Volume 25 Number 4


Shell’s Hydrogen Digital Platform

Energistics/ECN Summer Digitalization Summit hears from Shell on the repurposing of technology from the Open Subsurface Data Universe across its expanding hydrogen retail business.

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2020 Huawei Oil and Gas Summit

Huawei Oil & Gas offers a hybrid cloud for oil and gas and co-creation of corporate data centers. OceanStor, converged, ‘intelligent’ hardware powered by Huawei in-house designed chips and algorithms. HiAI, a branded AI engine and compute service, deployed by Algerian Sonatrach in its ‘One Cloud’ strategy. 5G IoT deployed at major EU refinery.

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On digitizing hydrogen and ‘agile’ software development

Shell plans to leverage a technology stack from OSDU, the Open Subsurface Data Universe to develop a digital backbone for its hydrogen filling stations. Oil IT Journal editor Neil McNaughton tries to figure out why.

In our lead this month you can read how Shell is tooling-up its IT to supply a growing network of hydrogen filling stations in the US and EU. Given that retailing hydrogen would not, on the face of it, be all that different from retailing gasoline, you might have imagined that Shell would have bags of IT ready to roll for the new fuel. This may be the case, but it was not quite how Shell’s Richard Zhang presented it at the online 2020 Energistics/Energy Conference Network Summer Digitalization Summit. For hydrogen, Shell is developing a ‘first of a kind’ digital backbone for its fueling stations.

I guess the new fuel represents a great opportunity for new, state-of-the-art IT. But what is state-of-the art IT today? The current issue of Oil IT Journal contains quite a bit of converging evidence on this which I am going to try and tie together here.

My first witness is Zang himself who provided some clear pointers as to what ‘first of a kind’ means. Shell’s Hydrogen Digital Platform will, ‘re-use the platform developed for Shell’s Open Subsurface Data Universe’s infrastructure, OSDU’. I was quite surprised to read this. OSDU, as it says on the can, concerns the subsurface. Moreover, it would appear that, at least in its current manifestation, to be principally a mechanism by which third parties can access Schlumberger’s geoscience data environment which has been graciously contributed to the initiative. What does any of that have to do with hydrogen and retail?

To understand why OSDU has achieved such prominence chez Shell’s developers, you might like to read another piece in this issue, our review of a recent IBM Redbook titled ‘Accelerating Modernization with Agile Integration’. AMAI is a 650-page treatise on current thinking in software development which echoes many of the concepts that lie behind OSDU: Cloud, microservices and open source, inter alia. Further evidence of the linkage between ‘agile’ and OSDU is evidenced in IBM’s ‘own-brand’ OSDU, ODUA, the Open Data Universe Anywhere – which we also cover in this issue.

In AMAI, IBM warns that ‘The [agile] approach is complex. In many cases, existing enterprise solutions can and should continue running with a more traditional architecture … for suitably selected new solutions or for pockets of modernization within existing systems, microservices can provide an order of magnitude increase in benefits that are hard to achieve any other way’.

This raises an interesting issue for the upstream. What ‘existing enterprise solutions’ should be running on a traditional architecture and what kind of developments are more amenable to an agile approach. To take a specific example, consider Schlumberger’s Petrel running on a local workstation with massive local memory and superfast disk space. Could this be ‘lifted and shifted’ to the cloud? What would the performance be like? Or could it be broken up into myriad microservices? How long would that take? How hard is all this stuff?

It would seem that the commonality between OSDU and hydrogen retailing has nothing to do with either the subsurface or retail. Which leaves us with the pure IT of what is loosely referred to as the digital transformation. All that Kubernetes, Docker, provisioning, microservices and communications stuff and some more. At one juncture, AMAI harks back to earlier SOA initiatives which failed, inter alia because of the ‘use of integration specialists with poor knowledge of the applications’. I’m not sure that the injection of the rather thick layer of competencies that the new agile implies is going to help application developers with good domain knowledge very much. I’m not saying that a geophysicist is not capable of writing code in the new vernacular of the cloud. But it does seem likely that the new IT will involve quite a few with less knowledge of the application domain and more knowledge of the arcane world of the cloud.

Speaking of arcane, an AWS blog on natural language processing (see our cheeky summary in this issue) reminded me of my 2017 visit to an AWS day when I came away with more random arcane knowledge than I really needed. The amount of arcana that seems to be required to do even a simple task in the cloud beggars belief. What happened to the old Unix ethos of designing a tool to do one thing and do it well? We have come a long way from a programming environment that puts domain-specific tools in domain specialists’ hands. OTOH, if you are a cloud provider looking to assure a degree of customer fidelity (i.e. lock-in), the more arcane the better!

