Volume 26 Number 1


Putting Canada’s methane solutions on the world stage

2020 LBCG Canadian Onshore Well Site Facilities Optimization & Methane Emissions Reduction Technology Conference hears from regulators, operators and service companies on the need for better monitoring, reporting and mitigation of methane and other greenhouse gasses.

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OSDU update

Open subsurface data universe signs MoUs with OGP, Energistics. OSDU to collaborate with PPDM on semantic standards. OSDU production ‘Mercury’ release (R3) imminent. OSDU scope to extend to process and facilities, ‘based on Delfi’. Streaming ‘DataOps’ pipelines. Support for LNG. Cegal jumps the gun with OSDUaaS.

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On our raison d’être

Oil IT Journal editor Neil McNaughton walks through the current issue explaining the whys and wherefores of our reporting. Our scope has expanded since we started out in 1996. This issue provides a snapshot of evolving oil and gas information technology in the face environment pressures and the onslaught of data science.

In this editorial, I’d like to walk through the current issue and explain to subscribers and non-subscribers something of our philosophy, where we are now, how we got here and where we should be heading. Oil IT Journal started life as Petroleum Data Manager, back in 1996 when data management in the oil industry became an ‘issue’. Around year 2000 we rebranded as Oil IT Journal, expanding coverage to include all things digital that impact oil and gas exploration and production. That includes geoscience, GIS, reservoir and petroleum engineering, plant and process, finance and more.

I am a rather literal sort of person. When I first heard talk of interoperability and ‘breaking down the silo boundaries’, I thought, ‘way to go!’. So, our broadened scope set out to offer specialists in one domain, a glimpse at what is happening in the other silos. This is still our guiding principle, for yes, the silos are still there and there are probably more of them today than when we started out.

So to start at the top. In this issue’s lead we report from the LBC* Canadian Onshore Well Site/Emissions Reduction conference which provides a situation report from the intersection of regulations, emissions mitigation technology and software. Emissions control is fast becoming a key facet of oil’s license to operate: a silo worth well watching and participating in.

We report on recent developments in OSDU, the open subsurface data universe where you can read about the jostling for standards supremacy (call it ‘collaboration’) that is ongoing between The Open Group, Energistics IOGP, PPDM and D-WIS. OSDU is expanding to silos well beyond its initial subsurface scope. Expanding scope is a high risk, high reward activity! One wonders if the ‘fail fast’ approach will be followed at the macro-level (unlikely).

Our review of Enders A. Robinson’s Basic Wave Analysis is quite an eye-opener for those stuck in the latest silo of ‘data science’. Want to write code for full waveform inversion? ‘Forget about AI and machine learning’. What you need is ‘geophysical theory as conveyed by books and journals’. ‘Since the 1950s, geophysics has seen major advances from the use of computers. None of these major advances have been the result of machine learning’.

A bold statement! But Robinson’s sentiments are echoed in our report on the SEG’s ‘Energy in Data’ webinar on physics-based models (à la Robinson) vs. data-driven models. This included some interesting discussions on the applicability of machine learning in different situations. Where all you have is data and not much idea of the physics, well, you don’t have much choice. Elsewhere, hybrid data and physics models are desirable, although they may be hard to realize. In circumstances where the data is ‘small’, a ‘big’ neural net may not be such a great idea.

Our report from the ECN** ML in Oil and Gas event offers plenty more on the data-driven side of the equation. Oil patch data is not just ‘big’, it is also ‘convoluted’. Presentations look into where best to apply ML and how to explain the results to a skeptical scientist. We hear from Walmart on an issue that has been central to corporate IT since our early days; how much work do you do in-house and how much do you outsource? Walmart established its NexTech unit to ‘minimize dependence on vendors for thought leadership and innovation’. But not all companies have such resources. Some may be more interested in Riverford Exploration’s exposé on big data for small companies. The ECN event also covered one of the few uses of graph databases that we have come across (although we have reported on the technology before). A Lawrence Livermore presentation returned to the physics/data conundrum to advocate ‘physics-informed’ neural nets and ‘fat’ neurons that include physical processes within the model.

Conferences and publications organized by the learned societies have various rules regarding ‘commercial’ papers and presentations. The result is that the software used in a particular study is downplayed or even unmentioned. The orgs (and oils) also have difficulty with data release and publication. What do we do? Well, we always try to tell you what software is being used, whether commercial or open source. We add links to the vendor’s website (at no charge) and/or to a Git repository for the code. Our aim is not to promote any particular software but to provide a useful service to the reader. Scientific publishing is not immune to commerciality and hyperbola, as we show in the article on The Turing Institute’s finite element modeling ‘beakthrough’, an illustration of how we try to separate the facts from the marketing/science/computing confusion. Speaking of confusion, our report on the engineering construction standards space shows more jostling for position between USPI NL, IOGP/CFIHOS and even the venerable ISO 15926!

