OMC 2018 was hosted by Southwestern Energy earlier this year in The Woodlands, TX. OVS provides supplier-agnostic technology that connects to oilfield data sources along with packaged workflows targeting efficiency, data analysis and surveillance actions that lead to production improvements.
Following a reorganization early in 2017, EP Energy saw significant personnel reduction and rationalization in the form of a shift from distributed asset management teams and tools to centralized surveillance and operations. A demonstration by OVS flagship client ConocoPhillips convinced EP Energy’s Chris Josefy that it would be possible to ‘change how your company operates in 7 days’. OVS has been adapted and rebadged as EP’s Well360 asset surveillance and optimization platform. Prior to the upheaval, OVS was already deployed and its data was managed.
The residual issue was less a data problem than one of managing expectations. EP needed integration across its assets and subject matters along with better reporting concepts. Business Objects and Spotfire were considered before settling on OVS. OVS was selected because of its live data functionality, PDF/email automation and rapid implementation (one week!). Drilling metrics that were previously spread across OpenWells, Excel and Spotfire are now all in OVS. Questions raised in management meetings can be investigated in real time on live data, along with active tracking of capital costs and ‘financial visibility for all!’ Josefy is now working on HSE metrics, capital management in more complex operations and rig scheduling.
Jose Jimenez presented Emerson’s approach to oilfield operations. Operational business improvement heralds a potential $7 billion value-add for Lower 48 operators from both an 8% hike in production and a 40% reduction in opex. The industrial IoT is a key component of the shift but ‘only 5% of companies have an in-depth IIoT strategy’. Enter the digital transformation, with Emerson’s PlantWeb IoT*, that will bring ‘best in class behaviors’. Among these is a shift from inappropriate time-based maintenance to an ‘ideal mix’ of predictive and preventive procedures. Automation likewise has a major impact on worker safety and environmental compliance. OVS and Emerson are currently working on joint well surveillance workflows that combines Emerson’s sensor data with other client data.
* PlantWeb long predates the current IoT. Our earliest reference goes back to 2006.
OVS is also looking at a joint venture with Hitachi’s Vantara unit to apply the latter’s Hudson big data/AI solution to the oilfield, starting with production optimization with improved forecasting and failure prediction modules. David Smethurst and Derek Beckford described ongoing proof of concept trials using sample data provided by OVS. Hudson is already in use in the manufacturing industry and Hitachi sees similar potential for intelligent asset management and optimization through a technology collaboration. Hudson applies data modeling and active monitoring for continuous digitization of business operations and process improvements. The solution is claimed to address ‘problems with complex and at-scale data, which human or existing technology cannot resolve easily’. Oil and gas targets include unplanned downtime, information overload (un-analyzed sensor data) and operator overload (managing thousands of process alerts per day).
McKinsey’s Richard Ward presented on digital trends in oil and gas, speculating on requirements for the next generation platform. The present decade has seen a shift from the Halliburton/Schlumberger duopoly to the current ‘single dominant player’ that is Schlumberger’s Petrel. Looking ahead to the 2020s, the big uncertainties concern the cloud’s suitability as a scientific computing platform, real time workflow integration, the impact of advanced analytics and smartphone app-based solutions. The picture for the Lower 48 is also driven by unconventionals special needs.
Ward described the ’smartphone dividend' that is benefitting heavy industry including oil and gas. McKinsey’s ‘Digital ’18' blends IoT/robotics, advanced analytics and mobile. Digital ’18 sees ‘the end of cut and paste’ as reporting tasks are increasingly automated. Operations and maintenance are seen as a sweet spot for (offshore) digitization and workflow automation. The IoT is enabled by low cost measurement systems, Ward cited the AeroVironment PetaSense vibration monitor, a $25 device, and the replacement of dangerous physical inspection by drones. Ward also referred to McKinsey’s own ‘SAAK*’ solution, based on OVS technology. Ward envisages a shift from traditional engineers working with Excel to ‘hoodie’ engineers using R, Hadoop and Spark. An ‘interesting story’ is being told as independent (like EOG and Oxy) frame ‘post cost cutting’ competitiveness around digital technology.
* "Simple Access to Data Automated Knowledge" - McKinsey’s wrapping/offering around an OVS core.
A presentation from Parallel Petroleum’s Robert Archer fitted into the post-downturn optimization-through-digitization paradigm. Parallel’s new requirements included transparent integration of production surveillance across corporate and field offices. Parallel integrated OVS’ new SQL database with in-house systems (OFM, WellView, Excalibur and ClearSCADA). The new solution has brought ‘dramatic’ transparency between field and corporate offices and, for the first time, lease operating expense (LOE) reporting at the well level. All for the cost of a ’single production tech for a year’. Archer concluded by enumerating the huge time savings that were made necessary by staff reductions in the downturn, and which were enabled by workflow automation in OVS.
Jim Vick from the meeting host Southwestern Energy (SWN) reported on its partnership with OVS that has seen the replacement of both an in-house developed tool and a commercial package by OVS that now integrates information from WellView, production data and geosteering. The solution is now deployed at all SWN assets across production, reservoir and completions teams.
OVS’s own Tim Loser outlined current and future developments including OVS Workflow Libraries (OWLs) and a new OVS Web client. OWLs are packaged workflow solutions addressing specific topics such as asset management, field data management. The new OVS web client is a completely re-architected user experience supporting dynamic dashboarding and data discovery. For more on OVS 18 see the recap.
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