The more quickly experts can respond to changing conditions by interpreting the available information and collaborating with other cross-functional experts, the more safely, reliably and efficiently will process manufacturing and production facilities operate.
At the 2016 Offshore Technology Conference, Emerson’s Jeff Dymond discussed how integrated operations (iOps) command centers help to enable decisions to increase production & reliability, lower operational costs, and improve safety.
Oil and gas producers face many challenges including fewer incoming workers, few specialists, larger and more complex processes, more inexperienced workers, higher depletion rates and an onslaught of new technologies. These issues challenge historical practices of building a production facility and adding operating personal into centralized control rooms. As complexity has grown, so has the need to add cross-functional disciplines to facilitate sound decisions. Where this has been done, in many cases existing workflows have not changed.
iOps command centers concentrate expertise, even if geographically dispersed and provide coverage over a greater area. This expertise can reside in house or with a supplier or third party service provider. Collaborate occurs physically or virtually depending on where the experts reside. Workflows and processes should align for agility to facilitate faster decisions to take advantage of opportunities and provider quicker, coordinated responses to events.
Elements in an iOps command center include operations, maintenance, collaboration workflows, production planning and business operations. Operations include remote process monitoring, remote process control and managing the operations key performance indicators (KPIs). Maintenance includes the existing centralized maintenance and field operator maintainer practices and adds remote asset monitoring and maintenance KPIs.
Collaboration involves multi-discipline expertise—both within the company and externally with suppliers and third party. Suppliers may supply remote expertise services on installed technologies and applications. Collaboration also includes training, certification and compliance with health, safety, security and the environment (HSSE).
Integrated production planning includes planning and scheduling, mass balance and yield accounting and logistics as production is advanced through the supply chain. This feeds business operations, which may include energy trading, enterprise performance management, operational risk management, production accounting and the management and communication of the business-level KPIs.
Jeff explained that the path from traditional operations to integrated operations includes four steps. The first step is to understand and to visualize the business opportunity to see if there is justification to move forward. Step 2 is to perform discovery to fully assess and benchmark where the company is at.
Step 3 is to identify technologies if needed. From a process instrumentation and automation perspective, this includes field devices (measurement and final control), control strategies and analytics. This provides input into developing the iOps plan in phased steps with associated benefits identified.
Step 4 is to create new workflows and organizational changes to accommodate the iOps vision and business objectives. Jeff notes that it is best to think big, pilot small and scale rapidly. By establishing a collaborative governance model, oil and gas producers can use information to make decisions in real-time, not next shift or next week. There is no single iOps model, just one that helps realize the business opportunity.
If you’re in Houston today for the last day of the 2016 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), make sure to speak with our produced fluids management experts. Register to receive a complementary OTC day pass for more on this and other oil and gas solutions. You can also connect and interact with other oil and gas experts in the Oil & Gas group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.