Over the past decade the rapid evolution of Information Technology has enabled oil companies to much more effectively exploit hydrocarbon reserves than was possible up to now. These technologies all rely on an extensive set of instrumentation and controls.

The expected benefits of this novel approach to oilfield management are very high, but can only be harvested by means of an appropriate IT infrastructure and data exchange protocols.

PRODML (PRODuction xML) is a proposed data exchange mechanism which will facilitate the integration between software tools that are used in combination to turn raw production data into control actions.

PRODML intends to be an industry standard XML-based exchange format for production data. The scope of the first version of PRODML will be determined by what can reliably be delivered in a one year period.

This first version will support data exchange between applications in the office domain with emphasis on near-real time optimisation. In this context, near-real time optimisation is defined as optimisation that can be achieved by making changes in the existing production configuration that can be effectuated within one day.

The overall approach follows the successful example of the WITSML project, which established a similar set of specifications for the drilling domain.

PRODML was initiated jointly by BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Statoil in early 2005.

The initiative has since been joined by Halliburton, Invensys, OSIsoft, Petex, Schlumberger, Sense-Intellifield, Tietoenator and Weatherford, and is now in the process of developing the standard. POSC has agreed to take over stewardship of the effort once work on the first version has been completed and to foster further developments.

The paper represents the work of the entire team.

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