Archive for January, 2010

Pulse Supplies Structural Monitoring System for ATP Titan Risers

Pulse Structural Monitoring, an Acteon company, has been contracted by ATP Oil & Gas to supply a real-time riser monitoring system for the ATP Titan platform supporting the Telemark Hub field development in the Gulf of Mexico.

The ATP Titan platform is a self-contained, floating drilling and production triple-column spar structure. The real-time monitoring system will be installed on one of the production top tension risers (TTR) and linked to a topside data acquisition system. The gathered data can be evaluated offshore or transmitted to shore on demand for further evaluation and integrity management purposes.

The system will incorporate Pulse’s award-winning, field-proven INTEGRI range of sensors to monitor the global response of the production TTR and enable rig personnel to capture data in real time.

The primary objective of the riser monitoring system is to measure and quantify fatigue damage to the risers from wake-induced oscillations (WIO) during high current events in real time. The gathered data will be used to ensure the integrity of the riser system, especially after severe events. The monitoring system, which is fully ROV- and diver-serviceable, features Pulse’s award winning instrumentation INTEGRIstick® dynamic curvature sensors to measure the bending strain at the critical fatigue locations. The monitoring system also includes INTEGRIpod-HM high-precision motion loggers placed along the upper span of the riser string. The real-time, fully synchronized data stream from the motion loggers will provide a more global understanding of riser movement.

“We are excited to support the ATP Titan and the Telemark Hub project with our structural monitoring expertise, project execution and full offshore support team. Pulse technology will be utilized to set another milestone in real-time monitoring of subsea risers and structures. It will provide critical riser operational data to help us understand better the phenomenon of wake-induced and vortex-induced vibrations to maximize uptime and reduce risk,” said Daniel Reagan, Pulse’s senior engineer for structural monitoring.


January 30, 2010 at 12:46 am Leave a comment

Oil Industry Embraces Social Media Tools, Yet Corporate Policy Lags

Nearly 75% of oil and gas professionals see value in using social media and collaboration tools at work — an 83% jump from last year’s poll — but corporate-wide endorsement of these tools continues to lag behind, according to a Microsoft Corp. and Accenture survey released at Microsoft’s Global Energy Forum in Houston.

            The Microsoft and Accenture Oil & Gas Collaboration Survey 2010, which surveyed 275 professionals within international, national and independent oil and gas and related companies, found that social media and collaboration technology adoption is primarily a grassroots phenomenon within firms. At the same time, half of those surveyed said their companies prohibit or restrict the use of many of these publicly available tools, such as photo-sharing and social networking sites.

            Oil and gas employees stated that productivity gains (37%), work flexibility (95%) and the ability to complete projects on time and on budget (36% and 38%, respectively) are the primary reasons for use of social media and collaboration tools. However, company-wide endorsement has not mirrored employee demand. The survey found that only 11% of social media adoption is driven by the executive suite, and higher-ups’ greatest concerns center around a “limited ability to control or provide a secure environment” (39%).

            “With fewer resources overall and colleagues scattered across continents, it is no surprise that oil and gas professionals are increasingly turning to technology to connect and share information,” said Craig Hodges, general manager of US Manufacturing and Resources at Microsoft. “However, we recognize that securing company data and intellectual property are obviously key company priorities, and there are many corporate collaboration technologies today that achieve both goals.”

            “The survey shows that companies are not realizing the strategic benefits from their collaboration tools investments such as increased workforce performance, improved sharing of knowledge or skills across the work force,” said Craig Heiser, Accenture senior executive in the Energy industry group’s management practice. “To realize the full potential of collaboration investments, companies need to change work processes and individual roles while training their employees on how to achieve improved business performance through collaboration.”

            Johan Krebbers, Group IT architect at Shell, confirmed the industry’s need for heightened workforce collaboration.

            “The challenge we have with exploration is that we have people positioned globally to explore for oil and gas,” Krebbers said. “Eighty percent of our teams are global teams, with members in multiple locations around the world. We must offer world-class collaboration capabilities so that our people can work at a global level.”

            More information about the survey methodology and the full results are available at:


January 27, 2010 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

iStore Launches Digital Oilfield Online for the Cloud

iStore launched Digital Oilfield Online, a cloud-based hosting service for its PetroTrek® software suite, at the Microsoft Global Energy Forum. iStore, which helps oil and gas companies access, organize and visualize exploration and production (E&P) data, has adopted the Microsoft Windows Azure Services platform for delivering Digital Oilfield solutions in the cloud.

            On-premise Digital Oilfield technology requires substantial IT infrastructure to support data storage and information delivery. With the launch of Digital Oilfield Online, iStore will tackle the industry’s information management needs by applying the on-demand scalability, elastic computing and new cost structure offered by cloud computing. The new service creates immediate value, saving companies as much as $200,000 on hardware and software, in addition to recurring maintenance and operating costs.

