2019 Standards Leadership Council

Houston get-together hears restatement of SLC aims, pitch for new mapping work groups. Cross fertilization of Energistics UoM work into PPDM. Energistics OPC-UA information models for drilling and producing.


The recent Houston meeting of the [oil and gas] Standards leadership council (SLC), chaired by OPC Foundation CEO Tom Burke was an opportunity to catch up on SLC progress since its last public meetings, almost five years ago. The SLC was founded in 2012 to ‘enhance collaboration on standards for the benefit of industry’. The SLC pitched a suite of eight work groups that set out to map across the different standards. The WITSML to PPDM Mapping was presented as work in progress back in 2014.

The 2019 SLC meet was more of a restatement of the SLC’s initial intent and an opportunity for the participating orgs to set out their stalls. There was little progress to report on what Oil IT Journal described as ‘the herculean task of tying together so many radically different standards’. Trudy Curtis (PPDM) mentioned the WITSML to PPDM mapping and also PPDM’s leverage of Energistics units of measure work as a ‘wonderful example’ of SLC collaboration.

Pipeline open Data standard association (PODS)

Pete Veenstra (PODS), the ‘new kids on the SLC block*’ described the new PODS data exchange format and PODS 7.0, the latest version of its pipeline data model. The various flavors of PODS and its multiple GIS models are managed in the UML-based Enterprise Architect, which makes for a tenuous connection with another SLC member, the OMG.

* Actually we have it that PODS was one of the SLC founding members.

OMG on SysML

Claude Baudoin (OMG) spoke of UML along with the OMG’s work BPM and Case modeling and SysML, a new graphical data modeling language that could be leveraged in the SLC’s mapping initiatives*. The OMG has oil and gas credentials via the DDS automation protocol (notably commercialized by RTI). Baudoin also mentioned SensR, a proposed ‘vendor-independent metamodel for data generated by sensors’.

* Early PPDM to WITSML mapping was done in Excel.

Energistics ETP/UoM

Jay Hollingsworth retraced Energistics’ flagship standards for data transfer and (now) for analytics. He distanced ETP, the Energistics transfer protocol from DDS. ETP is also to go beyond XML to JSON, the ‘preferred representation’ of data scientists. Energistics is the official keeper of the oil and gas UoM standard and the ISO 19115 oil and gas metadata profile. Energistics is collaborating with the OPC Foundation ‘enabling OPC UA vendors to sell into oil and gas’. Energistics is also working on OPC companion standards (to be released real soon now), a.k.a OPC-UA information models for drilling and producing. Hollingsworth also pitched Energistics’ role in fostering open standards and community, with reference to Halliburton’s Open Earth, Schlumberger’s OpenDES and most recently The Open Group’s OSDU data lake, a ‘well-architected open source data lake for a common data environment’.

BP on IOGP ISSC vision for upstream digitalization

Ken Dunn (BP and chair of the ISSC, the information standards subcommittee of the IOGP) stated that the ISSC’s vision is for a ‘common industry framework for digitalization’. The ISSC is to select and support ‘preferred’ information standards. Where there are there are overlaps between standards, the ISSC will ‘seek winners and then get the industry behind the [approved] standard’. The IOGP’s standards, unlike other SLC members, are primarily focused on engineering and construction. These are covered by three task forces, a global equipment hub, product lifecycle management and ‘digitalization’. task force. Dunn described the World Economic Forum’s mooted $ 2 trillion ‘prize’ to be won if industry fully digitalizes as ‘a totally daunting number’. Engineering interoperability is to be facilitated with a new ISO standard ISO 18101, formerly the Open Industrial Interoperability Ecosystem (OIIE).

Mimosa and the open industrial digital ecosystem

Alan Johnston (Mimosa) described the OIEE as an ongoing effort that has been 10 years in ‘bootstrapping’. Much of the ISO landscape (TC 67, 14224, 108, 184, SC4 SC5 .62264 18101-1 appears to have been distilled into the OIEE along with the efforts of OpenO&M, OAGI, ILAP and SPIR (the spare parts interchangeability record).

Listen in to the SLC webinar recording.

Comment: Standards selection, evaluation, elimination of overlaps and a drive to leverage commonality in the search for interoperability are, as we have said before, herculean tasks. Our 30,000 feet view of the SLC’s activity suggests that, rather than completing specific tasks like the mooted mappings of the SLC’s early days, there is a tendency to look even further afield and embrace even more standards. The invocation of ISO standards also needs qualification. While some ISO standards may be useful, hard-wired and ready for use, others are wordy entreaties or simply incomplete. One thinks of ISO 15926 and, for example, the ‘Ras Tanura ISO flop’ we reported on in 2010. Getting your protocol to ISO standard is as much politics as technology. The result can also be perverse in that ISO standards are behind a paywall, making it less open for use or scrutiny by interested parties. Despite our requests, ISO does not issue standards for review.

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.