Volume 27 Number 3


Norway’s $3.6 million READi Project ‘to shape the future of oil and gas information management’

DNV ‘a union of the physical asset and digital twin’. The ontology ‘Dummies’ Guide’. Operationalizing READi at Equinor SPINE and the technical information requirements catalog. U Oslo on the ‘demanding’ world of ontology. AkerBP: READi, NOAKA and the Fixed Facilities Alliance JV. NOROG on technical information requirements catalog. READI and ISO 15926 Part 14. READi and OSDU collaboration.

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NVIDIA 2022 Global Technology Conference

CEO Jensen Huang on the ‘three Nvidias’. NETL’s Modulus-based digital twins for energy. BP applies CGAN to 3D seismic attenuation. Senai Cimatec, deep learning for predictive maintenance. Fotech and embedded real time DAS processing. Visco’s hi-fi oil and gas digital twin.

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‘Oil Company’. Which word don’t you understand?

Oil IT Journal Editor Neil McNaughton, proud recipient of the 2022 SPE Regional Data Science and Engineering Analytics Award, discusses the dangers of ESG obfuscation and suggests that oils should be just that, oils. The big decisions on the ‘energy transition’ are for society to take. Not for oils trying to ‘sing one song to the tune of another!’

Imagine, you are the CEO Of a major oil company, sitting in the boardroom discussing your ESG strategy with your colleagues. You are congratulating the technologists who have just come up with a ‘green’ fuel for Formula 1 racing or some such improbable contribution to the energy transition. All of a sudden. Ba-doom! The cops, deploying what the DHS calls ‘tactical entry equipment’ (a battering ram to you and me), swarm in. ‘What’s the charge?’ asks the CLO. ‘Greenwashing!’

Sounds ludicrous? Maybe not so much. Earlier this year, as the Financial Times reported, fifty police officers raided the Frankfurt offices of Deutsche Bank and its fund manager DWS, as part of an investigation into greenwashing. Elsewhere, the SEC has spoken out against ‘exaggerated claims about ESG strategies’. The SEC has also warned against ‘misleading or deceptive fund names’, suggesting that names that suggest a certain investment focus (like ESG) should direct at least 80% of their assets thereinto. ENI was fined for greenwashing a couple of years ago. Similar attacks for misrepresentation in advertising have been directed against oil companies for over a decade by the greens, particularly in Europe as the EU majors re-position themselves as ‘energy’ companies and downplay their fossil activity.

In my opinion, the EU majors are boxing themselves into a corner by adopting an ‘energy transition’ stance. Once you claim to be ‘transitioning’, you open yourself up to criticism and an evaluation of the speed with which you are transitioning. This will of course never be fast enough for the greens. Claims for ‘net zero’ at such and such a date may well fall under the scrutiny of the law as above. The confusion induced by oil companies that are not works both ways, as the kerfuffle of the UK’s windfall tax showed recently: ‘tax me and there will be less cash for our windfarms’ now cry the EU majors!

The best thing to do would be to stop oil companies from playing the energy transition game altogether. This involves two related considerations, the environmental case and the financial case. On the environmental case, oil companies, their employees and your humble servant are in a singularly bad position to pontificate on the ‘reality’ or otherwise of human-driven global warming. Whatever our opinions may be, any deviation from the consensus is going to be considered by society at large as ‘unreliable evidence’ from us folks with skin in the game. Society, governments will decide the speed at which the energy transformation will take place. This will then determine the financial case for oils.

How fast is the energy transition taking place? Our second* of three book reviews on the energy transition suggests that a complete shift over to electric power for just about everything is doable and could be painless (at least for the USA). But this would cost about as much as FDR’s New Deal and would see 1% of the US land surface occupied by wind and solar. This contrasts with the current powergen situation with 50% of France’s nukes out of action, ERCOT’s spectacular failure to keep Texans warm last winter and California’s failing grid in the 2020 heat wave. It is easy to be skeptical about the speed of the transition.

