The Open Group Open Subsurface Data Universe™ (OSDU) Forum Update

The Professional Petroleum Data Expo was held April in Houston, Texas by the Professional Petroleum Data Management Association (PPDM). This conference is one of several events where The Open Group Open Subsurface Data Universe™ (OSDU) Forum unveiled a new standard in development that will facilitate movement of oil and gas company exploration, production, and wells data from in-house IT systems to cloud services.
                                                                                                                                                                                      The Open Group was a sponsor of the event, and had a presence in the exhibition hall. There was a steady stream of attendees with questions about the Open Subsurface Data Universe Forum, and about the emerging standard.
Formed in late summer 2018, the OSDU Forum is moving very rapidly to deliver a standard and reference implementations, with a first proof of concept demonstration implementation targeted for summer 2019.
                                                                                                                                                                                      The work of the OSDU Forum was mentioned numerous times in various conference sessions. The highlight of the conference was a closing panel session in which Forum members Paloma Urbano (Conoco Philips), Megan Potter (ConocoPhillips), Philip Benyeogor, (BP), Phillip Jong (Shell), and James Pipe (Chevron) discussed the OSDU standard, its importance in the oil and gas data area, and the progress of development and launch.
                                                                                                                                                                                  The session was quite well attended, overflowing the capacity of the room. Paloma facilitated the discussion, which focused on providing the operator viewpoint on the Forum, the need for a standard and reference implementations in this area, and the benefits expected by operator companies.
                                                                                                                                                                                    During the panel discussion, it became clear that many of the large oil and gas operators were headed in this direction anyways. In addition, they recognized that competing on data architectures would not be sensible. There were instead many benefits to be achieved via collaborating on an open, vendor-neutral standard in this area. The goal is to create an open source, open data platform. The group of operators with early interest in creating a standard here brought this to The Open Group to leverage the collaboration tools, legal framework, Forum development, and open, consensus-based standards process – and to create the Open Subsurface Data Universe Forum as the place for this work.
                                                                                                                                                                            Other points made during the panel discussion included:
  • Reference implementations are planned for AWS, Azure, and Google cloud services
  • Development of a thriving ecosystem is important
  • For the operators, sharing of data in efficient ways with business partners is also important
  • Benefits include acceleration of the transition to digital target architectures
The panel also addressed some industry skepticism regarding what will be delivered and by when. The Forum is operating in a very agile manner, using modern collaboration tools including Gitlab and Slack. The agile methodology is enabling the Amazon initial reference implementation demo release (limited datasets & scope.)

The group has multiple subcommittees working on the architecture, data definitions, and security, as well as outreach and communications.

With solid industry support (17 operators including all of the super majors, and 38 software and cloud service suppliers have joined the OSDU Forum), the group seems to have achieved critical mass and is moving quite rapidly to deliver on their vision.

Stay tuned for more updates on OSDU!