Volume 26 Number 2


Shell’s ‘Open AI Energy’

Shell backs another ‘open’ initiative, a joint artificial intelligence venture with BakerHughes, C3.ai and Microsoft that targets process and plant maintenance and operations.

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SPE’s ‘me-too’ Open Subsurface investigation

Workshop to decide Society of Petroleum Engineers’ role in open source subsurface projects. OSDU not invited!

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A Software Supercycle?

Despite an industry in crisis, a lot is happening in upstream software. Oil IT Journal editor Neil McNaughton reports on the huge data migration effort required to power-on OSDU, on OSDU pushback from the SPE, on Shell’s own (non OSDU) OpenAI initiative, on the strangeness of ‘hiding’ emissions data, on the great conflation of IT and ‘green’, on the sadness of Total’s putting its measurement center on the block, and on Schlumberger’s OSDU endgame. There is a lot in this month’s editorial (and even more in the full issue for subscribers).

I’m not usually short of ideas for editorials, this is my 258th or thereabouts. I had a few of my usual rants about this and that in the pipeline before I realized that the best editorial fodder I could dream up comes from this action-packed edition of Oil IT Journal. There is just so much going on in oil and gas IT. Where to begin?

OSDU, the open subsurface data universe, has just released ‘Mercury’, its first ‘operational’ edition. That is great but what is spectacular is the amount of attention OSDU has gotten with plethoric announcements from software houses teaming on various ODSU-based platforms from the cloud providers. We have 78 mentions of OSDU in this issue.

A birds-eye view of what has happened is rather perplexing. Not long ago, a suggestion that the whole industry would ‘collaborate’ around Schlumberger’s Delfi data infrastructure would have met with some skepticism. One might have imagined that Halliburton for instance would push back. But no, Halliburton is offering DecisionSpace 365 ‘on OSDU’ and a ‘publicly available’ OSDU reference implementation in its Open Earth Community. Most all the vendors we have come across have backed OSDU with unbridled enthusiasm. A feeding frenzy and a software supercycle? With regards to Schlumberger’s generous donation, it is more ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’ than ‘beware the Greeks … ’!

One facet of OSDU which may or may not have come to the attention of the holders of the purse strings is the requirement for a massive data migration effort into the new cloud environment. Data under consideration includes … ‘ProSource, R5000/OpenWorks, OSIsoftPI, IHS and more’. This is conceivable for software in the geoscience area. But a mass migration of data in OSIsoft (now Aveva) and/or IHS Markit is a bit harder to imagine. The size of the data migration task is also difficult to imagine in the context of a cash-strapped industry.

OSDU, like NASA’s Martian helicopter, has kicked up some dust on planet subsurface. Notably, chez the Society of Petroleum Engineers whose planned workshop on open source software is, at the time of writing, an OSDU-free zone. Shell’s own recently-announced ‘OpenAI’ collaboration with Baker Hughes/C3 is likewise OSDU-free. Another significant open source movement in geosciences, the Software Underground is currently holding its annual Transform event. We understand that there has been a lot of discussion of OSDU but the outcome is, as far as we can tell, that the SU will proceed sans OSDU. The two bodies have a very different approach to ‘open’ with SU’s freewheeling hackathons and OSDU’s members-first approach.

We also report from the other The Open Group/Shell-backed open initiative the Open Footprint Forum. This now has teamed with the venerable PIDX oil country e-business standards body. In the TOG-hosted event, we learned that the OFF APIs will open up emissions data, but that companies can deploy their own implementations and can ‘hide their own data from competitors’. This may be problematic in the context of transparent open data.

It’s interesting to reflect on the two memes of ‘open data’ and ‘open standards’. Objectively, IT standards are orthogonal to actual reporting, although the two are often conflated. What’s key in reporting is a genuine need (due to regulations) or desire (due to self-motivated transparency) to report! It does not matter a jot whether this is XBRL, XML, JSON or what. A corporate logic that proceeds from a perceived obligation (as opposed to a wish) to report, through a few committees and on to an ‘IT standard’, is really just kicking the can down the road.

But the Great Conflation, as admirably exposed in last year’s EAGE, is that of just about any IT development with ‘green’. At a recent OSDU event, Reuters’ John Nixon’s doggedly questioned presenters with ‘and how is OSDU going to help with the energy transition?’ Answer was there none. Elsewhere, quantum computing is conflated with GHG mitigation. Heck, if the world is to wait for QC to mature enough to ‘solve’ global warming we are really in trouble. But the conflation is enough to allow QC afficionados to qualify for taxpayers’ ‘green’ money.

