The paradigm of Shared Earth Model emerged in the mid-1990’s echoing the need for oil companies to integrate software tools from various sources into a single geo-modeling workflow. The goal is to allow information to be easily transferred from one application to another within the workflow. Consortia such as Energistics and now OSDU Forum were created by oil producers and software providers with the objective of building data exchange standards that would ensure data and application interoperability. The RESQML, WITSML and PRODML standards are now widely accepted in industry, allowing simplified data exchange among modeling software applications from different sources. Furthermore, these exchange standards can also be used as web services, opening the possibility of building geo-modeling workflows of atomic services in the Cloud.
However, the Shared Earth Modeling paradigm cannot be reduced simply to the exchange of data and models. It also seeks to define an integrated method for constructing subsurface resource representations involving the joint activities of multidisciplinary teams organized within a community of practice (Tippee, 1998; Fanchi 2002). This view satisfies several present-day needs of the petroleum industry:
- Modeling procedures now involve a huge number of professionals, who should be allowed to all participate in the model building process, no matter where they are located. At any stage of their lifecycle, earth models need to be shared over the internet by all the specialists concerned. Shared Earth Models should be such that can be viewed and modified in “real time” by all so that new information can be integrated on a daily basis.
- The flexibility of the model-building process must be improved so that different interpretative hypotheses can be verified by means of multiple iterations. This supposes the possibility of introducing partial modifications into the model without being obliged to go through all the steps of the geo-modeling process.
- Flexibility should also be introduced in the building of the geo-modeling workflow. Modelers should be given the possibility of dynamically specifying the succession of elementary tasks required for building a model.
The paradigm of Shared Earth Modeling is fully developed and illustrated in Perrin & Rainaud (2013). Much progress has now been made in the definition of geo-data standards but there remains the challenge of allowing an easy communication between the various specialists involved in the geo-modeling tasks, who each use specific concepts and a specific vocabulary. Harmonizing this diversified knowledge at the semantic level is a huge task that does not only require the building of exchange standards but of actual knowledge models resting on sound ontologies. And a similar work is required for achieving a unified and consensual description of the various geo-modeling tasks and activities. This work is presently in progress and Geosiris tries to bring a significant contribution in the solving of this major semantic issue (Abel & al. 2015; Garcia & al. 2019 ).