Writing in the Financial Times Richard Waters reported on Nvidia’s anticipated rise to data center pre-eminence with a mooted acquisition of ARM. Waters cited the company’s founder and CEO Jensen Huang as saying, ‘Data centers are the new computing unit. Rather than write programs that run on a single processor or server, coders will write software to run on an entire data center: what happens behind the scenes, as data shifts between machines, and internet services are provided in the most efficient way, will be the concern of a company such as Nvidia, not the programmer’. For an industry that has thrived on complexity that is unlikely to come to pass. But the sentiment is good.


Review: IBM Redbook on Accelerating Modernization with Agile Integration.

Oil IT Journal reviews IBM’s 650 page opus, a manifesto for modern cloud-based software and ‘agility’, in the light of OSDU, the Open Subsurface Data Universe. Agile integration is said to be ‘the secret weapon behind the great innovations of today’.

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Red Hat/IBM’s Open Data Universe Anywhere

‘Fully-supported cloud-independent’ Kubernetes/Red Hat OpenShift shrink-wrapped edition of the Open Subsurface Data Universe.

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OdTML, machine learning for seismic interpretation

MOL Norway-sponsored plug-in adds ML to dGB’s OpendTect flagship. dGB shows how ML can perform seismic object detection, generate synthetic test data sets and more. All via an open source Python ecosystem.

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2020 Earth Sciences Information Partners

HDF5’s popularity in earth and environmental science grows. HDF5 Group working to assure seamless transition to the cloud. STARE, a domain name service for geolocation data. Unidata Thredds wins in cloud access benchmark. New cloud-friendly HDF data format. HDF5 and ZARR data exchange. Digital knowledge commons for the earth and environmental science floated.

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Seismic in the cloud

NAG specialist explains to HPC Society members how to migrate seismic workloads to the cloud. Cloud costing is a tricky business.

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Data in motion, data at rest

Kwantis leverages Energistics’ Resqml format in major client’s central repository of reservoir models.

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The Open Group ‘Digital First’ virtual event

Pedro Vieira (Petrobras) addresses digital challenges for oil and gas. Roadmap to Oil & Gas Industry 4.0 proposed along with ‘silo-busting, vendor neutral’ formats à la Open Subsurface Data Universe. Vieira proposes merging OSDU with OPA-S to make for a ‘TOG in TOG’ Forum, a.k.a. The Oil and Gas in The Open Group.

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Software, hardware short takes

Lime V2.0 outcrop viewer from Virtual Outcrop Geology Group. ‘CorePy’ core data viewer from MSRL. RMS 12 from Emerson/Roxar. GlobeClaritas V7.1. V 2020.06 of Isatis.neo Petroleum. Interica OneView. IHS Markit’s Data Lake. New RokDoc and iPoint releases from Ikon Science. OAG Analytics’ Raster Image Server. Sharp Reflections Pre-Stack Pro 5.8. Aucerna’s Enersight 2.14. Kappa Automate distributed microservices platform. Custom forms from Engage Mobilize. Optasense’s ODH4+ DAS. Aucerna PetroVR 2020. Rock Flow Dynamics’ tNav 20.2. ABB Ability Augmented Field Procedures. Add Energy’s AssetVoice. Emerson AR in Plantweb Optics. Gimmal Altitude. IT Vizion’s Config Machina. Seeq WITSML and CygNet connectors. Sphera adds P&ID to Control of Work. Brad Adams Walker control room audit service. Implico OpenTAS certified. KBC Maximus 7.1 and Petro-SIM 7.1.

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2020 OSIsoft San Francisco Oil and Gas Track

OSIsoft on stagnating data lakes. Survey finds great interest in AI/ML, but none in the ‘DevOps & API’ category. Monico’s mCore enables Marathon’s MQTT scada migration. TC Energy uses Statistical Quality Control, in PI AF to detect pipeline anomalies. Tendeka uses PI to manage voluminous DTS data sets.

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Folks, facts, orgs …

African Energy Chamber, AqualisBraemar, ARMA, Bechtel, Bureau of Economic Geology, California Hydrogen Business Council, CAM Integrated Solutions, CEN, CenterPoint Energy, Cold Bore Technology, ConocoPhillips, DistributionNOW, Emerson, Enbridge, EnerCorp, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Flotek Industries, Fluor, Forum Energy Technology, Geotech Computer Systems, Canada Energy Regulator, Grant Thornton, Halliburton, IFPen, Ikon Science, INPEX, Intrepid Financial Partners, iRely, Iron Mountain, Lytt, Marathon Petroleum, Motiva, Neptune Energy, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, UK Oil and Gas Authority, Oil & Gas Technology Centre, Oil and Gas Sector Skills Unit, OPC Foundation, Okeanus, Pason Systems, Petro.ai, PHMSA, PPDM, Riversand, Texas Rail Road Commission, Ryder Scott, SEI, SeisWare, ServiceNOW, Siemens AG, Tellurian, Teradata, Weatherford, Woodside, Western States Petroleum Association, Halliburton Labs, Ikon Science, International Association for Energy Economics, Enbridge, SPE, ENI.

