Volume 25 Number 6


The Open Footprint Forum

PIDX Fall Conference hears from OSDU champion, Shell’s Johan Krebbers, on another The Open Group-backed standards initiative, the Open Footprint Forum. OFF is to ‘track and reduce’ greenhouse gas emissions with an open source initiative to ‘stop wasting time and effort’.

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Amazon Cloud supports Halliburton, Explor

A historical backgrounder on Landmark’s migration of OpenWorks to DecisionSpace365 in the cloud. iEnergy hybrid cloud achieves SOC 2 certification for client data management. Canadian Explor reports ‘breakthrough’ seismic processing in the cloud.

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Run interpretation software in the cloud? Maybe.

A forced ‘trial’ of Office in the Cloud leaves editor Neil McNaughton preferring the old way of running applications on your computer. Quizzing some data managers, he finds them similarly perplexed by the rush to the cloud. But that is where the seismic world is heading, with the promise of interpretation software running in the cloud alongside its data. Will a fast internet connection ever replace hundreds of gigabytes of local RAM? An ongoing experiment in computer gaming should provide the answer.

Times are hard for the oil and gas industry, but you have probably heard enough about that already. If you haven’t, read the ‘Industry at large’ in this issue. Times have been quite hard for us here at The Data Room, with a computer crash which has meant working on a SharePoint/OneDrive file system in the cloud. Which has at least given me some editorial fodder. But first, let me expand the subject to the cloud in general.

A couple of months ago I quizzed a small sample of data managers in an offhand manner as to why? Why the cloud? Why bother? Our last issue was replete with tales of microservices, Kubernetes and such, and indeed with this issue, yet more cloudy stuff, considerations of cloud object storage and so on. All of which are orthogonal to the business of either geoscience or producing oil and gas. Nobody in their right mind would want to inflict all this IT arcana on themselves without some clear benefits.

My data managers did not have any great ideas as to why the industry is rushing headlong to the cloud. I guess the unstated aim is to reduce or eliminate the cost of an on-premise data center. One of my interlocuters confessed that although the initial cloud decision may be unclear, once your data is in there, there are all sorts of things you can do with it. A post-facto argument that may be hard to sell to management.

On the question of cost, in this issue, you can read our summary of Andy James’ (Bluware) excellent exposition on the niceties of cloud costs and how, for voluminous seismic data, these can easily explode. Old-timers (like me), whose experience goes back to the tape storage and document management outsourcing efforts of the 1980s, recognize the bait and switch. Low costs to take all your documents off-site. Then come the big bucks to access, move and (especially) change providers.

It seems to me that the whole industry is striving to adapt itself to the current technology, terms and conditions of today’s clouds which of course are very likely to change over time. Perhaps when the GAFAs start paying all the taxes they owe!

Anyway, to get back to my own enforced experiment. I have been working with Office365 since 2014 when I wrote my ‘The Cloud. How the IT world is slowing us all down!’ editorial. In the interim, I have been working in the old-fashioned way, running all the Office apps on my local machine and letting OneDrive act at a real-time backup mechanism. This proved quite satisfactory bar a couple of chunks of lost work on dodgy internet connections.

When my workstation went down (power/disk/video card of all of the three?) I figured that as it had been going for over 10 years it had given me a good run for my money. I hoped also that my next machine would last as long and thought that, instead of buying whatever they happened to have in-store at Office Depot (not much these days) I would order a decent box from Dell. Covid and the holidays meant that this meant waiting for a couple of weeks. So, this issue has been prepared on the unlikely combination of an old (but wonderfully designed) Mac Mini Server running Ubuntu Linux and accessing OneDrive/SharePoint via Firefox. Somehow this feels very cloudy – a lightweight endpoint with all the smarts in the cloud. How does it feel? Well, I concluded my 2014 editorial with the following...

If you are not yet in the Office cloud you might like to know that Office 365 brings you two versions of everything. One to run in the browser and another on your desktop. The online version is clunky and idiosyncratic. Keyboard shortcuts? You may as well forget them. Even cutting and pasting from within the same email brings up a dialog along the lines of ‘are you sure you want to do this?’ Click to open a document or change folders, the cloud lets you know that it’s ‘working on it…’ The web-based version appears to have been designed to slow usage down to a crawl. Perhaps that was the point.

