P2 Energy Solutions Ascend 2011, San Antonio

CEO claims ‘transformational year’ following serial acquisitions. El Paso’s ‘Gas Map.’ Stonebridge on master data management. Beyond Compliance. Encana on SCADA data integration. Noble, Swift on Enterprise Upstream usage. The new P2ES BI roadmap.

In his keynote, CEO Bret Bolin welcomed the 600 plus attendees—P2ES’ biggest show ever, noting that 2011 was a ‘transformational year’ for the company with international expansion and significant acquisitions including Explorer, WellPoint Systems and most recently, Beyond Compliance. More acquisitions are planned for 2012.

Jennifer Thorpe (El Paso) and Todd Burdette (P2ES) described how El Paso has used Tobin GIS Studio (TGS) to feed data from Autocad to its in-house ‘Gas Map’ application. Gas Map provides El Paso’s 300 plus users with the ‘big picture’ of its land and geoscience situation. Geoprocessing with Tobin’s cartographic toolkit and ArcGIS are used in the nightly refresh. While small companies may use TGS to manage data in a personal geodatabase, larger units like El Paso (and Chesapeake) store spatial data in ESRI SDE.

Hazel Wilkins (P2ES) offered some advice on those engaging in acquisitions and divestments. Land data administration needs to be an integral part of the A&D process and, as ever, data quality is critical. Wilkins suggests making friends with the deal makers and getting land issues included in the debate. The cost of data cleanup should be included in the deal. In one deal, the client recovered $500k after the deal from undue revenues on properties that has not been sold! But the golden rule is that ‘today’s buyer maybe tomorrow’s seller.’ Oh and ‘make sure you are not selling stuff that you don’t want to sell.’ You don’t want the buyer to be doing a ‘happy dance’ because of acreage acquired in error. Companies may not have the resources to do everything in the deal’s time frame. In which case P2ES’ professional services unit is there to help.

Stonebridge consultants’ Travis Osborne, who has been involved in well master data management for decades, noted that the subject has been ‘rebranded’ a couple of times and wonders, ‘Why are we still talking about this?’ MDM means deciding what to call things and what is important to your company. Some customers can’t handle more than ten data items, some like more. The PPDM data model can easily run into the hundreds. MDM is usually done for a purpose, to link to accounting, engineering or geoscience. If the link is too heavily weighted to one segment, then it will use and own it. So it is better to try to offer something for everybody. Target attributes need to be traceable through the data life cycle, so it may be better to stay with just a few. Project scope needs ring fencing to keep it manageable. It is also important to get at data early in the life cycle.

It is a good idea to avoid ‘swivel chair integration’, cutting and pasting data from email to the ERP system. While bi-directional read/write data access may be desirable, it is unlikely to be worth the cost and complexity. Most benefits accrue from exposing otherwise hidden information. MDM vendors are plenty, but real solutions are few, although Well360° (from Stonebridge partner IDV) got a plug as did P2ES’ Excalibur.

Beyond Compliance (now part of P2ES) was introduced by founder and CEO Ron Visser who observed that worker competency and training was increasingly under scrutiny from the regulator and that today it was necessary to demonstrate due diligence in recruiting. Compliance can be onerous. BC’s stance is that the process should work for employees, not the other way around. Unmonitored employees and safety procedures can mean risk of injury or shut down. BC replaces paper and spreadsheets (‘our N° 1 competitor’) with an integrated compliance management system, ‘ICMS,’ for skills tracking, change management, workplace incident tacking and more. ICMS is a hosted solution that can be tailored to client requirements. For onsite asset management, forms can be downloaded to ATEX certified tablets with checklists to ensure for instance that a new tank is earthed and fire code certified. All of which is bringing compliance very close to maintenance management, but Visser recommends keeping the activities separate. The field device can be set up so that operators only see what they have to. The information gathered can then be consolidated at a higher level in software, checking against other systems. BC powers Husky’s operations information management system (HOIMS). Other clients include Exxon, Nexen, Devon, Murphy, Sonatrach, PetroCanada, ConocoPhillps and Pason.

Brent Douglas described how Encana has merged SCADA data into its P2ES Enterprise Upstream field operations database. Encana went live with EU in 2008 and now has around 12,000 active wells. In the old days, an operator would visit each well every day. But increasingly, well sites are being instrumented, at a typical cost of $100k per site. Enter the ‘well site of the future’ with cameras, infrared, H2S monitors, emergency shutdown devices and automatic chokes. The question now arises, what should be brought into the database? This is a moot point. Currently CygNet provides wellhead and line pressure, tank levels, turbine meters and (real soon now) cathodic protection readings and more. Water management is a key compliance issue in North Louisiana and the system tracks water hauls, water/gas ratios etc. Some data goes back out to the operators—notably production shortfalls from Aries—getting operators to explain why they have been adrift. Aries forecasts are stored in CygNet by API number. A useful tool, ‘More4Apps’ uploads data—more4apps.com.

The perennial issue of customization versus maintainability was discussed in the Enterprise Upstream user forum. Noble Energy’s John Paciotti Noble prefers to talk of personalization of Oracle forms, for example to issue alerts. Is this customization? Possibly, but they are not overwritten in a patch cycle and are supported by Oracle. They can be put to good use to define conditions, context and actions and to force compliant data entry. The well report name on the form title bar can set defaults and blank out non relevant options. ‘Sophisticated’ vs. unsophisticated working interest partners can be flagged so they receive the appropriate agreements. Forms can call outside applications such as Allegro for gas marketing data. Noble is prepared to share its customizations and has requested a repository for customization best practice sharing between users.

Julie Burgan (Swift Energy) has been leveraging Oracle alerts. When daily SCADA data is loaded to EU, alerts notify the lease operator as to which meters failed to load. Alerts are issued for well completions that have not been tested in the last 60 days and for meters without gas analysis in the last 90 days. Other checks like completions with production but status ‘shut in’ keep the land department on its toes.

P2ES’ Clay Allison provided insights and a forum for debate as to the business intelligence roadmap for P2ES’ portfolio and on product management practices. P2ES’ Excalibur analytics offers embedded Spotfire for production reporting and capital allocation. With the WellPoint acquisition came Bolo and its intelligent dashboard. There is overlap in the BI space and P2ES is currently figuring out how to rationalize its P2 Analytics offering. The debate turned to questions of security—a big issue for all-seeing BI tools. Oracle’s business intelligence suite is good in that it picks up underlying security models. But it is harder to prevent a Spotfire power user from accessing say HR or sensitive well data. Another issue is the in-house Toad power user writing SQL embedded in Excel. Real time reporting is highly desirable but ‘there are lots of holes in it as of now.’ BI tools are more complex than the transactional environment. And departments tend to have different databases and deploy whatever reporting tool comes with it. Part of the problem is that Oracle buys companies without much thought to rationalization. P2ES is at least trying to offer better interoperability. More from P2ES.

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