So there you have it. Since we started out as Petroleum Data Manager in 1996, we have undergone plenty of our own ‘good’ scope creep, into fields well beyond data management. We tell things as we see them, hopefully as they are, and we always appreciate feedback and correctives if we get things wrong.

* London Business Conferences

* Energy Conference network


Book Review: Basic Wave Analysis

Illustrious geophysicist Enders A Robinson*’s new book Basic Wave Analysis** (BWA) sets out to explain the fundamentals of computer processing in exploration geophysics. After reading the introduction we imagined an exchange between the authors and their editor who asks why there is no mention of big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning. BWA’s introduction is an impassioned answer to our imagined query, and its content an erudite exposé of centuries of‘prior art’.

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FORCE AI Challenge results

And the winner is … Olwale Ibrahim

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Oil and Gas Construction and Process Industry standards developments

IOGP provides update on CFIHOS, the capital facilities information handover standard. USPI-NL releases draft FL3DMS (Facilities Lifecycle 3D Model Specification), working on practical implementation of ISO 15926. Mapping the CFIHOS reference data library to ISO 15926. UK’s National Digital Twin (!).

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DISKOS 2.0 awarded

Norway’s subsurface shared data platform returns to Halliburton/Landmark. Kadme gets trade module. New Guide to the Resource Regulations issued.

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Physics versus machine learning models

AAPG/SEG/SPE Energy in Data webinar hears from Hess on data-driven models in shale exploration. Corva on ROP drilling prediction. Schlumberger – use both ML and physics! Xecta don’t use ML on small data! Data-driven reserves reporting for anyone?

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Software, hardware short takes

New releases and announcements from Beicip-Franlab, Blue Marble Geographics, Bluware, dGB, Emerson/Paradigm, IHS Markit, Katalyst Data Management, Petrosys, Rock Flow Dynamics, Enverus, Assai, Brüel & Kjær Vibro, Esri, Flowserve, Stratus, RigER, Validere Technologies, GLJ, Solid Project.

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EAGE DIGITAL 2020

Equinor’s Seismic-ZFP compression. Aker BP’s ‘SWAP’, an OSDU-like ‘vendor-independent workflow architecture’. Cognite demos SWAP on Diskos dataset in the cloud. ENI ‘Geo-Apps’ keep tabs on proliferating RESQML datasets. Schlumberger/Equinor ExplorePlan, ‘get better at estimating’. OMV’s machine learning replaces well tests. TNO on data-driven well event detection. Schlumberger reports on ISAPP Olympus well placement challenge. Panel debates graph technology in E&P, mistrust in OSDU. Equinor showboats digitalization.

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Folks, facts, orgs ...

Appointments and nominations at Borr Drilling, CAM Integrated Solutions, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Enverus, Fugro, Genasys, Halliburton, Independence Contract Drilling, ISA, Lufkin, NarrativeWave, NPD, Oceaneering, OPC Foundation, ProPetro, Quality Companies, Raymond James, Texas Railroad Commission, Seadrill, SEG, SPEE, Tellurian, TETRA, The Open Group, Williams, ConocoPhillips, IFP School, Inpex, Ryder Scott.

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Done deals

C3.ai IPO popular. Datagration acquires Mosaic Petroleum Analytics. DNV GL acquires ERS. geoLOGIC systems bags SubsurfaceIO. Hexagon buys PAS Global. ION Geophysical goes ‘asset light’. Gordon Technologies bags Lodestar. Quality Companies acquires EPS unit. Aucerna and Quorum Software merge, bagging Energy Components en route. Schlumberger New Energy, CEA form Genvia clean hydrogen venture. Spectris sells Brüel & Kjær Vibro. TechnipFMC resumes split. Xait acquires BlueprintCPQ.

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2020 Energy Conference Networks Machine Learning in Oil and Gas

Quantum Reservoir, ‘oilfield data is convoluted’. Shell Tech Ventures’ cash for innovators. WalMart’s NexTech unit minimizes vendor dependence. Riverford on Bureau of Economic Geology’s TORA, ‘big data for small companies’. Warwick, Neo4J Graph Technology for leasehold analysis. LANL’s ‘fat neurons’, physics-informed neural nets. Texas A&M, drones, AI and oil spills.

