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The Hitchhikers

Guide to the
Subsurface Universe
Navigating the Digital Future
of the E&P Industry
The upstream oil and gas industry is undergoing a radical transformation. New
technologies and new digital solutions are coming together to trigger a new
industrial revolution, connecting physical assets to the Internet, providing new
insights into operations through advanced analytics, and enabling new and more
efficient forms of cross-domain collaboration. The complex will be simplified, and
the physical will become digital.

Technology is helping organizations across industries to transition from an analog

past to a digital future. It is no different for the E&P industry. New technology
promise to cut costs, improve efficiencies, and streamline operations for E&P

This is the theme of this eBook, a short guide to the digital subsurface universe
and the digital transformation of the E&P industry. With the increasing need
to rely on digital technologies to improve operations, E&P companies need to
understand and develop appropriate strategies based on the future technology

With this eBook, we aim to do three things. First, to give you an overview of
the technologies and trends that drive the digital transformation of the E&P
industry. Second, to dive deeper into the various cloud-based platforms that can
provide tangible business impact for E&P companies. Lastly, to highlight a critical
challenge that emerges with the proliferation of cloud-based platforms in the
E&P industry and provide you with concrete advice on how you can solve that

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1. The Digital Transformation of the Subsurface Universe:
4 Technologies and Trends

2. Platform Play: An Overview of Subsurface Universe

8 Digital Platforms

12 3. Busting Cloud Silos with Vendor-Agnostic Cloud Integration

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1. The Digital Transformation
of the Subsurface Universe:
Technologies and Trends

The oil and gas industry generally Digitalization

and the E&P sector specifically is
increasingly adopting and leveraging The primary aim of digital technology
new technology to improve, optimize, adoption is, or at least should be, to
and innovative the performance transform legacy business models,
of their systems. According to an create new revenue streams, and
Accenture and Microsoft survey on transition from an analog business
digital trends in upstream oil and gas, to a digital one. This is digitalization
over 70 percent plan to invest more in in a nutshell. According to Gartner,
digital technologies over the coming digitalization is the use of digital
years.1 technologies to change business
models and generate new revenue
The uptake of digital transformation and value-producing opportunities.2
in the E&P sector is driving rapid
change and promise to maximize For the E&P sector specifically, digital
efficiencies, deliver significant technologies promise to drive faster
operational improvements, and and better decision-making and
provide cost savings opportunities. shorter time-to-oil and gas. Research
Several technologies and trends from consultancy firm McKinsey
are underpinning this radical reveals that the oil and gas industry
transformation. In this chapter, can leverage digital technologies to
we will explore some of the most reduce capital expenditures by up to
important ones. 20 percent and cut operating costs in
upstream by 3 to 5 percent.3

Accenture: “Drill Deeper Into Digital: Accenture and Microsoft 2017 Upstream Oil and Gas Digital Trends Survey”
Gartner: “Gartner IT Glossary: Digitalization”
McKinsey: “The Next Frontier for Digital Technologies in Oil and Gas”

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Cloud Computing: Public becoming increasingly popular with
Cloud and Software-as-a- E&P companies.
Service (SaaS)

Few trends in the IT world has had Agile Teams and DevOps
a more significant impact than the
emergence of cloud computing. A new generation of digital
Although the technology for many companies has set new standards
has been an almost unnoticeable for speed, efficiency, and resilience
transition from local computing to by rethinking how we collaborate,
the delivery of computing service innovate, and develop new services
over the Internet, cloud computing and products. Discarding legacy
is fundamental to increase the organizational structures and
effectiveness and benefits of outdated modes of collaboration,
digital transformation. It promises these companies instead work in
significant time, cost, and flexibility multi-disciplinary and agile teams
advantages and represents a major and use what has commonly been
shift in how organizations think about known as DevOps capabilities.
their IT resources – including E&P
companies. Multi-disciplinary teams, agile teams,
and DevOps are increasingly gaining
One global oil and gas company is a foothold within the oil and gas
currently transferring their workloads industry, as well. The multinational oil
to a cloud solution, expecting to and gas company Shell, for instance,
optimize costs by close to 40 percent. has implemented an agile DevOps
Another European natural gas approach to development. They have
operator has significantly increased leveraged the power of the cloud
its environment availability – from 54 to create a more streamlined and
percent to 90 percent – through cloud centralized solution for application
computing.4 development, enabling geophysicists,
software engineers, QA specialists,
Cloud computing takes on various and external vendors to collaborate
forms, depending on its architecture on the same project from any
and deployment model. Public clouds, location. Shell’s developers are now
which are owned and operated by better equipped to create a new
a third-party cloud service provider, generation of technology solutions,
and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), whether it is reservoir modeling
which delivers on-demand software simulations or innovative mobile apps
applications over the Internet, are for consumers.5

