Dealing with the Pressure

The oil industry continues to handle old things in new ways

Dallas  August 29, 2001  Remember the old Operation board game? You tried to take out plastic body parts from a cartoon man, and if you touched the wrong part of the patient, a red light and buzzer went off, and hilarity ensued. Now imagine that it's not a plastic Adam's apple you're removing, but thousands of gallons of oil and gas. And the result of a mishap isn't a comic sound effect, but the extended sidelining of a revenue stream, as well as injury or death.

That's exactly the situation oil and gas companies deal with when they're doing the dirty work of furnishing our sports cars with high-test. Faced with handling tremendous pressures under extreme conditions and in remote locations, companies are increasingly turning to electronic tools to make sure their supply chain is safe and uninterrupted. Continuing the trend toward handling old materials (oil) with high-tech supply chain tools, Landmark Graphics Corp. and British Petroleum have announced a joint development program to build pore pressure analysis and prediction software based upon BP's Presgraf technology. BP selected Landmark as its partner for this program and granted Landmark the right to develop, commercialize and market Presgraf and the solution.

"Landmark is delighted to embark on this joint development project with BP," said John Gibson, Landmark's CEO and president. "By partnering with BP in this program, I am confident that the next-generation pore pressure solution has the potential to provide annual cost savings in the millions of dollars for the petroleum industry and make a positive impact on the health, safety and environment for drilling operations."

"BP has a continuing concern for improving safety and the environment we work in ... and Presgraf embraces one of our technological tools that helps us to do that," said BP Group Vice President Upstream, Ian Vann. "Dealing successfully with overpressure in such key areas to our industry as the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea and Azerbaijan is important to BP for the safety of our employees, and our commitment to the environment as well as reducing our drilling costs."

The two-phase program will be developed and delivered with new commercial software packages providing seamless integration and interpretation of 1-D, 2-D and 3-D information from wells, seismic volumes and geologic basins. The solution will support workflows ranging from regional pressure analysis through real-time pore pressure prediction.

"In Phase 1, Landmark will deliver a commercial version of Presgraf integrated with its OpenWorks data management infrastructure and the DEX data exchange for drilling and well services software products," stated Bill Sanstrom, vice president of Landmark's Drilling, Business Management and Production Systems. Presgraf, a Windows-based software program, was first developed by BP in 1991 as a means for determining pore pressure and fracture gradients.

The BP Presgraf technology will be integrated into the next-generation solution in Phase 2 and delivered within Landmark's DecisionSpace platform. "This solution will build on the data level integration from Phase 1, and it will incorporate shared earth modeling, a common user interface and advanced visualization and data analysis tools," said Murray Roth, vice president of Landmark's Exploration and Development/Information Management Systems.