Energistics ‘Standards Summit,’ Houston

Updates on WITSML, PRODML, global well identifiers, seismics and e-Permitting.

About 100 attended Energistics’ (formerly POSC) second ‘Standards Summit’ in Houston. The standards body has seen significant (44%) growth this year and is now finalizing its post-rebrand reorganization prior to ‘completing the mission’ in 2008 and to develop an ‘end to end’ methodology for standards collaboration and corporate deployment. Mark Greene (Accenture) has joined the board.


The meeting focused on Energistics’ flagship WITSML and PRODML standards. Jon Curtis (Petrolink) noted that WITSML has yet to replace its binary ancestor, WITS which is still in use. Typically, rigs transmit WITS data to the data center for aggregation to a WITSML data stream. WITSML needs to get faster to replace WITS. Julian Pickering (BP) gave strong backing to WITSML, comparing the standard’s situation with that of the process control industry’s OPC protocol a decade ago. But WITSML has to develop from an ‘interesting tool’ to the way of doing business. Melissa Symmonds announced that Schlumberger’s operations were now WITSML-enabled with an InterAct API. A WITSML data link was also added to the Schlumberger Operations Support Center in 2003 and Petrel has a link that enables real time evaluation of drilling trajectory in conjunction with the geological model.


Laurence Ormerod (Weatherford) described PRODML as the ‘most viable route to production interoperability.’ To date pilots have been carried out on production reporting (Statoil), water flow management (Chevron) and DTS data management (Weatherford). The road-map for the next three years includes—Daily reporting (2007), Norwegian joint venture production reporting (2008), ESP wells (2009) and SRP wells (2010). By 2010, PRODML will offer an extended language, multiple protocols with professional support. Rick Morneau (Chevron) opined that combining WITSML and PRODML would be a good idea, ‘It seems crazy to fragment, we need to work together, we need a standard ML.’

GWUI, Seismics, e-Permitting

Nick Duncan (IHS) outlined the final stages of the global well unique identifier project. This is to be operated by IHS, as a public registration service available to non clients. Ashok Kumar Tyagi (ONGC) outlined a new initiative to update SEG-Y with an Energistics Geophysical SIG. This is to investigate storage of observers reports and ancillary information in SEG-Y headers and XML formats for data exchange and capture of velocity and processing parameters.


Alan Doniger’s presentation on e-Permitting recapped earlier work on a WITSML-based electronic permitting standard—leveraging software licensed from the US Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC). This project was hit by a federal funding cut earlier this year and Energistics is working with the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA), to take the work forward. Today, permitting involves much paperwork and can take 30-60 days. The resulting standard will bring efficiency gains and will likely be used by other US regulators.

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