Petronas’ integrated operations

Major redevelopment of Samarang field leverages state-of-the-art digital energy concepts. "Tri-node" collaborative work environment enables workflows for operations, production management and more.

Petronas and service provider Schlumberger stole the show at the 2015 SPE Digital Energy conference in Houston with three back-to-back presentations on the digitization of the Samarang oilfield, Malaysia. Discovered in 1975, Samarang is currently the subject of a major redevelopment project following a 2010 alliance with Schlumberger that set out to leverage Schlumberger’s ‘renowned’ subsurface technology.

The integrated operations (IO) concept for Samarang was first presented at the last (2013) Digital Energy as a conceptual study (SPE 163724) that found opportunities for streamlined workflows, improved information management and increased production. In particular the concepts were to be integrated early on, during front-end engineering design of the revamp.

Petronas’ three presentations (SPE 173578, 173579, 173580) showed how the concepts developed in the initial study have evolved and have been implemented. In particular with the deployment of a ‘tri-node’ collaborative work environment (CWE) that provides a real time data sharing environment for workers located at the field itself, on the local operations team in Kota Kinabalu and petrotechnical experts at head office in Kuala Lumpur. Data tie-in and commissioning leverages a data quality funnel with multi-level checks from field based RTUs through to end user applications.

These include a full stack of Schlumberger’s tools (OFM, Olga-online, Avocet, Eclipse and Peep) along with Petex’ Prosper and Gap and OSIsoft’s PI historian. So far five workflows have been implemented including well testing, back allocation and gas lift. Workflows are driven by operational guidelines that show process ‘swim lanes’ linking individuals to the tasks in hand. Workflows cover ‘fast loop’ activities such as reacting to a failed valve, medium loop processes such as production optimization and slow loop reservoir management activities that may see many specialists congregating in the CWEs.

Implementing the new systems meant upheaval for employees and so a structured change management process was used. This has leveraged the work of John Kotter and ProSci’s Adkar methodology. A ‘Sipoc’ six sigma process was also used to sketch out and implement workflows. Programming logic and source code was managed with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Foundation Server. The process has been standardized such that it can now be re-deployed at other Petronas assets.

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