Posts filed under ‘The Bleeding Edge’

Halliburton Releases New 3D Visualization Tool

Landmark, a brand of Halliburton, has launched GeoGraphix® Discovery™ 3D software, the new Microsoft Windows-based offering incorporating state-of-the-art interactive visualization tools from Microsoft’s Xbox® gaming console and the 64-bit capabilities and performance of the new Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. Using this new member of the GeoGraphix product family, Discovery 3D software users will have an immersive, game-like experience when developing geologic interpretations.

            GeoGraphix Discovery 3D software is one of the first oil and gas solutions leveraging the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system as well as the latest DirectX® graphics technology, combined with Microsoft Xbox gaming technology. The resulting product vastly improves the way geoscientists interact with and manipulate 3D subsurface models, allowing for faster, more accurate interpretations and decisions.

            Chris Usher, senior director of Landmark Software and Services, said: “Discovery 3D software is the result of the partnership combining Landmark’s geoscience expertise and Microsoft’s rich and pervasive technology platform. Landmark is again leading in innovation by introducing an E&P visualization product that applies the latest in 3D graphics and gaming technology, giving geoscientists a seamless and productive way to interact with 3D models. Discovery 3D software also provides up-and-coming generations of geoscientists a familiar environment to work in, making it quick and easy for them to adopt this technology. This familiar experience is completed by the Windows PC platform for Discovery 3D software, making high-performance 3D visualization and interpretation tools accessible and affordable to companies of all sizes.”

            “We are delighted with the Halliburton partnership,” said Ali Ferling, PhD, managing director, Worldwide Oil and Gas Industries, Microsoft. “Discovery 3D software is a great example and just the tip of the iceberg in a series of breakthrough innovations our companies will deliver to the oil and gas industry in the coming months and years. Halliburton’s commitment to the Windows 7 operating system and DirectX graphics is a great recognition of the enterprise-class capabilities and technology delivered by our latest operating system, as well as a confirmation of the great momentum of Microsoft’s offerings and partnerships in the oil and gas industry worldwide.”

            When combined with the Discovery software integrated platform framework, resulting workflows provide a novel interaction with all of the well information, geologic interpretations, structural and geo-referenced layers in three dimensions. Geologic interpretations developed using the GeoGraphix Discovery workflow, and visualized in real time through Discovery 3D software, translate to an enhanced, more complete understanding of the geologist’s work, and they ultimately improve models in a real-world, 3D earth model domain.


October 28, 2009 at 5:15 am Leave a comment

Spectraseis Announces JIP for Low Frequency Seismic Research

Zurich-based Spectraseis, provider of low frequency seismic solutions to the upstream oil and gas industry, announced the formation of a multi-year Joint Industry Project (JIP) for the research and development of low frequency seismic technologies for hydrocarbon reservoir detection and characterization. This cooperative program is called the Low Frequency Seismic Partnership (LFSP).

            Confirmed participants in the LFSP, which will run for three years through 2012 are Cairn, Chevron, ExxonMobil, GDF Suez and Pemex. An Asian national oil company will join the LFSP over the coming months.

            The scope of the LFSP program will cover key application elements of low frequency seismic technology, such as data acquisition and processing, as well as fundamental theoretical studies, in partnership with researchers at Spectraseis, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and the University of Bern, Switzerland. Participants will be at the leading edge of the latest research on low frequency seismic applications and will learn how to extract the maximum value from this technology for their companies.

            Spectraseis CTO Rob Habiger said: “We are very excited to be launching this industry collaboration today, which will expand the body of core research around this important topic. We are looking forward to working with an outstanding group of international operators. The experience and technical expertise they bring will help us to continue our strong focus on the application of low frequency seismic solutions to meet important industry challenges.”

            Spectraseis researches and applies proprietary technologies to acquire and analyze low frequency (<10 Hz) seismic background waves continuously present in the Earth’s subsurface in order to identify spectral attributes indicating the likely presence or absence of hydrocarbons and other characteristics of subsurface reservoirs within a survey area. The resulting information can greatly reduce the risk and improve the success rate of costly oil exploration and drilling activities and improve decision-making throughout the life of a field. Broad adoption of the company’s technology by the global oil and gas exploration and production industry can be expected to save billions of dollars each year, which is currently expended on non-productive exploration surveys and dry wells, as well as significantly improve the industry’s environmental performance.

October 26, 2009 at 9:57 pm Leave a comment

Microsoft Previews SharePoint Server 2010

At Microsoft Corp.’s SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the public beta of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010 will become available in November, and revealed some of the new SharePoint Server 2010 capabilities for the first time.

            “By taming the overflow of information across systems and technologies, SharePoint enables organizations to thrive,” Ballmer said. “SharePoint 2010 is the biggest and most important release of SharePoint to date. When paired with Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 will transform efficiency by connecting workers across a single collaboration platform for business.”

