Ballmer backs Schlumberger

Microsoft and Schlumberger join in ‘strategic initiative’ of an integrated oil and gas desktop, leveraging Microsoft’s .NET technology in Schlumberger’s ‘Ocean’ development framework.

Microsoft and Schlumberger have launched a ‘strategic initiative’ to accelerate delivery of an ‘integrated oil and gas desktop’ based on Windows and the new Microsoft .NET platforms.


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said, ‘We’re collaborating on the next generation of Schlumberger software that is designed to give better and more predictive information to geoscientists and engineers. Combining our talents in this extremely important work will have a tremendous impact on the industry.’


The alliance will focus on two key areas: seismic to simulation petrotechnical workflows, and integrated asset modeling from the reservoir to production facilities. Microsoft will work with Schlumberger to ‘optimize and accelerate’ development of SIS applications on .NET and to help ensure long-term alignment and early deployment of new Microsoft technology.


Justin Rounce, SIS VP software explained, ‘With Microsoft providing architectural guidance, consulting and best practices, we will be able to leverage the full potential of .NET in Ocean, our open development framework, to speed the deployment of the next generation of software tools, including Petrel seismic to simulation and Avocet production solutions. The announcement claims ‘additional benefits’ to E&P customers, including the opportunity to move to a single IT environment, thus ‘reducing cost and complexity’ by integrating the petrotechnical and enterprise desktops.

Openness strategy

Speaking of Ocean, an SIS spokesperson told Oil IT Journal it is ‘committed to a strategy of openness. Developers outside of SIS will be able to use the data, services (coordinates and units of measure) and infrastructure (plotting canvases) of the Ocean Development Environment to extend Petrel and the SIS drilling and production tools.’

Petrel API

A key component of Schlumberger’s new solution, the Petrel API, was released last year. This exposes a sub-set of the Petrel modeling data. Third party developers can add their own algorithms to Petrel. A future release will enable developers to ‘create their own products,’ leveraging Petrel’s data infrastructure.


Is this announcement any more than the product placement we railed against in last month’s editorial? What does SIS mean by ‘open’? What exactly is ‘Ocean’ and when will Petrel run in 64 bits? Answers to these and other key questions in next month’s Oil IT Journal!

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