Volume 26 Number 5


A Google Assistant for geoscience?

Total’s collaboration with Google leverages natural language processing across document data lake. BERT language model shows promise but currently a large, labeled geoscience corpus is lacking. Call for shared open source geo-ontology.

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State-of-the-art document capture and the (near-impossible) "straight through processing" KPI

2021 Petroleum Trade Network Oil and Gas Automation and Digitalization Conference event hears from Midstream Process Solutions on AI/ML-based processing of as-build pipeline paper records. Singularity Systems on the process automation pipeline.

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Scope 3 emissions reporting and virtue signaling

Editor Neil McNaughton tries to unpick corporate "net zero" pledges to conclude that the three scopes confuse GHG reporting and can lead to double counting. The GHG protocol is an invitation to "creative" GHG accounting.

Reading a recent release from Schlumberger which reported on the company’s pledge to go ‘net zero’ by 2050. I was intrigued by the statement that the reduction of SLB’s emissions ‘included scope 3’. How could this be I thought. How can a company that does not sell carbon generate scope 3 emissions? I immediately pinged off a string of hot-headed emails to SLB’s press folks who handled my rants with elegance. For sure, a company that does not produce oil, gas (or coal) can have scope 3 emissions. I was pointed to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol website for more.

How are the scopes defined? First the easy part. Scope 1 emissions are direct GHG emissions that occur from sources owned or controlled by the company, i.e. emissions from combustion in company boilers, furnaces, vehicles, and so on. That’s fair enough. A company should be able to tally its fuel bills and figure something reasonable. Scope 2 covers, ‘indirect GHG emissions’ such as those ‘emitted during the generation of purchased electricity consumed by the company’. That could be a little harder to figure. A small manufacturer is unlikely to have a great handle on how ‘green’ its purchased electricity is. Modern markets may switch from different generation modes (coal, gas, nuclear, wind) as the day goes on and as the traders trade. But at least scope 2 is a noble goal, even if it’s accuracy is questionable.

So how about scope 3. Well first I want to explain scope 3 in terms of how I understood it before I started my shindig with Schlumberger. Scope 3, I thought naively, covers the emissions produced when, for example, the oil produces by an oil company is burned. For an oil company, its scope 3 emissions are those generated when you and me, or industrial users burn the stuff and emit the CO2. The oil company’s scope 3 are our scope 1. That’s seems fair enough, but, as I said, Schlumberger and other ‘net zero’ reporters don’t necessarily sell oil or any other carbon.

To understand this, forget naïve, or as they say over here, ‘pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire compliqué*? The GHG Protocol defines scope 3 as ‘an optional reporting category’ that allows for the treatment of all other indirect emissions. ‘Scope 3 emissions are a consequence of the activities of the company, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the company. Some examples of scope 3 activities are extraction and production of purchased materials; transportation of purchased fuels; and use of sold products and services’.

Only the ‘sold products’ falls into my ‘naïve’ category. The ‘services’ part is, well, rather nebulous. GHGP does warn that ‘Scope 3 is optional, but it provides an opportunity to be innovative in GHG management’. ‘Companies may want to focus on accounting for and reporting those activities that are relevant to their business and goals, and for which they have reliable information. Since companies have discretion over which categories they choose to report, scope 3 may not lend itself well to comparisons across companies’. That is putting it politely. Innovative GHG management sounds a bit like ‘creative accounting’. Reporting scope 3 is rather like rolling bits of your clients’ P&L into your own accounts.

The ‘optional’ scope 3 category contains ‘around 95%’ of Schlumberger’s total emissions footprint (52 million tonnes CO2 equivalent). Schlumberger reports that ‘nearly 90% of our Scope 3 emissions come from just two of these categories: emissions resulting from the use of our technology and emissions associated with purchased goods and services in our supply chain*’. I find this curious. How can a company know how much emissions are being produced from the ‘use of its technology’? Much of Schlumberger’s potential for scope 3 reduction comes from technology it is selling to reduce flaring. But will this technology be applied correctly or at all. Perhaps it will prove too expensive to avoid flaring in a future energy hungry world. Upstream activity often involves many service providers, all ‘competing’ for the same scope 3 emissions. If a company invents a better mousetrap that cuts its clients’ emissions, how can it truly know if the new gizmo is used all the time, if its performance is always up to scratch? How is the improvement shared across all service providers? If 95% of a company’s emissions are reported from this ‘optional’ and impossible to figure category, it is easy to imagine how ‘net zero’ could be gamed.