Accenture: “Exploring the Cloud in the Oil & Gas Industry”
Microsoft: “Top Oil & Gas Firm Accelerates Software Development to Fuel Global Energy production”

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Globalization Next-Gen Applications
The increasing adoption of digital The emergence of new technologies
technologies and digital platforms and novel collaboration models are
worldwide is making the world changing how applications are built.
both smaller and more connected. The volumes of data are increasing
Services and data flow between in size, the need for real-time
regions and locations, and the global processing of data is growing, and
economy becomes increasingly more IT infrastructures are transforming.
interconnected. These changes are pushing software
application providers towards a
Globalization has an impact on new generation of applications
the E&P sector too. Most notably, that leverage the profound shifts in
more and more new reserves are computing technologies.
discovered in locations far from
traditional reserves, making the oil Next-gen applications can collect and
and gas industry more globalized process data from a wide variety of
in their exploration efforts. data sources, from sensor technology
Consequently, E&P companies installed on oil rigs to legacy
increasingly need to establish IT applications to cloud solutions. These
infrastructure that can encompass applications rely on and communicate
large parts of the world, ensure the with data stored in the public cloud
integration of remote teams, and through so-called microservices
allow information to flow freely and Application Programming
between different locations and time- Interfaces (APIs). Microservices are
zones. small services that run in their own
processes and are independently

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deployable, as opposed to working According to a survey by consultancy
with one centralized system. APIs, firm EY, more than half of the
on the other hand, enables different surveyed respondents are currently
systems to communicate and implementing AI applications,
exchange data with each other. investing close to $65 billion a year
Together, microservices and APIs in R&D as a whole.6 The British
enable the creation of next-gen multinational oil and gas company
applications that can be utilized for BP, for example, has invested $5
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine million in new AI technology to unlock
Learning (ML) capabilities. critical data for their subsurface
engineers at an accelerated pace.
Their AI-based platform “Sandy” aims
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and to accelerate project lifecycles, from
Machine Learning (ML) exploration to reservoir modeling, and
targets a 90 percent time reduction
AI and ML is perhaps the biggest in data collection, interpretation, and
revolution in man-machine simulation.7
collaboration we have witnessed
so far. AI refers to the science and
engineering of making intelligent “Power to the Business”
machines and computer programs,
machines, and programs that can As technology and digital solutions
perform cognitive functions we become increasingly critical for oil
associate with the human mind. ML, a and gas companies, IT will no longer
subset of AI, refers to technology and be a support function but become
algorithms that can detect patterns integral to business success. As a
and learn how to make predictions consequence, the business side of
and recommendations on processed E&P companies will rely less on the
data. IT department for investments in IT
solutions and have more decision-
Pushing to cut operating costs, oil making power on what solutions to
and gas companies are increasingly invest in.
looking to and investing in AI and ML
technologies. These technologies This shift means that E&P
can help automate functions, predict companies are increasingly relying
equipment problems, and increase on vendors with substantial domain
the value from data. knowledge about the challenges
and opportunities inherent in the
digitalization of the industry.

