Geoscience Software Innovators

In this bumper issue of PDM, we bring you a new section - Geoscience Software Innovators. We invited software vendors to submit contributed articles on their new software and services which we have ruthlessly edited - well, we have eliminated some of the hyperbole. Some may have a familiar ring to them - a measure of the fact that little escapes the scrutiny of PDM’s editorial team. But all serve to demonstrate the scope of upstream software, from geochemical measurement and modeling, through seismic survey design to E&P Geographic Information Systems and e-business. If you feel that we have left anything out - or if your organization would like to contribute to future editions of Innovators, email us at


Calgary-based Advanced Geotechnology Inc. (AGI) has reported progress on the latest phase of the StabView Jint Industry Project (JIP - see PDM Vol 5 N° 6). StabView 2 is set to reduce drilling and completion costs by addressing borehole instability, lost circulation, fracturing and sand production issues. Technical objectives are to develop and test new algorithms for implementation in the next release of StabView. The new version will address borehole collapse risks for inclined and horizontal wells, including the effects of weak bedding or fracture planes, temperature, and several non-linear rock failure criteria.


A new user interface lets users enter rock properties for an entire wellbore, and output graphical depth profiles of borehole instability, lost circulation, fracturing or sand production risks. Current participants in the JIP include Chevron, Nexen Energy, Baker Oil Tools, University of Alberta, Geological Survey of Canada, and Petrobras. The JIP has also been extended to members of the Drilling Engineering Association as DEA-147. The JIP will be completed in early 2002, with the delivery of the new software, a collection of case histories, and a series of training sessions. A beta release of the software is planned for the fall of 2001. More from


Web PeakView is an Internet visualization tool for viewing gas chromatography results from oil and gas laboratory analyses. Chromatograms are dynamically generated from processed data files residing on the Baseline web server. The service will be included in Basline’s online sample tracking program, a database hosting solution. More from


CGG has now ported all of its GeovecteurPlus seismic processing software to its Geocluster Intel/Linux environment. The suite is now available for use in CGG’s data processing centers and at client locations. Geocluster includes standard sequential processing modules, parallel processing modules, and interactive applications. For prestack time migration (PSTM), these clusters are as powerful as the largest supercomputers, PSTM is now part of CGG’s standard processing sequence. The clusters are also proving key to improved depth imaging, seismic inversion, 4D, and higher-order velocity analysis. All processing modules now include anisotropy and CGG’s processors give special attention to this subject. More from


The UK’s DEAL (Digital Energy Atlas and Library) aims to be the definitive source of geoscientific spatial and attribute data for the UK. DEAL will provide a map-based interface to vendor data products, and will offer entitlement-controlled access to data in distributed repositories. The web-base GIS system has been developed by the British Geological Survey (BGS) in partnership with ESRI whose Spatial Data Engine is used to serve spatial data held in Oracle to ArcIMS 3.0. An iPlanet web server offers text searching and report generation through Allaire’s ColdFusion dynamic page server. Key strengths of DEAL are a user-friendly interface, a rapid, browser-independent map server and the ability to map to any repository on the Internet. Use of parameters as strings in a URL allows parsing by remote repositories and dynamic generation of queries on in-house systems. The potential of seamless distributed database access ‘is now a reality.’ More from


de Groot-Bril’s (DGB) d-Tect provides semi-automated detection of seismic objects such as faults, reflectors, anomalies, stratigraphic features and ‘chimneys’ – hydrocarbon or mineralization plumes that may occur above a reservoir. d-Tect V 1.0 is due for release in September 2001 and uses Statoil’s patented pattern recognition techniques to enhance, recognize and ultimately extract seismic objects. The software makes use of neural net technology. A ‘pick set’ of example locations is used to ‘train’ the system, which then generates an ‘object-probability cube.’ d-Tect is embedded in a new visualization environment from Norwegian software house GeoCap. Ultimately, DGB plans to create a ‘next-generation’ seismic interpretation environment, incorporating image processing and special extraction algorithms and workflows. More from

ER Mapper

Earth Resource Mapping’s (ERM) Image Web Server (IWS) serves up GIS data over the internet. IWS features fast and seamless integration of city, state and countrywide imagery with GIS map servers and database information. IWS is based on a patented ECW wavelet-compressed bi-directional streaming protocol. IWS provides real time panning and zooming through terabytes of imagery, including GIS vector layers draped over imagery. IWS supports layer control and is tightly integrated with ESRI’s ArcIMS and MapObjects, MapInfo’s MapXtreme, Autodesk’s MapGuide, Intergraph’s GeoMedia WebMap, UMN’s MapServer, Vicinity’s MapBlast and other GIS map servers. More from