            SharePoint Server is one of the fastest-growing products in Microsoft’s history, with over $1.3 billion in revenue, representing over a 20% growth over the past year. According to IDC, Microsoft attained a significant share of the collaborative content workspace market in 2008, and had the highest growth rate among top vendors with its Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.1

            During his keynote address, Ballmer talked broadly about SharePoint Server as a business collaboration platform and highlighted three key areas. One was how organizations can respond quickly to business needs with an improved developer platform that makes it easier to build rich content and collaboration applications. Another topic was the enhanced Internet site capabilities that help businesses drive revenue and retain customers on a single platform. The third was the choice and flexibility between on-premises and cloud solutions. At the event, Microsoft showcased the breadth of SharePoint Server 2010 that ranges from wikis to workflows, while Ballmer’s keynote address highlighted features and capabilities such as:

  • A new ribbon user interface that makes users more productive;
  • Deep Office integration through social tagging, backstage integration and document life-cycle management;
  • Built-in support for rich media such as video, audio and Silverlight;
  • New Web content management features with built-in accessibility;
  • New SharePoint tools in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010;
  • Excel Services and InfoPath Forms Services in SharePoint Online;
  • Business Connectivity Services;
  • One-click page layout; and
  • Multilingual support.

            Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is part of the next wave of Microsoft Office-related products, which includes Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Visio 2010, that are designed to give people the best productivity experience across PCs, phones and browsers.

 (1) Source: IDC: “Worldwide Collaborative Content Workspace 2009-2013 Forecast and 2008 Vendor Shares: A Case of Coalescing Submarkets,” Doc #219885 September 2009.

October 21, 2009 at 3:52 am Leave a comment

End Dead Links on the Internet with Svonk

A persistent problem on the Internet these days is website links that no longer work. Studies have shown that 1 in 200 links disappear every week from the Web and 50% are gone after 10 years. Major websites like Wikipedia report that 10% of their external links are broken in some way.

   is a new kind of service that prevents dead links and “link rot” by acting as an intermediate storage for links. By typing in front of a link, it is archived at and will always be available in its original form, even though the original link has changed or does not exist anymore. Also, Svonk includes a URL Shortener Service,, that has the added advantage of archiving the shortened links.

            Svonk is useful for everyone who publishes on the Web, and the service ensures that external links will always be available as intended by the publisher. Svonk archives any kind of Web resource, including Web pages, images, videos and sounds. Users can browse the archive and use the built-in time machine to see archived links change over time. Developers can access most features by using the Svonk RESTful API.

            “Svonk is the first service of its kind – we call it a Stable Link Service. No other Web service allows for archiving of links on demand in such an easy manner,” said founder Inge Henriksen. “We hope that website owners will find Svonk’s archiving services invaluable as a permanent backup when changing content management systems. By using Svonk they can ensure that their old links are still available after their CMS upgrade or migration.”

            Most Svonk features are free to use; only advertisement removal and the archiving of entire websites are paid services. Otherwise, Svonk uses Web advertising as its revenue source. Svonk is currently in an open beta stage to fine-tune Svonk to the needs of its users in terms of usability and scalability.

October 20, 2009 at 6:10 am Leave a comment

Energy Ventures Invests in Reality Mobile

Energy Ventures LP has announced its involvement as the lead investor in the first round of external funding for mobile technology company Reality Mobile. The company is joined by CTTV Investments LLC, the venture capital arm of Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, and communications investor the Dobson Partnership in providing a total of $6.5 million in funding that will introduce Reality Mobile’s dynamic communications and situational awareness technology to the energy industry and support expansion in existing markets.

            Founded in 2003, Reality Mobile has already made its mark in the defense and government sectors by developing and commercializing RealityVision®, an enterprise-grade software platform that uses commercially available smart phones and infrastructure to allow users to share real-time video and dynamic data with colleagues located anywhere in the world. Building on its success supporting law enforcement agencies during high profile events including President Obama’s inauguration and Super Bowl XL, Reality Mobile is now positioned to bring these unprecedented capabilities to oil and gas companies.

            “Imagine being able to instantly connect the right expert in your home office with an engineer in the Gulf of Mexico, and enabling them to see exactly what the other is seeing on the platform or in the data on their computer monitor. The savings in terms of time, travel and reduced downtime are virtually limitless,” said Leif André Skare, partner with Energy Ventures. “Reality Mobile’s seasoned management team, its strong track record and the sheer promise of its technology will pave the way for the company’s success in energy.”

            Energy Ventures’ extensive experience in oil and gas allowed the firm to quickly recognize Reality Mobile’s potential and uncover a niche for the technology within the energy market. The firm’s involvement promises to provide a platform for Reality Mobile to introduce its technology to key industry players and demonstrate its ability to maximize operational efficiency and enhance personnel security through available real-time video, GPS tracking and data monitoring processes.