So what of the economics of the oil industry for the next few years? Buying shares in an oil means betting that the transformation will be slow, that there will be a continuing need for fossil fuels and that governments will have a hard time taxing fossil out of existence while society continue with its collective ‘green-lite’ posturing while driving SUVs. Not a pretty picture perhaps. How long will the rump/twilight oil business continue? Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné observed recently that even a 60 million barrel per day industry (i.e. a 40% decline) will require continued upstream investment. So there are a few years (decades?) left in the old dog.

How might this imagined world of pure-play oils come about? Well, there is always the possibility that the regulators that have been working on the ESG funds will wake-up to the similar obfuscation that the major oils are currently enacting but I am not holding my breath on that. Black Rock’s Larry Fink proposed a mechanism for a return to the pure-play with his idea of a ‘bad bank’ for fossil assets although he was more interested in redirecting monies from such a spin-off into green investment. We, as oil folks, are perhaps more interested in the fate of the ‘bad’ stuff.

The other route to the pure play is that advocated recently by Harold Hamm who recently has offered to buy out the other shareholders in Continental Resources and take the company private. His motive appears to be to plough Continental’s profits back into E&P rather than to pay dividends to shareholders. Hamm may not view E&P as ‘bad bank’ material, but the result is the same.

How does this play out for the climate? It could actually be positive. While investment in ‘offsets’, wind power and solar will be off limits, that leaves plenty of activity that should meet with environmental approval. Reducing flaring, venting and methane and other emissions reduction should be part of doing business right. CCS possibly, although that is really another one for ‘society’ to decide on. Energy efficiencies throughout the value chain? Sure.

With oils back in a pureplay posture it would actually be easier for investors, governments and society at large to ‘do something’ to reduce fossil use. Whether these stakeholders will move to action is moot. In any case pure play would be better than the status quo of greenwashing and energy obfuscation.

* See our review of Saul Griffith’s ‘Electrify’ in this issue.


Book Review: Electrify

Saul Griffith’s ‘optimist’s playbook for our clean energy future’ argues that a transition to an all-electric energy economy is achievable. To achieve this, the free market needs a ‘swift kick in the ass!’

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OSDU Update

Shell’s two step AWS data migration. Krebbers advocacy for expanded scope.

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2022 Energy Conference Network Digitalization in Oil & Gas Canada

CNRL’s digital journey. TC Energy on the decarbonization pathway. Veerum’s brownfield digital twin and the internet of behaviors. Canadian Centre for Cyber Security’s ransomware playbook. Suncor on failed digital transformations and the digital skills gap. Vendor presentations from Drishya AI Labs, IronSight, BrainToy and Matidor.

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Society of Exploration Geophysicists in transition

SEG/SPE talks quashed! Digital transformation task force to uberize SEG! SEG signs OSDU MoU. Energy in Data conference surplus to requirements? SEAM’s open source data platform.

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Software, hardware short takes

AgileScientific and the ML algo zoo. Altair Exchange. Asset Guardian certified. CGRisk BowTie Server 11. Chongqing Sevnce’s robot ATEX certified. Enverus MineraliQ portfolio manager. GE Digital’s Proficy 2022. Honeywell Forge connected warehouse. Interica OneView 2022.1. Petrosys PRO OSDU connector. OriginLab’s Origin 2022b. Kongsberg Digital SiteCom Go. mCloud’s AssetCare MobileNow. Moziware CIMO. Rock Flow Dynamics’ tNavigator 22.1. B&Kjær Vibro’s VCM-3/Setpoint. CGG builds ‘EU’ HPC hub in UK. Emerson AMS Machine Works embeds ‘PeakVue’ alerting.

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Energy Conference Network’s Machine Learning in Oil & Gas

NVIDIA’s partner ecosystem. FuelTrust’s AI ‘digital chemist’. Cybereum on ML for oil and gas megaproject planning. Drishya.AI’s Artisan brownfield digital twin.

