PNEC 2014, Houston (June 2014)

ConocoPhillips' from (Petrel) data chaos to calm. BP on well integrity. Exxon and Petrel Studio. Petrosys' resource estimate standards. BP's upstream data plans. Energistics' next generation standards. Sinopec's geological asset management. ENI and OVS. Cobalt's Landmark cloud. More ...

The 18th PNEC conference on petroleum data integration, information and data management held last month in Houston appears to have succeeded in its move to new ownership under Pennwell, attracting a record 700 oil and gas industry professionals from 34 countries. Judging from the presentations which the PNEC organizers have kindly made available to Oil IT Journal, the conference has succeeded in maintaining the quality and focus of its presentations.

James Vazquez offered detailed advice on how ConocoPhillips has moved 'from chaos to calm' in its Petrel environments. But the journey was not easy. The first problem was that Blueback Reservoir's Project Tracker failed to cope with CP's large network. Three weeks after kicking off, the tool was still crawling! Enter Blueback's Project Crawler which managed to find CP's projects for further investigation with the Tracker. This let CP's surveyor align project coordinate reference systems (CRS) with data in its OpenWorks database. With some basic data management standards in place, users could use the Petrel reference project tool and benefit from some 'real collaboration.' A spin off was an 80% reduction in Petrel project counts. CP's 'OneWiki' knowledge sharing environment got a plug.

Ivan Benavides presented BP North America Gas' approach to assuring well integrity. The well integrity management project addresses BP's mid to long term needs with a web based tool that helps capture and evaluate anomalies as they are detected. An anomaly ranking tool combines safety critical equipment data with the probability and impact of barrier failure. A systematic process for risk categorization and anomaly prioritization has provided BP with an enhanced capability to meet existing and emerging state regulatory requirements. The system has reduced the time engineers spend on integrity data management and has saved costs through automation.

ExxonMobil's Kristen Poteet returned to the Petrel data problem. Petrel is Exxon's tool of choice for integrating well logs and seismic but it presents 'recurring data management difficulties.' These include the inability to find definitive data, duplicate or incomplete data sets and disk space problems. Exxon has deployed Petrel Studio to rationalize its data management. Exxon's Studio implementation runs on an Oracle database with ArcSDE extensions and provides a true multi-user environment for Petrel. A 'publish' model captures data to Studio at project milestones. The Studio/Oracle combo allows Exxon to capture and search much larger amounts of data than in a Petrel project and the system can alert users when new data is available. Projects can be edited and rebuilt/reconfigured as required. The system was piloted through 2013 on an early release of Studio. Several problems were encountered en route but Exxon is persevering with Studio, which now provides a 'single source of trusted data for several of our business teams.'

Petrosys' Volker Hirsinger observed that, 'There are currently no standards for how resource estimates should be managed in structured databases.' He suggests using PPDM architectural principles to develop a maintainable resource estimates data structure that could be extended in the future. The PPDM audit history table provides a mechanism for tracking reserves estimates as they evolve when new data arrives or when interpretations change. Reserve estimates are after all opinions - and tracking them is a matter of considerable importance to regulated operators. Hirsinger was not selling anything but we imagine that the reserves cataloguing workflows that Petrosys was showing at last year's SEG are not a million miles removed from the proposed approach.

Pradeep Vaswani unveiled BP's plans for its upstream data integration platform, a suite of design patterns, integration technologies and tools designed to support, inter alia, BP's 'Chili,' subsurface modeling project. A key facet of the work is the 'socialization' of BP's strategy to ensure buy-in from key stakeholders. The project originated with the difficulty of cross discipline application where 'enormous use cases' are hampered by a lack of enterprise service bus/OpenSpirit technology. BP has proposed a 'common underlying integration framework' to meet all current and future requirements. Vaswani went through a number of use cases including PI data integration (with iLogistics and SAP), upstream (Chili - with Petrel atop OpenWorks) and Finance (SAP to Midas). Other tools involved are Tibco/Spotfire, Microsoft BizTalk and deployment on SharePoint in the Azure cloud. Vaswani's presentation included detailed data flow charts including a real time scenario feeding a 100 terabye 'massively parallel processing database' connected to a petabyte big data store.

