GeoQuest: FOCUS on Interoperability (January 1998)

In last month's PDM an article entitled'GeoFrame, POSC and compliance' questioned the extent to which plug and playfacilities would be offered to GeoQuest's competitors. Schlumberger asked us for anopportunity to put the record straight, and have contributed the following article byNajib Abusalbi, Johnny Brown, and Sam McLellan.

In September, 1997, POSC membership hosted the FOCUS conferences on information and knowledge management in the E&P industry. At these conferences in Melbourne, Australia and Oslo, Norway, GeoQuest demonstrated, along with some its commercial software products, an experimental, World-Wide-Web-based software interoperability platform, called the GeoSIP. GeoSIP is a pilot test-bed for evaluating methods of integrating Petrotechnical Open Software Corporation (POSC) and other industry standards into Schlumberger GeoQuest product lines and, at the same time, a simplified development platform for manipulating technical information, including geoscience data.

From the web-based GeoSIP applet, an asset team member who is interested in a fast interpretation on some key data to make a multimillion dollar well completion decision might, for example,

determine which data are already available in any number of POSC Data Stores or PDSs (e.g., from GeoQuest’s GeoFrame interpretation system or those from other vendor systems),

send a query to an external data provider for supplemental information on log data, such as those stored in GeoQuest Finder’s LogDB archive,

as a result of this query, express an interest in receiving log data as it become available in real time from selected reservoir wells,

display, select and load relevant data via an implementation of POSC’s business object specifications into the team’s local PDS,

add, delete, edit and run queries against the selected data using an implementation of the POSC’s Data Access & Exchange (DAE) specification to better understand the data that the team member needs to interpret or display,

generate on-line results for the team’s interpretation decisions.

While GeoSIP represents the latest in a series of efforts by GeoQuest to verify the POSC specifications themselves, it is also part of a process to evolve GeoQuest products with these specifications.

As POSC makes seed implementations available for its oilfield service members, these members must continue to validate them, correct any errors or ambiguities, and champion these improvements into the original specifications before integration into specific commercial products. For the past few years POSC has assumed the role of promoting formation of joint industry projects (JIPs) where E&P companies and vendors jointly test and validate individual interoperable data solutions proposed by POSC. An earlier joint interoperability effort between GeoQuest, Elf, and PetroSystems was conducted in 1995 and publicized with TechnoPOSC, POSC’s membership technical journal. It demonstrated the issues of shared access to a PDS built from POSC’s out-of-the-CD Data Access & Exchange (DAE) implementation and Epicentre relational data store. As a result of the POSC-sponsored and managed joint effort called RESCUE, which begun around 1996, GeoQuest products will interoperate with products of other vendors via POSC’s new business object specifications.

Schlumberger has contributed both to the process of compliance verification and the expanded acceptance of POSC specifications within the E&P industry. While requiring considerable coordination and commitment of resources, all of these efforts provide a practical as well as the recommended means of

understanding the technical issues involved in using the specifications by POSC or implemented by its membership,

estimating the resources needed to implement these open specifications commercially within GeoQuest products, and

validating how resulting implementations satisfy the interoperability demands of E&P team-focused work-flows.

Schlumberger and its GeoQuest division have been strong, supportive members of POSC since its inception, serving on most of the work groups, committees and POSC organizational structures.

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