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Going, going, green

CodeCarbon tracks AI carbon footprint. Total, LLNL and Stanford release GEOSX CCS simulator. Environmental Partnership launches flare management program. Carbon Disclosure Project’s ‘record’ disclosures. New sustainability standards board to consolidate environmental reporting frameworks. Halliburton’s e-frack. IEA oil and gas methane emissions need urgent action. Linux Foundation ‘software-defined infrastructure for decarbonization’. University of Cambridge, ‘integrate net zero into innovation’. EY/OGCI reports on 2019 emissions. Wolters Kluwer analyzes US carbon tax credits, clarifies CO2 sequestration.

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2020 LBCG Oil & Gas Pipeline Integrity & Data Utilization Solutions

Virtual event hears from API on latest PHMSA pipeline safety rules. Analysis of the new ‘mega rule’ from Paramount Energy and Crestwood. Enterprise Product Partners presents PipelineML. Williams’ plans for inspections out to 2035, big data and risk analysis.

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Standards stuff

PIDX converts to JSON, collaborates with Open Footprint Forum. Energistics adds catalogue of compliant products. Energistics University opens its doors. Industrial Internet Consortium’s RFP Toolkit. Modelica Association’s functional mockup checker. OPC UA Cloud Library. OSGeo liaises with ISO/TC 211. PWC converts sustainability standards to XBRL. SEC publishes ESG disclosure recommendations. XBRL publishes Open Information Model.

This article is approximately 465 words long. Click here if you would like to receive a complimentary copy. This offer is discretionary and limited to one article per month for non-subscribers to Oil IT Journal.


Sales, partnerships

IDS deal with Stena Drilling. Accenture SynOps for Halliburton. Saudi Aramco teams with Google Cloud. AVEVA now a Microsoft Energy partner. Kebotix helps BP explore AI. BP powers AWS data centers. Aramco and Cognite formed joint venture. DNV GL name change. Endress+Hauser invests in US. AWS and Emerson team. Equinor awards Altus, Archer contracts. OGA selects Flare Solutions. Yokogawa/KBC designs for Gazpromneft. Henderson implements GumboNet. Implico supports DCC. Lukoil extends WEX deal. McDermott gets pre-FEED for BHP for Trion FPU. EDF MethaneSAT selects SpaceX. CNPC Richfit trains with HoloLens. GeoGraphix and MJ Logs team. Neptune Energy awards Cygnus contracts. OFS Portal ‘21 years of data stewardship’. P97 Networks and Visa Cybersource team. Peloton powered by Azure. Petrosoft now a Verifone EPS Loyalty Partner. CGG, PGS and TGS sign a strategic partnership. Implico teams with Apollocom. PTT E&P selects GEP SMART. ProPetro extends RigNet contract. SAP and DNV GL team. Aramco signs with SAP. Schneider Electric and Aramco sign MoU. Seeq support AWS. Shell Inventory Optimiser. Schlumberger to digitize OMV. Solaris/AWS team on ML. Taulia, OFS Portal implement PIDX. ScanWell adopts XaitPorter. Xilinx and Quantico. INPEX, Terra Drone launch intelligent drone. Sword Venture to support OGA. AWS, Interica integrate OSDU.

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Safety first

IOGP Report on safety recommended practices. LR Safetytech Accelerator II opens. NIOSH on selecting fatigue monitoring technology. TekSolv, hazard communication a ‘most cited’ violation. Neptune Energy teams with HALO Trust on UXO removal.

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Reinforcement learning at the Distillation Gym

AI proof of concept from Cambridge University showcases Cape Open simulation of hydrocarbon processing.

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Stochastic forcing for better digital twins

A novel approach to finite element modeling is said to ‘lay the foundation of the digital twin revolution’. But there may be some ‘prior art’.

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Quantum computing in oil and gas. Yes really!

BP joins IBM Quantum Network. Quantum computing to propel BP’s Net-Zero initiative. Total appoints ‘Head of Quantum Computing’. GENCI and QCWare attack the ‘generalized pooling problem’. La Maison du Quantique opens its doors.

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Chatham House debate ‘What’s Next for the Oil Industry’

OPEC - oil to dominate out to 2045. The Economist - back to pre-covid by 2023. Chatham House - in all scenarios, boom times over for oil and gas. Wilson Center - industry ‘permanently damaged’ by covid. Hydrogen - the new CCS?

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Blockchain news

Dassault Systèmes on the challenges of blockchain for AI in manufacturing. Data Gumbo figures real-time OPEX. World Economic Forum’s Kryha blockchain traces carbon emissions. Woz’ new blockchain wheeze: ‘Efforce’ energy-saving with WOZX crypto. Ziyen Energy trades coinage for stripper well production.

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