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Done deals

Bentley Systems launches The Cohesive Companies. BP buys into Satelytics. Sercel takes stake in AMBPR. Chevron Technology Ventures launches Future Energy Fund. Core Scientific has acquired Atrio. EnerCorp combines with Pro Oil & Gas Services. EQT acquires IFS. Flotek Industries regains NYSE compliance. HSB Solomon has acquired the assets of EnSys Energy. ICIS bags Chemical Data. Ideon Technologies gets funding from University of British Columbia. Kværner and Aker Solutions are to merge. mIQroTech Incorporated is joining the Chevron Technology Ventures Catalyst program. Petrolearn gets grant from DoE. Prometheus Group has acquired WorkTech. Siemens is spinning off its energy business into Siemens Energy AG. Mark Whiteley & Associates have merged with S. Oliver & Associates to form Whiteley Oliver. How XBRL financial reports can be used as the basis of ‘explainable AI’ for bankruptcy prediction.

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Safety first …

Blackline Safety/NevadaNano wearable gas sensors. US Chemical Safety Board on plant safety in the hurricane season. CSB update on fatal Aghorn Operating H2S release. New offshore kick lesson shared by IOGP. Weatherford introduces Velox Wellhead System for enhanced safety. Creative Supply’s guide to ‘Returning to Work Safely. Chevron CEO on oil and gas’ role in ‘combatting the virus’ and on how covid has ‘accelerated digital transformation’ and on working from home. More covid-related announcements from the Energy Institute, the United Nations (‘counter covid with code!’) and D-Wave Systems ‘quantum-classical computer simulations’!!

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2020 PIDX Virtual Spring Conference

PIDX adoption forums and NOC ‘empanelment’. Chevron/Microsoft moot PIDX Energy Transition project. Cloud to ‘democratize data exchange’. Sphera on ISO 22745 and supply chain risk management. Enverus/Peloton on OpenTicket field ticketing. Chevron and ChaiOne on digital field service management. Payload, ‘a wealth of opportunity lies dormant in application databases’.

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Sales, partnerships, deployments …

BP deploys Lytt’s DAS fiber. ABB Ability System 800xA for Petrobras’ Anna Nery FPSO. GAIL to use Amphora CTRM for LNG trading. Applied Petroleum Technology supplies geochemical studies to Chrysaor. US DoE awards Bureau of Economic Geology grant for downhole CO2 microsensors. Black & Veatch teams with Hexagon. INT integrates Bluware VDS into IVAAP. BP to implement Bluware InteractivAI. CGG GeoSoftware runs in Alibaba Cloud. Wintershall DEA to deploy Cognite Data Fusion. Hibernia Resources to use Cold Bore Technology’s SmartPAD. Canadian Well Logging Society migrate RW map to Esri ArcGIS. Doris Group, AVEVA and Schneider Electric team announce Digital Twin Alliance. eDrilling partners with WellSpec. Jaguar E&P selects Emerson/Paradigm’s geoscience software. ExxonMobil renews collaboration with Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. Genasys and Esri. Gimmal and Box Governance. Graves & Co. Signa Engineering. Norwegian oil and gas industry bodies GTO and EPIM combine. Halliburton and TechnipFMC announce ‘Odassea’ DAS for subsea wells. Petronas extends DecisionSpace 365 contract with Halliburton. Halliburton, Microsoft and Accenture team on Azure data lake. EPC Hargrove Controls partners with AspenTech on digital twin. Cairn Oil & Gas deploys Honeywell Forge. Iron Mountain’s InSight in Google Cloud Marketplace. Yokogawa KBC teams with OLI Systems.

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Standards stuff …

IOGP Geomatics Guidance Note 3. Google Cloud joins OPC Foundation. OPC teams with CESMII and Open Industry 4.0 Alliance. Oil Companies International Marine Forum publishes ‘Dynamic positioning failure mode’ guide. Open Geospatial Consortium approves HDF5. Industrial Internet Consortium white paper on distributed ledgers in the IIoT. New ISO standards for the IoT. Linux Foundation’s EdgeX Foundry ‘Geneva’ release. NIST on a Chip. PPDM V3 of Well Status & Classification taxonomy. PPDM Board explains relationship with OSDU. Alliance for the Internet of Things and the Semantic Interoperability Expert Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) to compile ontology landscape for the IoT.

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2020 PCRI Research Exchange Meeting

Pipeline Research Council International meet hears from Rosen on an ML-based digital alternative to in-line inspection. Integral Engineering and SoCalGas on using machine learning to enhance pipeline reliability assessment. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s hybrid physics-based/data-driven model fed with PHMSA incident data.

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Amazon Comprehend

Natural language processing locates key information in public domain US drilling reports.

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Letters to the Editor

Energistics on counting OSDU members. Bluware responds to ‘Is Seg-Y Useless’.

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