SAP xApps Energy Ideas Exchange

SAP has launched its NetWeaver-based solutions for energy with a new user group.

SAP has fleshed-out its latest venture in technical to business integration (T2B) with an Energy Ideas Exchange for oil and gas users of its xApps Netweaver-based platform (see OITJ Vol. 9 N°11). The upstream-tuned xApps, baptized the SAP Integrated E&P (xIEP) platform, are now being deployed by early adopters in oil and gas companies.

Customer council

An xIEP customer council has been established to review the xIEP solution and make sure it aligns with their businesses. The council will also watch over quality assurance, testing, user friendliness and will discuss future devolution of the T2B platform. The council has representatives from ConocoPhillips, BG Group, Shell, Total, BHP Billiton, Marathon, Accenture and SAP.


At the first Energy Ideas Exchange meeting late last year, program director Holger Kisker (SAP) presented xApps as an interface between SAP’s traditional R3 workhorse and its first generation T2B solution, SAP for Oil and Gas. A second view of xApps was also on offer—as the hub of a new Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA). Here, xApps will interface between SAP’s solutions and third party software such as GIS, geo-technical, non SAP business solutions and clients’ proprietary tools.


According to Kisker, SAP’s vision for xIEP is to create an ‘enterprise-wide, operating environment that federates people, process and technology to manage the upstream business.’ xIEP will be deployed via a series of ‘scenarios.’ First out of the traps is Asset Maintenance (Nov 2004) followed by Well Project planning and delivery (Q2 2005) and later, Production Management.

van Kuijk

Erik van Kuijk has shoehorned earlier Shell Expro work on the Knowledge-Information-Data (KID) spectrum into what is the first real-world xApp, Shell’s global well data portal. This is a component of Shell’s drive to join BP as a ‘Digital E&P Company.’ The portal allows Shell to connect systems in different domains—surface, subsurface and business administration. Metadata from the KID Repository feeds applications, project, corporate and archive databases. Van Kuijk considers that Shell’s IT is entering a new era of ‘business process management’ which is achieved by ‘buy not build’ and ‘configure rather than adapt.’ Shell’s xApp-enabled global well portal was developed with help from SAP and Accenture. The tool was partly delivered by the xIEP customer council with Shell specific extensions.


The significance of xApps is hard to evaluate—not least because of the plethora of marketing terminology that obscures the technology. Does an integration platform need quite so many layers? To unravel the whole, it would appear that an ESA for the upstream is built atop xIEP—itself constructed from xApps—which in turn reposes on NetWeaver—beneath which is .NET or Websphere according to your CTO’s persuasion. Quite a stack!

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.