National Data repositories 2019

Under new TNO management, NDR hears from Shell on ‘robust’ ITC infrastructures and cloud technologies. Energistics on data submittal standards. North Sea Data Management Forum moots common North Sea metadata. Norway’s Released Wells project. UK’s ‘Overlooked Pay’.

2019 saw the migration of the international National Data Repositories conference (NDR) from under the auspices of Energistics to its new home at the TNO-sponsored North Sea data management forum. Some 115 delegates from around the world attended the NDR 2019 event in Utrecht, NL.

A breakout session chaired by Shell’s Johan Krebbers discussed the ‘robust’ ICT infrastructures and technologies required for receiving, storing and disseminating data. Modern technological advances can be utilized to obtain better performance and scalability, support for larger data volumes, higher degree of security and data integrity and eventually enable smoother transition when migrating between systems.

The discussion focused on cloud technologies and seismics to conclude that storing interpretations was necessary, along with field data. Operators tend to store the data in their cloud, and NDR’s should ‘keep up with industry’. Other learnings are that ‘the cloud is cheaper’ although it is not available everywhere. As much data is under used, only meta data needs to be in the cloud.

In the EU, anti-competition laws force NDR’s to change providers on a regular basis. This can cause problems with the IP of the data model used. Also moving large volumes of data takes time, as does populating a new ‘data model’. The breakout session concluded (rather enigmatically) that repositories should ‘avoid using a relational database’ and that it was a good idea to ‘bring people to the data instead of data to people’. No, we don’t understand either!

In the Energistics breakout, it was argued that standards should be used as for data submittal to make it easier for operators to use commercial software. Alongside their data exchange role, standards are now usable as a ‘persistence’ (storage) format which allows analytics directly on the data in a context like OSDU. Energistics recognizes that there are gaps, especially in the energy transition realm and is planning to work with other standards bodies in geothermal, hydrology and gas storage.

At the North Sea Data Management Forum proper, as we reported back in 2017, a loose memorandum of understanding links oil and gas authorities in countries surrounding the North Sea. In previous years the NSDMF has discussed weighty matters such as data confidentiality periods across different legislations. The organization has also mooted workgroups for a common metadata map of North Sea wells, cross-border data sharing and the impact of open data and the EU Public Sector Information Directive.

Johan Krebbers also presented the Open Subsurface Data Universe (see Oil IT Journal Issue 250). Attendees questioned OSDU on data security, to hear that ‘all features of information security were ensured to be intact on the platform’. A recent collaboration between OSDU and PPDM was described as ‘significant’ and ‘an innovative and beneficial leap forward in terms of continuing to deliver the very mission of PPDM, which is to support interoperability of people, processes and data’. How this collaboration was squared with the above entreaty not to use a relational database was unclear.

The Norwegian Released Wells project is now being run by KonKraft, a collaboration between various Norwegian trade bodies. KonKraft provides national strategies to the petroleum sector to maintain the competitiveness of the Norwegian continental shelf. Released Wells involves an in-depth analysis of cores, cuttings and logs from over 1,500 exploration and appraisal wells on the NCS with data and results migrating to 21st Century big data technology. Suppliers are Rockwash Geodata and Stratum Reservoir Labs. The 30 month project kicked off in 2019.

A similar initiative in underway in the UK where the Oil and Gas Technology Centre has kicked off an ‘Overlooked Pay’ project. In 2017 OGTC issued a ‘call for ideas’ which returned a suggestion that machine learning could be used to identify ‘overlooked pay’ opportunities and ‘prove that ML can improve productivity and objectivity and be deployed at-scale’. The project come up with several recommendations for NDRs viz: historical data ‘gaps’ without digital data need to be filled, NDRs should be home to ‘gold standard’ data, non-standard naming conventions, formatting and coordinates are a challenge, legacy non-machine readable formats are common and need to be ‘upgraded’. On the plus side the NDR can form an ecosystem for wider data usage, the cloud can now handle and facilitate rapid access and interrogation of data and there is an opportunity for large, regional scale training models for ML. The project is operated by DataCo* using well data from some 7,000 wells from Norway and the UK.

* DataCo was acquired by Sword/Venture in 2019.

Read the NDR presentations here.

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