International Digital Oilfield Conference, Abu Dhabi

Schlumberger on automated decision support. SAIC’s EngineeringEdge-based DOF 2.0. Total’s ‘Full Control of Wells’ program. ‘Out of the box’ well performance management from Matrikon.

The inaugural International Digital Oilfield Conference (IDOC) was held in Abu Dhabi last month. The show had a good turnout (138) and a strong technical program. Schlumberger’s Elie Daher, who heads up the NexT training establishment, defined the digital oilfield as ‘an integrated asset underpinned by automated decision support and pro active asset management.’ For Schlumberger, DecisionPoint can be deployed as the hub of a digital oilfield as illustrated with an example from Petrobras.

SAIC’s Bart Stafford offered a different slant, describing the ‘digital oilfield of the future’ as ‘more than software.’ SAIC has teamed with ESRI on a ‘branded’ digital oilfield offering, ‘DOF 2.0.’ This leverages a combination of SCADA data, collected over a WiMax network and an integrated asset model. For Stafford, while ‘the oilfield runs on data,’ under-investment and lack of standards reduce data quality and complicate access. Today’s reality is that ‘there are few if any broad consistent corporate digital oilfield deployments,’ although there are many pilots. DOF 2.0 leverages a ‘process-based’ model as opposed to the usual ‘application-based’ approach. The underlying visualization, collaboration and workflow tools are now mature enough to make DOF 2.0 a reality. A separate SAIC presentation from Damon Brady described how SAIC’s EngineeringEdge approach to designing and delivering solutions has been used to develop a DOF reference architecture.

Nicolas Kessler reviewed Total’s real time asset management initiatives including a ‘Full Control of Wells’ (FCW) program. This uses control algorithms implemented in the DCS for electrical submerged pumps and other optimizations. FCW was first applied on the West African Nikossa development and is now a standard for Total’s 500 operated wells worldwide. Another Total success was the pipeline management system using a dynamic multi-phase simulation tool developed for the Gulf of Mexico Canyon Express pipeline. This proved an ‘amazing success’ with a 100% increase in liquid handling capacity. On Girassol, a well performance monitoring system feeds field and facility monitoring and notification systems to provide continuous validation of online models.

Field monitoring defines Total’s approach to the digital oilfield. Kessler recommends ‘thinking before you break legacy systems!’ And also to provide comprehensive documentation. ‘Success comes from countless failures, you need to plan for failure and roll out successes quickly.’

Matrikon’s Joel Chacon-Fonseca described an ‘out of the box’ well performance management system used by Dubai Petroleum. The system, co-developed with EnQuest and Eclipse Petroleum Technology includes well surveillance and visualization of gas lift and ESP wells. A successful pilot has now been scaled up to 340 wells with robust IT and training for 50 users. Colored knowledge maps are used to show gas lift rates and well efficiency.

Klaus Muller reviewed Shell E&P’s multi-year well and reservoir management (WRM) program. This is building a ‘smart field,’ collaborative working environment (CWE) for monitoring, control and automation from a WRM. The CWE is extended to field workers with Pixavi’s VisiWear cameras for remote collaboration and situation awareness. The WRM’s exception-based surveillance has hiked production by 1%. More from

This article originally appeared in Oil IT Journal 2010 Issue # 5.

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