Shell’s new Jewel

Shell and Baker Hughes co-develop refreshed Jewel Suite. Geomodel and SDK support ‘lossless’ data integration with third party tools. Reservoir stimulation previewed at EAGE.

As we announced last month, the big event at the Madrid EAGE was the joint Shell/Baker Hughes announcement of a revamped Jewel Suite. Speaking on the Baker Hughes’ booth, Bettina Bachmann, Shell VP subsurface software, explained how, a couple of years ago, Shell decided to refresh its geological and modeling platform, adding user friendliness and a solid platform for algorithm development.

Shell, which uses a 50/50 buy and build approach, came to conclusion that Jewel Suite had the early stage tools it needed and decided to movefast. This was not so easy in view of the market penetration of incumbent software (read Schlumberger’s Petrel) and Shell’s assets’ requirements. But the development benefitted from a good ‘cultural fit’ between the partners and now, 18 months into the project it has delivered and surpassed expectations which is ‘not something you can say about many software projects.’

After the show we chatted with Martin Brudy, VP reservoir technology at Baker Hughes who described Jewel Suite as a platform-cum-ecosystem built around the Jewel Earth geomodel and software development kit (SDK). Applications share data objects in what Brudy describes as ‘lossless’ integration.

The core app is the 3D subsurface model which can be populated with stochastically generated properties and input to third party flow simulators (in particular CMG’s IMEX/GEM).

Another Jewel strength is its geomechanical modeling which now blends Jewel’s original tri-mesh modeler with ‘16 years of geomechanical R&D’ from Geomechanics International, acquired by BHI in 2008. Connectivity with Dassault Systèmes’ Abacus finite element modeler enables high-end well design.

Also on show at the EAGE was Jewel’s reservoir stimulation preview for unconventional development which brings together disparate capabilities into an easy to use workflow connected to MFrac and micro seismic data visualization. Jewel Suite is now seeing take-up from within Baker Hughes’ geosteering and wireline teams for in-house/service use leveraging Witsml real time data feeds.

Speculation was rife as to Shell’s motives for the joint develop-ment and its potential to displace Petrel. Some saw the move as a way of containing Schlum-berger’s hegemony, others as a way of plugging gaps in Petrel and/or Shell’s own GeoSigns toolset. We asked Bachmann to set the record straight and she was kind enough to give Oil IT Journal an exclusive interview which you will be able to read in our next issue.

Finally one ‘externality’ to the deal is, of course, Halliburton’s ongoing acquisition of Baker Hughes which could take the shine off Jewel’s future.

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.