2019 Open Group ‘Agile Architecture’ event, Amsterdam

Shell presents the Open subsurface data universe to The Open Group membership. ExxonMobil provides an update on O-PAS, the Open process automation standard.

Shell on the OSDU

Johan Krebbers (Shell) presented OSDU, the Open subsurface data universe, at the 2019 EU meeting of The Open Group. OSDU is to ‘put data at the center of the oil and gas industry’. Today, data is closely linked to applications in proprietary file formats. Data quality and lineage and other metadata are stored elsewhere, away from the data. The OSDU target is a single data platform based on Kubernetes, separating applications from data with access via APIs. This will be good for startups, third parties, in house developers and academia and will represent a large new market based on open source standards. OSDU will be managed by TOG such that all parties have equal access. All APIs and reference implementations are to be made available to all, members and non-members alike. Members can join subcommittees and drive changes. OSDU will be released with an Apache 2.0 license. The Schlumberger (OpenDES*) data platform is now open source. This, and other ‘data type-specific’ APIs, will be merged to OSDU such that ‘no single company is in control’. The common code base will run on multiple hosting providers Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM. OSDU has subcommittees working on enterprise architecture, data definitions (with PPDM), information security and the business model. The demo release (R1) came out on AWS with a well data focus. R2 (Q1 2020) will see the addition of seismic data with the incorporation of Bluware’s Open VDS. In Q2 2020, R3 will see ‘full integration’ with Schlumberger Delfi. OSDU will be a ‘game changer’ for the industry. The platform approach and public APIs will ‘introduce competition to the market’. ‘Data cannot be solved by one company – it’s too complex’. Read Krebbers’ presentation here.

* See also the Schlumberger statement viz, ‘In contribution to The Open Group Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDU) Forum, we have open sourced our data ecosystem, which is based on core components of the DELFI environment, to accelerate the delivery of the OSDU Data Platform. We are committed to supporting the joint development of the OSDU Data Platform’.

ExxonMobil on O-PAS

Bradley Houk (ExxonMobil) presented O-PAS, the open process automation standard initiative*. First announced in 2016, O-PAS is now operating a test bed collaboration to accelerate the initiative. Houk advised interested parties to check the slides from The Open Group 2019 Denver event for background information**. Data is ‘foundational and key to process improvement’, hence the need for open access to data enabling distribution to the cloud or back to the edge, as needed. ExxonMobil’s vision for the process industry is for a standard interface, such that edge hardware is interchangeable, and for open software access. Today, ExxonMobil ‘spends too much developing for different platforms’. ‘It’s a shame when the chips you are writing code for are older than you are!’ ‘It is hard to get people to work on 20 year-old control systems. Enter the OPA reference architecture that will ‘get computing out on the edge and into the DCN’. All of which will operate through the O-PAS connectivity framework***. Unfortunately, connecting such a layer to the cloud is currently very costly compared with a single sensor to the cloud linkage. ‘There is no reason for this!’. O-PAS can also be envisaged as a ‘virtual DCN’. Yokogawa is the system integrator, but the initiative is ‘agnostic’ with multiple suppliers involved. Over next year or so the system will be tested chez ExxonMobil before being joined by other partners.

* See our previous reporting on O-PAS which was previously OPAF.

** See here and here where there are several presentations but it’s hard to see a canonical backgrounder!

*** The O-PAS standard, V 1.0 Part 4, Connectivity Framework (OCF) was accepted by The Open Group in September 2019. However, despite the ‘open software’ pretense, O-PAS information is currently members-only.

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