Jonathan Carpenter reported that Petrofac is cutting spending to conserve cash and pulling back on digital in a ‘mixed picture for the digital transformation’. Fayez Kharbat concurred, Saudi Aramco is likewise ‘more selective’ on digital spend with a focus on making operations more efficient and profitable. McKinsey’s Anosh Thakkar described shrinking digital activity albeit with a remaining focus on high-impact scalable projects. Covid has called a halt to ‘endless proofs of concept’.
On decarbonizing the industry, Schneider Electric’s, Eric Koenig outlined the societal and financial pressured that have made some oil and gas players to diversify their portfolios to more resilient industries and to ‘avoid black swan events’.
In a more down-to-earth session on digital solutions for the future, Sebastien Marquardt presented Bilfinger’s work using artificial intelligence to decipher paper piping and instrumentation (P&ID) diagrams. Bilfinger’s PIDGraph produces XML or JSON output. ‘DeepGraph’ analysis identifies components and deciphers interconnected data sources to provide a 3D, holistic view of an asset. An ‘open source’ graph structure said to be based on the ISO 15926 standard allows data to be exchanged with computerized maintenance management systems.
Kongsberg Digital’s Shane McArdle forecast that the industry is ‘in for 3-4 years of covid disruption’. In the interim, ‘we need to do more and fix pre-covid risk aversion to digital’. A huge shift is about to happen involving a 50-80% reduction in field personnel while maintaining and maybe even increasing production. The covid pandemic has brought us remote support using Microsoft Teams and Zoom. These ways of working are here to stay. McArdle sees the digital twin as key here. Today we have humans in the loop. In a next couple of years we will have ‘fully autonomous’ operations. There will still be people in the loop, but fewer, working from one central facility. Kongsberg’s Kognitwin Energy offering is a ‘virtual representation of all assets and their behavior’. A ‘Unify’ data management component adds graph-based data drill down into equipment tags.
Khalid Alharbi and Mohammed Tomehy presented Saudi Aramco’s IMOMS (integrated manufacturing operations management) system. IMOMs is a group of apps (GE SmartSignal, Microsoft Project, PI system) sitting between data sources and SAP ERP. Aramco’s IMOMS has been in use for some time as a 2017 article in Digital Refining shows.
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