DOME IDOC 2012—Oman

The third Dome Exhibitions ‘International digital oilfield conference’ held this year in Oman hears from PDO’s smart fields program, Statoil’s IO, Kongsberg’s simulators, Microsoft/mr:con on new PetroVisor platform. KOC/Weatherford digitize the Burgan field. Shell’s Smart mobile worker.

Khamis Albusaidi of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) advocates an ‘appropriate level of smartness.’ For PDO’s smart fields program this currently combines smart capabilities and a collaborative work environment (CWE) to enable optimization across the entire production system from subsurface to surface facilities. The future vision will see the introduction of some closed loop control. PDO’s digital oilfield program builds on plethoric sensors, for water, vibration, oil in water, solids, H2S and more. Projects include gas breakthrough control, a digital net oil computer and WiMax communications to the well head to support real time well management. PDO has nine collaborative work environments (CWE) across the organization and has established a smart fields governance structure with champions at ops and engineering director level.

Change management and sustainability are challenging. The idea is to ‘make smart the only way of working.’ This is succeeding as well restoration time is now down from 6 to 2 days and has reduced deferment to the tune of $8million per year. The CWE has brought better data visibility and enables cross-silo workflows. These bring improved operations and better skill sharing and transfer. In 2013, 80% of PDO’s fields will operate at the ‘appropriate’ level of smartness.

Trude Sundset described Statoil’s integrated operations (IO) as ‘very mature’ with multiple activity guideline documents, broadband communications, a data integration architecture and collaboration centers. Statoil has developed a good division of labor with its contractors as witnessed by the recent drilling services contract, awarded to Baker Hughes, that covers 25 fields. Other IO successes include the Vessel Traffic Management information system (VTMIS), telemedicine, and equipment monitoring. IO is bringing ‘deep changes’ to Statoil’s way of working with multi discipline, cross silo and concurrent processes. Rapid access to domain specialists, real time data and situational awareness are making for a ‘proactive’ way of working.

Maersk Oil’s Pieter Kapteijn looked to the future of the digital oilfield (Dof). For Maersk, the core principle of the Dof is a model-based controller and optimizer running in parallel to the real world of the field. Today most all optimization is ‘reactive,’ 70% of the potential for ‘smart’ is as yet untapped. Today we are ‘reasonably smart’ at well delivery, production operations and asset management. Other core activities are not so well served and ‘lifecycle smartness’ is in its infancy. Worldwide fewer than 0.1% of all wells are smart. We have to live with poor basic data and we struggle with integration. The future tools of the trade will include pervasive sensing, ‘unlimited compute power,’ bandwidth and a new ‘digital’ generation of employees.

Kongsberg’s Shane McArdle argues that there are more uses for a plant simulator than in operator training. At Statoil’s Kårstø gas processing facility, a plant lifecycle simulator is used in a variety of roles to ‘break down the silo boundaries’ and enable change management. Kårstø’s operations are complex. Around 700 ships dock every year and Kårstø is the EU’s biggest exporter of NGL and LPG. A dynamic plant simulator has been in use since 2003 and used at every phase of operations. The simulator is now a Statoil best practice and has a dedicated five person team of automation, operations and process engineers. The system is used to test advanced process control applications such as Statoil’s ‘Septic’ project.

Konsberg’s simulator has been used in multiple revamp projects and has proved its worth with faster commissioning, reduced DCS and design faults and, of course, in operator training. The simulator also provides model-based decision making for ongoing field development and ‘fast and easy access’ to reliable information. Life cycle simulation is now included in all specifications. Models are built for the main processes and used to identify long lead time items. DCS checkout is now considered a ‘value add’ activity that helps to understand how the simulator will be used throughout the life of the facility.

Microsoft’s Ali Ferling and Michael Stundner of Austria-based myr:conn introduced PetroVisor, a rapid development environment tailored to oil and gas. PetroVision runs in the Microsoft Azure cloud, is said to be compliant with Microsoft’s upstream reference architecture (Mura) and has support from Accenture. PetroVisor has been used to write a production tuning demonstrator game and, Stundner hopes, will eventually evolve into a digital oilfield ecosystem.

Schlumberger’s Hammad Mohamed argues that data is the most valuable corporate asset since most everything else can be replaced. Oils recognize this and capture data to in-house or commercial data stores. But data storage and capture over the years has evolved into an assembly of document systems, technical and operational databases—all of which present multiple challenges to data managers. Data growth has been reported at 80% per year for technical data and unstructured data growth is ‘uncontrolled’. There is a mismatch between traditional data management and the ‘web’ of E&P data. Current data systems lack the flexibility and scalability required to integrate multiple repositories. Data quality is generally low and still adversely impacts users. One answer is Schlumberger’s InnerLogix data quality management solution which automates data cleansing, aggregation and validation across today’s multiple data sources.

Ahmad Al Jasmi (KOC) and David Joy (Weatherford) reported from KOC’s digital Burgan field pilot. The proof of concept was deployed on a single gathering center of around 100 wells with water issues. A digital Modbus connection to wellheads provided flowline measurement and remote choke control. Fiber links added downhole temperature and pressure measurement along with monitoring of pump wear. The system leveraged the KwIDF (OITJ October 2012) infrastructure of control rooms, computing and communications. A key contribution comes from the ‘i-DO’ toolset, used to automate ‘sick well’ identification and to develop and enact remediation plans. ‘Raw’ digital oilfield automation is not enough. Systems need to allow for human interaction and management of change prior to CWE introduction and afterwards, to ensure that they are used effectively.

Basil Elzin presented Shell’s ‘smart mobile worker’ that extends the ‘comforts’ of the CWE to the field worker. SMW offers advice, applications and monitors worker health remotely. SMW provides an audio/video link, multiple mobile devices and fall protection. More from DOME and IDOC.

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