OSDU update

PPDM explains relationship with Open subsurface data universe. OSDU to leverage PPDM rules. Training program floated. Schlumberger publishes ‘Concise guide to OSDU’ for production-ready R3.

The Calgary-based Professional Petroleum Data Management Association, PPDM, has published a 12-page white paper to explain its relationship to OSDU, The Open Group’s subsurface data universe. ‘Collaboration with OSDU’ (CwO) sets out to explain PPDM’s activity and how its members could support the development of the OSDU platform. The paper was not ‘formally endorsed’ by the OSDU Forum.

CwO recasts PPDM’s various upstream data initiatives with modern terminology. PPDM’s data object definitions are described as structured according to the technical requirements of a technology specific container. The PPDM flagship database is now ‘embedded in a relational database container’. PPDM’s efforts to standardize upstream terminology, the ‘What is a …’ series of publications are now grouped in IPDS, the ‘International petroleum data standards and best practices’.

What has been agreed so far is that OSDU is to leverage the PPDM rules library to increase data fidelity and OSDU is to submit changes to the library back to PPDM. OSDU has also agreed to leverage the knowledge contained in the PPDM Data Model and in its reference lists, ‘incorporating PPDM content by reference’. PPDM is also hopeful that OSDU will formally include its best practice guidelines in its data platform. Although as of OSDU Release 3, these principles are not explicitly implemented since well identifications specs are deemed to be ‘implementation-based’.

PPDM is also in discussion with OSDU on a training program. PPDM proposes to develop educational material that will be harmonized with existing PPDM activity to support emerging OSDU-centric roles. The program will leverage PPDM’s Chartered petroleum data analyst certification. PPDM proposes that such material will be maintained on behalf of The Open Group and used in the OSDU accreditation process.


Schlumberger has published a Concise guide to the Open Group Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDU) Forum with, notably, details of the upcoming R3 release, said to be the first release available for operational use by the wider industry. In August 2019, Schlumberger contributed the data ecosystem developed for its Delfi cognitive E&P environment to the OSDU Forum as open source code.

The 12-page Guide likens the Delfi ‘openness’ to that of Ocean and Petrel, conflating ‘open’ with the existence of an API, rather as Landmark did with OpenWorks. This raises a couple of questions for would be OSDU users. One, can you run the OSDU data infrastructure as contributed by SLB without deploying and paying for Delfi? Secondly, if you can do this, how practical is it?

The Guide is somewhat unclear on this*. ‘The OSDU data platform will be a reference architecture and a reference implementation for cloud-native subsurface data platforms. It will not in itself be a truly production-ready subsurface data platform. To use OSDU, either your organization or a third-party vendor can develop the proprietary applications that turn it into a working E&P data platform. If your organization has a deployment of the Delfi environment, the OSDU data platform is already integrated as part of your Delfi solutions’. Clearly it will be easier to use OSDU if you are already a Schlumberger/Delfi shop.

* We did ask Schlumberger for clarification, but none was forthcoming.

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