If you’re unfamiliar with CERAWeek, it is billed as:
…the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators.
I’m here in Houston at this event that opens today. And what a time it is for these energy industry leaders and those working in the business. This Reuters headline, Veterans of 1980s oil glut say this price slump, too, will last, shares the sentiment of the times.
But, tough economic times also provide opportunity. When the price of oil was over $100 per barrel, the main objective was getting new production online as humanly fast as possible—first oil in industry parlance.
Today it is making the existing producing assets operate as efficiently as possible. This requires a different mindset and approach to the automation strategies employed. It requires understanding what is required to minimize unplanned downtime caused by equipment failure and unnoticed changes in production.
The nemesis of a production team is unplanned downtime. This is when they have to take units out of service unexpectedly. Nearly half of all unplanned downtime is due to equipment failure. An important piece of equipment stops working, which means the production unit has to stop to make repairs or replace the equipment.
With a first oil mindset, only the minimum number of measurement devices to keep production running is typically considered to streamline the project. With a maximum efficiency mindset, having enough measurements to predict and avoid equipment problems is key. These extra “eyes and ears” lead to lower rates of equipment failure, production downtime, reduced maintenance costs and safety incidents. These integrated monitoring technologies dynamically assess the health of equipment and proactively notify personnel when action is needed.
And the good news is that wireless measurement devices have become well established to go back and more easily add these measurements to existing well pads and offshore platforms. Having this network of additional measurements combined with analytics and expertise provides a Pervasive Sensing path to more efficient operations to contend with these low oil price times.
I’ll share things I learn this week while here. You can also follow the action in several ways. If you use Twitter check out the #CERAWeek hashtag and tweets from @JimCahill, @EmersonProcess and @EMRTopQuartile. The Emerson Process Management LinkedIn and Facebook pages will be other good spots.