Microsoft 2015 Global Energy Forum, Houston

Noble Energy deploys Hortonworks’ Hadoop. ConocoPhillips and WoodGroup on Skype. Schlumberger Intersects the Azure cloud. Gimmal for Marathon. Access Sciences for ExxonMobil.

Things have come a long way since Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer described open source software as a ‘cancer.’ Today, open source Hadoop has become a poster child for Microsoft’s big data offering as witnessed by a joint Microsoft/Noble Energy presentation at the 2015 Microsoft Global Energy Forum held earlier this year in Houston. Frank Besch (Noble) and Kelly Kohlleffel (Hortonworks) showed how aggregating data across Scada, subsurface and other systems has helped identify events that cause lost production ahead of time.

More prosaically, customers including ConocoPhillips and Wood Group Mustang presented on ‘transformational’ use of Microsoft Skype for Business with oil and gas-specific use cases and a roadmap for the continued integration of Skype into their organizations. Microsoft’s Mike Thompson explained that ‘user love’ of Skype is now combined with the security, compliance, and control that Microsoft Lync offers, creating the ‘most loved and trusted platform for doing things together.’ (help!)

Microsoft’s positioning in high performance computing is now firmly in the cloud as witnessed by Schlumberger’s ‘democratizing access to science’ presentation by Arun Narayanan. Reservoir simulation is now available ‘without the expense of a heavyweight infrastructure.’ You’ll still have to factor the expense of a license to Schlumberger’s Intersect fluid flow simulator, said to be ‘built on the Azure cloud*.’

Parminder Sandhu showed how Marathon has used SharePoint smarts from Gimmal to build MPCConnect, its business-wide solution for content and knowledge management. The bespoke records and information management solution spans customer service, project management, training and more. The solution embeds elements of Gimmal’s new ‘Structure’ software to address unified policies for retention and classification and to standardize processes for information lifecycle management. MPCConnect adds role-based processes that target operational efficiency and informed decision making.

Mark Snyder described how, with help from Access Sciences1102, ExxonMobil has deployed a new enterprise-wide information management framework to facilitate the flow of business-critical information ‘in every direction and at all levels throughout the upstream asset lifecycle.’ The project stemmed from the observation that oil and gas asset information was not flowing smoothly across the exploration to production transition. The lack of timely business-critical KPIs and best practices was seen as a ‘serious impediment’ to operational excellence. More from the GEF in our next issue. If you are in a hurry, visit the GEF homepage.

* Intersect was originally developed on a high performance Linux cluster from Sun Microsystems (Oil IT Journal Sept 2005).

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