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Folks, facts, orgs…

AAPG, Alberta Energy Board, Applied Petroleum Technology, Allegheny Science & Technology, Aveva, CAM Integrated Solutions, CGG, CGI, Cognite, Drishya AI Labs, Energy Information Administration, EQT, Energy Systems Catapult, EnLink Midstream, Gate Energy, UK Geological Society, Halliburton, Hart Energy, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, Lease Analytics, Namur, NIST, Navigator CO2 Ventures, OneFuture, Opportune LLP, Petrosys, Project Canary, Resoptima, Ryder Scott, SEG Foundation, Schlumberger, SeekOps, US Well Services, Valor, Weatherford, Ovation Data, Technical Toolboxes.

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In memoriam Claude Royer

Elf geologist who debunked the Great Oil Sniffer Hoax dies. Oil IT Journal recalls the 1970s debacle and some other exploration technologies that failed to bear fruit.

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Done deals …

Emerson is now AspenTech SS&E. Dragoneer, Bessemer back ComboCurve. Cyient acquires Grit Consulting. Dawson takes charge on failed Wilks Bros merger. EZ Ops bags Payload and Drift. Green Park & Golf backs Earthview. Enbridge funds Smartpipe. Kongsberg Digital acquires Interconsult Bulgaria. Aker, Cognite and Telenor team on Omny cybersecurity boutique. Validere acquires Clairifi. Vela Software buys Geovariances. Sercel acquires Geocomp.

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Petroleum Industry Data Exchange (PIDX) Spring 2022 conference

Microsoft cloud for sustainability. PIDX ETDX embeds emissions data in PIDX XML. PwC on the carbon leger and the Open Footprint Forum.

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2021 IQPC Cyber Security for Energy and Utilities

Plains All-American on US NPC report of oil and gas cyber security and on OT/IT convergence risks. KPMG on supply chain related cyber risk and SOC Type 2 compliance. ONG-ISAC on recovering from a breach.

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Sales, partnerships, deployments

Repsol rolls-out Celonis. Digital Intelligence Systems partners with ComplianceQuest on AI EHS. DNV to support IOGP members’ decarbonization. DeepOcean partners with Aker BP. Equinor signs with Aibel and APT. Fugro Starfix for Jumbo Maritime. GE Digital AEMS for PDO. Halliburton/Aker BP digital twin for development. Petrobel deploys iEnergy Stack. BW Energy selects IFS Applications ERP. Kongsberg EPC for Yinson FPSO. Kuva Systems for Marathon. NetSpring teams with DCP Midstream. Williams moves ops to Oracle Fusion cloud. Trafigura teams with Palantir. Phillips 66 joins Ipsos program. Teledyne and MFE Inspection team. TotalEnergies launches Ausea emissions program. US Well Services integrates KCF MachineIQ. Upstream Development joins CO-LaN. Nasuni joins OSDU Forum. Petrobras extends CGG contract. Liberty partners with Seismos.

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Standards stuff

ISO/IEC standard for AI governance. OGC publishes results from ‘Testbed-17’. OGC seeking sponsors for disaster management pilot. PIDX releases units of measure guidelines. UK Treasury’s Transition Plan Taskforce to establish standard disclosure framework.

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Digital Twin digest

Rockwell explains the fundamentals of digital twins (sort of!). Digital Twin Consortium goes open source with French roastery poster child. Element Analytics K-Graph and the digital twin. Oil IT Journal probes the digital twin’s ancestry.

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Railroad Commission rolls-out AI-based seismicity reviews

Regulator targets ‘no more mag 3.5 quakes’. TexNet injection volume reporting tool deployed. AI tool speeds monitoring.

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Blockchain, ESG and the energy transition

API joins Blockchain for Energy. SPE podcast pumps blockchain. Shell, ‘blockchain supports the energy transition’. Chainlink Labs and the Lemonade Crypto Climate Coalition. GAM and Cathedra abandon flaring-and-mining cogeneration. eMission Software aligns Hashgraph with Canadian GHG reporting. Ogallala Life sells AcreNFTs to ‘save the aquifer’! Texas Blockchain Council switches off to save ERCOT. BfE, Shell, eMission respond to Oil IT blockchain challenge.

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