PDM Interview, Andrew Zolnai

PDM interviewed ESRI’s new Petroleum Industry boss, Andrew Zolnai, who reveals plans for an E&P industry data model.

PDM - What would you say are the main ingredients for the PUG’s success?

Zolnai - Clients like the PUG because they can find out what’s going on, meet with the vendors, network and talk to ESRI.

PDM - What do you see as the main trends of GIS for the oil industry?

Zolnai - GIS will pervade the industry. Look at Calgary where some 700 petroleum companies work with proprietary products that can’t talk to each other. Users want to share data and access it geographically, but they are tired of having to rebuild everything to achieve this. They want to find oil, not process data. So the future is interoperable data.

PDM - We were intrigued by a recent announcement from ESRI concerning an industry-specific data model for the utilities industry (PDM Vol. 5 N° 11). Will there ever be a GIS data model for the upstream?

Zolnai - ESRI is building an upstream data model for petroleum as we have done for other industries. This will be a Public Petroleum Data Model (PPDM) development on the Arc 8 Geodatabase. We will put this development into the public domain.

PDM - Is ESRI now competing with vertical E&P software vendors?

Zolnai - ESRI is a toolbox that clients and business partners, such as Landmark and GeoQuest, can use without conflict of interest. GIS has been a long time coming. It’s being pushed from the outside by Oracle and the Internet, and ESRI is defining the geographic component.

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