Volume 24 Number 6


Editorial Déjà vu all over again?

Introducing this issue’s (the 250th) copious coverage of the Open subsurface data universe, Oil IT Journal editor Neil McNaughton, traces industry’s attempts to solve the interoperability conundrum and its evolving position regarding open source software, to conclude with a variation on the old ‘Stone Soup’ fable.

When we started out back in 1996, as Petroleum Data Manager, data management was, on the one hand, the topic du jour. On the other hand, there was a feeling that, mirroring Fukuyama’s ‘end of history’, data management was a ‘done deal’. Depending on your persuasion, either what was then POSC (now Energistics) or PPDM* had fixed, or would shortly fix, all of what were then the pressing issues of the day**. That is to say, the pressing issues of the data world that have remained with us ever since; awkward data formats, idiosyncratic data stores and multiple issues of interoperability. The very issues which OSDU, the Open subsurface data universe, has set out to solve.

This issue extends our coverage of OSDU with a technology update, a report from The Open Group’s Amsterdam meet (with also an update on the other TOG oil and gas initiative, O-PAS, the open process automation standard) and interviews with OSDU champion, Shell’s Johan Krebbers and TOG CEO Steve Nunn.

Will OSDU fix interoperability? To believe so, you have to believe that ‘this time is different’, which is always a big ask! On the plus side, OSDU has momentum. But momentum is not enough. There is a tendency amongst major operators to spin-out putative standards work at a certain stage of development in the hope that they will see take up or sustainable further development. Such in-house work is generally presented as non-core business. Over the years we have seen the following standards spun-out (mainly from Shell) into the public domain: ISO TC/184/15926 with its Express data modeling, Business Objects with the spin-out of Open Spirit, revamped ISO 15926 with added ‘Semantic Web’ technology and lately Cfihos and its standardized Excel engineering spreadsheets***. These all have had a mixed reception in the real world for a variety of reasons which Oil IT Journal has covered extensively over the years. I think it is fair to say that they have all fallen short of their original intent, although to be fair, it is too early to pronounce on Cfihos. Today Shell is spinning out its in-house SDU infrastructure into OSDU. Will this time be different?

I really don’t know, but one interesting facet of OSDU is its focus on open source software. Johan Krebbers told us that ‘We can’t have any proprietary stuff on the platform’. Which begs the question, why are so many vendors of proprietary software interested in the initiative? Have they all undergone a damascene conversion to free? On the side of the oils, a similar conversion is required in regard of open source. Open source (apart from Linux in HPC) has had an unenthusiastic reception in oil and gas to date. We have tracked the open source movement in the upstream out of interest and I confess, from something of an activist stance, dating back to the days when it was IBM vs. Unix, or Microsoft vs. the ‘cancer’ of Linux. There was general disdain, and even fake news, with whispered warnings of legal repercussions if you were caught using open source software. Industry events targeting open source, notably chez the EAGE, failed to get much traction.

Today, the GAFAs have changed the nature of the open source game and even Microsoft has ‘embraced’ open source****. What oils need to do now is get into the open source culture. That means a shift away from exclusive in-house work, from closed R&D joint ventures, and into writing and financing a code base for the public good. The activist in me adds that the code should not be ‘open source .NET’, which would make it exclusively Windows. Neither should it be too finely-tuned to a particular vendor’s data universe. This makes for quite a tricky balancing act. But caveats apart, OSDU is the most interesting development in the upstream software world since the heydays of POSC’s Epicentre.

* At the time this was the Public Petroleum Data Management association. In 2008 PPDM changed its name to the Professional Petroleum Data Management association.

** Notably with Project Discovery, which in 1996, set out to merge the Epicentre and PPDM data models.

*** Parallel ‘open’ offerings from the major vendors have also emerged but these, from Landmark’s OpenWorks to Schlumberger’s OpenDES, are too tightly-coupled with their proprietary infrastructures to be considered truly ‘open’.

**** Although this could be interpreted as continuation of its ‘embrace-extend-extinguish’ strategy of the 2000s.

~

My apologies if you have heard this story before. A mysterious traveler arrives in a mediaeval village in the midst of a famine. The traveler promises to feed the starving villagers with a magic stone he has in his knapsack but first he needs a soup cauldron and some boiling water. This duly arrives and he pops his stone into the pot saying, ‘That’s it. The soup is cooking now and will be ready soon. But, you know, it will be nicer if any of you have some vegetables to add in for extra taste’. The headman disappears briefly and comes back with a large parsnip he has been hoarding and pops it in. One by one, the other villagers do likewise, until the caldron is full of boiling veggies. A few minutes later, the villagers tuck into a delicious broth and thank the traveler for doing his magic.

