Progressing with IIoT on the Cloud for Oil & Gas

by | Oct 23, 2020 | Control & Safety Systems, Oil & Gas, Operations & Business Management

Julian Sanchez

Sr. Manager Upstream Industry Solutions Marketing

For many E&P companies considering field automation, it may seem that installing a SCADA system will provide all the information, alarms and control you need to reach your goals, including boosting production and reducing costs. And SCADA does help, but not nearly as much as installing automation through the cloud.

In this ever-increasing digital world, people and companies rely more and more on the cloud for data storage and integration. IIoT technologies can deliver that missing piece and join field data and process data with the rest of your information on the cloud.

Before SCADA

Before SCADA, operators were getting one reading a day from each well, involving many people driving hundreds of miles a day to report on 10-15 wells each. SCADA stops all that driving—creating huge personnel cost savings—and collects scheduled readings from each well on a centralized system.

Typical SCADA deployments poll each site on a round-robin cycle. Intervals can range from every 15 minutes to every hour. They collect operational data from every single device on each pass. Most systems don’t have the bandwidth to do this more often.

Here’s an example of why that’s still not okay: Let’s say you’re on the highway and your speedometer only updates your current speed every hour. So, you could be going fast (speeding ticket) or slow (they gave up on you at your destination) most of the time without knowing you need to adjust your speed.

In the field, we have become accustomed to having a ‘snapshot in time’ of our assets only every so often that we have created all of our processes and practices around this limitation. This approach makes it hard to spot trends or detect temporary conditions that could worsen over time if not detected early. IIoT technologies can reverse that paradigm by guaranteeing you will always know of any changes to your facilities as soon as they happen.

Progressing with IIoT and Emerson’s Cloud SCADA Solutions

Using IIoT architectures, devices on each asset collect data every few seconds and only “publish” data to the cloud when a change is detected. This granular monitoring offers a much clearer picture of the state of your assets and provides all the necessary information you need to determine if you have a problem. Constant data lets you analyze and optimize your assets’ performance in real time. You can clearly see transient events, such as a buildup of sand or paraffin, that may clear too quickly for a traditional SCADA system to see.

If these seemingly temporary issues become more frequent, you’ll know how to address the issue before it creates a shutdown. You might need to adjust the chemical treatment mix or clean a separator—a case in point for how IIoT solutions can help boost production.

You may ask if all that detail doesn’t overload the network even more. On the contrary: Because those devices just communicate when a change in the data is detected, then to upload all their operational data at prescribed intervals, it’s using that communications infrastructure more efficiently.

With IIoT data on the cloud with cloud-based applications, data becomes instantly accessible to everyone who needs it–no need to copy and paste data from one system to another. With Emerson’s Zedi Go mobile app, management can make decisions quickly on smart devices, speeding the way to solutions that shorten or eliminate shutdowns and increase production—and productivity.

Cloud SCADA is an upgrade that can be made quickly and without disrupting your operations. In fact, many of our customers begin by asking, “How do we get there?” and arrive at “How did we manage without this?”

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.