PPDM 2007 AGM and fall user meeting, Calgary

PPDM update—educating the landmen, the business case and the pitfalls of deviation data.

The PPDM Association’s member count now stands at 112 with 23 organizations from outside North America. CEO Trudy Curtis outlined recent developments including a PPDM WIKI, education & certification programs and the imminent release of the 3.8 Alpha database. PPDM’s latest release now sports 37,000 columns and 1,650 tables. Current projects include metadata, spatial and records management. The latter includes thesauri and glossaries—leveraging Dublin Core and ‘Faceted Taxonomies.’ A user survey of work group relevance found data content as number one followed by a sample dataset load (of the RMOTC’s Teapot Dome data) and ‘data management.’ Devon is backing a workgroup to study coordinate reference systems and EPSG integration.


Kevin McFarlane introduced the Centre for Energy Asset Management Studies. CEAMS evolved from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administration (CAPLA). CEAMS’ mandate is to promote the development of integrated learning strategies and career paths for Energy Asset Management personnel (a.k.a. landmen). The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) has been chosen as education partner.

Business case

Bob Faught (Sierra Systems) did some soul searching regarding ‘what honest statements can we make about usefulness of PPDM?’ The ‘classic’ arguments for PPDM are sometimes greeted with skepticism. Projects suffer from ‘creep,’ old versions stay around too long and users often just don’t care. Other issues include the ‘tug of war’ with commercial applications and what can be complex implementation. But Fuaght concludes that PPDM remains relevant in managing information as an asset that spans many different disciplines. A proper PPDM implementation helps cut costs without destroying quality, leveraging man-years of effort, removing redundancies and supporting multiple E&P workflows. PPDM can be an ‘open and common base to build on.’

Open system

Sean Udell (geoLOGIC) and Sherry Sturko (Petroleum Place Energy Solutions—P2ES) offered a fairly compelling business case for PPDM in the form of a project that tagged QByte’s PetroLAB front end with geoLOGIC’s PPDM 3.7 database. Leveraging PPDM’s ‘openness,’ P2ES was able ‘to recreate 10 years work on a data model in less than a year.’

Directional surveys

James Stolle (P2ES) described the pitfalls of managing deviated wells and directional surveys. Bad data, poor or missing reference information, can produce an erroneous ‘Central European’ location for a Barnet Shale well! For Stolle, storing data to PPDM should always be considered as a data quality exercise. Data in application stores should be considered to be ‘at risk.’ It is preferable to collect and store surveys and metadata in a PPDM datastore suitably extended to handle metadata. Stolle asked, ‘Why would a company pay very large sums to improve databases that they are already licensed to?’ The simple answer is that this is the only way to eliminate risk and loss from bad data. ‘Dry hole odds and costs are high enough as it is already!’

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