Volume 26 Number 4


‘Blockchain consortium model isn't working’

BP technology advisor traces the ‘interesting journey’ of blockchain consortia in oil and gas that ‘has not panned-out as we thought it would’

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Transitions, transitions …

Year end 2021 will see the end of two venerable oil and gas institutions as Energistics shuts up shop in Houston and Common Data Access closes its doors in London.

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Oil IT Journal at 25

Neil McNaughton celebrates 25 years and some 200 editorials with insights on a GIS-based ‘energy transition’, on transferrable skills from the upstream, the demise of the blockchain consortium, on fake news in B2B publishing and academia and on … gobbledygook.

It is 25 years since I started writing what was at the time Petroleum Data Manager. The newsletter became Oil IT Journal circa Y2K. That means over 200 editorials on this and that, expressing, I’m sure, sometimes contradictory viewpoints. I’d like to highlight a couple of themes that we have uncovered in our reporting over recent years. One concerns the yin and yang of GIS* vs. geotechnical software as the de facto integration tool for the upstream. Another, the portability of the oil and gas skill set to new energies. And finally, how BP has finally nailed my own bête noire, blockchain.

Back in 2014, Total’s seminal PUG presentation demonstrated GIS’ capacity to integrate disparate information in support of a new venture. Geoscience software still struggles in the integration space as witnessed by the ongoing effort in OSDU. Another theme du jour is what the geo workforce will be doing as companies transition to new energy sources. In so far as most new energy sources (wind, photovoltaic) are located on the earth’s surface, this leaves the subsurface geo/PE brigade at something of a disadvantage. There has been a lot written about the potential for re-cycling the subsurface knowledge base and workforce in geothermal and underground CO2 storage. As yet, neither of these appear to be hiring. Anyhow, it’s unlikely that either geothermal or CCS would ever pay the kind of salaries that the geo brigade became accustomed to during the fat years of E&P. Facilities engineering should offer opportunities especially in offshore windfarms, although the expertise here is shared between oils and their contractors who are already doing good business with their utility customers.

If oil country subsurface know-how may not be hugely applicable to the world of new energy, what about the surface? As the folks from Esri like to say, ‘everything has location’. Which brings me to the highlight of our virtual report in this issue from the 2021 Esri Petroleum User Group (PUG). Anne Luise Procida headed-up Ørsted’s GIS effort, back in the day when it was an oil company. Now Procida has demonstrated that GIS not only transfers well to new energy, it is, at least for Ørsted, at the very heart of the new business, the ‘spider at the middle of the web’.

~ ~ ~

I think that our lead this month, where we learn from BP that blockchain is ‘not a great tool for tracking and tracing’, and that ‘there are lots of legacy technologies that do this better’, is one of the highlights of our reporting. A major problem of B2B communications is that the gatekeepers, the press officers and also, it has to be said, many of the company folk who are allowed-out to give presentations, are hard-wired to present only ‘success’, often before it has been achieved. Failure is air-brushed out of the picture. If pharma did its business this way, we would all be taking shots of disinfectant! When you google ‘blockchain in oil and gas’ you find hundreds of articles all saying the same thing, all reporting on the successful formation of one or other consortium that is going to fix a problem that nobody ever really thought they had. The puffery is not restricted to the marketing department or the larger B2B publications. The academics are in on the act, with rehashes of the same tired nonsense masquerading as ‘science’ in publications such as OnePetro, ACM, IEEE, Springer … this stuff is everywhere! Except that … ‘Legacy technologies do this better!’ … indeed.

A round of applause to BP’s Launchpad for telling it like it is, even sotto voce. In fact the Launchpad interview is well worth listening to* in its entirety as Scarborough provides an update on where the Ethereum blockchain is heading. In fact it should be compulsory listening for all who are thinking of using this in an industrial context. The public blockchain infrastructure, that Scarborough now favors, is built on an indescribable morass of shifting technology and gobbledygook that seems to be forever firefighting its latest gotcha!

* Geospatial information system.

* As is her talk on the State of Ethereum given at the 2021 Ethereum Anniversary Special event.


OGUK Study of oil and gas data professionals

RGU-authored report finds that data managers are satisfied with their own competencies but that data issues challenge management. An ‘ever growing range of skills’ is required to work in data in the oil and gas industry as AI/ML and other digitalization tropes push geoscience aside.

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2021 Esri Petroleum User Group

GIS at heart of Ørsted’s transition. ArgGIS Hub for Exxon’s decommissioning. Shell on GIS beyond geoscience, GIS and AI. RPS on offshore pipeline HCA assessment. BP’s ‘citizen developers’ and the One Map geospatial journey to ‘human-less, AI-driven decision making’. Risk segment analysis for Eavor’s closed loop geothermal system. ArcGIS Mission for spill clean-up ops. ArcGIS on Kubernetes.

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Software, hardware short takes …

APT Allomon, Beicip-Franlab OpenFlow Suite 2021, Exprodat Unconventionals Analyst 2.1, Kappa -Server 5.40, Petrosys PRO 2021.1.1, ResInsight 2021.06.0, Schlumberger/Equinor GeoSphere workflow, Aspen Industrial AI Workbench, B&K Vibro VCM-3/Setpoint CMS, Emerson’s Digital Maturity Model Quick Index/Zedi autonomous rod pump solution, Gexcon FLACS-CFD 21, Honeywell Operator Advisor, Opto22 porting Raspberry Pi to Groov EPIC/RIO, Onboard Dynamics GoVAC Flex, Radix Engineering M&A due diligence, Reveal Energy Services Orchid 2021.2, Seeq R52.

