Oil IT Journal Interview—Jim Pritchett, Petris Technology

Petris CEO Jim Pritchett and product manager Greg Palmer talk of the design choices and technology behind the new Operations Management Suite. Target customers? Users of Excel spreadsheets!

Hard on the heels of Petris’ release of its new Operations Management Suite, Oil IT Journal chatted with CEO Jim Pritchett and project manager Greg Palmer about how the new tool was designed.

JP—We acquired the original Operations Center (OpsCenter) when we bought Production Access back in 2007. Ops-Center is a drilling and production database built on Microsoft Access. It was a functional product but its scope was limited to US units of measure and an English language interface. It was not saleable internationally. But it was unique in the marketplace as the only integrated drilling and production system. OpsCenter has around 45 corporate clients today. We undertook a major revamp and re-wrote the whole thing with .NET, ported the database to SQL Server and made it language and currency independent. This took 2 years!

Why now?

JP—Today’s application market is dominated by Halliburton’s TOW,1 which is a great product but one that we believe is nearing the end of its life. We believe the market is ready for a new toolset. Also many, perhaps most, potential customers still use spreadsheets for drilling and production. There is a huge potential value to a company in weaning its engineers from the spreadsheet.

What main technologies have you selected?

JP—Along with the Microsoft stack I just described, we have deployed an extended ‘superset’ of the PPDM data model. We also enable users to define their own workflows using technology we developed in our PetrisWinds Enterprise product. Users can for instance connect to SCADA for RT data, PetrisWinds Analytics compares real time data with costs in the ERP system.

How do your clients make sense out of RT data?

JP—Actually we use WITSML objects which provide summary data for, say, 24 hours of drilling parameters. It is not raw SCADA tag data.

How did you adapt to international reporting requirements?

JP—Reporting is a done deal for North America. Internationalization can be done in the framework leveraging the new units of measure functionality and Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services.

GP—We see an evolving market with the global search for shale gas, HPHT2 and harder to find stuff. Operators are driving better information access. Running operations from an Excel spreadsheet is inaccurate and error prone. Users need integration and better data management. There is a push for more collaboration around an open solution. One that works across drilling and production and through planning, execution, operations at both well and asset levels.

Where did you extend PPDM?

GP—The main extensions concern AFE workflows and field modules. We also plan to offer API access real soon now. The offering is available in house or hosted by our partner data center SunGuard. More from www.petris.com.

1 The Oilfield Workstation.

2 High pressure, high temperature.

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