Speaking at the 8th Semantic Days conference in Stavanger, Norway earlier this year, Nils Jacob Berland, who is CTO with oil and gas logistics specialist X2X Maritime described himself as a semantic beginner. Berland has built a system for tracking containers and associated events using a semantic toolset comprising a simple ontology, Apache Jena Node.js and the Sparql query language. A working demo was up and running in a few weeks and performed well*. Queries that are tough problems in SQL are quite easy in the graph database. Berland thinks that semantic technology is cool and that you can start fast, once you understand Sparql.
Johan Wilhelm Klüwer described how DNV
built oil and gas engineering service company Aibel’s material master
ontology/catalog. Klüwer observed that ‘there is no such thing as a standard
project’ and that both design rules and material catalogs are project specific.
The master material catalog (MMC) therefore serves to uniquely identify material
and allow for the selection of the right material and documents from perhaps
some 10,000 options. What was novel in the Aibel project was the use of a linked
data paradigm for the MMC. Starting from a namespace internal to Aibel, every
term in the ontology has its own web address (URI) that provides a) an HTML
page with a look-up service for users and b) the linked data RDF/Sparql endpoints
that carry the information required by the calling application. The data source
can be queried for reference information using familiar terminology. Klüwer
argues that the approach improves on current practices where IT staff craft
complex SQL queries which are then tweaked by engineers ‘hoping to hit the target!’
Alan Johnston provided an update on the Mimosa oil and gas interoperability (OGI) pilot which has support from Aveva, Bentley, IBM and Worley Parsons. Use cases include Norway’s integrated operations/OpenO&M initiative and the SPE drilling systems automation technical section (DSATS). Plans for 2013 include ‘OGI 2.0’ with a switch to PCA RDL endpoints. The OGI club is expanding with new members from the EPC, engineering design, ERP software (IFS) and automation suppliers Emerson, Invensys and Rockwell. Microsoft is also bringing its Chemical reference architecture Chemra (no not Mura!) toolset to the table.
* Recommended reading, ‘Programming the semantic web’ by Toby Segaran, Colin Evans and Jamie Taylor, reviewed in the July 2010 issue of Oil IT Journal.
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