other mainstream interpretation packages. More from ArkCLS.