            Digital Oilfield Online allows oil and gas companies to host their information-centric Digital Oilfield projects securely online. This includes asset management, production monitoring, health /environment / safety management, and joint venture collaboration. It also enables leveraging of on-premise data and external E&P content, such as IHS wells and production data, through iStore’s data access and integration technology. The new service supports the Public Petroleum Data Model (PPDM), an open standard widely accepted by the industry for business-oriented data storage. This gives companies a roadmap for moving data management to the cloud.

            “iStore is led by the market and our customers are telling us that agile, elastic IT is very important to their business going forward,” commented Barry Irani, president and CEO of iStore. “Cloud computing not only helps our customers eliminate costly hardware and server software licenses, it jump-starts Digital Oilfield projects by cutting out the time-consuming infrastructure procurement process associated with delivering decision support solutions. The industry as a whole will make the leap when they know that their information is as safe or safer outside the corporate firewall – that’s why we consider data security the number one priority for doing business in the cloud.”

            To ensure that Digital Oilfield Online meets the rigorous security standards required by the petroleum industry, CSC, a Windows Azure Technology Adoption Program (TAP) partner, is assisting iStore with architectural review, security auditing and the commercialization of the service.

            “CSC is proud to team with iStore on the Digital Oilfield Online. CSC is at the forefront of cloud computing through our work with clients and CSC’s Leading Edge Forum. As a result of our research and hands-on experience, our clients are benefiting from a cost-effective platform that enhances collaboration and improves asset optimization and business performance. The cloud makes this innovative solution available to a wide range of E&P companies in a very flexible business model,” said Bob Welch, president of CSC’s Chemical, Energy and Natural Resources Group.

            In 2009, CSC and iStore announced an alliance agreement in which CSC would act as primary systems integrator in the global distribution of iStore’s PetroTrek solutions.

            “iStore’s Digital Oilfield Online offering is an example of the type of solution Microsoft envisioned when we launched Windows Azure to the oil and gas industry earlier this year,” said Craig Hodges, Microsoft general manager, Manufacturing & Resources Sector. “Today’s oilfield business and operations climate is defined by unprecedented complexities and the continuing need to do more with less. Solutions like this one that eliminate costs and promote better business intelligence using the Microsoft platform in a secure computing environment will be instrumental in launching a new level of efficiency in the industry.”


January 27, 2010 at 8:55 am 1 comment

Saudi Aramco Debuts Giga-Cell Simulation Technology

The Saudi Aramco EXPEC Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC) debuted its giga-cell reservoir simulation technology, GigaPOWERS™, Jan. 23 in front of an overflowing audience in the EXPEC Auditorium. GigaPOWERS is the second generation of Saudi Aramco’s reservoir simulator, POWERS (Parallel Oil, Water and Gas Enhanced Reservoir Simulator), which is used to simulate fluid movement in the reservoir to optimize production and injection and reservoir management.

            GigaPOWERS sets a new industry record of being able to simulate giant fields at seismic or near-seismic resolution, thus doing away with the practice of downscaling, or averaging the simulation model cells in order to reduce their number. It can simulate models in excess of one billion cells (giga-cell), producing a more accurate simulation. The technology will be used to decide well locations, enhance production optimization and much more.

            The first-generation POWERS Development Team began developing the simulator in 1994. The team has grown and has been breaking records ever since. By 2000, it broke the one-million-cell (mega-cell) record. In 2002, the 10-million cell milestone was achieved with the first full-field simulation of Ghawar. Then, about a year ago, the POWERS team broke the one-billion-cell threshold.

            The live launch was a pivotal event in Saudi Aramco history. The fine scale of detail will now be applied to daily operations, benefiting the entire company, ensuring that the Kingdom’s hydrocarbon resources are carefully managed for generations to come.

January 27, 2010 at 8:51 am Leave a comment

IBM Updates Lotus Sametime Videoconferencing App

At the annual Lotusphere conference, IBM announced the availability of new IBM Lotus Sametime features, including online meetings and expanded audio and video integration, that help make unified communications and collaboration (UC2) easier and more cost-effective.

            Available now, Lotus Sametime 8.5 offers a new online meeting experience that provides a consolidated calendar view and enables users to start or join a meeting with a single click. Users can easily invite participants to a meeting by dragging names from the instant messaging contact list and dropping them into the meeting. Participants can also accept meeting invitations with a single click and upload materials to the meeting with a drag-and-drop capability.

            Leading companies from around the world participated in a beta program to test the new Lotus Sametime 8.5 capabilities and experience its simplicity and cost savings.

            “For more than eight years, we have used Lotus Sametime to help our employees around the world connect and collaborate through a real-time, integrated communications platform,” said Thomas Eidenmueller, Merck KGaA. “With our planned deployment of Lotus Sametime 8.5 in the second quarter of 2010, we will be able to further lower travel expenses with our plans to run education sessions both internally and externally with our partners. This is an important upgrade that delivers simplified capabilities that will help us increase the use of meetings and connect to our Polycom video conferencing system to promote richer collaboration.”

