Interview—Randy Clark, CEO Energistics

CEO Randy Clark explains the rationale of the POSC/Energistics rebrand to Oil IT Journal.

What is Energistics trying to achieve?

Clark—To ensure that our standards are market driven, with a solid business case and that they deliver value to industry. Energistics will be primarily a service company managing the process and serving the needs of the community. We are working to transfer ownership of standards to members. Key activities include ‘harvesting’ standards success stories and working with the community training, advocating and driving deployment.

The last has proved a tough call so far!

Clark—Indeed! We have a big promotional and marketing job to do to make people aware of the benefits of standards. We will be doing this with a different message for different levels of the organization. For ‘C’ level executives this is about value management and we will have different message for upper management and technologists—educating the market with demonstrable successes.

How are you going to address the commercial issues of standards use? Vendors may support standards initiatives but fail to deploy the technology in their operations.

Clark—The reality is that this is in the hands of the oil companies who, in tenders and master service agreements, will have to insist on, or recommend compliance with certain standards. Although we do have to recognize the vendors’ need for innovation.

What’s Energistics’ relationship with the new SPE IT Section?

Clark—I spoke with Mehrzad Mahdavi at the IT section launch. He very positive regarding Energistic’s participation. I will be involved personally and we are engaged in ongoing talks with SPE.

And with PPDM?

Clark—Alan Doniger (Energistics CTO) has an ongoing dialog with PPDM particularly with regards to XML. Actually we did request a breather from this activity for while we refocused. We are in a better position to talk now.

Schlumberger is not on the panel. Are they reticent?

Clark—No not at all. We invited a broad cross section of representatives from different parts of industry. We also have a new standards advisory panel with Schlumberger’s Najib Abusalbi as a member.

The first stage of PRODML was a closed development? What do you think of a more open-source inspired methodology?

Clark—I am certainly in favor of open standards development. Actually Energistics has two roles as both a custodian and as a member of ProdML. There are always concerns with people coming new to a process with a tight time line. But I‘m not sure what the rationale was for a closed process. I would certainly be in favor of an open process with observer type status so that people are aware of developments as they happen.

What is happening with WitsML?

Clark—The SIG continues to meet and holds public meetings. We are very anxious to create a two year period of stability for the standards to let other users catch up.

What should be folks main take-home from the Energistics launch?

Clark—That we are very excited at the renewed interest from around the world. This is going to let us capitalize and move on from the Power Points to deliver the business value.

In our last talk, you were evaluating your relationship with the W3C.

Clark—Well I still believe that W3C is important to what we are doing. Especially in web services where it is most critical to our architecture. I am supportive of a close relationship with the W3C.

What’s Energistics’ budget

Clark—There have been significant changes in the organization. We are only five people now including our office manager. That’s about as lean as we can be and we will be depending a lot on member resources and help from other interested parties. We have reduced operating costs significantly and are looking to have our standards self funding. We are to present an operational budget by year end.

The upstream standards movement has been struggling for funds. What do you make of the very substantial funding the open source has received in the past?

Clark—There is a lot of talk these days about open source. But we are at the pleasure of our members in this respect. Personally I can see the standards community moving to an open source model. I’m not predicting anything for Energistics but it may come.

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