Oil IT Journal: Volume 27 Number 6


The Ekofisk Data Warehouse

ConocoPhillips data manager leverages Tibco and SAS Institute toolset to support cross-discipline development of rejuvenated North Sea giant oilfield.

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The end of the AI honeymoon

CEO celebrates RapidMiner’s incorporation into Altair with a punchy analysis of the state of play in artificial intelligence.

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The ECIM panel session

Editor Neil McNaughton resumes and embellished his contribution to the ECIM panel session. What were the great data management fails of the past 25 years? The great successes? And why are we still asking the same questions anyway?

In my opinion, ECIM continues to be the best upstream data management conference*, a position it has consolidated with the demise of the other ‘best’ show, PNEC. It was gratifying that the organizers gave me some decent exposure with an appearance on the panel session and some amusing, if rather embarrassing probingduring the gala reception, by ECIM court jester Graeme Blakey, of my failing memory .

One thing about being on a panel (at least for me) is that one is so focused on ones own discourse, trying not to say anything too daft, that it is hard to listen to what the other panelists are saying. To remedy this I invited the other panelists to provide a short summary of their key points. So far nothing, but the invitation is still open. So that leaves me with the opportunity of summarizing and, why not, embellishing my own contribution. Which, in other words, is pretty much like writing an editorial. So here goes.

One thing I have noted from the many previous panels I have listed to is that panelists often do not seem to be addressing the questions from the master of ceremonies. This might be frustrating for the MC and those in the audience who are expecting some serious answers to good questions. Well I’m not sure which question I was trying to answer, but I first found myself extemporizing on the topic of standards, divulging a key argument form my as-yet-to-be-written book which may or may not have a title along the lines of ‘The IT that Goes Wrong’.

So standards! I have been attending conferences, user group meetings and what have you for many years and have observed two things. One: People entering the profession confronted by a problem of data exchange or interoperability all come to the same conclusion that what is needed is a (new) standard. Two: Following possibly many years of effort, the same folks discover that the new standard is not working and move on to other things, to be replaced with new blood, folks with renewed enthusiasm and the process starts over.

In years of fiddling with my web development, working across platforms (PC, Linux, Mac) I made a major discovery in the standards arena. As you know, the king of all standards is Ascii, the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. This sets out how text and numbers are represented by bits and bytes. But when you are working cross platform with Ascii you will very quickly come unstuck with the manner in which end of lines are handled across the different platforms. Given that Microsoft and Apple are competitors (as is Unix/Linux) it is easy to see that the intent is to hamper interoperability. After all, the last thing that Microsoft wants (and vice versa) is to make it as easy as possible for its user base to up-sticks and transfer all its workload to a Mac environment. The EOL gotcha is real, but it is also a metaphor. Similar gotchas exist between cloud platforms, printer cartridges and just about everywhere in IT. The problem is for those advocating standards is that there are far too many people pulling in the opposite direction, and these are the people with the clout!

All this was by way of softening up the audience for my bombshell. This was in answer to the question, ‘what has been the greatest data management disaster?’ I found myself saying ‘the semantic web’! Which should have caused a riot in Norway, home to ISO 15926 and a host of academics beavering away to leverage Tim Berners-Lee’s (a.k.a ‘God’) resource description format to make a better world of interoperable linked data. Well that hasn’t happened. In fact it hasn’t happened so much that my bombshell went down like a lead balloon. I doubt that many in the audience were aware of the years of semantic effort**. It is true that semweb has been more popular (but essentially unsuccessful) in the engineering community than in the upstream.

Sitting next to a SLB rep, I thought I would give a smart-ass answer to the question, ‘what has been the greatest success in data management?’ Schlumberger’s Finder I said. Which was ‘smart’ in that Finder has long disappeared from the SLB catalogue, replaced with a host of expensive apps that are now to be replaced with OSDU (maybe). It was also smart because for a while, Finder really was something else. Selling like hot cakes in the late 20th Century. It was eventually decommissioned when the underlying software stack reached end of life (more IT that goes wrong!).

