PNEC always offers rich pickings for the data and knowledge managers and we had to leave out a couple of interesting presentations in our report last month. Joel Graves and Paul Cleverley (Shell and Flare Consultants) are ‘redefining’ the standard information search model for oil and gas. The standard model leverages natural language processing, geo-referencing and taxonomies to retrieve ‘pages of lists of records, documents or websites.’ Shell is now working on a ‘transformational approach’ that adds neural network-based analysis of large text corpuses to identify geological analogues and to progress ‘from finding to understanding.’ Instead of building a database of field analogues using traditional manual techniques, these can now be built automatically from textual data.
In the last couple of years some 120 North American upstream outfits went bust leaving debt pile of $80 billion. In this context, Jody Winston and Shashank Panchangam presented Halliburton’s ‘Open enterprise architecture’ that is set to ‘solve E&P’s biggest challenges.’ Their thesis is that E&Ps are undergoing a generational change that shows the ‘folly’ of doing business in the same old way. Changes are so pervasive that companies must come together to solve computational infrastructure challenges, software development and deployment. The cost of proprietary and closed systems will drive companies toward solutions that reduce existing high cost IT infrastructure, overcome the obstacles of proprietary databases and eliminate siloed applications. How? Well on the one hand, ‘software is eating the world,’ but it is not proprietary software where vendor lock-in is a concern. Rather it is cloud-based, open source software like the Berkley data analytics stack. This itself is built on a constellation of open source tools - Apache Mesos, Alluxio/Hadoop and Apache Spark. Roll-in stateless programs based on a REST API and an open source database like Apache Cassandra. Cost savings from migrating to open source in the cloud are expected to be significant. The authors cited GE Oil and Gas as an oil country poster child for the approach.
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