            The latest version of Lotus Sametime features always-ready, reservation-less meetings that offer password-protected meeting rooms that are always available so that an online meeting can be started instantly. Documents such as meeting minutes and presentations can be stored in the personalized meeting room for future use. Additionally, standards-based audio and video integration makes it easier to interoperate with existing audio and video conferencing systems and improves utilization.

            In addition, Lotus Sametime now offers a new zero-download Web client built on a new Web 2.0 toolkit that makes it easier for businesses to embed Lotus Sametime capabilities into their applications and websites. For example, a business can now include presence, instant messaging, click-to-call and click-to-meet features on its website so that customers can start a conversation or ask questions with one click from the company’s website. This capability helps businesses reduce charges associated with toll-free customer support lines and also helps to improve customer service. Additionally, the zero-download Web client makes it easy for external users to participate in meetings.

            The new release of Lotus Sametime offers expanded mobility support with a new, browser-based Apple iPhone chat client, and an improved mobile client for Microsoft Windows Mobile devices.

January 27, 2010 at 8:49 am 1 comment

ffA, TerraSpark Team Up for Seismic Research

Foster Findlay Associates Ltd. (ffA) and TerraSpark Geosciences have entered into an agreement to explore parallel research and development programs.

            Today’s exploration and production challenges demand radically new seismic interpretation workflows. By defining rapid, accurate and robust methods for building geologically consistent 3D representations of the subsurface, new levels of interpretation productivity and insight can be reached. This process is technically demanding, requiring novel interactive tools that harness the expert knowledge of the interpreter efficiently within a highly interactive, data driven process. ffA and TerraSpark already deliver these tools and believe that innovation may be greatly accelerated by combining their unique strengths in image analysis, interpretation and visualization.

            Jonathan Henderson, ffA’s Managing Director, said: “ffA is delighted to be exploring research and development interests with TerraSpark. We believe in working openly with other leading technology companies to facilitate converting innovation into practical solutions. ffA and TerraSpark share a vision that includes delivering tools that will dramatically improve interpretation accuracy, productivity and confidence through positioning 3D seismic analysis at the heart of next-generation interpretation workflows. In working together we have the potential to bring the benefits of this vision to our users much more quickly and cost-effectively.”

            TerraSpark CEO Geoffrey Dorn added: “We are excited about the potential of this agreement to accelerate the development of new interpretation technologies, capitalizing on the synergies between TerraSpark’s Insight Earth®, our flagship platform providing revolutionary 3D interpretation techniques, and ffA’s SVI Pro and SEA 3D Pro seismic analysis software. Working with ffA offers an opportunity for us to extend TerraSpark’s True Volume value proposition by achieving new thresholds in performance.”


January 27, 2010 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Industrial Gateway Server 7.5 for Proficy Launched

GE Intelligent Platforms announced the availability of its Industrial Gateway Server (IGS) 7.5 drivers for the company’s Proficy® software. The enhanced offering, utilizing industry-standard Kepware KEPServerEX and driver technology, includes more than 100 protocols, enabling connectivity to thousands of different control devices and instruments.

            A single IGS 7.5 instance allows for customers to connect to a variety of devices. IGS 7.5 provides users with an opportunity to consolidate information from different control hardware and instruments to visualize, control, analyze and optimize via connected Proficy HMI/SCADA, MES, EMI or Workflow software. It is optimized to use the maximum possible speed supported by the devices with built-in diagnostics for communication errors and complete browsing functionality into devices. This connectivity solution added to GE’s Proficy software portfolio allows customers to manage operations from a more complete perspective, allowing them to process various data points and co-relating multiple process indicators. 

            “The capabilities and functionalities of control hardware and instruments are being enhanced at the same pace as the software,” said Prasad Pai, Product Manager for GE’s Proficy iFIX software. “Newer communication standards and protocols are being introduced with the view of providing customers the ultimate flexibility in data acquisition and control. Due to these fast-paced changes, it is important to partner with a company, such as Kepware, focused solely on keeping abreast with the changes.”

            “Today, with acquisitions/mergers and consolidation, companies inherit a variety of control hardware and instruments in their plants,” continued Pai. “The biggest challenge is how to consolidate them and bring them to a common data communication standard. The enhanced IGS 7.5 goes a long way in providing that solution.”

            The enhanced IGS 7.5 application supports remote and offline configuration options without disrupting communications. Existing customers can upgrade seamlessly to the enhanced IGS 7.5 and access all the newly added device connectivity options quickly. GE’s ongoing work with Kepware keeps the product in tune with technology changes and enhanced with connections into newer devices.

January 20, 2010 at 4:58 am Leave a comment

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