Speaking at The Open Group’s Mumbai ‘Digital First’ event (which moved online due to covid), Pedro Vieira (Petrobras) addressed some of the ‘Digital Challenges for the Oil and Gas Industry’. The current situation is complex with a depressed oil price, a covid-induced drop in demand and increasing breakeven prices particularly for unconventionals. Today’s physical assets have a relatively low level of digitization – but they will be around for a while, with multi-decade lifetimes. Digitization is further complicated in process plants with legacy and/or proprietary technology which makes instrumentation data hard to access. The silo-oriented industry suffers from poor data exchange across disciplines and poor data integration with supply chain partners.
Vieira cited a Harvard Business Review study that puts oil and gas as a second-class citizen in terms of digital knowledge intensiveness. But its capital-intensive nature means there is potential for further digitization of physical assets. This should lead to improved cross-discipline integration and a lessened dependency on vendor technology. ‘Ambidexterity’ is another goal, with a bimodal balance between operations and innovation.
Vieira proposed a roadmap to ‘Oil and Gas Industry 4.0’ that promises better and safer operations and automated diagnostics and prognostics, real-time simulations from ‘hybrid twins’, condition-based maintenance, zero unplanned downtime and remote operations.
The search is on for ‘open and secure systems and data’ and ‘upgradable, scalable, vendor-independent’ systems with intrinsic cybersecurity. Silo-busting, vendor-neutral data formats, data-centric systems/processes and microservices are also keys to a new digital-ready business enterprise architecture.
Vieira observed that The Open Group had two Forums (OPA-S and OSDU)
working in the oil and gas digitization space, with similar activity
reported from organizations such as the IOGP and Aupec’s
Oil & Gas Benchmarking Group* (OGBP). Vieira floated the idea of a
‘TOG in TOG’, The Oil and Gas in The Open Group blending standards for
topsides and process/plant information from OPA-S with subsurface data
from OSDU. The concept would merge the two Open Group Forums into one,
leveraging other TOG digital workforce recommendations à la
Digital Practitioner Body of Knowledge. More from The Open Group.
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