ESG reporting, thanks to these tortuous reporting ‘standards’, has blossomed into a cottage industry with a plethora of companies offering to hold hands and put their clients enviro credentials in as best a light as possible. In this issue of Oil IT Journal we already have the longest ‘going green’ section ever. Do we now need to add an ESG report too? I am feeling weak at the knees.

My cursory spin through the GHG Protocol leads me to think that ESG reporting would be much better if there were no scope 2 or scope 3. This would eliminate the current virtue signaling that a ‘commitment to net zero’ announcement entails, based on a hypothetical reduction of (probably double counted) emissions outside the reporting company’s control. One final thing. One ESG specialist we talked to, acknowledging the double counting problem, suggested that this could ‘fixed’ with some kind of blockchain! My weak knees have given way. I am now on the floor, not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

* Why do simple when you can do complicated?

** See the Schlumberger statement.


Corrections, corrections ...

TietoEvry puts the record straight on our reporting of the Quorum/Aucerna deal. BP’s Karen Scarborough corrects a quote we attributed to her and provides chapter and verse our "blockchain isn't working" report.

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Big Data Paris

TotalEnergies presents Project Opera, a real time data platform to support its Direct Energies utility clients. Snowflake’s hosted data cloud underpins the solution.

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Luxatia International World Oil and Gas Digitalization Virtual Summit

Shell’s AI-driven in-vehicle monitoring. Petrofac predicts project outcomes. EDF on mega project contract management. Tenaris’ Rig Direct suite. Kent’s "8 dimensional" digital twin.

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Software, hardware short takes ...

New Actenum Upstream. Becip EasyTrace 2021. Paradigm RMS 13. IHS Analytics Explorer 7.0. Ikon RokDoc 2021.4. Rock Flow Dynamics tNavigator 21.3. NORCE Lime V2.3. Schlumberger Periscope Edge. RealWear’s Zoom-enabled headset. Schlumberger Optiq fiber. Thermo Scientific’s Delta Q IRMS. Hexagon’s BLK reality capture. MODS Reality 2.0. myQuorum Pipeline Management. Implico Avalara Tax Connector.

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American Business Conferences 2021 virtual Pipeline Leak Detection Congress

Crestwood Midstream, "small leaks still challenging". Williams on stress corrosion cracking. Siemens’ Pipeline 4.0. ProFlex on offshore leak detection. Leak detection in Gulf of Mexico. Black Bear Transmission’s best practices for monitoring. Marathon Pipeline on leak detection regulations. Flyscan’s hyperspectral airborne survey. Case histories from Kairos Aerospace. HiFi Engineering’s fiber optic monitoring. Intelliview’s AI/smart camera.

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Folks, facts, orgs ...

Cegal/SYSCO. Aveva. Longitude Engineering. Asset Guardian. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. BP. Boston Consulting Group. Chevron. Data Gumbo. Element. Enbridge. Endeavor Business Media. Enterprise Products Partners. Expro Group. Genasys. Graham Corporation. Helmerich & Payne. Houlihan Lokey. IOGP. Metrix. Milestone Environmental Services. Climate Nucleus. MIT. Northeast Gas Association. NGL Energy Partners. NOV. NSI Technologies. UK Oil and Gas Authority. Gibson Technical Services. Orbital Energy Group. Petrofac. Redline Communications. Railroad Commission of Texas. Seeq. SEG. Siemens. Spectris. SPOC Automation. TietoEVRY. Trellis Energy. Velo3D. Shell. OSDU, B3 Insight, Peloton. SEAM AI. PESGB. SPDM.

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Done deals

Emerson’s software combines with AspenTech. BCG Digital backs MISC Berhad, Solution Seeker. BP backs Ryd. Cegal, SYSCO merge. Data Gumbo series B funding. New Energy Capital Ventures fund. Hexagon buys Koch’s Infor unit and Atlas’ Jovix. Zeev leads Imubit fundraising. Ivanti acquires WIIO’s IIoT platform and RiskSense. News Corp bags OPIS. PetroFunders launch. OneNexus to P&A aging wells. Schlumberger acquires IDS.

