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Energistics to become affiliate of Open Group

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Standards organisation Energistics has announced plans to become an 'affiliate' of the Open Group, effective January 2022.

Oil and gas standards organisation Energistics has announced that, as of Jan 1, 2022, it will become an 'affiliate' of the Open Group, and its standards will be developed in collaboration with the Open Group OSDU (Open Subsurface Data Universe) Forum.

'It is not a merger or takeover, it is a shift in governance of the Energistics community," said Ross Philo, president and CEO of Energistics.

The company Energistics will become an 'effective subsidiary' of Open Group, with Open Group staff providing management support and control. It will have a separate board, which is important for Energistics to maintain its tax-exempt status.

Energistics activities will continue similar to how they do now, but without dedicated employees facilitating the design, development, publication and communication of the standards. These roles will be taken over by volunteers from within the OSDU Forum and with oversight and support from The Open Group.

Work will continue for the remainder of this year within Energistics Special Interest Groups, including on the release of Energistics Transfer Protocol (ETP) v1.2, for real time data transfers, and the release of RESEQML v2.2 for reservoir data, both planned for 2021. Releases of PRODML v2.2 and WITSML v2.1 are planned for early 2022

'In terms of the current staff, we are all obviously disappointed that our professional team will be disappearing, but excited about what the next adventure for each of us might be,' said Ross Philo, president and CEO of Energistics.

A transition period will run from Aug 19, 2021, to Dec 31, 2021. Energistics staff will be available to support the changeover. After this period, oversight of the current activities will be handed over to the new entity.

Energistics has been a member of OSDU since Oct 2018, and was the first company to be invited to join which was not an operator.


The reason for the move is largely cost saving, with companies now only needing to join one standards body. Around half of Energistics dues-paying members are also members of OSDU, and of the 220 OSDU members, 42 are also Energistics members. 'We're appealing to the same community,' Mr Philo says.

The pressures of energy transition, COVID, and low oil prices 'provided an impetus to both organisations to say, 'is there a way to find a new relationship between two organisations, to ensure standards are vibrant and developed into the future, but can reduce the costs for the industry, by potentially eliminating one set of dues.''

Companies have 'difficulty justifying these sorts of payments each year, which are purely discretionary.'

The cost of joining OSDU is between $2.5k and $20k for IT suppliers (lower price for revenues of under $25m, higher price for over $100m revenue). IT customers (oil and gas operators) with revenues above $25m pay slightly lower fees than suppliers.

In OSDU, large companies (>$10m revenue) also pay a 'sustainability fee', which covers certain central OSDU functions, including a member website, maintaining a reference landscape for the platform, and running a test environment for pre-release testing and certification, and providing for online training courses.

Broader Community

Both Energistics and Open Group should gain access to a broader community as a result of the change.

'This will create a much broader community which will have an interest in Energistics standards,' Mr Philo said. Meanwhile, 'The Open Group is very well known - but largely from an IT perspective. This should raise the profile of The Open Group within the G+G community.'

Technical points

There is a basic difference in what Energistics and OSDU are creating. Energistics creates standards for exchanging data between one entity and another, and can also be used, to some extent, for storing data.

OSDU is creating what it defines as a 'data platform', or an overall system which oil and gas companies can use to manage and work with their data, including APIs to enable software applications to connect directly to the data.

The Energistics data standards will become a component of the OSDU Data Platform, as part of its 'Domain Data Management Services.'

The OSDU platform is designed to be implemented on cloud services, which can include public cloud (like Google, AWS, Azure) or private cloud / systems on company premises.

Legal points

Energistics will continue as a separate entity, in order to preserve the tax-exempt status of the organization and to ensure the standards remain fit for purpose as needs change.

There will be a new Energistics board, with a controlling director representing Open Group, 2 directors representing Open Group members of OSDU, and 2 directors who are current dues paying members of Energistics.

Associated Companies
» Energistics
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