EY: “Does AI Have the Power to Refine Oil and Gas Efficiency?”
BP: “BP Invests in New Artificial Intelligence Technology”

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2. Platform Play: An
Overview of Subsurface
Universe Digital Platforms

Upstream oil and gas and E&P enable the creation of centralized
companies have, for a long time, platforms. A new breed of cloud-
relied on legacy technology and based platform providers has
infrastructure, making it challenging emerged in the upstream oil and
to analyze and interpret large gas industry to help E&P companies
volumes of data and workflows liberate data trapped in disparate
quickly. information silos. In this chapter,
we will explore some of the most
Traditionally, IT systems in E&P prominent.
companies have been built to provide
solutions for individual functions
across the value chain. They are Delfi Cognitive E&P
often based on legacy software Environment
applications that are bought from
different vendors and are unable A mark of Schlumberger, the Delfi
to communicate well with each Cognitive E&P Environment is a
other, creating an inflexible system cloud-based space that enables
architecture and making it difficult to collaboration by connecting people,
access underlying data. data, and software applications
related to exploration, development,
Today, many of the trends and drilling, production, and midstream.
technologies presented in the The platform makes applications
previous chapter have converged to and workflows accessible to users

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and allows team members to build enables cost-saving decisions, and
common workspaces for data, the ability to benchmark operational
models, and data interpretations. performance through drilling
performance analysis.
The Delfi Cognitive E&P Environment
makes it easy to move data to Petrotechnical Suite provides users
the cloud, facilitates next-gen with access to market-leading
applications, and eliminates the need technologies and leverage new
for high-performance equipment petrotechnical tools, functionalities,
on-premise. The platform includes and capabilities in the cloud.8
several tools and solutions that cater
to various needs:
iEnergy Cloud
DrillPlan is a digital planning
solution for well construction. It The iEnergy Cloud is a Halliburton
provides team members access to and Landmark-operated platform
all the information, data, and science that offers E&P tools and resources
they need in a single, common in the cloud. The solution is part
system. Designed for the cloud and of Landmark’s iEnergy, an E&P
accessible in the DELFI Cognitive E&P community in the cloud where
Environment, DrillPlan aims to speed independent software developers
up and enhance the quality of drilling can showcase their technology
programs through automation and components portfolio. The iEnergy
validation of workflows. Cloud includes Landmark’s
DecisionSpace 365, a suite of digital,
DrillOps leverages new levels E&P SaaS applications on the public
of instrumentation, automation, cloud, which provides end-users with
and cognition to ensure peak access to third-party applications
performance operations of oil rigs and from multiple vendors.
increased drilling efficiency and well
productivity. Landmark’s platform is particularly
suitable for E&P companies that want
Drilling Interpretation provides to leverage centralized solutions and
real-time drilling monitoring and reduce the need for investments in
analysis workflows. The solution on-premise hardware. Landmark
promotes team collaboration also provides end-users with
through a multiuser, cross-domain access to the cloud on their private
environment, provides performance network through Landmark Earth,
and risk mitigation improvements, an architecture that comes complete

Schlumberger Software: “Delfi Cognitive E&P Environment”

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with engineered, pre-optimized technology can be viewed in relation
and pre-configured hardware, to equipment hierarchies, P&IDs,
and integrated, pre-installed E&P 3D models, maintenance logs,
software. The solution includes E&P and weather data. Furthermore,
engineered appliance, specifically Cognite Data Fusion allows you to
configured and optimized to run high- create proprietary applications on
demand E&P software.9 10 the contextualized data through
application programming interfaces
Cognite Data Fusion

Heavy-asset industries such as oil Bluware

and gas have access to vast amounts
of data but need software to collect, Bluware is an oil and gas software
clean, and contextualize the data. company that helps E&P companies
This is where the software company solve their most challenging
Cognite comes in. Founded in 2016, petrotechnical objectives. Working
Cognite aims to meet the demands closely with the E&P sector to
of industrial digitalization through drive business innovation, Bluware
data liberation. Their platform leverages cloud computing, AI, and
Cognite Data Fusion functions as a ML for geophysical data, applications,
resource to transform industrial data and workflows and aims to accelerate
into information and to create an digital transformation initiatives in
ecosystem of industrial applications. the oil and gas industry.
Cognite Data Fusion is particularly
suitable for centralizing production Specifically, the Bluware platform
data and enables E&P companies was invented to eliminate bottlenecks
to leverage AI and ML capabilities in geophysical workflows and the
through next-gen applications. consumption of geophysical data
that reduce the ability to make
Cognite Data Fusion retrieves and timely and informed decisions. Their
liberates data from disparate silos solution enables end-users to quickly
and makes it available in the cloud. move data in and out of the cloud by
For deeper insight and improved transforming legacy application files
analytics capabilities, the solution into objects that are ready to be used
adds layers of context to the available in the cloud.12 The solution makes it
data. Data retrieved from sensor possible to move data to the public

