2nd Oil and Gas Automation and Digitalization Conference

Petroleum Trade Network event hears from Pioneer on ServiceNow’s ‘low code’ platform for upstream operations. Proserv/Intelligent Plant on combatting AI supplier lock-in. Shell’s Industry 5.0 smarts and citizen developers. Tachyus blends data-driven models with physics.

Shaji John’s (Pioneer) presentation on emerging digital technologies and their impact on operations focused on the use of ServiceNow’s ‘low code’ platform in oil and gas operational workflows. The presentation covered a ‘fit-for-purpose’ digital solution developed for Parsley Energy before its acquisition by Pioneer. John advised optimizing operations, not technology or IT, and making best use of what was already in-house before adding more stuff. The ServiceNow platform as a service was already in use for IT service management. John expanded its across the Parsley software portfolio to include SAP, OpenWells, WellView, Ignition Scada, WorkDay (HR) and Quorum (Finance). An ‘out of the box’ AI/ML solution was configured for operations use cases. The project took 2-3 months to deliver solutions and benefitted from user familiarity with ServiceNow. After the event, John told Oil IT Journal that other low code solutions could have been deployed, but that Parsley found ServiceNow to be ‘ahead of the game’ in terms of PaaS maturity. Post-acquisition, Pioneer continues to use these workflows for ex-Parsley assets and is in the process of reconciling some overlapping solutions. John believes the low code approach will become mainstream and accelerate digital transformation for oil and gas operations.

Steve Aitken (Intelligent Plant) and co-author Stuart Harvey (Proserv) advocated a shift from today’s business model where a service company tends to lock-in clients with a more or less proprietary offering. A typical AI project might involve paying to have company data ingested into a third party’s data store then paying more for custom analytics. At this point, sunk costs mean that cancelling the subscription is hard. IP/Proserv’s approach is to supply software tools that have low configuration cost and ‘low lock-in’. The authors further advocate data sharing between suppliers and customers via an open app marketplace.

Brent Kedzierski’s talk, ‘The Future of Human’ covered Royal Dutch Shell’s ‘Industry 5.0’ program. This spans maintenance execution, remote assist mixed reality and virtual over-the-shoulder coaching. Shell’s Connected Badge provides the exact location of employees and contractors along with an emergency message function. A key enabler of Industry 5.0 is Citizen Development and ‘do IT yourself’. This allows end users to solve business problems using their own digital solutions. ‘From business problem to resolution in days not months’. Shell empowers the individual to improve his or her work environment and ‘collectively create a better business’. ‘Conventional wisdom is to innovation what rain is to a barbecue!’

Carlos Calad (Tachyus) stated that, on its own, data-driven analytics can lead to spurious correlations. Data driven models can mislead outside of the range of their input data. On the other hand, physics-based numerical simulation is poorly suited to optimization. Full field models may take months to run, making scenario-based optimization impossible. Optimizing injection in a field of 100 wells at 1 hour/simulation would take 2.7 x 1014 years of compute time. Tachyus uses a combined data and physics approach to the problem. This blends machine learning, physics-based reservoir modeling and advanced optimization techniques. Models are built in weeks and simulations run in minutes, ‘fundamentally altering the way decisions are made’. All of the above is bundled as an optimization and reservoir engineer’s toolbox delivered as a cloud-hosted solution. More from Tachyus.

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