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Deepwater near miss down to software glitch

IOGP attributes managed pressure drilling well control incident to bad ‘data validation’ software on Coriolis meter. IOGP curiously eschews sharing of software details.

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Folks, facts, orgs …

AAPG, Applied Petroleum Technology, Asset Guardian, Avanti Energy, Barco, BMO Capital Markets, CAPE-OPEN, Cognite, CybeReady, EQT, ExxonMobil, Foster Marketing, Forum Energy Technologies, Global CCS Institute, GE, HARC, Helix, Marathon Capital, Oxford University, iRODS, K-Solv, Matrix Solutions, McDermott, mIQroTech, Navigator CO2, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Orbital Energy, Perma-Pipe Intl., PIDX, RotoJar/HydroVolve, Ryder Scott, SEG/AAPG, Select Energy Services, Teradata, Tachyus, Woodside, YPF, IOGP.

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Standards stuff …

CAPE-OPEN test suite. IIC Guide to Industrial IoT standards. IOGP standards for well control. IOGP pilots global equipment hub. OGC approves common data base executable test suite for simulated environments. Comment sought on OGC Zarr cloud big data format. PIDX standard extends to scope 3 emissions, while organization shape-shifts from ‘Petroleum’ to ‘Energy’.

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2021 SAP in Oil & Gas Virtual Conference

Peter Maier ‘shutting down oil and gas would cost zillions!’ Berberness ‘disciplined capital planning a differentiator in the energy transition’. SAP’s plans for upstream oil and gas – machine learning for the supply chain and the S/4HANA cloud. SAP’s Digital Service Station. Cairn India/Vedanta’s move to S/4 HANA. ML for well performance with SAP HANA Automated Predictive Library. ISO Management System Standards and SAP Asset Strategy & Performance Management. PDO rolls out SAP Fieldglass Contingent Workforce (CW) module. OMV’s upstream digital transformation.

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A la recherche de …

Oil IT Journal tries to uncover the rationale behind Aveva’s OSIsoft/PI acquisition. The 2021 Aveva World seemed to downplay the deal, surprisingly, given the dominance of PI across many industries. ArcWeb sees more overlap than synergy.

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Done deals …

BP & Open Energi. Cognite closes Series B round. Aker Solutions & AF Gruppen. Sidetrade bags Amalto. Seequent acquires Aarhus GeoSoftware. BMO Capital Markets’ Energy Transition Group. CGG sells GeoSoftware to Topicus/Vela. Enverus buys Integrity Title. Hellman & Friedman completes Enverus acquisition. Symphony purchases FireEye Products. Hexagon buys Immersal Oy. K-Solv acquires Energy Completion Services and Chaparral. mIQrotech secures $6million Series A finance. Sanchez Energy launches OneNexus Environmental. Recon Technology sells shares. SeekOps gets funds from Schlumberger/CVCI. Shell acquires Inspire. Spectris bags Concurrent Real-Time. Stratagraph purchases Technical Drilling Services. TechnipFMC buys-out TIOS JV.

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Sales, partnerships, deployments …

AWS for Laredo, Total. Saudi Aramco/AccessESP. Ambyint/AWS. APT/SGS. Dietsmann & Arundo. Baker Hughes for Aramco. KBC adopts BHC3.ai. CGI and Shell. Core Lab serves Carnarvon Petroleum. Corrosion Resistant Alloys/PipeSearch. Dynamic Graphics for BP. Deloitte and Teradata. PCG Advisory for Empire Petroleum. Eserv 3D for Neptune Energy. Fluid Automation partners with Alliance OGP. Halliburton for Aker BP, KOC. IDS gets DDR Plus certification. IBM and SAP on LNG. Archrock selects Infosys. INPEX signs with ADNOC. Equinor contract for ISS. Kongsberg Digital and ExxonMobil. mCloud and Prosaris. Moxa Europe & Robotron Datenbank. Petrofac and James Fisher. Recon and Hui Tong Dalian. Aramco & SAP. Exida/Sensia. Seeq and AWS. SGS gets ISO accreditation. Schlumberger Delfi for Petronas. Subsea Integration Alliance for Equinor. Schlumberger and IBM. Surge Energy partners with US Well Services. Siemens select Symbio. Odassea fiber for ExxonMobil. Dresser/WellAware. OMV S&T/Voyager.

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Global Business Club GO Digital Energy 2021 conference

Total CDO on pervasive AI chez TotalEnergies. SSIP, Shell sensor intelligence platform. Cognite ‘semantic operations’ and OMV’s DigitUP/Best Day 1.0. Q&A asks ‘why has this all taken so long?’, ‘what monetary benefits from OSDU?’, Schlumberger: ‘One (OSDU) API to rule them all’. OSDU and the energy transition. Maana’s FANAR for Aramco Trading. Petronas, ‘process safety incidents continue to occur’. Galp/IBM AI-powered Geoscience Advisor.

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Equinor at 2021 OPC Day

João Pinheiro relates ‘success story’ of OPC UA deployment on Johan Sverdrup. OPC UA ‘proven at-scale’. Adding context is OPC UA’s ‘most powerful game changer’. 19 OPC UA servers on platform. Equinor ‘giving back to community’ via GitHub.

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The Open Footprint Forum Global Event

The Open Group’s venture into emissions transparency hears from the Open Footprint Data Platform (OFP), that is to leverage the same cloud-based technology as OSDU. Other presentations in the sustainability/ESG space came from the WBCSD’s Carbon Transparency Partnership, IBM/Shell’s Oren GHG reporting system and AWS’ Climate Pledge Fund. Deloitte’s pre COP 26 call to action!

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