Jay Hollingsworth embarked on a tour of standards that impact oil and gas in particular Energistics' embryonic common technical architecture (CTA), a technology base for the next generation of Energistics standards. The CTA builds on open standards to avoid licensing issues and to ensure that they are accessible to developers. These include some familiar building bricks like XML, HDF5 and Microsoft's Open packaging convention. Energistics now has its own OPC profile used in the recent Resqml standard. The Object management group's UML is also now key to model development and code generation. Also new is a move to the Websocket protocol for the next generation of Energistics standards that will support streaming data. A new Energistics transfer protocol has been proposed leveraging Websocket, Avro and JSON - to be rolled out in Witsml 2 real soon now!

A presentation by Chen XinRong provided some interesting metrics on the scope of Sinopec's geological asset management effort. Sinopec has 900 employees working in its geology archive. It was proving hard to find an off-the-shelf solution that supported Chinese characters and fulfilled Sinopec business needs. In 2005 the company initiated a $2.5 million project to sort out its geology data with metadata standards, processes and a database and web portal. The in-house solution now boasts some 20,000 users!

Paul Richter (ENI) asked 'How do you maintain a G&G data quality in a multi- vendor environment?' adding that to date, 'the question is largely unanswered.' Enter ENI's own data framework. Richter warns against embarking on an 'unending data cleanup effort' A successful effort needs to balance methodology, technology, and planning.' While Richter downplayed the technology choice, his slides appeared to show a custom edition on OVS' 'One virtual source' data solution.

Greg Hess (Halliburton/Landmark) described a cloud deployment performed for Cobalt International. Houston-based Cobalt has operated in a hosted environment since its inception in 2005. Cobalt's cloud comprises Landmark's application hosting cloud services, an 'infrastructure-as-a-service' (IaaS) model originally developed in 2000. Today Cobalt has over 100 users accessing some fifty applications in the cloud accessing a multi-terabyte data set. Data management of the latter is a key component of the offering as indeed is data loading - all provided as a service by Landmark under a service level agreement. While public cloud providers could handle portions of the hosted solution, the real challenge is to 'bring all the pieces together for a positive user experience.' This requires a combination of data processing, delivery, and storage in conjunction with configuring the proper networks and appropriate communication links. All relevant traffic concerning the system is tracked with an information technology service management tool for reporting.

EnergyIQ's Steve Cooper showed how the PPDM 'what is a well' standard has been deployed in real world environments for Devon and Anadarko. Application of the detailed nomenclature for deviated sidetracked and variously completed well bores has made for easy access to integrated data across the full well lifecycle and across different data silos. The approach is said to be 'a robust alternative to the common, error prone approach of data exchange by spreadsheet.'

Tjan Tjwan Liang described Saudi Aramco's workflow automated services for well logs, 'Wasl,' developed to automate log data management. Wasl provides a dashboard and key performance indicator to track data delivery and use. The tool has helped Aramco assure well data quality and completeness.

Scott Raphael outlined how Merrick's toolset has adapted to the fast paced factory drilling paradigm of unconventional exploration and development. In this context, new wells and equipment need to be added to the production data management systems in a timely fashion and the flood of data creates opportunities for error. Along with the usual gas, oil and water, operators now need to track how products are sold, flared, vented, used as compressor fuel and so on for regulatory reporting. Tracking production allocation and rapidly changing price variations across a variety of liquids is also quite an issue. Operators run the risk of lawsuits if they mess up - or can't prove that their reporting is fair and accurate. Enter Merrick's Production Manager, now customized for shale operators.

No less than three presentations (from PPDM, CDA and BP) revolved around the creation of a certification program for data management professionals. Trudy Curtis (PPDM) did a great job retrofitting the plethoric standards from the Standards leadership council into a single coherent Power Point. CDA, ECIM and PPDM plan to publish a joint 'statement of intent' real soon now to 'plot the route towards a single society.' Those interested are invited to 'watch this space and get involved - with an open, collaborative mind.' More from PNEC Conferences.

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