Oil IT Journal did not attend the fall PPDM AGM and Member Meeting and would like to thank PPDM CEO Scott Beaugrand for supplying us with the proceedings—upon which this report has been based. The PPDM Association is a closely knit, focused community. While the PPDM membership is predominately Canadian, international membership comes from the USA, South America and Australia. The PPDM data model—or variants of it—is used in Finder, IHS Energy’s P2000 database, GeoGraphix, and many other applications. Few companies these days have the resources to build and maintain their own corporate data models, but those that do are quite likely to use the PPDM model as a basis for such work. Presentations from Woodside and Kerr McGee show how PPDM-based models can integrate corporate IT/IM environments incorporating commercial products. PPDM is engaged in an orderly move into e-business with a variety of XML-based data exchange initiatives. These leverage model tables for data exchange, but are also likely to be used in schema-based data QC and in XML-based object stores. The Spatial II project, while it is too closely linked to ESRI proprietary technology to be considered as a standard, is an interesting illustration of the use of ESRI’s new Geodatabase GIS.


Liz Clydesdale describes Woodside Energy as a ‘hands-on’ developer of its corporate database GeoDB which is based on the PPDM data model, and stores both structured and unstructured data. Clydesdale described how the ‘large and complicated’ well test portion of the PPDM data model was rationalized and successfully incorporated GeoDB. Coverage includes well pressure data, pressure analysis and PVT data.

Data Exchange

The PPDM Association’s Rick Taylor gave an update on the data exchange project - PPDM XML test bed. The latest modeling language, SeisML offers XML-based seismic line summary information, ‘product’ information (tapes, documents and reports) and support for processing workflows in the form of request, histories, bin summary and velocities. PPDM Tables ‘ML’ is used in ad-hoc exchanges of data between PPDM data model implementations. A sample schema package includes sample documents and a validation utility. Infrastructure is SOAP, the Java Web Services Development Package (JWSDP) and Apache Tomcat. The project also has a strong generic e-business component as it seeks to “develop XML schemas pertaining to business associate data, work orders, products and information.” In 2003 an ambitious follow up phase of the data exchange project sets out to define XML interfaces to a massive amount of E&P information and applications. Plans for testing Geographic Markup Language (GML) are also included.

Kerr McGee

Kerr McGee is another hands-on PPDM database developer according to Paul Haines. A PPDM-based ‘Operations Data Foundation’ database is central to KMG’s IT architecture which also comprises software such as Merak Peep, IHS Energy P2000+ Oracle Energy, PREMAS and Cognos. The goals of KMG’s Operations Data Warehouse are to provide a world-wide roll up of production information, along with historical trend data and to offer a ‘flexible foundation for future business needs’. KerrMcGee is using the 3.6 release of the PPDM model—with coverage of well header, completion header, test, interest and production reporting. The model has been extended to cover specific Kerr McGee requirements.


Verna Moodie (QByte) and Anne Hand (PetroCanada) reported from the Land workgroup which is developing an international land model to reflect industry and regulatory requirements and business processes that integrate with current and future PPDM subject areas. The model has been designed to cushion against changes in legislation or individual work processes. A ‘strawman’ model is now available for review while elements of the Land model are already in use within member companies.

Technical Update

The PPDM Association’s data architect-in-chief Trudy Curtis provided the annual technical review. Curtis distinguishes between work groups and projects. Work groups produce extensions to the data model according to member needs and with member funds. Projects are ‘industry driven’ and funded with results going to sponsors rather than at-large membership. Work on the PPDM model continues. The last major release, V3.6 was rolled out in December 2001. V 3.7 is waiting on the results of the ongoing work groups.


Colin Knill (PetroSoft Systems) summarized the status of the PDVSA-backed reserves work group. Here the business requirements include the need to “track cu. m. of oil in Canada, tons of oil in Germany and still report in US barrels.” Similar issues arise around gas production and reporting. Such considerations have led to extension of the PPDM data model into reserve definitions, production volumes and economics.


According to Wes Baird (DataMatters Consulting) the problems associated with retrofitting entitlements to the PPDM data model were “more than we bargained for”. The use of a half-dozen new tables and population rules allows PPDM deployers to enable entitlements management. A ‘User Manager’ front end was developed to demonstrate the prototype system. Baird concludes that ‘the PPDM repository can now manage data access.’

Well Log

Harry Schultz (Oilware) leads this Houston-based group which is updating the well log section of the PPDM data model—notably to provide support for raw curve data, acquisition and processing context and to store modern multidimensional and rasterized logs. Curve mnemonics and other reference data can now be stored in data dictionaries. The project is now at the ‘straw model’ stage. Schultz also described how Oilware and Petris have used the PPDM data model to build a log data repository. The repository uses data loading tools from Oilware and Petris’ Winds cataloging and reporting tool.


Greg Hess (Kelman) introduced Kelman’s seismic encapsulation protocol – the ‘Kelman Quartet’ (KQ). KQ is an alternative to the SEG RODE archival standard. Kelman doesn’t like RODE’s complexity and prefers KQ’s leveraging of the PPDM data model, and its ability to access data elements on-line. KQ is made up of four files which describe an archive’s contents. A unique line naming convention is used in the index database.

Spatial II

The Spatial II project is considerably advanced as reported by the PPDM Association’s Ian Batty. The current phase covers well header, directional survey and well test data types. Spatial II uses an ArcView GIS client. Data stored in PPDM or other E&P databases is coupled to GIS information in ESRI SDE or Oracle Spatial. In 2003 the project scope will expand to encompass seismic and pipelines—through the PODS standard.

Application Integration

Gary Basson (LogicCurve) introduced the concept of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) whereby applications from different vendors share data through a common ‘integration broker.’ Basson made the case for EAI in the field of e-business – to send and receive invoices. EAI middleware comes from vendors such as Tibco, webMethods, IBM and SeeBeyond. Basson presented case studies in the fields of pipeline scheduling and accounts payable (using technology from Digital Oilfield) and reserves management (with the Tibco Hub). Less clear (from the slides) was the use of the PPDM data model.


PPDM CEO Scott Beaugrand reported membership as flat from 2001-2002. Distribution is now 64% Canadian, 19% USA and 17% rest of world (only three European members out of 101 total). Revenue has grown to nearly $ CDN 733k in 2002. To underpin the compliance program, PPDM trademarks have been developed and registered. 2003 will see an ongoing marketing effort, and an increase in funding for projects—to a new target budget of $ CDN 805k.

This article is abstracted from a 5 page report on the PPDM AGM and fall member meeting produced as part of The Data Room’s Technology Watch service. For more information, email tw@oilit.com.

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