No doubt financial considerations are behind Total’s decision to dispose of its Alternative Subsurface Data facility, a test center in Pau, France for rock physics and logging tool calibration. Meanwhile, Total continues with its considerable investment in data science. Perhaps the connection is just a figment of my imagination. But it reminds me of the pride (?) with which the seismic contractors took in going ‘asset light’ a couple of years ago. Good for the balance sheet. But ‘data science’ needs real data and, as it is now emerging, a helping hand from ‘real science’.

As folks in the OSDU constellation puzzle over what Schlumberger has to gain from opening up its data infrastructure, I draw your attention to a statement made by Schlumberger’s Steve Freeman at the 2020 EAGE who said, ‘If you need a head of IT then the service companies have failed you’. This does not need too much unpicking. Schlumberger wants to cut out the corporate IT middlemen. Software-as-a-service will be served to end geoscience users, armed with their Python notebooks for some added data futzing. SaaS all sounds very 1999/dot-com boomish, which got me rereading some back editions of Oil IT Journal, always a worthwhile exercise, though I say it myself. I found this evidence of ‘prior art’ from Schlumberger in our February 1997 issue …

‘Integration of IT and data management into a coherent service from a single organization is the key to better delivery of information to end users. Schlumberger [… has developed …] the Service-at-the-Screen concept in which Schlumberger staff take away the responsibility for data provision to the end user’.

As they say over here, ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose*’.

* The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The Open Group rolls-out ‘Mercury’ ODSU edition

Open Subsurface Data Universe Mercury/R3 launch. ODSU to replace BP’s ‘deep but siloed’ technologies. Massive data migration effort needed. ProSource, R5000/OpenWorks, OSIsoftPI, IHS ‘now all legacy!’

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2020 International Rock Imaging Summit

Repsol on digital rock analysis (DRA) on cuttings. Thermo Fisher Scientific’s DRA toolkit. Wintershall DEA’s review of DRA in enhanced oil recovery. Math2Market’s GeoDict machine learning. iRock Technologies’ U-Net-based segmentation. Zeiss’ ML predicts permeability from core images. Khalifa University rebuilds cores with 3D printer.

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Offshore Networks 2021 EU Upstream Digital Transformation conference

On the Energistics Packaging Convention, its role in OSDU and data validation.

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Software, hardware short takes

Cognite, Emerson, Rock Flow Dynamics, Ikon Science, PHDwin, Quorum, Kongsberg Maritime, Pegasus Vertex, Amazon, Embassy of Things, Seeq, ABB, CEA Systems, Lloyd’s Register, Phase One, Total Valve Systems, FDT Group, IRM Systems, Maloney Technical Products, Dover Fueling Solutions, Fuel Me, OneStopSystems, NEC, DNV, Xergy, the Uber of engineering.

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EAGE Annual 2020 Virtual Conference

Assessing the digital revolution. On the energy transition. Machine learning in geophysics.

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Folks, facts, orgs…

AAPG/SEG, AspenTech, BCCK, Brock Group, CEA Systems, Centre of Decommissioning Australia, Clean Energy, ConocoPhillips, Cynet, Deloitte, Digital Intelligence Systems, ENGlobal, ERF Wireless, ExxonMobil, Fugro, FutureOn, Genvia, Global CCS Institute, Halliburton, Halliburton Labs, Hexagon/R-evolution, Ikon Science, INPEX, IOGP, Kosmos Energy, McKinsey, Oceaneering, Pigging Products and Services Association, SEC, Shell, Stratagraph, VELO3D, Woodside, YPF, Bechtel.

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Standards stuff

American Petroleum Institute and the African Energy Chamber sign MoU. Brady’s ISO 20560-compliant pipe markers. CEN-CENELEC Sector Forum on Energy Management/Transition to investigate blockchain for energy. Dutch NEN rolls-out standard for oil pollution. Energistics’ Practical Well Log Standard V3.0. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s new ESG taxonomy. XBRL and the UK Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting. IOGP’s Digitalization and Information Standards Subcommittee report advocates ‘data foundation standards’. ‘Trilateral alliance’ IOGP, OSDU and World Economic Forum proposed. IOGP guidance on requirements development and GNSS positioning. Industrial Internet Consortium surveys IIoT information models. ISO kicks-off hydrogen fueling standard. OGC rolls-out test suite for XML observations and measurements. OGC and W3C Joint Workshop on Maps for the Web report.

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Digital Twins revisited

AspenTech Digital Twin technology is ‘all over the place’. Osprey Data’s ensemble of DTs for oil production optimization. Industrial Internet Consortium, Industrie 4.0 - put out more standards! OneGeology moots DT for geoscience. Esri’s DT for Petroleum. Accenture/Dassault’s DT for sustainability. DT Consortium, Linux Foundation on DT interoperability. Esri (again) joins DT Consortium. EU twins the world! FIWARE – a late arrival at the DT ball. Altair and the binary barista.

