Oilfield open source?

PetroVisor from Myr:conn Solutions promises ‘open source-based' knowledge automation for the oilfield. A ‘hybrid’ data, knowledge and machine learning toolkit leverages Microsoft HDInsight.

First unveiled in 2012 (OITJ November 2012), Austria-headquartered Myr:conn’s PetroVisor, an open source, rapid application development platform for the upstream, is now ready for prime time. CEO Michael Stundner is on a mission to ‘democratize’ the digital oilfield with the platform that lets users build their own digital oilfield solutions, ‘instead of relying exclusively on proprietary vendor products.’ PetroVisor integrates with clients’ service-oriented architectures and thus is claimed to avoid software product silos.

Myr:conn’s own work with the platform has been on ‘SAX,’ a.k.a. smart automated candidate selection, using Bayesian machine learning to identify fractures in a giant oilfield, integrating multi-discipline expert knowledge, data and deterministic models spanning the whole upstream workflow. Stundner observes, ‘Cross-discipline workflow integration is probably the ultimate objective for the digital oilfield and is also the hardest to achieve.’ SAX epitomizes Myr:conn’s ‘hybrid’ approach that spans data, knowledge and model-driven problem solving.

Early adopter Kostro & Friedel has used the platform in its asset performance/portfolio screening solution, leveraging PetroVisor’s data integration, workflow management and analytics.

Microsoft’s HDInsight cloud service enables PetroVisor to manage ‘big data’ projects using open source software technologies such as Apache Hadoop, Spark and R. Trusted Analytics’ internet of things to Hadoop interface also ran. The PetroVisor development platform exposes various APIs and can consume business logic described in its own P# scripts or written in the R language.

Since PetroVisor builds on a Microsoft technology stack and embeds scada data access components from CSE Icon, some will query its ‘open source’ claim. We asked Stundner exactly what Myr:conn means by open source. ‘We split our offerings into two camps: PetroVisor enterprise (paying customers) and PetroVisor open code (free). Enterprise is certified to run on specific hardware and software and is fully supported. The open code option provides the raw PetroVisor source code under a GNU GPL 3.0 license. The code will be available for download from our website and on GitHub at a later date. Users can propose code changes and add-ons to be included in the code base. A committee will decide if these are integrated into the next release. DLLs, P# and R scripts based on published methods and technologies will also be available for download.

Although this may not satisfy the open source purist, the approach is well aligned with Microsoft’s own blurring of the proprietary/open source boundary.

More on open source in the upstream next month.

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