I also found myself giving another smart-ass answer to the ‘greatest success in data management?’ question. I suggestsed the greatest success was GIS. Smart, because for all the efforts of the bottom-up data managers to manage E&P’s plethoric data types and re-combine them into a prospect or play, it seems like the top-down GIS approach often provides an easier way of bringing it all together. Perhaps I should have said, that GIS is better at stealing the scene from the data managers who still need to do the grunt work getting stuff in place.

The final two questions were ‘What is the biggest unsolved problem in data management?’ and ‘What are you most hopeful about for the future?’ Tricky ones these. On the one hand, the biggest ‘unsolved problem’ and their hoped-for solutions have remained remarkably static over 20 plus year of data management conferences. I think that on top of these, a new problem is the siloization of data management and the difficulty of communicating between the data managers, IT, data science and ‘the business’. So my hope was to do this better. But since IT is constantly mutating, rediscovering the wheel and inventing new names for stuff, this is not getting any easer. On the subject of naming stuff, another divulgation from my future oeuvre. The great French mathematician Henri Poincaré defined mathematics as the ‘art of calling different things by the same name’. I suggest that IT can be considered the ‘art’ of calling the same thing by lots of different names.

* Of course the other (the real?) reason I like ECIM so much is the opportunity to run in the beautiful Djupadalen park. You can see my 2022 ECIM run on Strava.

** The semantic dream lives on though. In this very issue we report on how Australian academics are still flogging the semantic dead horse in an MRO context.


ECIM at 25

The 25th edition of the Haugesund EU Community for Information Managers (ECIM) was sold-out. We report on the following: Equinor – ‘data ages like wine’. 50 years of the NPD. Wintershall: ‘climate KPIs a huge data management problem’. OSDU experience at Shell, Equinor. Dell – ‘industry coalescing around OSDU’. DataOps 101. Diskos 2.0. NSTA on ‘Section 34’ infrastructure reporting. Offshore Energies UK – ESG reporting via the SEQual portal. Halliburton – ‘data management is going to disappear’. SLB and the ‘sheer weight of buzzwords!’

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OSDU update

Intel on the OSDU ‘Edge Lab’. OSDU announces ‘Innovation Marketplace’.

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Quantum computing update

IBM on the ‘Quantum Decade’. BP, ExxonMobil, Woodside use cases in ML-based log analysis, catalytic discovery and tanker routing. GE/DoE: Quantum computing to tackle ‘intractable’ climate computing.

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Huawei Connect 2022 Dubai

Scenario-based oil and gas solutions. OSDU inside CNPC’s Pangu Supermodel. Huawei/3W Network for ADNOC. WeCar and the digital gas station.

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Software, hardware short takes…

Upstream: Badleys TrapTester 7.2, Eliis’ Paleoscan 2022.1.1, Resoptima’s ResX 2022.10, HDF5 NeXpy GUI, New PVI CEMLab. Operations: Emerson DeltaV subscription service, HiveMQ 4.9, Sensia Avalon cloud platform. Emissions/environment: AspenOne 14.0, CSA Slick Kit, New KFX JIPs from DNV: Hardware: Seeed Studio’s AI minicomputer, Emesent Hovermap ST-X, MFE gas imaging camera, Schneider’s R-Series micro data center. Miscellaneous: SAP Build, L3Harris Geospatial Envi 5.6.3, New Simscape battery simulator, Origin 2023, Terradepth Absolute Ocean repository.

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PTN Events Oil & Gas Digital Transformation

Wood on ‘right-to-left thinking’ in facility design and the Sakarya digital twin. RedEye ‘current information mis-management is significant and costly’. Idaho National Laboratory’s ‘DeepLynx’ and model-based systems engineering. StackFlows on the business process modeling standard. Petrofac’s CBMNet condition monitoring. Bengal Energy’s journey management. Canada Natural’s clean resource innovation network and U Calgary’s PoMELO emissions monitor.

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Folks, facts, orgs

ABL Group, Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific, Altair, Asset Guardian, Cheniere Energy, Clariant Oil Services, Enbridge, Equinor, Hexagon, IOGP, Kongsberg Maritime, Michael Baker International, UK North Sea Transition Authority, PPDM Association, Ryder Scott, Schneider Electric, Seeq, Valor, Velo3D, Weatherford, Welltec, STEM Returners, Petrofac, mCloud.

