New sponsors for

Oil IT Journal editor Neil McNaughton announces sponsorship line-up for 2003-2004 and retraces a successful year for the website—currently receiving over a million page views per year. A ‘new improved’ now sports a reader’s Forum, a search engine and more imagery. But the print edition of the Journal is the one that really gets read!

This month we are pleased to report the new sponsor line-up for Oil IT Journal’s website – Ten out of our 12 sponsors for the previous year are to continue for the 2003-2004 period—a gratifying result. We are also pleased to welcome a newcomer in PGS Tigress and a returnee in SGI. This year’s line up is as follows:






LSI Logic

OFS Portal


PGS Tigress




We would like to take this opportunity of thanking these great companies for their support.


The website goes from strength to strength—with total of 568,048 page views for the first six months of 2003. Over 400 visitors per day spent on average 4 minutes browsing material on the website. 63% of the traffic came from direct logons, the rest coming in from search engines—mostly Google.


Material from Oil IT Journal gets further exposure from deployment on corporate intranets and through online access to the corporate section of the website—where the full text is available online to subscribers.


I’d like to take this opportunity of saying a few words about why we do it this way—a kind of marketing manifesto. Folks sometimes ask us why we don’t just replace the paper edition of Oil IT Journal by an electronic version. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, I personally believe that there is a big difference between having a real live printed edition of a newsletter in your hands—which you can read on the plane, in the loo or wherever you like. Secondly, what is online is frequently confused with what is ‘free’ and what can be copied and re-distributed. We try to cater for all with our marketing mix—of free email headlines, low-cost printed edition, and two levels of site license subscriptions. These offer a combination of print editions and online access aimed at the corporate market.


Visitors to will have noticed that we recently added a Forum for feedback from readers—the link is at the top right hand corner of the home page. We put the Forum up with great trepidation. Web forums are often announced with great fanfare but then usually bite the dust—or just die a slow death as the posts dwindle. Well we spared you the fanfare—but not sure about how to avoid the dwindle. We hope that Oil IT Forum will break the mould—given the knowledge base of Oil IT Journal readers (just seeing if flattery is any better than fanfare!)—and we do moderate the posts.


We have also added a search engine, and livened up the website with an ‘image of the month’. This is just an oil IT-related image that takes our fancy. If your company feels it has something to submit feel free—there is no charge at the present (but we may revise this at a later date—we do have to eat!). Further enhancements are planned for the coming year with more material from our conference and trade show visits. We are as ever interested to hear from you as to what you would like to see on the site—to hear about what you find useful and how we can improve the service.


We have been enthusiastic supporters of Phil Crouse’s PNEC Data Integration conference—which is actually just about as old as Oil IT Journal. It is interesting to see how PNEC has influenced the upstream data management community and in particular, the standards movement. PNEC was previously associated with both the Geoshare User Group and the Canadian Public Petroleum Data Model (PPDM) Association. Now that Geoshare is ‘owned’ by POSC, both standards bodies now cohabit at PNEC—and appear to be working towards sharing some XML-based developments. This is quite an achievement for Phil Crouse’s entrepreneurship. He has succeeded in bringing the two warring standards bodies together where years of arm twisting by major oil companies has failed.

Forget XML!

To get back to business as it were, and the risk of driving you all to distraction, I just have to return briefly to what has become a new—old chestnut for Oil IT Journal readers, XML. How can XML-based protocols be leveraged to work as true standards—as opposed to just making programmer’s lives more enjoyable? In the field of well logs we are already some ways down the road to digital cacophony with multiplying ‘ML’s for this and that. A couple of suggestions—when thinking of ‘XML’. First forget the ‘X’—you definitely don’t want to be ‘extending’ anything! Next forget the ‘ML’—the new standards are not ‘modeling languages’ themselves—WITSML, LogThis&ThatML—all terrible misnomers. They are defined, live and die by their DTD/Schema. Finally, although standards are ‘like toothbrushes—everyone wants their own’—the real test of XML standardization is when you use someone else’s schema.

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