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Tapping into the data revolution

Producers sitting on immense silos of underused data can benefit from technological innovations

Digital data solutions offer a crucial resource for upstream producers and midstream companies. Every day, huge volumes of data are generated by millions of sensors across the sector, with valuable insights buried deep inside just waiting to be revealed and fully exploited.

Leveraging these data resources can help drive business transformation and allow enterprises to maximise asset value, ensure safe and reliable operations, and reduce downtime. These strategies allow high margins to be maintained despite uncertain economic cycles. Having more consistent, accessible and visible data increases efficiencies and, importantly, enhances critical operations and facility uptime.

The Covid-19 pandemic this year has only accelerated the pace and uptake of digitalisation. Companies have been forced to shift to working virtually, and those at the forefront of automation have gained a valuable edge in a world where physical access is limited.

Data collection, combined with automation, has allowed many producers to continue relatively unscathed this year, helping drive operational excellence, digital safety and sustainable business practices despite the challenging economic backdrop.

Businesses are investing in real-time asset monitoring, connecting insights from operational data to contextualise with enterprise systems. The operational visibility, from sensors in the field gathering data to control rooms in company headquarters, helps produce valuable insights, safer operations, improved collaboration and faster resolution.

And as the industry continues to pivot towards a greater share for low-carbon energy in portfolios, digital technologies can play a pivotal role in reducing operators’ emissions and bridging the gap to a net-zero future.

Taking the lead

Many enterprises are already turning to technology providers to leverage the benefits of big data and automation. A leading oil producer in the US recently partnered with AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software, to streamline its data capabilities and improve operational communications. Prior to digitalisation, huge volume of data generated from 100+ platforms and 3,000+ wells made planning and scheduling field resources extremely slow and inefficient.

Communication was also time-consuming, with each field engineer having to log into the network, phone the compliant tower and then manually check the pad. The result was lower well and facility uptime and mounting operational costs.

Businesses are investing in real-time asset monitoring, connecting insights from operational data to contextualise with enterprise systems

Instead, AVEVA worked with the producer to integrate its operational data into a single digital solution that could be accessed and used from a central hub. The AVEVA Unified Operations Center allows producers to converge and contextualise available data into actionable information, applying predictive analytics and tapping into other digital sources including CCTV video and GIS maps.

Installing AVEVA’s Edge Management also helped the producer optimise real-time data acquisition, while using up to 90pc less bandwidth than traditional poll-response, improving its data fidelity and reducing latency from two minutes to just 15 seconds.

Edge Management provides a gateway to successfully connect industrial protocols with secure layer and built-in store forward capability. This enables edge applications to be successfully incorporated into a variety of hybrid architectures including the industrial Internet of Things. The result is an edge application lifecycle that enables operational excellence and asset performance anywhere via the cloud.

“AVEVA’s combined software offerings delivered superior enterprise visibility and control, enabling the oil major to realise their ‘pump by exception’ vision to manage wells with maximum efficiency,” adds Rashesh Mody, senior VP, head of monitor and control business unit at AVEVA.

The robust data integration assists greater automation, improving efficiency and worker safety by routing field personnel to the highest priority assets. The improved system assigned and dispatched engineers to the nearest facility for inspection and any necessary repairs. The control room could then monitor the execution externally. This data-centric approach increased well and facility uptime, lowered costs, improved collaboration and fundamentally enhanced environmental ­performance.

This article was taken from our Digitalisation Review publication

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