Landmark European User Forum

Landmark’s 2003 European Regional Forum was finally held in Aberdeen last month. It was well attended by Landmark folks—but the industry at large seems to have an increasingly hard time motivating itself for travel—even it is just from Dyce to Deeside! The highlight of Landmark’s current software effort is the ongoing release of components of its new application suite ‘Decision Space’. Decision Space (DS) is a new suite of applications from Landmark covering similar ground to OpenWorks—but with a re-packaging of parts of the ‘workflow’. DS is written in Java—and provides native cross-platform deployment, with focus on Windows and Linux. The new ‘base module’—a common ‘viewing/doing’ environment is a significant rationalization. A constellation of new applications is growing up around the base module which replaces the old ‘point applications’—and brings a new scope spanning components of the older point apps’ workflows.

John Sherman’s keynote focused on Landmark’s vision of a ‘truly interactive’ reservoir model which matches development activity in real time. This is made possible thanks to Moore’s law – compute power growing exponentially and also to an exponential decline in ‘form factor’ – compute device size. As devices dwindle to pinhead size – computing will be moving down hole – where ‘Darcy meets Moore’. Landmark is helping the industry ‘ride Moore’s Law’ with the NOW field (a.k.a. the ‘E-Field’) concept. The essence of ‘NOW’ is speed – whether in interpreting a 700 GOM block dataset with Magic Earth, recognizing depositional patterns with Spec Decomp, or using the emerging technology of Decision Space Power Model to pick intrinsically consistent 3D geometrical bodies as you go. ‘Real soon’ these emerging products will be joined by ProMagic – adding interpretation capability to ProMax seismic processing, and well-seismic ‘fusion’ – for log and seismic based fluid and rock physical analysis. The future will see integration from 4D seismics through interpretative reservoir characterization to simulation with ‘online predictive modeling’ – automated earth modeling leveraging the atomic mesh unstructured gridding to ‘eliminate upscaling’ and to ‘condition the reservoir model to the results of 4D seismics. Sherman forecasts the demise of the ‘tinker toy’ environment of current interpretation workflows – soon ‘you won’t pick a horizon, you’ll pick a formation’. Results will plug straight in to Landmark’s new unstructured reservoir simulator.

Landmark R&D

Murray Roth explained how Landmark arbitrates it’s R&D spend. The lion’s share (73%) goes on core product development, notably Release 2003, Linux, ASP enablement and ‘Project Houston’. 20% goes into new product innovation, 3% on ‘basic’ research including university-based research programs and 4% on applied research into areas like leveraging bump mapping graphics technology from video gaming, to display seismic and coherency data together. Landmark is also involved in client-funded R&D – customizing solutions to client workflows.

ASP in action

Mike James reported that ASP is working well for Helix’s international consultants. Prior to hosting, Helix had around 30 PC/UNIX workstations running six different operating systems and a ‘considerable’ IT overhead. Now all Unix hardware has been replaced with twin head PC’s and an internet connection. Migration was a painless ‘one day’ project and users were very positive—especially at regional offices. Some software vendors did not want their tools hosted by Landmark. Web based plotting is ‘work in progress’. Bandwidth for 3D visualization is the main remaining issue. James is confident that “what doesn’t work today will tomorrow.”

Data Management

Maggie Montaigne explored Landmark’s comprehensive data management offering which spans hosting, commercial data sources, data e-commerce, web services and National Data Banks. Today, data management strategy focuses on providing secure access to data of known quality. A variety of in-house, co-sourced and outsourced configurations are deployable.

Digital Oilfield

Robin Wye gave an update on the Accenture—Landmark Real Time Asset Management (RTAM) Center—designed to ‘link stakeholders through web technology’. Anadarko is already using application and data hosting to share CAPEX and joint venture data from a deepwater asset with a major EU oil co. Another EU major links G&G knowledge across several locations through a portal of project decision making workflows. BP’s Norwegian Valhall field has 12kms of fiber and 10,000 sensors. The Snovhit gas field deploys fiber optics in subsea umbilicals. Statoil’s Snorre has down hole instrumentation and control (DIACS) . Statoil has deployed 3 SGI Reality Centers for real time drilling. Wye believes that oils today are at best ‘on the lower slopes’ of the digital oilfield. Companies are not ready to reap the business benefits and need to reflect on how to ‘deconstruct’ their businesses. To evaluate which digital oilfield is right for your company, a holistic view of data ownership and management is required. The technology is there – the business model is ‘emergent’.

Power Explorer

Leslie Mashburn demoed Power Explorer (PE), Landmark’s new GIS-based data front end combining elements of Open Explorer and Surf and Connect. PE is Java-based and leverages ESRI’s Map Objects. PE now supports GeoFrame, PetroBank and Open Works and a (local) GeoFrame. All these repositories can be viewed simultaneously and ‘federated’ queries executed thanks to the new Power Hub ‘middle tier’.


Ben Trewin described ENI’s use of the Team Workspace portal to provide data access, application hosting and workflow management. ENI has linked Team Workspace Finder, Open RSO, OpenWorks and Recall. ENI-AGIP’s IT strategy is to access data and applications from a central location (Milan). A mix of internal and external hosting supports applications such as Access, Oracle, SQL Server, IHS Energy’s Iris 21 and CC reservoirs. Users can drill down to specialized navigators like WOW or EDIN for Iris. ‘Real soon now’ ENI’s portal will offer metadata management and web services, intelligent agents and the semantic web.

Decision Space

Nick Purday showed how the DecisionSpace (DS) ‘umbrella’ is used to launch other Landmark ‘point apps’ from the Decision Space menu bar. A demo of BP’s Wytch Farm field showed a Landsat image draped over the topography. Moving underground the extended reach wells became visible—including the 11km plus record breakers. Top and base reservoir are represented by colored disks at the wells. Seismic and horizon data and faults can be paged in. Firing up PowerModel allows for object specific actions such as fault plane smoothing. Gridding up a fairly complex 125,000 cell model took around 10 minutes using the 3D grid building system. Cubes can be displayed as ‘roaming’ – trace only – or voxel-based ‘opacity’ cubes with user-configurable object transparency. PM also does property modeling, statistics and seismic-based model ‘conditioning’.

Real Time

Helen O’Connor cited a recent Cambridge Energy Research Associates study of ‘The Digital Oilfield of the Future’ (DOFF) which determined that digital technology could ‘expand oil reserves by the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia’. Landmark’s contribution to the DOFF is the Real Time Asset Management Center. O’Conner notes that real time is not new—data has been captured in the field by SCADA systems. What is new is the use made of real time—‘it’s all about knowing sooner’, thanks to links to SCADA, 4D seismic ‘remote sensing’, real time drilling, visualization and modeling. O’Connor presented some case histories of RT usage—Statoil’s use of OpenWire (WITSML) for field to shore data link and Shell’s real time operations centers which have reduced non productive time.

This a shortened version of a report produced as part of The Data Room’s Technology Watch reporting service—

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