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Back to school …

U Houston’s AI Lab and upstream data analytics badges. Norwell Edge for well integrity training. Esri’s MOOC for mapmakers. GSE trains Canadian major. Landmark’s SmartDigital co-innovation service. Honeywell’s Immersive Field Simulator. SEG EVOLVE 2021 with Delfi inside. CMU-SEI free online software training. Trendsetter Engineering’s blowout prevention training. Opito retrains oil and gas workers in offshore wind.

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Corp/Quantum Business Europe’s 2021 Quantum Computing Europe

BCG Quantum Computing in the energy transition. QLMtec’s camera detects fugitive emissions for Total. Institut NEEL – QC to reduce world digital footprint. Muquans’ quantum gravity meters to make GPS redundant.

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Done deals

AqualisBraemar/East Point Geo. Bentley Systems/Seequent. Caterpillar/SPM/Weir Group. DNV GL Energy Systems. Emerson/Open Systems International. Fugro/PXGEO. Hexagon’s R-evolution. Ingersoll Rand/American Industrial Partners. Total E&P Alternative Subsurface Data on block. Peloton/Cevian Technologies. PMC Capital/Universal Pegasus International. Recon Technology/Future Gas Station. Shell/UK National Storage Mechanism. Titan Cloud Software/Environmental Monitoring Solutions

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Sales, partnerships, deployments …

CGG/BP. Elsevier/MapStand. FutureOn/Tracy Energy. Getech/GeoMark. Ikon Science/Amazon Web Services. Schlumberger/Microsoft. UP42/CATALYST. Aker Solutions/Equinor. DyFlex Solutions/LTI. Wison Engineering/Saudi Aramco. Ecopetrol/AspenTech. Bilfinger/LANXESS. Asystom/Archer. Chromalloy/VELO3D. Phillips 66/Crux OCM. Equinor/Fieldmade. Halliburton/Kuwait Oil Company. mCloud Technologies. mPrest/Microsoft. Petrofac/Repsol/Sinopec/TechnipFMC. Accenture/Ripjar/Shell. OMV/SAP/Accenture/IBM. Aker Solutions/aiZe/Cognite. Emerson/EU Clean Hydrogen Alliance. Equinor/SSE Thermal. ABB/Siemens Energy/Equinor.

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Regulatory round-up

Canadian Centre for Energy Information. Ropes & Gray’s ‘deep dive’ into new SEC oil transparency rules. New XML data checking for North Dakota reporting. Texas RRC streamlines online reporting. Biden administration puts new PHMSA rule in doubt. OSDU data store for NPD Diskos 2.0. Norway’s oil and gas metrology explained, new seismic survey reporting. UK OGA gets tough on reporting compliance, ESG taskforce established. dGB/PanTerra to Netherlands Economic Ministry ‘TNO’s NLOG is seriously outdated’. EITI mandates contract publication though disclosure remains patchy.

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Petroleum Industry Data Exchange (PIDX) conference on Managing Emissions Data

The business case for carbon data exchange standards. PIDX kicks-off GHG workgroup, signs MoU with Open Footprint Forum. IDS DataNet on the risks and opportunities in emissions reporting. Microsoft’s conceptual architecture for automated emissions reporting. PIDX, OFF and other initiatives.

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2nd Oil and Gas Automation and Digitalization Conference

Petroleum Trade Network event hears from Pioneer on ServiceNow’s ‘low code’ platform for upstream operations. Proserv/Intelligent Plant on combatting AI supplier lock-in. Shell’s Industry 5.0 smarts and citizen developers. Tachyus blends data-driven models with physics.

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The Open Group Digital Standards 2021

IBM – ‘open’ now default software choice. Users as developers (and vice versa!). Open Footprint Forum to leverage OpenID/OSDU. Blockchain proof of origin mooted! OFF ‘not open data’.

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Saudi Aramco/ISASecure cyber security virtual event

SE/Honeywell on cyber nationalism, advanced persistent threats and cyber risk insurance. Exida unpicks the IEC 62443 security stack. Yokogawa update on the ExxonMobil OPAF process automation standard. OPAF signs cybersec MoU with ISASecure.

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Feeling INSPIRED?

‘Full realization’ of EU legal standard geospatial format for 2021. Safe Software blogger explains what’s inside ‘Inspire for energy resources’ directive.

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Consortium Corner

dGB invites partners to test machine learning with OpendTect/OSDU combo. U-Houston AIM-DEEP consortium to spread the AI/ML word across the upstream.

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Data, data everywhere

Equinor releases 83 GB dataset from North Sea CCS well. Fugro’s ORDEA (offshore and onshore reliability data) now available for sale to third parties. US EIA updates Energy Portal and Atlas. EOMAP and Fugro to develop seabed mapping solution.

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