IBM Maximo Pulse oil and gas tracks

Kuwait Oil Co.’s ‘eBeams’ mega implementation. Tullow Oil’s ‘Project Chombe’ supply chain transformation. Oneok develops leak management application in Maximo configuration code. West Engineering proselytizes for ISO 15926.

Asim Hussain outlined Kuwait Oil Co.’s e-business and enterprise asset management integration program a.k.a. the ‘eBeams’ project. This is said to be one of the ‘largest and most ambitious’ implementations of IBM Maximo ever. eBeams has integrated and streamlined KOC’s life cycle from design, through acquisition, operations, maintenance and write-off for a variety of assets. eBeams saw the retirement of over one hundred standalone and legacy applications including Indus (now Ventyx) Passport. Data from the legacy apps was cleansed, standardized and migrated into the Maximo enterprise asset management system. A suite of customized software tools has been built around eBeams which went live in December 2010. KOC has spent the last three years developing eBeams and anticipates a ‘wide spectrum’ of benefits to users and to KOC’s business in terms of process improvements, work simplification and functional integration. Roll-out included a four week long campaign, along with ‘town hall’ sessions with interaction between the project manager and KOC personnel. eBeams includes business-to-business functionality for interactions with external business partners. The system will ‘lower the costs of goods and services by facilitating price comparisons, streamline interactions with contractors and enhance procurement and tendering.’ eBeams includes interfaces with Primavera and Microsoft Project and a link with KOC’s ERP system for cost control.

Richard Hopkinson traced Tullow Oil’s spectacular growth over the last six years. The company has two ‘world class’ oil field in Uganda and Ghana and is now in the FTSE Top 30. Tullow has launched its biggest IT project ever in support of its 150 strong supply chain staff. Project Chombe targets the transformation of Tullow’s supply chain, addressing the issue of poor data availability with a supply chain management system built on a single global instance of IBM Maximo V7. Chombe’s scope extends master service agreements, reporting, standard operating procedures, national content and HSE. Maximo is the backbone of all this. The same hosted instance supports all of Tullow’s activity in Europe, Africa and elsewhere. The Maximo instance is hosted by IBM in the US. Support is provided by IBM’s offshore team in Pune India.

Chombe includes a supply chain operating model and business processes. The system includes Tullow’s ‘Phoenix’ LiveLink-based document management system, Maximo and Infor’s SunSystems financial package. IBM adds application service provision and hosting including workflow management and delegation of authority. Maximo purchasing, materials and asset management have been implemented. Tullow has added custom development to the mix—to enhance desktop requisition, stores handling and for the SunSystems link. Maximo has been tweaked to handle oil country tubular mixed units. The multi organization, multi site environment necessitated a fair amount of customization. Tullow’s own work process needed updating with more liberal delegation of authority to handle newly empowered users. The hosted system provides ‘99.7% availability’ averaged across 13 countries. The system is tuned to available network capacity and is reliant on local ISPs. But the feedback is, ‘so far so good.’ Maximo touches everybody in Tullow. All have been trained on the system from geologist to finance manager. A traveling user can log in and approve from anywhere. ‘Super users’ embed all lines of business and are ‘told to attend all seminars etc.’ Change management made all the difference thanks to town halls, posters, leaflets, Tshirts and cheat sheets.

Tullow can now track demand and transactions, spend control, cost recovery audit trail. Moving procurement down the chain has freed-up managers for higher added value work and analytics. Hopkinson noted that ‘data readiness’ was key to project success. The master data management processes was very important, performed by an integrated cross functional team of specialists. Thorough, objective checks of business readiness at each locality before go-live was critical as was just in time training. This may be hard to arrange, but it does avoid the need for refresher training and follow up. Future development will likely include asset management and supply chain reporting with (probably) Cognos. Tullow is now working to develop scorecards to track and improve its spend process—work that used to be done with ‘a blitz of consultants looking at thousands of invoices!’

Oneok has consolidated 15 apps including legacy Maximo and multiple spreadsheets in an effort to improve business processes and correct inefficiencies in its work and asset management. Today six facilities are live on Maximo. Developing a leak management application required particular care in this safety-oriented and highly regulated environment. Recent ‘incidents’ are driving changes in regulatory requirements and the business wanted to go further and consolidate into a set of best practices.

Oneok’s guiding principle for application development is ‘do not customize.’ It is better to use Maximo configuration code rather than Java. A guided process means that users don’t have to fill in all fields—enhancing data integrity. Notifications are fired off when records are getting close to non compliance and field labels change depending on the type of leak.

Once a business requirement has been defined, these are fine tuned by subject matter expert testers who find and fix bugs before rolling-out to users. Initially a system may be rolled out with limited functionality. Features are added with subsequent smaller releases. This approach allows the business to feed back on functionality as it grows.

Mike Van Gemert (West Engineering Services) noted the challenge of new ‘big ideas’ that are not aligned with standards. Rig systems are increasingly complex, IT is challenged by the offshore environment and security models are not keeping pace with threats. Critical documents and drawings may not be available in their most up to date form on board and high day rates often determine priorities and maintenance strategy. The answer, according to Ven Gemert, is the Norwegian integrated operations initiative and its taxonomies and XML schemas for interoperability based on ISO 15926. West worked with the IBM Centre of Excellence in Norway on integrated O&M, now embedded in the Maximo for oil and gas solution. More from Pulse on

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