SMi E&P Data Management, London

Data management the Statoil way. DataCo—‘don’t manage, spatialize!’ Fugro’s Path to clean data. GDF Suez and the data conundrum. Fixing KOC’s undocumented workflows. ‘BusRisk,’ ENI’s new approach to data delivery.

Torr Hoff kicked off the 2012 SMI E&P data management conference in London last month with a presentation of data management strategy and policy—the ‘Statoil way.’ An internal survey in Statoil determined that ‘work processes should not be more important than the work itself.’ Processes such as data QC can become bureaucratic unless they are turned into ‘business enablers.’ Statoil has been through several IT/data standardization programs since 1998. A major reorganization in 2011 saw a shift to ‘managed diversity,’ with the recognition that ‘exploration and production are different.’ The exploration business evolves quickly—and new situations—such as Statoil’s involvement in Canadian non-conventionals—require data ‘agility.’ In more mature exploration and production environments, more rigor is required as data volumes explode.

In such different contexts, ‘somebody needs to write the obvious stuff down—such as how we work and how much we can standardize on a generic exploration value chain.’ Principles, processes, decision gates and detailed functional requirements are captured in the ‘Statoil Book.’ This maps out who does what across the exploration ‘funnel’—from its ‘wide end’ of basin evaluation and bid rounds to finer drilling, discovery and appraisal. In the early days, data management was performed largely by geoscientists. Today, Statoil has full time data management professionals working to supply data and documents to its explorationists and on promoting and enforcing data standards and procedures.

Such documentation informs knowledge workers as to data requirements—but also helps data managers to understand the underlying business. Data roles span IT, information and data management. Roles include data definition owner, data value owner (keeper of the official ‘STAT’ value) and a data owner proper who oversees the other roles. A data administrator runs the actual data stores. Statoil leverages the DAMA data methodology along with Deming-style quality management. Statoil manages Petrel data in an OpenWorks project database kept in synch with a Petrel reference project.

Garrick Fraser’s (DataCo) message is ‘don’t manage, spatialize.’ Spatialization (GIS-enablement) is much easier than dealing with complex native E&P formats and unlocks data value through instant access. But even this requires considerable up-front effort in automation and scripting—but the route to data aggregation via GIS allows for data mining at the global level leveraging Google-like search. DataCo’s ‘QIP’ solution was developed for Shell and provides a ‘single, complete, verified data set for each well with quality flags and an audit trail.’ The QIP lets end users load data to OpenWorks projects and corporate data stores. Fraser believes that data visualization allows problems to be fixed before data loading—this is ‘better than resorting to Innerlogix or Exprodat.’ In any event, cleanup such as ‘UWI alignment’ of multiple data sources is ‘essential prior to spatialization’—DataCo.

Digital Earth’s Robert Winslow is advocating a global service providing a unique web page for every well (WP4EW). The idea was inspired by the electronic industry’s ‘CAPS/PartMiner*’ service which has a web page for each component—‘maximizing the chance that Google will rate it highly in search.’ The proposed WP4EW service would provide pointers to third party data held by IHS, WoodMac, Deloitte, Drillinginfo—and in-house corporate sources. The service could be financed by advertising from service providers and/or by subscriptions for heavy users. In the Q&A, a call was made for improving the quality of the component data sets by ‘crowdsourcing’ quality improvement from users. This could be achieved by a Wiki for comments on data accuracy and possible alternative information available for upload—Digital Earth.

Joe Johnston (Fugro) thinks that far too much time is wasted checking data from numerous independent data sources when kicking off an interpretation project. What is needed is a package of cleansed data to start from. Enter the Fugro ‘Path,’ a pre-load, workstation-ready composite of seismic, core, geological data and more—perhaps including scanned hard copy. The Path creates Kingdom, Petrel projects inter alia—Fugro.

David Lloyd (GDF Suez E&P UK) summarized the data/information conundrum with an equation,

IS = (IT+IM) x f(P,p,t)

Which being interpreted says, ‘information services are the product of information technology/management with a function of process people and technology.’ GDF Suez’ UK unit is upping its IS act as it becomes a North Sea operator. IT has moved out from the basement following a disaster that took six months to rectify, reclaiming stuff from C Drives and USB keys! Training is key, ‘nobody knows how to use anything’ folks need to be trained to use the phone, videoconferencing, to use Microsoft Office and the project management framework. GDF is continually updating its information security model and acceptable use policy. A global ‘partnership project management framework’ leveraging the CMMI benchmark is set to save GDF around $3 million/year through use of the same terms and templates to avoid project rework. A highly simplified PRINCE project delivery framework has also been developed and is applied equally to a geological interpretation project or an IT deployment. ITIL also ran. ‘IT has turned a corner’ and has gone from ‘losing data to making things work!’

Arief Joenaedy revealed that a 2008 site assessment at Kuwait Oil Company found ‘undocumented workflows, insufficient data management resources, poor exploration data quality and unsystematic results capture.’ To rectify this situation and ready KOC for future ‘explosive’ growth in seismics, real time, GIS and novel remote sensing data types, KOC has been working with Schlumberger on a ProSource/Seabed-based data infrastructure that also manages KOC’s Landmark SeisWorks/OpenWorks data. A corporate database of seismic data has been developed around Seabed. The result is that data retrieval that previously took two days is now down to 15 minutes. Quality is up thanks to use of original format data. Business process and disaster recovery are also improved.

Mario Fiorani outlined a ‘prototype’ approach to data management under study at ENI. The new technique contrasts with the ‘traditional’ top-down approach of data gathering, validation and QC which still takes-up 80% of the time—leaving a meagre 20% for core business activity. Many previous data initiatives have had poor outcomes, failing to have commitment from management or take-up by affiliates. Moreover it is hard to demonstrate the monetary value of data management systems which take ‘too long to design, procure and implement.’ This leaves plenty of time for people to change, the business to cancel a project as oil prices move and folks’ attention returns to operational matters.

Enter the new approach, engaging top business managers and indentifying those with a real interest in the value of data—ideally someone ‘not too focused on cost/time reduction, efficient data management and who is bored with procedures and policies.’ Buy-in works if top management can monitor and control what is going on and focus less on time saved but rather on opportunities gained from timely information. This may be as simple as providing KPIs on the cost of compressor maintenance or on operational safety. Such questions typically involve information scattered across reports, Excel and Power Points and other sources. The answer may lie in integration—through GIS, high performance computing, ‘Web 2.0’ and business intelligence.

An ENI prototype production prediction uses Monte Carlo analysis to provide a risk-based budget based on actions and events. The ‘BudRisk’ application took 3 months to develop internally and has proved a ‘huge success.’ Data from the Oracle server farm is accessible from an iPad showing graphs of downtime, lost production etc. Key to such initiatives are ‘internal knowledgeable resources.’ BudRisk’s success has triggered additional IM initiatives for logistics, portfolio management and drilling/well integrity. More from SMi’s E&P Data Management conference.

* CAPS has since been acquired by IHS—it’s a small world!

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