The four companies controlling the production of oil and gas in Abu Dhabi (ADNOC, ADCO, ADMA and ZADCO) are pioneering an effort to organize their wealth of exploration and production (E&P) information into one integrated system. This paper describes the business fundamentals driving the system, the original vision, the project management and the lessons learned as this project nears completion.

With the Exploration and Production Information System (EXPRIS), we decided to manage the full spectrum of E&P technical data: geology, geophysics, geodetic, drilling, well and completion, core, petrophysics (logs), PVT, tests, facilities and equipment, production, injection, storage and shipments. The coverage is as wide as is diverse. The four companies have different data models, mainframes and application software. In addition to the old core database systems, there are valuable data in a multitude of "private" scattered databases such as stacks of floppy disks in engineers' drawers! Valuable information exists in non-digital form. Nomenclature and codes such as well naming convention, markers, m stratigraphy, well status and so on are different. Also, each company has a different set of applications linked to various sources of data.

EXPRIS is a modern database management system backed by an integrated E&P data model based on a commercial package close to evolving industry standards. The project includes populating the model with legacy data from historical sources, making efficient loading procedures for loading new data, preparing user-friendly data access and visualization tools and connecting the integrated database to a wide range of available applications. Extensive user training and complete documentation are given full consideration.


Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates. It is rich in oil, gas and condensate reserves. ADNOC is Abu Dhabi's national oil company and is fully owned by the government. ADCO (onshore) and ADMA and ZADCO (offshore) are the operating companies (OPCOs) which deliver about 95% of Abu Dhabi's oil production. ADNOC's share in these companies ranges from 60–88%. The remaining shares are owned by several major oil companies: BP, SHELL, TOTAL, EXXON, MOBIL, JODCO (Japan) and PARTEX (Portugal). By law, all gas reserves and production (associated and non-associated) in Abu Dhabi are owned by the government and exploited by ADNOC on behalf of the government. Figure 1 is a map of Abu Dhabi's oil companies.

ADNOC needs continuous and efficient access to the OPCOs data for performance monitoring and technical and planning studies. The OPCOs kept their data on different mainframes and in various databases in digital and non-digital files. Users of main applications, such as reservoir simulators and seismic interpretation packages had their own independent powerful workstations and stand alone data files containing the data needed for these application. Access control and sharing of the vital E&P data was difficult and time consuming.

Meanwhile, the E&P industry began nmoving away from mainframes to distributed client server environment using powerful PCs and workstations. Many new core applications are used by multi-disciplinary teams that require simultaneous access to project data.

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