3rd PNEC International Data Integration Conference brings in the crowds! (May 1999)

Philip Crouse's PNEC Data Integration and Management conference bucked the trend of cancellations and low attendance to host some 180 attendees in Houston last month.

Despite the downturn, or maybe because of it, there is still strong interest in both data management and software integration as was witnessed by the good turnout for the 3rd PNEC International Data Integration and Management Conference.


Geoshare was prominent (well the conference is a spin-off of the Geoshare User Group's annual event!) and is clearly playing an important role in the interoperability field. A significant focus of Geoshare development is the Mobil/Conoco/Vastar association which is using Geoshare to plumb GeoQuest's Finder into Landmark's OpenWorks. Additionally Geoshare is the transport mechanism for bulk data within Schlumberger's GeoWeb environment.


An interesting case history involved the use of Geoshare at Conoco's Lodgepole asset. This Williston Basin field is being shut in and the question of what to do with the data arose. Conoco's Bill Neville described the problems with workstation data, whose proprietary formats tend to obsolescence. In comes Geoshare which allows for the preservation of data by "cocooning" in a vendor and operating system independent format. Another use of Geoshare was in the port of data from Unix to NT systems.


POSC's Eric Hatleberg, in a presentation that underscored the new standards perestroika, described how Geoshare could be wrapped with CORBA and used as an effective data transfer mechanism across different platforms.


John Sherman, Landmark Graphics chief data guru warned of the 'other data flow'. In a perfect world, data should progress from the field, through quality control into the master data store and from there out to the projects. In the real world things often do not happen like this. Sherman's 'other' data flow happens when the asset team grabs the data hot off the well, or boat and puts it straight into the project. The whole process Sherman believes reflects the natural tendency towards chaos that any large complex system displays. Sherman's solution? Maintain an in-house data browsing and project building capacity, but outsource the management of the corporate data store.

IHS Energy

Now who would you outsource your data management to? IHS Energy's Pete Stark stepped up to the rostrum to offer that organization's help. IHS Energy are attacking the problem of managing their massive US well and production datasets head on. IHS are moving towards 'big iron' massive central data repositories and are teaming with Vendor "A" and Vendor "B" to provide delivery of their data to the new-look oil co.

Petris WINDS

Rene Calderon presented a novel product, Petris WINDS - an E&P data that can be configured to browse a corporation's data - in situ across a variety of data stores. WINDS builds its own meta-data view of the corporation's data by 'spidering' the corporate data overnight.


Gayle Holzinger (Shell Offshore Inc.) described the successful deployment of PetroBank for offshore 2D data delivery to the workstation. This has cut the data loading cycle time from what could be up to 6 months down to a couple of days.


Both Mobil E&P and PDVSA’s presentations suggest that there are still some companies who believe in the master data store. Mobil’s Madelyn Bell described a methodology for "continuous improvement in data management". This process places a data specialist within the asset team to facilitate project building and also to educate users, and mediate requests for data when appropriate. Bell insists that it is not enough to manage just the data, but the whole data delivery chain.


A presentation, by Chris Troyer gave an update on Mobil’s Technical Computing Strategy. Mobil are using audits of its internal customers to fine tune the program and improve service.


Orlando Rivas presented an ambitious program involving the migration of PDVSA’s corporate data to GeoQuest’s Finder master data store. From there, Geoshare will be used to build projects in OpenWorks, GeoFrame and Tigress.


Three companies, Conoco, Vastar and Mobil are developing industrial strength Geoshare links between Finder and OpenWorks. This effort includes round-trip testing of data to verify the robustness of the data exchange.

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