2020 PIDX Virtual Spring Conference

PIDX adoption forums and NOC ‘empanelment’. Chevron/Microsoft moot PIDX Energy Transition project. Cloud to ‘democratize data exchange’. Sphera on ISO 22745 and supply chain risk management. Enverus/Peloton on OpenTicket field ticketing. Chevron and ChaiOne on digital field service management. Payload, ‘a wealth of opportunity lies dormant in application databases’.


Speaking at the 2020 PIDX* virtual spring conference Amit Sethi (PIDX board and Baker Hughes) presented on the need for PIDX adoption forums. These are to help members with their journey from standards to adoption and outcomes. Target areas include business process standardization, master data harmonization and technology modernization. Currently there has been limited adoption of a few standards. PIDX can help by scaling existing solutions to create value for both partners. Another problem area is represented by country-specific adoption challenges such as culture and local legislation. Sethi advocates promoting PIDX standards to Middle East NOCs and proposes ‘empanelment’ of NOCs into PIDX to share case studies and highlight the benefits of regional and global adoption.

Sebastian Gass, Stephanie Waters and Franz Helin (Chevron) pitched the PIDX Energy Transition Project (to be led by Chevron and Microsoft) as a component of the PIDX Strategic Initiatives Work Group. Chevron is building on earlier work on environmental performance, leveraging data science and artificial intelligence. Chevron’s environmental ‘beachhead’ projects include emissions data collection and integration at its El Segundo refinery and offshore Western Australia Gorgon complex. A target architecture is proposed to automate enterprise GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions data collection and curation, including trusted external data, to feed the Sphera GHG emission reporting and analysis application (see below). A PIDX ET/NDX (energy transition normalized data and exchange standards) framework will establish clear data standards and exchange needs in the energy industry amongst suppliers and operators. The plan is for transparency of reporting with APIs for technical integrations and a ‘minimum viable product’ to roll out later in 2020. More in the proposal.

Kadri Umay (Microsoft) presented on ‘democratizing data exchange with a cloud-native architecture’. Umay described today’s upstream data landscape as a ‘Winchester House’ of data silos. What is needed is a networked ‘open data model with rich semantics’ spanning subsurface, trading, production and reaching across to suppliers and joint venture partners. In which context, OSDU, The Open Group’s open subsurface data universe got a shout-out, as indeed did PIDX, as a relevant standards body. ‘Cloud-born’ technology, object storage, NoSQL databases and the internet of things are in the mix as are ‘blockchain tokens’. The whole caboodle is augmented with various Microsoft tools (Office365, the Azure Synapse, Dynamics365) and sits atop Azure Data Lake storage. Poster child for Microsoft’s industrial data nirvana is Swedish utility Vattenfall. Umay concluded with a mention of Microsoft’s Project Silica that stores seriously large amounts of data in inalterable quartz glass using ‘femtosecond lasers’.

Peter Hardy, Neal Rosen and Matt Ludbrook (Sphera) presented on supplier price book onboarding, catalogue automation and the role of master data management in operational risk management. Issues with supplier contracts include managing material master data, handling a constant stream of price book deltas, aligning materials requirements with availability, and superseding obsolete items. The route to success passes through structured master data on part number and pricing with a single, unique record for each stock keeping unit (SKU). The authors cited the ISO 8000-110 and ISO 22745 standards as key to quality data. In particular, the three ‘stages’ of ISO 22745, the technical dictionary (part 10), identification guide (part 30) and master data (part 40). Somewhat enigmatically, the semantic web was cited as ‘the future for material identification’. Sphera’s software is used by BP, Shell, Siemens, Yokogawa and many others.

A joint presentation from Enverus and Peloton, given by Dave Savelle (Enverus) discussed the Enverus/Oildex OpenTicket digital ticketing solution. The cloud-based collaborative platform allows operators and service providers to generate, review and approve field tickets. Field ticketing progressed from manual paper transactions to digital invoicing (with a degree of manual reconciliation) by around 2010. Today a fully digital transaction chain with digital invoicing, reconciliation and approval, ‘pay on ticket’ is possible. But there remain issues as suppliers prefer to review field tickets internally, before using them as the basis for an invoice, to validate pricing and discounts and ensure that the scope aligns with the work done. Additional technical solutions like geofencing and GPS tracking show promise but may not work on a well pad with many objects in a relatively small space. It can be hard to support multiple ‘fit for purpose’ ticket types and to align with customers’ business rules. Today, OpenTicket transacts over 2 million tickets per year (2019), a $6 billion spend by over 4,000 suppliers. By spend, 85% of transactions go straight through the portal. An additional 5% come as PIDX-compliant tickets.

Peloton’s WellView tracks AFE, field estimates and final invoiced costs for morning reporting. WellView provides KPIs including daily cost total, AFE vs field estimate and cost per depth. Digital ticketing can support contract price matching providing more accurate cost estimates along with complex AFE/CC and GL splits, breaking out costs accurately between entities. Integration between the digital field ticket and morning reporting solutions reduces the data entry burden and improves accuracy. Support for real time digital ticketing in drilling and completions is slowly being adopted. Current digital ticketing processes support lease operating expenditure analysis well and can speed business process. The need today is to link morning reporting and field ticketing systems, making the morning report the source of digital field ticket approvals. Here there is an opportunity for PIDX to lead in enhancing standards for data and transport layers for field ticket information.


Dan Carlson (Chevron, retired) and Stephen Johnson (ChaiOne), speaking at another PIDX 2020 event in Calgary, presented a PIDX success story on how software design thinking has been used to help and enable Chevron’s field workers. ChaiOne’s flagship is digital field service management (DFSM), a mobile application that enables timely confirmation of 3rd party work when completed in the field and produces an accurate estimate of the value of work done. DFSM exposes an API that uses the PIDX industry data standard to securely connect Chevron with external partners. DFSM development was informed by Chevron’s ‘voice of the supplier’ and ‘voice of the field worker’ initiatives. The tool was launched in August 2019. Today site managers digitally approve field tickets on a daily basis. A Microsoft Azure back end lets developers integrate via PIDX. Suppliers call the ‘CreateTicket’ PIDX endpoint. App users can display and approve or reject a ticket and register devices for push notifications.

Chris Lambert (Payload) believes that there is a ‘wealth of opportunity’ lying dormant in many application databases and company data warehouses, all data that could be leveraged to reduce costs, improve productivity and automate process. The answer may be ‘self-arranging intelligent systems’ that leverage AI/ML to adapt automatically to a particular problem. Data collected on a daily basis may have additional value through aggregation, or as part of a larger data ecosystem. For instance, route coordinates from daily operations will be of value to first responders in an emergency. Lambert envisages a ‘journey’ from unstructured data in disparate applications and disconnected data sources to fully structured data that is ‘consumable’. Here standards like PIDX will be critical to success. ‘PIDX represents an opportunity for your organization to better align standardized and structured data’.

More from PIDX.

* The Petroleum Industry Data Exchange standards body.

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