UK North Sea to use XML web-based well data exchange

Seven UK North Sea operators and contractors agreed Tuesday to develop and implement standards using XML software for exchanging well data over the internet. BP PLC, Shell Expro, ExxonMobil Corp., Conoco Inc., Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Paradigm agreed to the project.

By the OGJ Online Staff

LONDON, June 20 -- Representatives from seven major operators and contractors working in the UK North Sea agreed Tuesday to develop and implement standards using XML software for exchanging basic well data over the internet.

The deal, which is targeting the early use of XML on the UK Continental Shelf "within 3 months" was reached with the help of IT standards body Petrotechnical Open Software Corp. (POSC), industry regulated information utility Common Data Access Ltd., and the UK Department of Trade & Industry.

BP PLC, Royal Dutch/Shell Group North Sea E&P arm Shell Expro, ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary Esso, Conoco Inc., Schlumberger Ltd., Halliburton Co., and Paradigm Geophysical Ltd. agreed to the project.

"This is a challenging target, but if successful should pave the way for a number of similar projects across a wide range of business processes," said Paul Maton, POSC's European director. "On the face of it, a simple thing but the frustration across the oil industry of not being able to easily and unambiguously identify wells hides a consequential large cost.

"The global oil industry, from oil and service companies to data vendors, needs standards in these areas to realize the full potential of e-business," he added.

Stewart Robinson, director of IT and Data Services at the DTI Oil & Gas Directorate, stressed, "This is not an attempt to railroad the industry to adopt UK standards. The close-knit nature of the UK oil community and the desire of the UK government to fully exploit the resources of the UKCS make the UK an ideal test bed for these emerging standards."

Robinson said the DTI would work with POSC to globalize the solution, and he was "in contact with many other interested governments around the world."

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