Is Energy Industry Ready to Join Open Source World?

David Hunn | Houston Chronicle | August 26, 2016

Halliburton is moving to foster cooperation in processing of data

Landmark, a technology unit of the energy services company Halliburton, is betting that it is, unveiling a cloud-computing platform last week that will allow companies to collaborate on developing software to process the massive volumes of data they collect on everything from geology to seismology to chemistry to drilling to flows of oil and gas. The idea is that easy and open access to the code on which the platform is based will lead to faster and better analysis of the data and ultimately to innovations that allow the industry to extract more oil and gas at lower costs.

The initiative is following a model used for years by tech giants such as and Google, as well as automakers, software companies and business services firms. Instead of protecting the code that runs the software, the model, called open source, opens the code to developers who share their work and build on each others' improvements to create better software, products and services.

The model is new to the oil and gas industry, which has a tradition of cutthroat competition. That has left companies reluctant to share information and led to a host of proprietary computer systems that can't communicate with each other. Landmark says moving its platform, called DecisionSpace, onto the cloud will overcome the technical barriers to collaboration and communication. The cultural barriers could prove tougher, analysts said...