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Covering Drilling, Completions and Interventions, WITSML is the industry reference for the transmission of data from rig-site to the offices of oilfield service companies, integrators and operators. It is also used to share information among partners, vendors and government agencies.

  • The current inventory of WITSML standard capabilities includes: wellsite-to-office data transfers, completions (equipment, events and flows), wireline and LWD well logs, as well as calculated and planned well trajectories. Data Assurance Metadata is part of the standard. The Energistics Transfer Protocol (ETP) is the recommended method to ensure near-real-time continuous data transfers.
  • WITSML is under the management of a dedicated Work Group, bringing together specialists from numerous member companies and organizations to chart the future of the standard.

The Problem that WITSML Solves

“Digital oilfield of the future”,  “iFields”,  “eFields”,  “Smart fields”. These are all names for the industry efforts to use instrumentation and software to optimize operations in all domains for oil and gas exploration and production (E&P). To achieve this goal, all of these technologies must work together—but often don’t because of incompatible data structures and designs.

WITSML standards:

WITSML™ is an industry initiative to provide open, non-proprietary, standard interfaces for systems transmitting, exchanging or receiving data. These standards make the seamless integration of drilling technologies possible, enabling near-real-time drilling optimization and moving closer to realizing the benefits of the digital oilfield. The standards also provide a low-cost, low-risk, and highly innovative environment for the configuration and running of advanced optimization processes.


While the goal of each of these standards is essentially the same—the ability to easily transfer drilling data—the technology is not.

  • Wellsite Information Transfer Specification (WITS) is an industry standard from the mid 1980s that uses a binary file format for transferring wellsite drilling data.
  • WITSML is Web-based and built on XML technology, which is both platform- and language-independent.
  • Implementations of WITS may still exist, but all new development should use WITSML.