I’m not sure that I did the stone soup story justice. Wikipedia has a few interesting versions. I like the Hungarian one which has it that, after the meal, the traveler sells the stone to the villagers. Which fits my point better. In the IT world, the stone is the ‘next big thing’. Over the 25 years or so that Oil IT Journal has been publishing, the next big things have included the relational data model, CORBA, business objects, the semantic web, and more recently, cloud computing and ... Kubernetes. The vegetables are your domain knowledge and your data.

Headlines

McKinsey’s new mandate for Oil & gas CIO

Limited digital transformation success to date means CIOs must up their game, becoming a ‘peer to the CEO’. IT needs to evolve from a support function to a full ‘engineering discipline’. Call for new breed of software engineers ready to acquire domain knowledge.

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MemComputing ‘quantum performance’ in software

Chevron Technology Ventures and US DARPA back HPC boutique’s ‘deep belief networks’.

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Oil IT Journal Interviews – Johan Krebbers, Shell and OSDU and Steve Nunn, CEO The Open Group

Oil IT Journal caught up with Johan Krebbers and Steve Nunn at the 2019 EU meet of The Open Group in Amsterdam. We chatted (separately) to Krebbers about OSDU specifics and to Nunn about The Open Group’s approach to standards.

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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.

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Open subsurface data universe R2.0

Latest OSDU release adds seismic data support with Bluware OpenVDS and Schlumberger Petrel ZGY. Data access forks into ‘domain’ and ‘generic’ API calls.

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2019 Houston Oil and Gas (seismic) Machine Learning Symposium

Advertas*-hosted event hears from: IGI on AI in geophysics and the SEG/SEAM AI project. Geophysical Insights – Will ML replace the interpreter? Chevron – ML in reservoir engineering. ConocoPhillips – ML in 4D seismic and ‘direct quantitative prediction’. AASPI Consortium on ML in attribute classification. Geophysical Insights - making deep learning accessible to the interpreter. Dell on digital natives vs. the ‘see the beach’ generation.

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Future geoscience jobs

French Geological Society hosts AI in geoscience event. Total on AI’s impact on geoscience jobs. Earth Analytics applies AI to NPD dataset. Seisnetics’ ML for seismic processing.

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2019 Pipeline Open Data Standard Fall Conference

New Century on PODS deployment. Kinder-Morgan on PODS business rules in 7.0. PHMSA on the national pipeline mapping system and new gas pipeline rules.

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Software, hardware short takes …

CoreLogic lightning risk map, Petex MOVE 2019.1, Actenum DSO V 6.6 for upstream, Agilent’s 990 Micro Gas chromatograph, Brüel & Kjær Vibro DT-12x vibration monitors, Barco Canvas VR, Petrosys’ dbMap/Web 2019.4, EasyCopy EasyCore 2.0, Elysium quality framework for Asfalis, Endress+Hauser’s ATEX-rated iTEMP TMT71/72, Integrated Informatics’ Marco Commander, OspreyData’s Unified Monitor, Thermo Scientific PerGeos 2019.3, myQuorum DynamicDocs, New Excel freeware from Ryder Scott, Wood Mackenzie’s Lens, Yokogawa’s dynamic real time optimizer for OpreX. Siemens Simcenter Amesim.

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2019 Standards Leadership Council

Houston get-together hears restatement of SLC aims, pitch for new mapping work groups. Cross fertilization of Energistics UoM work into PPDM. Energistics OPC-UA information models for drilling and producing.

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ECIM 2019 Haugesund

Shell – ML is happening but too slowly, SPDM launch, Teradata data science needs a scalable data system, Shell on OSDU, Okea and IO Data on big, tough data project, Pandion/Computas and the Kerigen subsurface data platform, Wintershall’s AMIE automated information extraction project, Schlumberger on the UK National Data Repository, Equinor on the ‘inadequate’ LAS well log standard, Petroware JSON Well Log Format (JSON-WLF), IHS Markit/PPDM and taxonomic clarity in the upstream, Sword/Venture - data science unlocks the value in BP’s unstructured data, Schlumberger’s damascene conversion to open source. Short takes: NorskOlje&Gass data exchange. AgileDD work for Equinor. Diskos 2.0. North Sea overlooked pay project. Geodata - ArcGIS front end to Volve dataset. Kadme Whereoil front end to Diskos. Interica on Woodside’s rule-based archiving.