Landmark Solutions: “iEnergy Continues to Expand Its Community of Niche Software Providers”
iEnergy Community: “Your Journey to the Cloud”
Cognite: “Cognite Data Fusion”
Bluware: “Bluware Seismic Technology Platform”

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cloud, enables next-gen applications companies to enable independent
on seismic data, and the possibility to software vendors to build software
leverage AI and ML. and create next-gen applications. It
is based on a common data platform
with standard public APIs and
OSDU involves global cloud hosting vendors
to build working implementations.
The Open Group Open Subsurface This enables the platform to separate
Data Universe (OSDU) is a data from applications and companies
conglomerate of leading oil and to focus on differentiating parts of
gas companies coming together to their business activities and reduce
discuss how cloud technology can the need for independently designing
be used to transform the complex and validating a subsurface data
data and application environment in platform.13
the industry. Aiming to break down
silos and put data at the center of the Related to the OSDU is the OpenEarth
subsurface community, the OSDU is Community, a community for oil and
developing a standard data platform gas companies working together to
for the oil and gas industry. speed up and lower the cost of digital
innovation within the industry.
The OSDU solution standardizes all
the available data from production

OSDU: “Putting Data at the Center: All Subsurface and Wells Data Stored in a Single Data Platform”

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3. Busting Cloud Silos
with Vendor-Agnostic
Cloud Integration

Cloud-based platforms are rapidly several different data platforms from

becoming a mainstay for IT different vendors to tackle specific
infrastructure management in oil and tasks. The problem arises when these
gas. However, as more and more E&P platforms are unable to communicate
companies turn to digital platforms to or challenging to integrate.
harness their opportunities, another
problem emerges – the proliferation The increasing use of data platforms
of cloud silos. that are unable to connect with
each other creates information
silos. Data and information silos are
Data Platforms Create Cloud nothing new. In traditional enterprise
Silos systems, information silos emerged
when processes and data existed on
Cloud computing and E&P data separate servers or data centers and
platforms are great assets. They where unable to interact with each
provide users with a wealth of other. Cloud silos function in the same
applications for various work way. However, instead of on-premise
processes, enables increased silos, the walls and barriers between
productivity and innovation, and data, information, and processes find
provides easy access to data and themselves in the cloud.
information from mobile devices. But
E&P companies often have to rely on

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Busting Silos with Cloud GeoCloud: The Vendor-
Integration Agnostic Cloud Integrator
Cloud silos, like any other information Cegal is one such cloud integrator,
silo, hamper growth and efficiency specializing in the unique challenges
and may lead to duplication of work of the E&P industry. Our solution
efforts, lack of synergy, and missed GeoCloud is the only vendor-agnostic
business opportunities. In other petrotechnical cloud solution, a
words, they should be torn down. high-performance platform tailored
Fortunately, the cloud can help itself to meet the challenging requirements
tear down cloud-based information for petrotechnical workloads. The
silos. solution is not tied to the applications
of a specific vendor or solution and
The cloud may create the problem, facilitates E&P applications and data
but it also provides the solution. Due in a collaborative and flexible solution.
to the complexities of integrating
various cloud solutions and data GeoCloud facilitates a scalable
platforms, a new breed of service workspace for the future, integrates
providers has emerged that with any vendor, and is adaptable
helps organizations negotiate the to any end-user requirement. The
complexities of cloud migrations. platform enables true cross-border
These so-called cloud integrators collaboration and global access to
enable organizations to bring data and applications and provides
together the data and information of a digitalization hub for data and
all your different applications, tools, application consolidation and
and platforms through specialized workflow automation.
cloud-based solutions.

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For more information regarding GeoCloud
and Cegal, please visit:

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