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Data-Driven Oil Fields 2017

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25 EPMAG.COM | DATA-DRIVEN OIL FIELDS | JANUARY 2017 DIGITALIZ ATION Digital Technologies Drive Automation Systems of the Future Digital technologies are enabling companies to improve effi ciencies. By Dan Overly ABB U pstream sector digitalization varies greatly, ranging from unmanned, automated drilling platforms with robotic crawlers inspecting dangerous fl are stacks to oil fi elds where sensors are rare. However, while digitalization has been mak- ing inroads, it primarily has been at an asset level or via inconsistent, piece-meal imple- mentation split by function and/or geography. An obstacle to wider deployment has been the time it takes for digital initiatives to deliver results. And given the earlier oil price boom, there was little incentive to change. However, following the 2014 crash, companies need to make such massive cost reductions that traditional measures, like layoffs and rig shutdowns, will struggle to deliver. Considering that between 2014 and 2015 the revenues of upstream, midstream and oilfi eld services companies declined 40% while opex only fell 9%, a new ap- proach is required. With better telecommunications and computer-processing capabilities now available and sensor prices at an all-time low, digitalization—properly executed—can transform operations, making it easier for companies to keep production online with fewer workers and increased safety even during tough times. Digitalization and the upstream sector In an era of low-priced oil and burgeoning unconventional sources, companies are decreasing capex in favor of sweating existing assets. Upstream players are reviewing their large-scale projects and need to seriously consider the benefi ts of more fully integrated approaches, which use standard, leaner designs that are easier, less expensive and quicker to deploy during downturns and can be quickly replicated when conditions improve. To understand how digital technologies can optimize new or existing installations, it is important to consider the four activities upon which they add intelligence. These are infra- structure, engineering, services and applications (Table 1). The four activities become "intelligent" as they are integrated together to uncover value for projects and operations. Intelligent projects: digitalizing new installations Digitalization can shorten the installation and commissioning time of instrumentation and control systems while removing cost overruns, often experienced by late-stage changes. Intelligent projects integrate the fi rst two elements of Table 1 and can reduce capex and opex costs by 20% to 30% while halving the time from design to commissioning to about 50,000 hours. TABLE 1. The four activities—infrastructure, engineering, services and applications—become "intelligent" as they are integrated together to uncover value for projects and operations. (Source: ABB) COLLABORATIVE OPERATIONS: A FULLY INTEGRATED APPROACH TO DIGITALIZATION Intelligent Engineering Intelligent Infrastructure Intelligent Services Intelligent Applications Provides a proven, integrated approach to project execution to: Integrates systems like automation, electrical and telecoms into one collaborative environment to: Promote planned and predictive interventions to: Offer software solutions and system components that help optimize performance by: - Improve fl exibility - Reduce costs - Avoid costly reactive or time- based maintenance - Enhancing effi ciency - Hasten completion - Refi ne operations - Act based on actual equipment need - Leveraging industry best practice - Ensure faster start-up with fewer issues - Improve performance - Extend life cycles - Promoting safe, secure production - Reduce man-hours and costs

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