Six years later, I don’t have a lot to add to this. The user experience has evolved some. Not necessarily in the right direction. SharePoint doesn’t seem to be able to access the clipboard and instead suggests a steampunk CTRL-C/CTRL-V. Using the mouse is idiosyncratic, to say the least. Selections disappear or take ages to enact. Ages that is, until you try to select text in Word that requires scrolling. Then the cursor skedaddles off to the end of the document before you can stop it. Navigating the file system in either OneDrive or SharePoint is, frankly, grotesque. I usually do a lot of moving and renaming files as I work my way through the masses of raw information that we receive for each issue. Even saving a Word document to a folder of one’s choice is totally obscure. Maybe I need a training for all of this. That would be a first for me in almost 40 years of personal computing! Anyhow, diddling around with the file manager is a prime example of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ not!

James’ exposition on seismics in the cloud goes beyond cost analysis to explain the rationale of a new seismic data format adapted to the cheaper object storage format. He makes it clear that this is not so that data can stream fast into your local workstation. It is so that data can stream fast from storage to an application in the cloud. I must be a bit slow on the uptake but this was quite an eye-opener for me. What I now see is that OSDU is not just a shift to cloud-based data, but a shift to data and applications running in the cloud. This has been something of a holy grail of IT since long before the cloud was called the cloud. Will it work? Will the cloud ever be able to deliver the performance of today’s seismic workstation from just an HTML5-enabled dumb terminal? I really don’t know. But there is a great experiment going on right now that is worth watching, in computer gaming. As people are rushing out to buy the latest PlayStation or Xbox loaded with RAM and GPUs (or perhaps an even more powerful gaming PC), Google is working on Stadia its cloud-based gaming platform. So, there you have it. If your kids are asking for a Stadia subscription next Christmas instead of a new PlayStation then OSDU will be the place to be.


Industry at large

Ryder Scott on ‘gut punch’ to industry. Shell slashes costs … and the green team resigns! PwC on Equinor’s $21 billion US loss. Accenture’s mammoth Guide to Decarbonizing the Industry. Cegal shape-shifts to greener future. Schlumberger moves exec bonus goalposts … and fires 21,000. Deloitte on the Future of Jobs in Oil and Gas, ‘home-based work not transitory’. EU report conflates digital transformation and green deal. Shale binge trashes US reserves. Rystad’s plausible if pessimistic forecast for fossil fuels. The Data Room’s own 2cents ... on the energy density of batteries, Avtur and hydrogen.

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Machine learning classifies fossil pollen grains

NIST-backed team applies convolutional neural network to high resolution microscopic imagery.

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SEG – ‘adjust quicker to machine learning’

SEG Seismic Soundoff hears from ExxonMobil seismic guru on use cases for ML in seismic processing and interpretation. ML is good for some common tasks but not a ‘silver bullet’.

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2020 Oil and Gas Machine Learning Symposium

The Advertas/Geophysical Insights-backed online event hears Paradise use cases from RockServ and Idemitsu Norge. Southwest research Institute’s SLED, smart leak detection. AgileDD’s open source Tabio toolkit for data retrieval from scanned documents. Yokogawa’s ‘intelligent’ GOSP gas oil separation plant. IBM’s Production Optimum Advisor.

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Software, hardware short takes

New releases, updates from Novi Labs, Cegal/Blueback, Emerson/Paradigm, CGG GeoSoftware, Ceetron Solutions, Rockware, Weatherford, Wood Mackenzie, OspreyData, Quantum Automation, DSI, Quorum Software, Assai, TRC Consultants, Aucerna, AspenTech, Siemens, Gexcon, nVent, Yokogawa Electric, Blue Marble, CGG/Sercel, OriginLab, University of Manchester.

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PNEC 2020 Online

Ecopetrol deploys Kadme Whereoil cloud platform. PPDM professionalizes the data managers. Troika on seismic formats, SEG and OSDU. Rive University curriculum evolves towards data science. ExxonMobil at forefront of seismic data management. Total moots hybrid, on premise/cloud data solution, downplays OSDU. Denondo data warehouse for Oxy/Anadarko. Apache AirFlow data ingestion for Schlumberger’s Delfi. Noble Energy cleans data with InnerLogix. Bluware on the true costs and gotchas of data in the cloud. Shared data enhances Woodmac Analytics Lab model. LEK Consulting compares digital maturity across industries.

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Folks, facts, orgs ...

