Interviews—Lange, Neri, Pferd and Smith

Our AAPG interviews cover Windows-based interpretation from Geographix and SMT, web services-based data management from Petris and Paradigm taking-on Petrel’s 3D earth model.

Martin Lange (VP Sales, Geographix)—Halliburton is in the process of ‘re-igniting’ GeoGraphix, its PC-based interpretation product line and is broadening the application spectrum from G&G to engineering. Most importantly we are putting GeoGraphix Discovery directly on top of the OpenWorks (OW) database. Clients can use Geographix, OW or even Geoprobe on the same data. In Q3 2005 clients will be able to throw a switch to ‘run on gas or diesel’ with no change in performance.

OITJ—Did you use the OW dev kit?

Lange—For some stuff, but we used proprietary code for enhanced performance. This is not available for dev kit users, giving us a competitive advantage.

OITJ—Do you link to the Engineering Data Model?

Lange—There are plans to link to EDM and to bring Aries and DSS into the Geographix brand. These will remain stand alone products but will integrate with Geographix Discovery for workflows like production surveillance.

OITJ—How will you demarcate OW and Geographix?

Lange—Geographix is moving into engineering production and economics. The next step is to move to flow simulation, with a VIP ‘Lite’ due out towards the end of 2006. Landmark’s focus is around DecisionSpace with workflow management and risk tracking. Mainstream interpretation will be increasingly with GeoGraphix. We are taking mature Landmark tools and giving them new life. Already, Aries and DSS clients are often GeoGraphix users. The OW classics like SeisWorks will remain.

OITJ—Who uses Geographix?

Lange—Flagship clients include Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and EnCana. We have around 750 corporate clients in 3,500 locations.

OITJ—What’s your 3D capability?

Lange—We no longer have a 3D offering and this is a big political hot potato. I’d like to see GeoGraphix ‘reignited’ with 3D.


Phil Neri (CTO, Paradigm) —Our new ‘SE’ Epos release introduces multi survey, 3D and 2D seismic interpretation. This leverages a disk cache so that you can work with 60 or 80GB data on a Linux box. You don’t need an expensive 64GB of RAM—which has proved a show stopper for our competitors.

OITJ—You prefer Linux to Windows?

Neri—Seismic interpretation is all on 64 bit platforms, Linux, AMD, Solaris and AIX. Windows is the preserve of drilling and engineering although Geolog is now native Windows. Clients are driving us to standardize more on Windows—this will be complete by 2007.

OITJ—All of your clients?

Neri—No. The move to Windows is driven by a couple of key clients whose CIOs are desperate to ‘remove anything with an X’ from their deployed operating systems. We are also being driven by Petrel, which is shaping up as a strong contender. We still have misgivings as to Windows in high performance computing and visualization. Other clients say ‘no way’ to an all-Windows desktop and have no problem with the cost of keeping two OSs. In fact some majors see the high performance computing and visualization potential of Unix/Linux as a significant advantage. Others are less obsessed with operating systems and will deploy ‘whatever it takes to do the job’. Actually, only two major clients are fully behind the Windows movement, another is hesitating and the rest are not bothered. We have concerns with support of multiple Linux versions and Red Hat’s increasing costs and are planning a switch to Fedora. We can’t spend man months testing everything. Another good OS contender is Sun Solaris, the X release is a well packaged system. Linux has been an ambiguous success.

OITJ—How are you doing in 3D?

Neri—We are on a par with, if not ahead of GoCad in solid modeling. Paradigm users are always building the same model for re-use. VoxelGeo is now a specialized high end tool. Paradigm is no longer just a ‘point solution’ company. It’s not just VoxelGeo, not just Stratimagic or Geolog. Epos is the key to our integration strategy.


Jeff Pferd (CTO, Petris) —Petris has evolved over the last 8 years. Our early involvement in web technologies, especially with Anadarko, gave us insight into federating data repositories and data workflows. Anadarko’s business philosophy was to offer enterprise-wide data visibility and support best of breed applications. We started working with XML back in 1999. This set the scene for our loosely coupled, services-oriented architecture. Our research with Anadarko led to a process patent applied for in 2002. Petris was able to pursue this thanks to its privately-funded status. The product, PetrisWINDS Enterprise, is now stabilized and is being deployed in Saudi Aramco.

OITJ—What’s the data footprint?

Pferd—Initially well data, but we are working with Pemex to transfer interpretation and survey data and soon seismic trace data. We are also integrating with document management systems and are building a data cleanup solution. We deploy use a business process modeling-like (BPML) language to articulate our workflows.

OITJ—Who are your partners?

Pferd—We deploy an ESRI map-based interface and we use INT’s Viewers, WebDataView from ZebraGeosciences and middleware from BEA. Our text search solution is Oracle.

Oil ITJ—How is Recall integration going?

Pferd—Great. Recall clients tell us they need the functionality that PetrisWINDS Enterprise (PWE) brings—GIS, spatial search, a meta-data catalog and more connectivity. Our plans include PWE integration and support for the Recall API for other integration solutions. Another synergy is with PetrisWINDS NOW! our ASP, or Software as a Service (SaaS) offering. We see this as a way to reach a new market—beyond Recall’s traditional client base.


Tom Smith (President SMT) —We are engaged in a ‘deep’ re-development of our Kingdom Suite in Microsoft .NET. We are finding that .NET’s rapid application development needs a new discipline, it’s easy to pull in unanticipated dependencies. But we do see web services as our stepping stone to a multi-user environment.

OITJ—Where are you today with databases and connectivity?

Smith—We offer three database options, Access, SQL server and Oracle. Our data model is an amalgam of POSC Epicentre and OpenWorks. We are also working on ‘Open Kingdom’ which is a GIS-based data management solution and a new data server. We will also be opening up access to well data in Kingdom through a publicly available dev kit. We are also releasing a 64-bit Windows version ‘real soon now.’In fact we are waiting on Mercury and FlexLM to port their components to 64 bit Windows.

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