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Petrophysics data in Dong Energy Norway

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Roberta Radice, senior petrophysicist with Dong Energy in Stavanger, explained how Dong manages the workflow for petrophysics data in exploration projects, and ensures data is always easy to find

Dong Energy Norway has a structured process for managing and interpreting well data in exploration projects, which ensures that geophysicists can always get the petrophysics interpretations of well data they need, and it is always easy to find in future, said Roberta Radice, senior petrophysicist with Dong Energy in Stavanger.

She was speaking at the Digital Energy Journal conference in Stavanger on May 7, 'Doing more with Subsurface Data'.

The process starts when a geoscientist fills out a data management service request on the internal web portal, to say they need a petrophysicist to do work on a certain well log.

The request is sent to the E&P application data management group, who then forward it onto the petrophysicist in charge of the area.

The petrophysicist discusses the objectives, criticalities and deadlines of the work with the geoscientist.

Petrophysics tasks might include doing computer processed interpretations (CPI), putting together composite logs (made of measurements and interpretations from many sources of data).

Composite logs can be done in an hour, but full CPIs can take between 1 and 4 days.

Other work might include fluid substitution calculations, to remove the effect of drilling fluid from the logs taken during drilling.
"There are some other non-routine types of work," she said.

Once done, the work is passed onto the data management staff, who do some basic checks on it. The data management staff will take this data and insert it into whatever geophysics software is being used, such as Schlumberger's Petrel or GeoFrame.

"Of course there is a need to communicate and to share objectives and timeline between the geophysicist and the petrophysicist, a continuous update in the 2 directions," she said.

There are no software tools to automatically manage the workflows and tasks, it is all done manually.

The workflows for petrophysical work on development and producing assets are different, but also standardised, she said.

Time line

The processes have a typical timeline which everybody understands, from requesting the data to receiving it.

A big factor in the time a project takes is how easy it is to find the data. "If the well is being looked at by other petrophysicists, we know how to find the data," she said.

If previous work has been done according to the standards, the well data will be much easier to find.

"If it is a completely new well to the company, the full process has to be run, and then doing composites, CPIS, and other things will take much longer."

Following the processes

It is important to try to avoid taking shortcuts with sharing data and knowledge, she said. For example, people are sometimes tempted to e-mail files to each other, because it is easier over the short term than uploading them to the right place on the system.

But if the data management processes are not followed, "in the end, data is lost," she said.

The data management staff do a tour of the company periodically to make sure all employees know about right procedures and processes, such as how to request data, and what the workflow and standards should be.

The company has an internal web portal where all the processes and procedures are stored in detail.

Data storage

The processed data is also stored as a file on the corporate network. Dong has a standard folder structure for this, with different subfolders for different countries, and subfolders within that for all wells. Then there is a standard group of folders for each well. Only one folder structure is allowed.

For Norwegian wells, the well folder structure is the same as the one used on the DISKOS shared data repository.

Once data is stored in this repository, all previous versions are kept - so if you save an update, you can still go back to the previous version.

The data can be accessed by everyone in the company who might need it, but only data management staff can add or remove files.

Dong stores project data and seismic data in the same way.

Company standards

The company has detailed procedures about how it will name wells, well curves, well header attributes, well picks and markers.

Dong has standards for how log curves should be displayed, what scale it will use, and whether they will go to the right or left. It has standard quality control checks, looking at the maximum and minimum of the curve.

"We can see if it is what we believe it is or something completely off," she said.

The company is developing standard procedures for other processes, such as what to do when the company receives new well seismic data from Dong operated wells.

The company has "a very detailed definition of roles and responsibilities to make sure that the flow of the log data is followed step by step and is not going to be lost," she said.

"What we're trying to do is keep standards for every piece of information that we use in petrophysics," she said. We want to "ensure that the data can be shared inside the company with no ambiguities."

Stratigraphy standards

There is an ongoing project to develop standards for stratigraphy (labels for rock layers) well picks and markers. This covers lithostratigraphy (rock layers over time) and biostratigraphy (fossils).

The idea is that the same stratigraphic naming convention can be used to identify rock layers across all disciplines and software packages, she said. "This is hard work, working on data in a stratigraphic way," she said.

"When you have to share this data with geologists and petrophysics it can get a bit chaotic to understand what the stratigraphic level is."

It would be good to include this data in the subsurface software, so geologists using Petrel have the same stratigraphic markers as petrophysicists have in their software.

"The attempt is to create a procedure, so once the stratigraphic level is defined, it should go through a workflow or decision tree to make sure that the final version of the marker is stored properly," she said.


The data management staff are asked to take ownership of the data. "We try to make sure he reference point for data flow and everything is data management (staff)," she said.

The data standards are enforced both by petrophysicists and data management staff. So for example petrophysicists need to choose the right naming and colour coding for their work, and data management staff manage the storing of the file itself. "It is a very integrated thing for me," she said.

"We are putting a big effort into making sure this is working."

Associated Companies
» Dong Energy
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