PDM Interview, Doug Nester, Santa Fe Synder (August 1999)

PDM interviewed Doug Nester, VP international exploration with Santa Fe Snyder. We asked why SFS had elected for an all-GeoQuest solution to its upstream IT.

PDM - One time the big issue in E&P software was interoperability. Why has Santa Fe Snyder (SFS) gone for an single supplier solution to its E&P application portfolio?

Nester - Subsequent to the merger between Snyder and Snata Fe, we decided that a standardized environment was required throughout all district offices from Denver to Kuala Lumpur. An explorationist should be able to sit down at a workstation anywhere within the organization and fire up the same software suite.

PDM – What was the situation before the merger?

Nester - Santa-Fe’s domestic operations were a Landmark Shop, while both SF's international ops and Snyder were GeoQuest - so the choice of GeoQuest was a 'majority decision’ to some extent.

PDM – What other reasons were there for selecting GeoQuest?

Nester - Support was paramount as an international company, SSF required on-site support that only GeoQuest could offer in SE Asia. Right now both GeoQuest and Landmark are playing leapfrog, with one leading in one field for a while, then the other innovating in some way. There is no clear leader. But what interested us most was their long-term vision. We sat down with the senior management of both Landmark and GeoQuest and asked where they would be five years from now. We liked what we heard from GeoQuest best. Schlumberger's background in data acquisition in both logging and seismics, and future moves to real time data processing directions were key, with the ability in the near future to integrate logging data into a workstation interpretation in real time - a vision that resonated with SFS's. Currently such international operations are hindered by the need to have specific personnel in specific loactions. The advent of high capacity data links should change this.

PDM - What happened to best of breed?

Nester - We still will have a full suite of Landmark applications which will serve to work on partner supplied data sets, and also which will be used to test bed product enhancements from Landmark.

PDM - What is the scope of the GQ software purchase? Will you be using the PowerHouse data management solution?

Nester - No we will have Finder in-house, and the full suite of GeoFrame applications.

PDM How important was the installed base of GeoQuest products in your decision?

Nester - That played a role, but more in minimizing the data conversion issues. I believe that a good explorationist can switch from one environment to the other quite easily, GeoQuest offers good training for the switch-over. The deciding factor for us was GeoQuest’s vision of a future exploration environment where information is exchanged in real time between all disciplines and encompasses the entire exploration through development project cycle.

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