Schlumberger Opens Ocean for Academia Program


Schlumberger today launched its Ocean for Academia Program, signing collaboration contracts with Rice, Stanford, Texas A&M and Unicamp universities to develop new technology on the Ocean open software platform.

"Successfully collaborating with universities is critical to the future of the oil and gas industry," said Meyer Bengio, vice president, technology, Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS). "The Ocean for Academia program establishes a collaborative innovation network leveraging the Ocean platform to achieve greater efficiency in bringing research from concept to market. This network includes academia, oil companies and independent software providers."

The universities will employ Ocean for a number of initial applications. The resulting Ocean plug-ins will augment Petrel seismic-to-simulation workflows in specific research and development (R&D) areas relevant to upstream oil and gas. The program will expand to include additional universities in the coming months.

"Stanford's agreement with Schlumberger to create Petrel plug-ins using the Ocean platform will greatly open the possibilities for both parties to leverage cutting-edge research and allow fast technology transfer," said Jerry Harris, assistant dean, Stanford University. "At the same time it provides Stanford with a wide distribution platform for its consortium-based research efforts. Stanford's initial research will focus on applying ensemble theory to geological model screening, enhancing the general purpose reservoir simulator capabilities and sub-salt seismic attribute extraction. This is no doubt a win-win situation. The fact that such plug-ins can be distributed to members of Stanford's affiliate program will accelerate the development and deployment of geological, geophysical, and reservoir engineering technology."

Steve Holditch, department head, petroleum engineering, Texas A&M University, commented, "Texas A&M is extremely pleased to develop technology on the Ocean platform. The first identified project is a novel approach to reconciling geologic models to historical production data. Schlumberger will field test the resulting plug-in on a project in Asia. The software donations by Schlumberger and frequent contact between the professors and students at Texas A&M with the professional staff at Schlumberger will benefit both organizations and enable more rapid technology development."

"Unicamp will work closely with Schlumberger to establish a joint long-term research road-map," remarked Osvair Vidal Trevisan, director, Center of Petroleum Studies, State University of Campinas -- Unicamp. "Our first R&D efforts will center on strategic reservoir management incorporating uncertainty, linking the value of information to reservoir engineering and economics, for long term asset management decisions. Having access to the Schlumberger technology center in Rio de Janeiro is a critical success factor, providing a local liaison for ongoing expertise and support."

Research and development efforts at Rice University will focus on development of plug-ins for borehole geology integration with geologic modeling as well as integration of historical seismic data. "This will better prepare our graduates for satisfying careers in the oil and gas industry," said Jan Odegard, executive director, Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University.

The Ocean for Academia Program broadens the SIS software donation program to provide greater access to equip students in all exploration and production (E&P) disciplines with the latest learning and research tools.