In 2000 BP identified an opportunity to collaborate with a major Norwegian operator and develop an initiative for updating the drilling data standards for contractor to operator rig-site data flows to speed and enhance decision-making. This led to the successful WITSML initiative for XML and Web Services standards in the Drilling and Completions domain1  This has seen rapid acceptance by all the major operators, service contractors and application vendors (www.witsml.org).

The WITSML initiative started with the objective to update the existing methods for drilling data exchange at the rig for the internet age, and to incorporate the lessons learned from its precursor, WITS 2 . WITS was designed for point-to-point transfers whereas WITSML, which is based on a functional XML and web services approach, facilitates wider access to data. WITSML acquired early success at replacing the WITS standard; however, moving further into contextual and report data to create true application-to-application interoperability required the operator community to intervene.

The intervention by BP has been to stimulate the marketplace and create a foundation to drive additional functionality for data exchange and reporting in the rig based environment and is the subject of this paper.

The approach taken by BP has been twofold: enabling the acceptance of contextual data from data acquisition providers by promoting enhancements of a widely used daily reporting tool; enabling the storage of time-based data within BP's own custodial databases and the merging of contextual data with the same. The deployment of the first trials of these enhanced applications is discussed. These enhanced applications have been used in harmony with "Decision Support Centres" where the opportunities to use improved technology to enable rig-office team decision-making are explored.

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