Chevron’s wall-to-wall PI

100 year old San Joaquin Valley field puts PI through its paces in comprehensive automation effort. Upstream Foundation embeds PI Server, a central PI ‘collective’ and secure OT/IT link.

Speaking at the 2016 OSIsoft users conference in San Francisco this month, Neel Chakraborty showed how Chevron has unified production data across its San Joachim Valley business unit’s assets including the 100+ year old Kern River field*. Chevron’s data challenge was a familiar one, that of multiple process data repositories, from Excel/Access to various vendors’ historians.

Back in May 2008 we reported on the first stirrings of Chevron’s Upstream Foundation which now includes a template for the use of OSIsofts PI System for process data unification. In 2009, Chevron specified PI Server as its ‘common architecture for process control data utilizing an aggregate process historian throughout upstream business units.’

Before the UF was implemented Chevron had multiple connections across the OT/IT firewall, between various scada servers and PLCs in the field and a large number of endpoints (workstations and mobile devices) in the business network. The plan is to replace all of the above with a central scada PI ‘collective’ on the operations side of the firewall with a single secure connection to a mirrored ‘business PI collective.’

Early on, Chevron recognized that equipment tag naming was critical to the project’s success and that the UF was a great opportunity to fix this, with a consistent naming convention. A structured ‘information objective analysis’ process was developed to rationalize end-to-end tag mapping. This included establishing meta data requirements and the development of PI asset framework models of groups of tags, all of which was discussed and approved by stakeholders before deployment. We understand that Industrial Evolution (now a Yokogawa company) designed and implemented the enterprise-wide historian and helped with the tag standardization. This process started in 2011 and it took Chevron a further three years to complete the unification of all its sub systems.

Alongside the data historian role for PI, Chevron uses PI event frames to capture non-time series data such as information from automated well tests and cyclic steam flooding.

The large community involved in the project meant that attention to organization was key. A three tier governance model was developed, involving all stakeholders. The project also saw structured knowledge transfer from the PI specialists in the contractors to Chevron personnel. Chevron is now looking to implement predictive analytics and to extend the infrastructure to embrace ‘future data.’ Read the paper here. More from OSIsoft next month.

* The 1899 Bakersfield/Kern River discovery is said to have inspired the 2007 movie ‘There will be blood.’

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