Energistics’ Spring EU Member Meet

Presentations covered National Data Repositories and e-Regulation, advances in seismic standards, new work from the OGP Geomatics committee, PPDM’s imminent 3.9 release, newly ‘liberated’ PIDX and, of course, WITSML and PRODML developments. Host Oracle unveils PPDM-based appliance.

Energistics’ EU Spring Member Meeting held chez Oracle was something of a gathering of standards organizations, with representations from the Professional Petroleum Data Management association (PDM), the Oil & Gas Producers association (OGP), the Petroleum Industry Data Exchange association (PIDX), the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and of course Energistics’ own EnergyML.

Reporting from the National Data Repository/Energistics E-Regulatory special interest group (SIG), Stuart Robinson of the Department of Energy and Climate Change told how the UK’s new government is asking all departments to assess the value of their activity—and it is not interested in ‘intangible benefits!’ It is a tough question for NDR and standards. Robinson is positive about the impact of the NDR effort. The recent meeting in Rio (Oil IT Journal March 2011) was a success, covering production data reporting, NDR tendering and retendering. NDR is now a subdomain of the Energistics web site. But Robinson confessed to being rather jaundiced with regard to oil and gas standards, ‘Oil and gas is a rich industry but IT spend in this area is minute. Companies are not as interested in standardization as they claim—although the situation may be better for reporting.’

Jill Lewis (Troika) reported from the SEG Technical Standards committee, which has been active since 1975 and the days of 21 track tape. Recent SEG collaboration includes with Energistics (for velocity data exchange) and with OGP (for positioning). Notwithstanding the established standards, few acquisition contractors actually perform checks of formats or tape/disk metadata. Exchange formats are crucial to exploration, but ‘we are careless about them.’ The tape vs. disk conundrum continues to exercise data managers. It is impractical, with SEG-D, to keep millions of shots in a ‘one file per shot’ library. So you either stay with tape or go for encapsulation with, for instance, RODE. This format got bad publicity but ‘it is good, really!’ On the tape front, the new IBM 4TB tape is being tested by WesternGeco although the current 3592 tapes are exposed as they now only have a single manufacturer.

ExxonMobil’s Richard Wylde, wearing his OGP Geomatics (previously the European Petroleum Survey Group—EPSG) hat, noted that the current push is to get the EPSG registry1 recognized as an ISO standard. The EPSG is already the de facto standard in oil and gas and for the US/UK military. OGP also manages the ‘Px’ positioning formats from the old UKOOA. A seabed survey data model has just been released and a standard legend is mooted, leveraging a set of standard cartographic symbols donated by Shell. These standards are accompanies by ‘Guidance Notes.’ For example, Note N°1 covers ‘Geodetic awareness.’ The Notes are designed to help avoid pitfalls such as when one operator, after drilling six dry holes from its new platform, noticed that the wrong azimuth was being used for directional drilling! The EPSG database is available for programmatic access although with the disclaimer that it may not be 24x7.

Trudy Curtis observed that PPDM has been in business for 20 years. PPDM is about to release version 3.9 of its venerable data model. But Curtis noted that, while much focus today is on the ‘cool’ technology side of IT, it is the ‘I’ for information that is the key part. PPDM now covers most all E&P domains with some downstream activity. PPDM is also engaged in training with a ‘petroleum education task force,’ leveraging the DACUM process2 for program development. PPDM is also in partnership with the Data Management Association (DAMA). One questioner observed that PPDM was OK for greenfield projects but not so good for connecting to vendor apps. Curtis observed that many companies offer translation technologies. PPDM has tried to map to proprietary databases, but ‘we are not allowed to do this.’ Another question asked what was the roadmap for Energistics/PPDM collaboration. Jerry Hubbard acknowledged that this was slow getting going, but that Witsml and Prodml connectors to PPDM have been envisaged and there is agreement on general purpose collaboration. Energistics has a seat on the PPDM What is a Well project.

Dave Wallis (PIDX International) retraced the American Petroleum Institute’s change of direction a couple of years ago, with the decision to retire from most all of its standards work and focus on its lobbying activity. The newly ‘liberated’ PIDX International aims to offer a ‘single forum for e-business optimization.’ Its international credentials were recently enhanced with the adoption of BP Germany’s XML standard for terminal loading as a PIDX global standard. Alongside its e-business standards, PIDX also has a regulatory/reporting workgroup (with Energistics participation). Future projects include safety data reporting and supplier KPI tracking. The EU has blown hot and cold over standards recently. An early 2011 ruling had it that ‘joint standards’ were anti-competitive. This was overturned 20 days later to allow joint development but with the proviso that they are open and free3. PIDX standards are available on an ‘open and royalty-free basis in perpetuity.’

Julian Pickering provided an update on Energistics’ flagship WITSML well log data transfer standards. Today, the focus is on deployment, perhaps to the detriment of integration with other Energistics ‘MLs’. Witsml has some 30 plus ‘function blocks,’ although but most only use 5 or 6. The team is trying to make the others easier to use with an update of the API and better ‘plug and play’ support. The Witsml roadmap envisages support for automation by 2014. The 1.4.1 release will carry the marketing name ‘Witsml 2’ and is due for released at Intelligent Energy in Utrecht next March.

Lawrence Ormerod’s report from the PRODML team was less bullish. Momentum has slowed in recent years and the project is to be ‘re-energized in 2011 with a compelling business case that is ‘achievable in 1-2 years.’ This could involve a joint effort with Witsml on a completion object. Regulatory reporting is slated for 2012 and a formation testing/DST object (Ormerod’s baby) is under development. Here time series logs are stored as Witsml log objects inside Prodml. One observer remarked that it may be hard to displace OPC/UA in production. Ormerod responded that OPC/UA has many shortcomings and that a richer data exchange standard is required for the shared asset.

Jean-François Rainaud (IFP Energies Nouvelles) announced that RESQML will be released as V1 in 2011. This will provide an XML-based ‘document’ exchange format for horizons, faults, 3D grids and properties.

Host Oracle’s Hossam Farid noted that oil and gas ‘integrated operations’ have matured in the last decade and now, ‘all oils have established program and significant results.’ But many of these programs are challenged as they try to scale from real time pilots to full blown asset optimization. ‘Siloed’ information and applications are not amenable to ‘full’ asset management. In the shadow of Macondo, safety and operational integrity come first. Companies ‘don’t want innovation, they want simpler models.’ For Farid, the next big thing is Oracle’s ‘next generation’ integrated operations. IO. This is an integration platform for structured data from existing data stores, blending Oracle’s master data management and a PPDM data model. Farid’s slideware also involved real time data, and an AI4/rules engine for complex events processing and visualization tools for all of above. The aim is to transition from a ‘control’ real time paradigm to an ‘alarming’ environment. This will kick off workflows based on automated event detection, moving from ‘application centric’ to ‘holistic’ information management and work process-based collaboration. In the Q&A Farid revealed that Oracle’s novel solution came ‘bundled along with hardware.’ More from www.oilit.com/links/1107_63.

1 www.oilit.com/links/1107_2.

2 www.oilit.com/links/1107_62 .

3 Not the case for many ISO standards which are closed and costly!

4 Artificial intelligence.

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.