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Standards stuff …

New carbon data spec from LF Energy. Call to fix ‘stand-alone’ Open Group standards. IOGP on electrification, flare gas recovery. IFRS Foundation on sustainability/climate disclosure. NPD checks-out SEG-Y Rev. 2.0. Namur on Ethernet-APL safety systems.

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Making models more useful

PNAS paper advocates application of ‘FAIR’ principles to published climate models. Currently few IPCC models expose code and even then are ‘hard to download and run.’ Open Modeling Foundation set up to advise modelers.

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OFS Portal Annual 2022

OFS Portal moots the Energy Supply Chain Network. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on the Business Payments Coalition and future B2B Digital Highway. Baringa scores majors’ emissions. The Global Interoperability Framework. OpusCapita and OpenPeppol. Equinor’s strategy for B2B interaction. More from DocStudio, Sovos Saphety and Halliburton.

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Sales, deployments, partnerships

HiFi Engineering/Stantec to Husky Midstream. Red Zone Robotics drills for ExxonMobil. Blackline Safety to OQ Oman. Cenovus Energy deploys Bridger Photonics. CGG to Brunei Shell. PTT Oil and Retail selects Cloudera. SLB now Dataiku ‘moonshot pioneer’. Equinor scans with Elop Tech.. Martin Linge contract to Emerson. Siemens Energy deploys Gecko’s wall-climbing robot. Petronas implements Halliburton’s Digital Well/DecisionSpace 365. Hitachi gets Equinor electrification/renewable power. Klarian/InfinyOn roll-out Digipipe. Radix contracted by Petrobras. TotalEnergies checks-out Regent’s Seaglider. Schneider/Aveva/Shell ally on net-zero. Shell/GE demo 3D printing. Tietoevry digital services to Aker BP. Kwantis analytics extend Weatherford Centro. Evolution Markets deploys cQuant. mCloud offers AssetCare from Google Cloud, exits services business

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Going, going, ... green

Sustainability: Ipieca’s 2022 sustainability survey. CGI sustainable ‘metaverse’ and SEEDS program. UK FRC - net zero reporting fails to provide sufficient information. IFAC, A4S and Petronas. ISO’s Net Zero Guidelines. Emissions monitoring: Accenture, ‘IRA a big step forward in methane mitigation’. Expro research funded by Net Zero Technology Centre. MiQ/TruMarx certify natural gas. OnLocation upgrades DOE NEMS. Orbital Sidekick GHOSt for iPIPE consortium. TRP Energy, PureWest deploy Validere Carbon Hub. Scepter methane detection balloons launch in Permian basin. CCS: CF Industries, ExxonMobil and EnLink Midstream team on CCS. Global CCS Institute reports progress in ‘advanced development’ category. IOGP recommended practices for CCS. Miscellaneous: Houston Energy Transition Initiative. Resoptima heads CO2 emissions reduction consortium. ‘Mega’ carbon credit sale at FII Dhahran. Vysus/Siccar roll-out Energy Transition Databox. On the other hand: NASA cans GeoCarb. Steinberg Asset Management on the ‘treacherous waters’ of ESG investing.

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Done deals

ABL Group acquires Hose Intl. operations. Cathedral Energy Services acquires Ensign’s Canadian directional drilling business. Alpha Dhabi Holding buys into Gordon Technologies. Hexagon acquires Avvir. Shell/ExxonMobil JV Infineum buys Entegris business. Mesquite Technologies acquires OspreyData. ProFrac Holding buys US Well Services. Recon Technology informs shareholders, regains Nasdaq compliance. Sensia bags Swinton Technology. ZeroNorth acquires Prosmar Bunkering. Nasdaq letter for mCloud.

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CFIHOS update

2022 Stavanger Face to Face. on Cfihos and RED, ExxonMobil’s repository for engineering data.

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‘MWO2KG’ - deep learning-derived knowledge graphs

University of Western Australia researchers apply semantic/NLP software stack to maintenance work order analytics.

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What’s in a name?

PPDM changes name (again) and the venerable and historical Schlumberger is now just ‘SLB’. But how do you pronounce that?

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