Data Exchange Standards in the Oil & Gas Industry



At present, the Oil & Gas industry it faces new challenges that are reflected in the constant fluctuation of oil prices and in increasingly stringent environmental regulations that must be met. Given this new panorama, companies use the most advanced technology in instrumentation and software for decisions making based on data, in order to optimize operations in the areas of exploration and production of oil and gas (Rockwell Automation, 2015).

Interoperability in Oil & Gas Industry

In the Oil & Gas industry, interoperability (or data exchange between two or more computer systems, as defined by the IEEE) is often affected by the variety of devices and software tools that coexist in this sector.


Data exchange standards

The data exchange standards create opportunities to improve interoperability in companies in the hydrocarbons sector. This is because they allow the data to be added in a common environment that facilitates its transfer between different software tools (Hollingsworth and Ormerod, 2014).


ISO 15926 is an international standard for the representation and exchange of data concerning the life cycle of industrial plants, which includes the engineering, construction and maintenance phases. This standard not only covers oil and gas production, but also other process industries associated with the refining of hydrocarbons; generation of electric power; and manufacture of chemical and pharmaceutical products (ISO, nd).

  • identifications, properties and classifications of physical objects;
  • how physical objects are assembled and connected.


OPC UA (OPen Connectivity Unified Architecture) is a standard developed by OPC Foundation and published for the first time in 2008. This specification defines an information model and communication model client-server that allows various devices and computer systems can exchange data in a standard way (OPC Foundation, 2017).

Source: OPC Foundation


PRODML is a standard that allows the “reliable and automated exchange of data between software packages” that are used in activities related to the management of hydrocarbon production (Energistics, 2016).

  • Transfer of production reports in standard format, for regulators, partners, and between the departments of the same company.
  • The use of time series for the analysis and modeling of automated data.

Key benefits of standardization

  • By improving the quality of the data. Errors that can occur with manual data management are eliminated with the use of standards for the exchange of information (Morrison and Shields, 2013).
  • By reducing technological dependence. Companies can opt for software packages that are less expensive and that adapt to their real needs, since their data will be transmitted in a standard format and not in a specific format of a provider (Digital Energy Journal, 2017).
  • With the prevention of unwanted events. This prevention starts from the use of standardized historical data and statistical models to anticipate problems that could hinder drilling activities (Petrolink, 2016).


Data exchange standards help hydrocarbon companies automate their work-flows, resulting in lower costs and more efficient processes.


Baaziz, A. y Quoniam, L. (2014). How to use Big Data technologies to optimize operations in Upstream Petroleum Industry. 21St World Petroleum Congress, Moscow, June 15–19, (paper).

Data-driven Solutions

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store