OITJ Interview—Jonathan Lewis, Halliburton

Oil IT Journal asked Jonathan Lewis, VP Innovation and Marketing with Halliburton’s Digital and Consulting Solutions Division, why he spoke at the recent Schlumberger Information Solutions Open Technology Symposium. Lewis explains what ‘open’ means to Landmark and lifts the lid on Landmark’s plans for a geomodeling solution built around its Geoprobe flagship interpretation application.

Why did Halliburton/Landmark attend the Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS) backed Open Technology Symposium?

Lewis—We went along because Landmark has always focused on standards and openness. Today, this activity is getting more attention with the potential ‘prize’ of a digital asset. We are convinced that no one single vendor can deliver the entire digital oilfield which requires an inter-vendor data integration capability. It’s right that vendors should ‘stick to their knitting’ where they have market share and a solution. Multi vendor initiatives are also necessary because IT spend is rather low. So we will compete by best of breed capability in key areas, and partner with third parties. We will build on our track record success of OpenWorks and on our openness and data availability.

We identified three possible SIS-backed routes to openness: through OpenSpirit, a Petrel plug-in and via the Ocean infrastructure. Does your attendance imply Landmark’s backing for one or other of these technologies?

Lewis—You shouldn’t interpret our attendance as a desire to leverage any of these technologies. These will be two competing infrastructures: SIS’ Ocean/Seabed and Landmark’s DecisionSpace. Clients find this healthy.

What do you think of OpenSpirit as a candidate for interoperability?

Lewis—OpenSpirit does have a rather small data footprint. Also it is a commercial entity. Its success is in large part due to the market presence of OpenWorks and its development kit.

Another possible meaning of openness is via a horizontal IT infrastructure such as Java or Microsoft .NET. Do you advocate one or other of these?

Lewis—Absolutely. We have gone to great length to leverage Open Systems. Landmark has been a leader in the deployment of Linux-based software. We were the first major vendor to port, certify and ship all our major applications on Linux, with huge cost benefits to clients. We have also gained extensive experience of development on Microsoft Windows. Part of our openness philosophy is giving customers a choice. For high-end applications, there is an ongoing requirement for Linux. We will continue to support both platforms. GeoProbe will be available on Windows later this year.

When will we see the Petrobank API we reported on in last month’s Journal?

Lewis—I can’t give any technical insight to this but I can say that we continue to invest in Master Data Store (MDS) and Corporate Data Store (CDS) solutions. We have had phenomenal success with National Data Stores (NDS) and on the corporate front over last three years.

Following the abandonment of PowerModel development and the failure last year of an acquisition, we understand that Landmark is to develop GeoProbe into a full blown geomodeler.

Lewis—We will be delivering a suite of earth modeling modules within the GeoProbe later this year. GeoProbe is unique here because of the sheer scale of models that can be generated. You can examine Terabytes of data in a sequence stratigraphic framework of the basin for prospect generation. You build the framework only once, enabling continuous, incremental understanding of the geology as data comes available.

We’ve seen Landmark’s marketing effort decline a bit over the last year or so. Why?

We continue to invest in fit for purpose marketing. ‘Outbound’ marketing—publishing information—is good. But we have been concentrating more on direct marketing to clients. This has born its fruits. DCS/Landmark has delivered back to back record operating quarters over the last couple of years. Marketing has changed. Ten years ago we and others did deals at major trade shows. Today, deals are done by our professional global sales channels which enable us to better know our clients and provide feedback and insight that informs our technology directions. We have a very close working relationship with our clients and we share with them things that we don’t share in a broader context. Hence the downplay of the major trade shows.

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