Borr Drilling, University of Cambridge, Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, Digital Guardian., DNV GL, Energistics, Engage Mobilize, Foster Marketing, FutureGeo, Digital Twin Consortium, LYTT, McDermott, Metegrity, Pason Systems, Petrofac, PPDM, ProPetro, PTC, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, SEC-DERA, TechnipFMC, Sword Venture, IOGP, INPEX, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

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Done Deals

Aker Solutions merges with Kvaerner. AqualisBraemar acquires LOC Group. Aucerna acquires Previso. Baker Hughes acquires Compact Carbon Capture. Caterpillar acquires Weir Group Oil and Gas. CGG emerges from financial restructuring. Dassault Systèmes bags NuoDB. Dresser acquires Flow Safe. EQT gets stake in ThinkProject. Genasys completes Amika Mobile purchase. geoLOGIC Systems acquires SubsurfaceIO. Hexagon acquires PAS Global. Inspirit Capital buys Lloyd’s Register Energy creating Vysus Group. Novara GeoSolutions CHA Integrated Solutions. Pelican Energy Partners has bought Baker Hughes’ pressure control business. Petrosmith has acquired Wellflex Energy Solutions. Quorum Software has acquired Landdox.

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2020 IoT in Oil and Gas Virtual Conference

Energy Conferences Network Internet of Things in Oil and Gas hears from ExxonMobil on OPAF (Open Process Automation Forum) function block successes and on harmonization with NAMUR. Chevron warns on risks of ‘consumer’ devices in the workplace. McDermott’s ‘Gemini’, a major deployment of Dassault Systèmes 3D Experience. Parsley Energy’s WITSML/Cold Bore Technology/Halliburton technology stack.

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GO Digital Energy Oil and Gas Middle East

McKinsey survey finds digital initiatives floundering. Petroleum Development Oman ARV project improves SAP data quality with machine learning. AVEVA befriends the data monster.

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Sales, partnerships, deployments ...

CGG Smart Data Solutions sale and contract with PDO. Aker BP to support general purpose data centers. Tommeliten Alpha FEED for Aker Solutions. Norwegian Research Council award to Applied Petroleum Technology. Aramco IKTVA MoUs. Arria NLG for Total. JLL supports BP set zero. Datagration now Microsoft partner. DNV GL and Bluewater test hybrid FPSO digital twin. Easy Aerial adds GPSdome to drones. BP awards automation contract to Emerson. Bell Geospace teams with Transparent Earth Geophysics. Neptune Energy to deploy DecisionSpace 365 well construction. Implico teams with Minsait. iPIPE awards tech partnership to Orbital Sidekick. Lummus Digital formed. Novara GeoSolutions now Esri ‘release-ready’. Pro-Frotas, Ipiranga hire Radix. RigNet Intelie Live for Permian Basin. ProFlex teams with Siemens Energy. Sercel WiNG for Paragon. Siemens Energy teams with Bentley Systems. Schlumberger for KOC, Suncor, ANPG. Agora Edge AI for Petronas, Ecuador. Performance Live for PTT E&P. Nutanix for Total. KBR for USGS EROS. Equinor teams with SINTEF.

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Standards stuff

DNV GL RP for the digital twin. Last call for Energistics ETP v1.2. EU CSV Validator. IIC’s edge computing framework. Opto22, ‘all you need to know about MQTT’. OGC rolls-out cloud standard for EOS data. PPDM ‘What is a Facility’ feasibility study. The Open Group, IOGP sign MoU.

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OSIsoft 2020 EAME Oil and Gas User Conference

A teaser for OSIsoft’s well integrity management system. ENI’s PI System-based e-Digital Oilfield e-DOF game-changer. Spirit Energy’s eureka moment. Shell’s Golden Pi Tags data quality improvement project.

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KBC’s Value Chain Manifesto

100 years of optimization in oil and chemicals from Taylorism through linear programming to ‘molecule management’. Today, the Integrated Asset Model/digital twin constitutes the ‘heartbeat of the plant which drives all other applications’. Autonomous operations ‘empower the plant to run, learn and adapt to a changing environment’. AI works best in tandem with first principles.

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2020 PIDX Virtual Fall Conference

The Petroleum Industry Data Exchange organization’s Fall 2020 online event heard from Diamond Key on TIDE, its Terminal Information Data Exchange data integration platform. Sullexis’ use case for standardizing carbon emissions data. ChaiOne’s Velostics, a PIDX-based solution for inbound fuel terminal logistics.

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Bentley backs FutureOn

Digital Twin solution receives cash injection from Bentley Acceleration Fund. FieldTwin to combine with Bentley’s iTwin upstream platform. Bentley’s ‘Chief Acceleration Offices’ seeks other partners.

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On sale!

A ‘retail round-up’ of solutions from Professional Data Solutions (sales to Chevron, EG Group), IBM Services (Indian Oil ePIC platform), PetroSoft and Bulloch Technologies.

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Cyber special: SolarWinds!

Oil IT Journal does its own quick fire investigation into the nefarious high profile breach. And finds some rather good advice on preventing hacks ... from SolarWinds itself!

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