Microsoft Global Energy Forum

Around 400 users of Microsoft’s software and development tools gathered in Houston to share experiences of oilfield development leveraging Microsoft’s technology. Marathon, Chevron and BP report on ‘digital oilfield’ developments—many leveraging the ubiquitous SharePoint portal.

Mike Brulé kicked off the proceedings with an expansive plug for Microsoft’s capabilities in oil and gas. Slideware showed some 20 contributing Microsoft products and technologies, from .NET to Silverlight, SharePoint, Dynamics and Mobile Computing. A conceptual demo ensued of oilfield problem detection and resolution. PerformancePoint analytics (ProClarity) monitor asset performance and identify problems. The theme is collaboration between field management, operations and service companies. A ‘Groove workshop’ and SharePoint portal make for a ‘role-based, secure information repository.’


Marty Henderson provided a review of Marathon’s Digital Oilfield proof of concept (POC). Marathon sees the Digital Oilfield as a one-stop shop where information on wells, fields and facilities can be accessed and where knowledge workers can find the information they need from an underlying application data store of record. ‘Role-based’ information access provides management reports on performance and drill-down to detailed information. Information is combined and presented in graphs, KPIs, tables, maps, and composite views in ‘mash ups’ from many sources. Tools deployed include Hyperion (business intelligence), OSIsoft’s PI System (data historian), Schlumberger’s Decision Point and the ubiquitous SharePoint. Developers included The Information Store of Houston which was able to implement a set of deliverables in a ‘restricted timeframe.’ Microsoft’s Virtual Earth mapping tool also ran. Marathon was happy with the POC which has increased its understanding of the potential of the digital oilfield and outlined requirements for a final solution.


Bill Gilmore presented Chevron’s upstream IT foundation, a ‘foundation for operational transformation.’ Previously Chevron’s upstream segment comprised 4 autonomous business units. Although these were ‘pervasive’ consumers of IT, this had produced multiple sub optimal solutions with little coordination. Businesses were ‘run by Excel’ and had insufficient tools to survive personnel changes and loss of experience. Chevron therefore decided to develop a ‘service oriented business intelligence solution set’ based on a common IT architecture—the Upstream Foundation (UF) - the ‘plumbing’ that provides Chevron’s personnel and applications access to data from the authoritative System of Record (SoR). The UF leverages common coding practices, an ‘agile scrum’ development process and componentized design. But most importantly, the UF is being developed locally in the business units to ensure alignment with Chevron’s global goals.


The ambitious program sets out to enable accurate measurement of key performance indicators across all fields. Deployment starts at the business unit level with planned rollout across global upstream. Chevron is also standardizing its master data and information architecture to provide ‘one version of the truth.’ SOA is provided by the ‘Jupiter Blueprint,’ a data integration layer that exposes a web services facade to application data. The project leverages a substantial amount of Microsoft’s wares from .NET 3.0 and Visual Studio through the Windows Communication Foundation, Internet Information Services, SQL Server and SharePoint. Partners on the UF are Microsoft, Accenture and Avanade.


BP CIO Steve Fortune’s paper described how BP was leveraging high bandwidth connectivity with its Gulf of Mexico assets to monitor real time data from its OSIsoft PI System hub. BP’s Advanced Collaborative Environment (ACE) facilitates interaction between offshore assets and a remote extended support team through data analysis in real time, aggregation of operational data, video links and ‘enhanced business processes. BP’s ‘OneBusiness’ communications portal embeds technology from OneTouch Systems. More from

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