            “We are very enthusiastic about Energy Ventures’ interest and involvement in Reality Mobile,” said Patrick McVeigh, Chairman of Reality Mobile. “Their skillful insight and proven track record in the oil and gas industry will be a valuable asset as we make efforts to successfully leverage our technology in this new market.”

October 14, 2009 at 3:57 am Leave a comment

Subsea Divers Test New Illuminated Umbilical Technology

A new energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) fiber illumination technology for lighting up to 100 meters of fiber optic cables is to be field tested by subsea divers at The Underwater Centre in Fort William later this month. Developed by PhotoSynergy, a company formed by the University of St. Andrews, the PSL-3000-M is an LED fiber illuminator that will supply a continuous line of light for 100 meters under water. Designed to enhance subsea diver, ROV and tethered operations by offering a permanent light source for subsea navigation, the fiber illuminator cable is visible at depths of up to 150 meters.

            The Underwater Centre in Fort William, the world’s leading commercial diver and ROV training center, will test the lighted umbilical at various depths. An energy efficient alternative to traditional light sources, the PSL-3000-M LED fiber illuminator can use as little as seven watts of power, making it one of the most energy-efficient fiber illuminators on the market.

            With the control box remaining on the surface or housed in a diving bell or ROV, there is no actual power in the side-emitting fiber optic cable. This means it can provide a safe, continuous and flexible light source for subsea divers. The first industry trial will involve the fiber optic cable being attached to two diver umbilicals as they perform a diver rescue. Operating close to the Centre’s private pier, at depths starting at 20 meters, the cable will undergo full trials and depth testing using two of The Underwater Centre’s ROVs – one to perform diver observation of the rescue and the other to monitor the ROV observing the divers.

            Steve Ham, general manager of The Underwater Centre, stated: “Our center offers unique testing conditions that are second to none across the world. We also have some highly experienced divers and ROV pilots on our training team, which is a great backup for any company undertaking trials. We are delighted that PhotoSynergy has chosen The Underwater Centre for testing its LED fiber illuminator – a technology that has the potential to offer the subsea sector a valuable but simple solution to navigational problems, thereby increasing safety and operational efficiency.”

            Small and lightweight, the PSL-3000-M can operate on mains or direct current (DC) with battery back-up or singular battery power, offering flexibility for any given application. The unique optical system designed by PhotoSynergy ensures that optimum light output is channeled down the fiber with maximum power efficiency. The core product produces a green light, the color proven to be nearest the peak eye response for optimal visibility in low light or darkness. Operating mode is switchable between steady illuminations or flashing on/off, the latter of which could be used as an emergency signal in the event of an incident.

            PhotoSynergy Managing Director Don Walker said: “The PSL-3000-M is the output of many years of work on laser-based systems, and we are encouraged by initial discussions with manufacturers and users of umbilicals within the subsea industry. As with any new innovation, it’s important to subject the technology to real life trials, ensuring it meets the challenges that are faced in the offshore environment. We chose The Underwater Centre because of its world-class facilities and the significant support on offer from the experienced subsea team at the Centre, who, we are certain, will be able to make a valuable contribution to the production and further development of this new technology.”

September 10, 2009 at 1:21 am Leave a comment

FMC Opens New Global Technology Center

FMC Technologies is expanding its R&D network with the addition of a new Global Technology Center constructed on FMC’s Houston campus. Built to enhance the company’s ability to develop innovative equipment and services for customers worldwide, the building will house product technical management teams and core technology groups made up of a variety of experts including: mechanical and electrical engineers, designers, metallurgists, material scientists, chemists, welding engineers, and other specialists required for the design and verification of high-performance deepwater equipment.

            “It’s an important step that FMC has taken to invest in the future through continued technology development,” said Brad Beitler, Director of Technology for FMC’s Energy Production Systems. “Developing our products and systems with direct input from our customers has been, and will continue to be, one of the keys to our success.”

            The facility provides engineers and researchers with cutting-edge tools to strengthen global collaboration, enhance communication and productivity, and increase efficiency. To support teamwork and creativity among engineers, the center has several state-of-the-art videoconferencing suites to connect teams around the globe, as well as visualization rooms equipped with large, high-definition monitors to display 3D animations and designs. The building also houses a new training center, where FMC will strengthen its existing engineering talent and accelerate the development of new engineers.

            Specialist teams in this location will support the company’s global commitment to developing the leading-edge technologies necessary to produce hydrocarbons from high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) reservoirs and ultra-deepwater fields. In addition, the center will serve as FMC’s global hub for the development of concepts and hardware that can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of onshore, offshore and subsea fields during their producing life.

September 9, 2009 at 2:22 am Leave a comment

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