Liege Belgium, April 4, 2001. OGC, Inc. (the Open GIS Consortium) announced today that Shell International Exploration and Production Inc. (Houston, TX) joined OGC recently as a Principal Member.Approximately 80% of all data transactions in the upstream oil and gas business involve the location component of that data. This makes geospatial data the most frequently used data category in this business sector.As a technological leader in the oil and gas business sector, Shell views software integration as a means to increase effectiveness and efficiency of business processes. Though Shell develops custom software for certain critical applications, Shell would prefer to use commercially available 'plug-and-play' software components for functionality that is routine for its business, such as the handling of geospatial data.To accomplish this goal, Shell has chosen to collaborate with OGC and its members to achieve the OGC vision of “complete integration of geoprocessing into mainstream computing”. Shell has joined OGC as a principal member to influence and accelerate the development of the geoprocessing specifications it sees as necessary, and to encourage software companies to implement these specifications where possible.David Schell, President of OGC, said, “Shell will lead the oil and gas industry in introducing requirements for interoperability that will almost immediately begin to influence the software vendors serving that industry. There are special interoperability requirements in oil and gas exploration and production, but here, as in most other industries, the dominant trend is toward standards-enabled integration with more general purpose kinds of software.”OGC is an international industry consortium of over 200 companies, government agencies and universities working together to develop geoprocessing standards. OGC's OpenGIS Specifications establish common geoprocessing interfaces and protocols that “geo-enable” the Web, so developers can make complex geographic and non-graphic spatial information accessible and useful for all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at: .– end –“