Semantic Days 2009, Stavanger

The dream of a web of linked data continues to entrance Norwegian operators.

The fourth annual Semantic Days conference was held earlier this year in Stavanger, Norway, hosted by the Norwegian OLF trade body. Semantic Days is a meeting place for the industrial use of semantic technology with contribution from oil and gas and other industries, research institutes and universities. The ideal behind the semantics is a web of ‘linked data,’ available to people and computers, that spans all oil and gas activity and exposes a ‘new class of intelligent services and applications.’

Norway has been in the forefront of oil and gas data standardization—with the 1SO 15926 suite. This work is increasingly being leveraged in a semantic context and is underpinning the next generation of integrated operations as Norway’s oil and gas activity moves into the high north.

Richard Sagli, project manager of StatoilHydro’s Integrated Operations in the High North (IOHN) program, outlined the potential and opportunities for the technology in oil and gas. A lot of investment has been sunk in IO R&D and Norway is a leader in first generation IO implementations. These have provided improved communication between onshore and offshore operations, faster and improved decision cycles and increased production. The second generation of integrated operations will bring service companies tighter into the loop, through standardized data exchange and reduced communication barriers. Time line for the IO Gen 2 nirvana is circa 2015 by which time we will see integrated operator/vendor centers, 24/7 ops and fully automated processes.

Sagli offered the following definition of IO as ‘the integration of people, process, and technology to make and execute better decisions quicker.’ IO is enabled by the use of real time data, collaborative technologies, and multidiscipline workflows. Other facets of IO include ‘increased opening hours and availability,’ an increased requirement for remote monitoring, diagnostics and assistance without the need to send people offshore, new requirements for IT, comms and collaboration facilities and increased use of standard data formats such as PRODML.

Where do semantics come in? Sagli sees the value add of semantics applying across the board from better HSE to increased production. The IOHN project includes the development of a ‘reliable digital platform for integrated operations.’ This will be leveraged across drilling, through production to operations and maintenance activities in the remote and hazardous conditions where limited operational personnel and ‘zero footprint’ solutions will be achieved by ‘interoperable XML RDF and OWL schemas supporting data flows from highly instrumented fields.’ IOHN’s success will depend on a close link between the pilots and operations—with prototyping and testing on real world cases and data, ‘challenging existing silos.’ IOHN sub projects include workflow automation, detailed production optimization, field performance analysis, Avocet production surveillance, integrated asset modeling and advanced control of wells and reservoirs.

On the industrial front, presentations from SAP and IBM set out to address the problems posed by the Norwegian oil and gas community. Daniel Oberle, Senior Researcher at SAP’s ‘Campus-based Engineering Center’ in Karlsruhe, Germany outlined some best practices in collaborative ontology engineering that SAP has contributed to the German THESEUS/TEXO project. Theseus involves the creation of an ‘internet of services,’ leveraging a modular approach to ontology construction by domain experts, each responsible for their own piece of the ontology pie. Oberle suggests that IOHN should adopt a similar approach, combining domain-specific ontologies from HSE through reservoir to transport and have vendors base their oil and gas software on the industry ontology. End users will see familiar views of data through windows on P&ID diagrams, reservoir, data sheets and CAD drawings. More on the web of services from More on IBM’s Chemical and Petroleum offering in our Redbook review on page 9.

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