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Folks, facts, orgs …

Atwell, Avetta, Bilfinger, Borr Drilling, BP, NexTier Oilfield Solutions, Capgemini, Cfihos, CGG, Cognite, Data Gumbo, Element Materials Technology, Element Analytics, Energistics, TietoEVRY, Fugro, GHD, Infrastructure Networks, IOGP, Lloyds Register, mCloud, Mission Secure, NSI Technologies, OAGi, OspreyData, PRCI, ProStar Geocorp, Quanta Services, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Spire, T.D. Williamson, US Department of Energy, Weatherford International, Ziyen Energy, GeoDeVL, Radix, Technology Collaboration Center, XBRL International.

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Done deals …

Implico, Brainum. Baker Hughes Company. Repsol, Belmont Technology. NexTier Oilfield Solutions. Circor International. CSA Ocean Sciences, MMT. Fugro Seabed Geosolutions. GE Fanuc, Emerson. Seequent, Geoslope. L3Harris Technologies. McCoy Global, DrawWorks. Pason Systems, Intelligent Wellhead Systems. Petrofac, W&W Energy Services. Petrosys, GNS Science. Prometheus Group, Engica. Siemens, Atlas 3D, Pixeom. SitePro, Integrated Control Solutions. Subsea 7, 4subsea. Sword Group, DataCo. Titan Cloud Software, JMM Global. Universal mCloud, Fulcrum Automation Technologies, Autopro Automation Consultants. WolfePak Software, DocVue

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ECN 2019 5th IoT in Oil and Gas

The Energy Conference Network’s 2019 IoT in Oil & Gas, Houston event offered an introduction to the internet of things* in terms of market potential and technology. Real-world early-adopter deployments from Chevron and Hess. Hitachi Ventura on the promise of digital/IoT. Detechtion’s IoT primer. Vantiq on IoT at Total’s TADI project. Roxar’s MPFM and the cloud. Anadarko/Oxy on AI in drilling. Apergy Spotlight. Chevron’s IoT cybersecurity. Other vendors - Ametek, Appian, Hawkiii, Neudesic, Onica, Swim. Clariant on oil and gas in … 2035.

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AI platforms shrink at the edge

Foghorn runs video analytics on Jetson Nano. 40Geo demos TensorFlow computer vison on Raspberry PI. OpenMV, DIY machine vision for the Arduino.

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ECCMA ISO TC 184/SC 4 industry day

CT 184 Consulting reports on new ISO/TC 18101-1 ‘Oil & Gas Interoperability Standard’ for engineering data exchange.

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Sales, partnerships …

Kongsberg Digital, Shell. Hexagon, PDO. Shell, Baker Hughes, C3.ai, Microsoft. Beacon, Shell New Energies. Xpansiv, Bluefield. Data Gumbo, BBL Ventures. Ecolog, TST-Turbo. Eni, eDrilling. Emerson, Petrobras. Equinor, Saipem. Repsol, Halliburton. Halliburton, PTTEP. Honeywell, ADNOC, KIPIC, BP. ExxonMobil, IBM. IT Mation, Ignition. Intertek, NEPSI. Mesa, Crusoe Energy Systems. Propell, Stimline. Recon Technology, Ping An. RS Energy Group, Shell Western E&P. Shell, SparkCognition. Siemens, Tenaris. ADNOC, Total. Kasi Group, Wärtsilä. Petrobras, Weatherford International. Woodside, IBM.

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Standards stuff …

PIDX Field Ticket Guideline. EU Financial Transparency Gateway. CAPE-OPEN 2.0. Energistics Energy Transfer Protocol V1.2. IOGP Report 373-26, GoM coordinate transformations. OGC API Features Part 1. ISO/IEC JTC1, ETSI, oneM2M, W3C AIOTI. NASA SWEET. XBRL. NIST’s new foot.

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Safety first …

Accenture’s CraneTagZ. US Chemical Safety Board on Philadelphia refinery blaze. DevonWay reports major safety management system deployment. DNV GL’s safety-focused digital twin concept, updates IRIS sustainability rating system. Ideagen Q-Pulse Law compliance management. IOGP Report 453, Safety Leadership in Practice. Intelex ISO 45001 checklist for HSE. CCRT/Washington State release S-CAT, a safety climate assessment tool. Restrata’s eponymous safety platform. Rockwell Journal Oil & Gas eBook on safe operations.

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2019 OSIsoft EU user meeting, Gothenburg

DROP, MOL’s Danube refinery online program. EDEA, ENI’s digital energy analytics solution.

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2019 LBCG Onshore well site facilities summit

American Business Conferences event hears from Oxy’s digital oilfield, Agar Corp on multi-phase metering on every well and Hy-Bon EDI on vapor recovery and eliminating flaring.

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2019 OilComm Conference and Exposition Houston

AccessIntel/OilComm conference hears from the Houston office of the FBI, from Invatare on AI/ML ‘not delivering as expected’ and from Datarobot on automated AI in oil and gas.

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