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The greening of offshore production

NORCE Modelica library reduces offshore gas turbine use with wind power, microgrid and battery storage. Modelica proposed as digital twin meta model.

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Norway’s Virtual Inventory equipment exchange.

TietoEvry provides Virtual Inventory of available oil country equipment assets for Norwegian operators.

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Going, going ... green

Geothermal: RyderScott audits Cyrc; Babors backs GeoX, Sage. CCUS: ExxonMobil and Rosneft; Houston initiative; Denmark’s Greensand; Gassnova’s lessons learned at Longskip; Alberta Carbon Grid; Baker Hughes/Borg CO2 back Viken; Navigator CO2 hikes capacity; NPD opens subsea areas; Shell announces Polaris; Talos Energy, Storegga investigate GoM CCS; Qilu-Shengli oilfield project. Hydrogen: Green Hydrogen Coalition; Chevron/Caterpillar team; US H2@Scale; PosHYdon; Aukra Hydrogen Hub. R&D: Processes4Planet; Battelle and the MRCSP. Resources: CO2 Storage Resource Catalogue 2.0; OPIS Carbon Market Report. Emissions: Tachyus’ Aurion; Avande tracks Duke’s emissions; EQT joins O&G Methane Partnership 2.0: Mirico’s Libra platform; SoCalGas signs with Bridger Photonics; TotalEnergies and GHGSat. Miscellaneous: Bloom and MiQ; BP and CleanBay; Canada’s Just Transition Advisory Body; CGG, PGS multi-client seismics for CCUS; Chevron and Brightmark; Energi.AI to ‘unf**k the planet’; OGC call for climate change pilot; Quidnet’s pumped hydro energy storage; U Houston executive program; UK Energy digitalization strategy and carbon reporting; BCG backs Breakthrough Energy Catalyst. On the other hand: ‘50% of IPCC scenarios don’t work’; ‘Electrification is not enough’ for net zero; Study reports ‘cracks in the foundation of energy transition narrative’; IOGP members say, ‘stand up for our industry’.

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Sales, partnerships, deployments

RMS for Digital Geologi. FPT/Halliburton Digital Factory. GeoSoftware, AWS in China. Kongsberg Digital and Shell. Eye-bot Aerial and Veerum. BHC3 for MEG Energy SAGD. NexTier and Silixa. Nanjing Recon and CNPC. Synergistics and Seeq. Schlumberger and Aveva. Equinor and Rosneft. Equinor and MiQ. Shell, Windward. Unioil, Chevron and P97 Networks. Shell, Bentley Nevada. Texas A&M, ConocoPhillips.

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Standards stuff ...

Infrastructure Digital Twin Maturity. Energistics Transfer Protocol V1.2. EU AI Watch: AI Standardization Landscape. IEEE AI/ML terminology standard. IOGP GIGS 2.0 spatial data integrity test tool. IIC name change. OGC API for Environmental Data Retrieval approved, API - Features 1.0 beta roll out. OSGEO PROJ 8.1.1.

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Cyber security round-up

Petronas security training. US Pipeline security update. ISA on IT/OT security. Dragos and DNG-ISAC initiative. 2021 Microsoft vulnerabilities. EU moots joint cyber unit. Honeywell USB threat report. University of Waterloo and critical infrastructure cyber security. Top 20 PLC coding tips.

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It’s a mad, mad, blockchain world!

A caveat! Guild One and Blockchain for Energy. The Solar Oil Project. Data Gumbo’s GumboNet pilot, Kongsberg Digital, Well Expertise partnerships. Hopium hypes hydrogen blockchain. Voice Life and Verge Currency. BlockApps’ TraceCarbon net zero platform.

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OTTR, Norway’s "reasonable ontology templates" language

Inaugural meeting of semantic web/linked industrial data research group hears from DNV on READI/CFIHOS. University of Western Australia on reasoning from engineering spreadsheets for failure mode and effects analysis. Sirius&’ "SIndAIS4" scaling Industrial AI in 4 dimensions to address wellbore information management.

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Petronas Center of Excellence deploys cloud-based monitoring and maintenance

Aveva Predictive Analytics asset performance management underpins "P-MMPD", the Petronas machinery monitoring and prescriptive diagnostics program.

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On the true cost of the cloud

Andreessen Horowitz opinion piece warns of the "trillion dollar paradox" and the "flexibility tax" of a move to the cloud.

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