The Open Group OSDU™ Mercury Launch Event: A Key Milestone for the Energy Industry

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, The Open Group

This week, The Open Group OSDU™ Forum celebrated a milestone for the energy industry: the launch of the OSDU™ Data Platform Mercury Release. The new Open Source, standards-based data platform represents a key achievement of the OSDU Forum in a very short space of time – illustrating the importance of cross-industry collaboration for supporting the world’s changing energy needs. 

On March 24 2021, we brought together vendors and end-user organizations from across the globe to explore how the new data platform will help energy companies embrace today’s transformational technologies, stimulate innovation, and reduce costs. Sessions were hosted by a plethora of leading industry experts from Shell, bp, ExxonMobil, and Schlumberger who talked us through the history of the OSDU Forum, the benefits and use cases of the data platform, and the Forum’s plans for the future.

It was fantastic to see over 2,100 attendees from around the world gather virtually to learn about the spectacular work of the OSDU Forum. Here are our main highlights.

A Great Collaboration

The day was kicked off by an introduction from Steve Nunn, The Open Group President and CEO, and Phillip Jong, OSDU Forum Chair and Manager Data Foundation Design, Shell Global Solutions. Both Steve and Phillip highlighted the great level of collaboration that has gone in to creating the OSDU Data Platform. Amid the global pandemic, this huge team effort between OSDU Forum Members, software developers, and The Open Group staff amounted to a massive 2,372 days of WebEx meetings in 2020 – a truly impressive feat. In his opening address, Steve noted that this global collaboration is “imperative to the world’s changing energy demands” – and it doesn’t stop after the launch of the data platform. In fact, as Phillip highlighted, this is just the beginning of the Forum’s drive to put “data at the center of the energy industry”, helping it meet its main strategic priorities: digital transformation and energy transition.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the OSDU Forum worked together virtually to develop the
OSDU Data Platform Mercury Release – check out these stats!

The Power of Openness

Expanding on the theme of collaboration, keynote speakers, Michael Deal, Vice President of Research Technology and Digital Development, ExxonMobil and James Moran, Vice President of dataWorx, Innovation & Engineering, bp took an illuminating look at the power of openness for reaching a shared industry goal.

Holding fundamental roles within two OSDU Forum founding Member organizations, Michael and James reflected on the Forum’s journey since it was first established. We heard how, in 2018, nine Oil and Gas companies came together to address common data challenges within the energy industry. In the space of just two years, the OSDU Forum accumulated 193 Member organizations, including energy suppliers, cloud services providers, software vendors, and academic institutions.

James Moran at bp walked us through the different releases of the OSDU Data Platform since the OSDU Forum was established in 2018

Crucially, these organizations are united by a shared goal of delivering a common, Open Source architecture that underpins how the energy sector works with its data. Demonstrating the power of this mentality, Michael opened his keynote by stating, “we’re gathered here to celebrate a milestone, and the collaboration, leadership, and hard work to get us to this point”. With this, he urged others in the industry to put aside company boundaries and embrace openness for the greater good of the energy sector.

Michael and James outlined the sheer scale of the industry contribution that has been crucial for developing the OSDU Data Platform Mercury Release. This includes collaboration not only between Members, but also with a number of standards bodies such as the Energistics Consortium, The Professional Petroleum Data Management (PPDM) Association, and The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP).

Both speakers highlighted that this collaboration is ongoing, extending well beyond the launch of the OSDU Data Platform Mercury Release. To illustrate the evolving nature of the Forum, Michael looked back at bp’s own history with early cloud infrastructure and how the company built on this experience with the OSDU Forum. He also explored bp’s mission to help the world reach NetZero, explaining how the OSDU Forum will help the organization facilitate these plans in future.

James Moran concludes his keynote by introducing the Forum’s future vision and how it is closely tied with bp’s plans to help the world reach NetZero

The OSDU Data Platform Mercury Release: Essential Elements

Next, Johan Krebbers, GM Digital Emerging Technologies/ VP IT Innovation, Shell, and Raj Kannan OSDU Program Management Committee Lead Schlumberger, provided us with a deep dive on the essential elements of the OSDU Data Platform Mercury Release. Together, Johan and Raj explained the technology behind the platform and the benefits of taking an Open Source approach.

They demonstrated how, over time, the OSDU Data Platform will provide access to a vast portfolio of open and proven vendor-developed applications from a broad range of energy sources. With a single set of well-defined and industry-specific APIs, organizations can easily accelerate platform design and develop proprietary applications on top of the OSDU Data Platform.

Johan Krebbers, Shell, and Raj Kannan, Schlumberger, explain how the OSDU Data Platform is the ‘System of Record for Energy Development’

During his presentation, Raj stated, “embracing Open Source took us to the next level”. Ultimately, with an Open Source approach, any company can contribute new features to the platform, supporting a variety of business workflows. All work is validated by the OSDU Program Management Committee (PMC) to ensure it is aligned with the overall direction of the Forum.

Johan Krebbers, Shell and Raj Kannan, Schlumberger broke down the PMC development principles

With a single view of industry data, the OSDU Data Platform can be harnessed for innovative business applications. The Mercury Release of the OSDU Data Platform is now available to Operators and Software Developers who want to:

  • Liberate data from traditional silos and make all data discoverable and usable in a single data platform
  • Enable new integrated exploration and development workflows that reduce overall cycle time
  • Take advantage of emerging digital solutions to provide scalability and accelerate decision making

To bring all of this to life, we watched a series of interactive videos displaying current OSDU Mercury Release applications. A number of companies such as Bluware, Hitachi Vantara, Quorum Software, Ikon Science, and Softserve Inc. put these demonstrations together.

Looking to the Future

To conclude the day, Johan Krebbers, Shell, walked us through the OSDU Forum Roadmap for 2021-2022.  He outlined the Forum’s ambitious plans to create an Open Energy Data Platform, which will integrate a broad range of energy sources, from traditional from conventional (Oil & Gas) to newer (Wind/Solar/Hydrogen/ Geothermal). This will be vitally important for meeting ever-growing energy demand, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Krebbers, Shell takes us through the OSDU Forum roadmap for 2021-2022 and future plans for the creation of the OSDU Open Energy Data Platform.

Congratulations to the OSDU Forum for this incredible achievement! We’re so excited for what lies ahead as we continue to take great steps forward when it comes to transforming the data landscape in the energy industry.

Thank you to all of our fantastic speakers and attendees who made the OSDU Mercury Launch Event such a success. Proceedings and recordings are soon forthcoming to all Members and attendees.

Tremendous thanks also to the scores of Members and staff around the globe who worked hard to pull this event together. Many of them are featured in this cool video!

Up next is our quarterly ‘Open Digital Standards’ Virtual event, April 26-28 2021 – you can find the agenda here. Until then, we’re hoping our Members, customers, presenters, partners, and staff around the world stay safe and healthy!

Do you want to learn more about how to develop applications the OSDU Data Platform? Visit the application developer community page here.

The current OSDU Forum Member List is available here.

@TheOpenGroup   #ogOSDU   #MercuryR3   #OSDU

Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog, media relations, and social media. Loren has over 25 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.