AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - March 7, 2011) - Drilling technology providers successfully conducted a live demonstration of the WITSML (Well Information Transfer Standard Markup Language) drilling data exchange standard at IADC 2011 in Amsterdam, where they seamlessly exchanged drilling data in real-time between six vendor technologies. This efficient data transfer demonstration was possible because each vendor technology uses the open data exchange standard WITSML, facilitated by Energistics, the oil and gas industry upstream standards consortium.

The ability to quickly and reliably transfer drilling data from one technology to the next improves the accuracy, safety and efficiency of drilling oil and gas wells. In less than two hours, the vendors were able to make their WITSML-enabled technologies work together to store and receive data from three WITSML servers developed by PetroLink and Kongsberg. Other participating vendors included Geologix, Halliburton, Independent Data Services and Schlumberger, each with products used for different tasks required when drilling wells. The drilling data set was provided by Statoil.

"It was a historic moment for WITSML at IADC 2011," explained Julian Pickering, director of Digital Oilfield Solutions Ltd. and previously head of digital technology for drilling and completions for BP. "WITSML has been growing steadily in uptake throughout the oil and gas industry, and has reached the point where it can allow multiple products from multiple vendors to be quickly integrated into a larger, hybrid solution enabling quicker and better decision making for drilling managers."

Pickering acknowledged that earlier versions of the standard had some interoperability issues, which have slowed the adoption rate. "Today's demonstration clearly shows what can be accomplished with the current version of WITSML. What's needed now is a change of mindset in the industry, from needing to justify the use of WITSML to asking: why wouldn't you build your drilling data architecture on a proven industry standard?"

The demonstration was conducted in Amsterdam at the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) conference, an annual event sponsored jointly by IADC ( and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (

Incompatible data formats can lead to errors and accidents
Modern-day oil and gas drilling operations use numerous sophisticated technologies, which include sensors, hardware and software tools to perform the many tasks required to plan, execute and monitor wells. However, because these tools are developed by different companies, they often use different data formats and can't communicate with each other.

These incompatible formats mean that people must intervene to reformat data, which bogs down drilling operations and drives up costs, increasing the likelihood of data errors. These data errors can result in operational errors or worse, incidents or accidents that can harm people and the environment.

Data exchange standards provide a common format that all compliant technologies can understand; subsequently data can be saved and used directly by WITSML enabled technology.

WITSML Overview
WITSML, first developed in 2000, is an open data exchange standard for data associated with drilling and completion of oil and gas wells and is currently used in at least 40 different software products. It was developed and is maintained by the WITSML Special Interest Group (SIG), made up of oil and gas industry professionals whose companies are members of Energistics. Each company that participated in this demonstration are WITSML SIG members.

About Energistics
Energistics is a global, not-for-profit consortium uniquely designed to unite upstream oil and natural gas industry professionals in a neutral and collaborative facilitation environment to develop and deploy open data exchange standards and to address E&P information challenges. Membership consists of integrated, independent and national oil companies, oilfield service companies, hardware and software vendors, system integrators, regulatory agencies and the global standards user community. For more information visit our website at

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