Petroconsultants EDGE revamps IRIS21 (February 1998)

Previewed in PDM last September,Petroconsultants Energy Data Graphical Explorer (EDGE) is to be launched this month. EDGEis a Geographic Information System (GIS) front-end to Petroconsultants flagship databaseIRIS21.

In addition to the rejuvenated front end, EDGE makes use of new technology from ESRI. The Spatial Data Engine (SDE) provides a sophisticated indexing system for geographical data stored in a relational database. EDGE is intended to extend the life of the IRIS21 data model pending the introduction of a new model incorporating elements of IRIS21 and PI/Dwights P2000 data model subsequent to the merge of these two companies (PDM Vol. 3 N1). The business driver behind the development of EDGE comes from Petroconsultants' 50 plus major oil company clients who have been clamoring for a rejuvenated version of IRIS21 for some time.

spatial index

The introduction of the new spatial indexing system from ESRI has caused concern over data base performance. In theory, the speed of retrieval of data could be paid for in the overhead of performing the complex indexing on new data as it is loaded. Petroconsultants report that for their typical work-loads of around 500 wells per week the overhead is minimal. Even higher density data types have been loaded in reasonable time with 1000 concession boundaries loading in around 2 minutes.

EDGE incorporates three components

a fully populated data model : the EDGE data server comprising the spatial data model (SDM) for location and Shape data and the application data model (ADM) for textual attribute data.

a customized ArcView project : the EDGE application itself, a map based browse/query program.

data loaders for IRIS21 clients : the software to transfer data from IRIS21 to the SDM and ADM models (in-house synchronization software).

The majority of Petroconsultants' clients use their data as one component of an overall E&P data management strategy with multiple data sources on a wide variety of platforms. Typical use involves a sub-set of data from IRIS21 which is extracted via the Ad-Hoc reporting system, transferred and then loaded into another system. This at times has proved to be a time consuming solution. EDGE sets out to change this by allowing clients to access multiple data sources within the same application, thus avoiding the overhead of moving data around the network.


EDGE further leverages Petroconsultants' bread and butter datasets by invoking the potential of an Intranet/Internet based document/database/GIS browser. EDGE is said to be "ideal for the quick, global overview of the data" as it offers the capability to display all Petroconsultants data on a world map, illustrate with simple thematic maps, and download a limited amount of data to spreadsheets. Furthermore, specific tools for company and historical analysis tools have been added to assist in tasks like competition analysis. EDGE also offers all the capacity to accomplish in depth analysis by using standard and customized ArcView tools. GIS developers in oil companies are offered the SDE "C" functions or Map Objects a development kit for PC developers using Visual Basic or Delphi.

CAD client

While EDGE can produce desktop quality maps it is not intended to replace a full blown professional mapping tool. However, it can be used as a source in ESRI’s ArcInfo. An alternate solution would be to use CAD client (an ESRI extension to the SDE) to make the EDGE data model Microstation compatible. The EDGE database contains all Petroconsultants spatial data ranging from the Geodata sets (coastlines, bathymetry, rivers, pipelines, field and basin outlines, administrative boundaries and reserved areas) and the IRIS21 data sets (wells, licenses, surveys, Fields). The EDGE application allows visualization and printing of the Field and Basin images, previously delivered in paper copy. The packaging of the product is similar to the IRIS21 packaging. It includes the data (Oracle Export files), ESRI software (SDE, ArcView), the Petroconsultants software (Synchronization software, ArcView Extension), documentation and an installation guide/procedure.) Other EDGE features allow for the transfer of data from IRIS21 and Microstation into third party formats such as Landmark’s Open Explorer. Alternatively third party software such as ArcView, MS Office (Excel, Access) and Business Objects can plug directly into the production systems and benefit from a live data feed.

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