BP shifts to standardized rig ITC

SMi Oil & Gas telecommunications presentation shows how BP is rationalizing its ‘fragmented’ rig IT with a standard infrastructure to support the SiteCom/OpenWells-based BP Well Advisor suite.

Stephen Teale, BP’s global rig IT manager, speaking at the recent SMi Oil & Gas Telecommunications event in London, observed that in the current low cost environment, digital technology promises much needed efficiencies and cost savings and that telecommunications are key to realizing the digital opportunity. BP’s objective of drilling ‘safe, compliant and reliable wells’ is hampered by current rig IT that is ‘disordered and fragmented’ with multiple solutions deployed and with bespoke, regional developments. This leads to increased cost and complexity in application and infrastructure support. Installations and upgrades have led to equipment rooms packed with multiple systems.

Teale’s team has therefore developed a standard rig IT infrastructure that will be deployed on new rigs over the next couple of years and retrofitted to some 30 existing rigs. BP’s ‘well advisor’ (BPWA) is based on Kongsberg’s SiteCom* communications technology and Landmark’s OpenWells operations reporting infrastructure, all with ‘stringent’ digital security.

Real-world deployments on major platforms such as Great White and Ocean Victory illustrated the scope of rig IT. VMware’s ESXi hypervisor serves multiple virtual machines running the BPWA suite of applications. Physical server management is achieved HP’s iLOX. The BPWA suite is comprehensive and multi-vendor. Well planning for instance, couples Schlumberger’s Techlog with Landmark’s DecisionSpace AssetView. Other systems of note include PI, Primavera and Petex. The global wells organization’s back office knowledge management system has been developed in SharePoint.

New subsystems are developed as proof of concept and validated in a test lab environment. Teale’s group then provides templates for different use cases, from a bill of materials, through project plans, system of record to an IT&S requirements document. These guide personnel through commissioning, delivery and testing.

Cramming all this kit onto the rig mandates attention to details such as space, weight, power and cooling requirements and cost. BP is also moving from a diverse legacy communications infrastructure with many contracts and vendors with potentially multiple points of failure. Now a single contract and unified vsat communications have simplified delivery. End-to-end redundant design has lowered the risk of failure, heightened security and improved performance. The standardized system has reduced costs through bulk purchase of satellite bandwidth with outages of less than one 1 hour/month/rig.

* See also Tessella powers BP’s Well Advisor (N° 3 2016).

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