EzTools, from OilWare is a suite of well log data conversion utilities accessible through a single graphical user interface. EzTools controls all aspects of the data conversion process and allows for selection and editing of files, time depth intervals, sample rate, curves and header information. A wide range of robust conversion routines are available for well logs in ASCII, LIS, DLIS and BIT formats. One useful facility is the ability to rename curves during conversion to accommodate corporate naming standards. OilWare also offers a freeware utility - TapeID to quickly identify well log formats and encapsulated data on tape. More from


Genetek develops the Earthworks seismic interpretation systems which runs on high-end Compaq Alpha machines. Genetek has pioneered access to prestack interpretation and visualization at the workstation by building partial stacks in real-time, and extracting and graphing amplitude vs. offset (AVO) attributes on-the-fly. Live-linked spatial visualization, with opacity control, enables visual scanning for 2D and 3D AVO anomalies in their natural structural position. EarthWorks now includes special tools for overthrust and compressional environments. More from

Green Mountain Geophysics

Variations in the thickness and velocity of thin low-velocity surface layers onshore, and irregular water-bottom topography and velocity variations in sediments cause poor seismic data quality and distort the seismic image. To compensate such near-surface effects, static corrections must be applied carefully. As part of its Millennium refraction statics package, Green Mountain Geophysics (GMG) has developed a turning-ray tomography solution, FathTomo, which subdivides the near-surface into a grid of 3-dimensional cells or voxels of constant velocity.

Ray path

Ray path travel-times are computed iteratively, and the model refined until differences between the measured values and the model are minimized. Analysis on 2D & 3D datasets indicates that traditional refraction techniques provide a better short-period statics solution in the presence of a layered model of varying velocity and thickness, whereas turning-ray tomography provides a better solution in the presence of continuous vertical velocity variations and long-period statics. Up to 60m depth, the model suffers less using delay-time analysis compared to the inversion procedure due to the acquisition sampling problem. However, beyond 60m, tomography indicates the presence of long period statics which are not detected using the conventional strategy. Combining the methods in a hybrid approach addresses the strengths and weaknesses of each technique and provides an optimum solution to the statics problem. More from


IES has developed a quick look tool for basin modeling ‘PetroFlash.’ The first release of PetroFlash is freeware and can be downloaded from the IES ftp site - The package enables explorationists to familiarize themselves with basin modeling concepts. PetroFlash is one of the latest developments at IES and its functionality is fully integrated in PetroFlow 2D & 3D.


InfoLogic is collaborating with GeoQuest’s Data Management division to create a geochemistry data extension to GeoQuest’s Finder. The geochemical extension, which will be released later this year will allow Finder users to integrate geochemistry data into their master data store for general use. More from


Neuralog has released a new version of its map vectorizing package. NeuraMap version 3.0 has been validated on Windows 2000 and Windows ME and incorporates a new data-merging feature to allow captured data from multiple images to be merged in a new data set. For contours intersected by faults, the new Volumetrics algorithm automatically traces and visually highlights the newly calculated area. More from

Cut & paste

A copy and paste location feature allows the coordinates of an entity of one map to be easily assigned to a calibration point of the same feature in another map. New ArcView shape file imports enable NeuraMap users to bring in this ESRI format and once loaded, the data can be edited, combined and regenerated in any industry standard format including ZMAP Plus and Finder. Other upgrades include shotpoint interpolation functionality and enhanced polyline editing settings. More from


New developments from Petrosys are set to reduce the cost of tracking pay zones from well to well, and across fields and basins. The new Petrosys Wells module speeds new venture evaluations and resource assessment in mature production areas. The Wells module reads complex well data suites, quickly capturing both data and knowledge such as formation tops and producing zone information. Spreadsheet layouts for point and interval sampled downhole data can be defined and then populated with spatial and attribute information such as depths, thickness, porosities, and saturations. Engineers can define sands and other intervals that can be assigned independently of other zonations which might be based on depositional, chronological, or biostratigraphic criteria. More from


German consultancy TEEC has developed a new workflow for assessing fracture porosity directly from seismic data. The technique uses three attributes (coherency, dip, azimuth) which are simultaneously inverted to extract visible lineaments. Maps of fault density, connectivity are then generated over the depth interval of interest. After calibration with core, log and production data, these are used to predict properties in untested blocks, and to plan horizontal wells. The workflow, implemented in TEEC’s CohTEEC suite, has been successfully applied to a range of geological settings and depths. More from

This article originally appeared in Oil IT Journal 2001 Issue # 7.

For more information or to comment on this topic email here.