Jerry Hubbard
President & CEO

Standardizing Data Exchange

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 17:04

“Open data exchange standards are the methodology through which operators and vendors in the oil and gas industry exchange information from a drilling rig to the beach or from a production platform to the back end system,” explains Jerry Hubbard, President & CEO of global nonprofit Energistics. Open data exchange standards have become a vital tool for the oil and gas industry because they standardize the structure of information allowing operators to avoid any additional labor to reconfigure the data needed to make real-time decisions.

“Energistics has grown to encompass 116 corporate members that collaborate to develop open standards for the oil and gas industry. Our members volunteer on specific tasks to develop the business process for standardization and then pilot the new standards. After they have come up with a solution, we do the coding and – if the industry accepts it – we then provide it for free at our website and anyone can download and embed it into their products,” explains Hubbard.

In essence, Energistics provides a facilitated, anti-trust mechanism to ensure data is exchanged in a structured and standardized manner. In order to achieve this, the Energistics community created standards with the ability to accept data from WITS 0 - which is an older standard - by WITSML, and make the exchange within WITSML back to their real time operation centers (RTOCs). However, WITSML has been so successful that, “currently there are a number of companies who are starting to collect the data in WITSML – which eliminates the initial conversion – and makes it much more efficient by allowing the use of the data on the rig without any transfer back and forth,” Hubbard says.

Open data exchange standards not only allows vendors and operators to exchange and acquire standardized data, it also facilitates the interaction between operators and regulatory agencies. “These standards, once they are adopted, allow the sliding of information between both parties not just for drilling or technical information, but also for platform production information,” argues Hubbard. Additionally, on the regulatory side, the use of open data exchange standards offered by Energistics give an opportunity to provide daily reports in an XML format – meaning it can be sent from machine to machine – as opposed to having human intervention, where quality could be potentially lost.

Mexico offers a great opportunity for Energistics because Pemex has already adopted the use of WITSML in drilling standards. “They have utilized it in offshore and onshore fields, and they have downloaded some contractual language that allows operators working in Mexico to utilize WITSML,” says Hubbard. With such a huge influence over the country’s oil and gas sector, Pemex’s adoption of the WITSML standard is an extremely positive step for Energistics in terms of the more widespread adoption of the standard in Mexico.