by Dr. Clare Maher
iEnergy® Editor in Chief, Halliburton Landmark
MANAGING ASSETS FROM AFAR
Many of the world’s most significant hydrocarbon resources are located in remote and/or inhospitable locations, which makes them more expensive to operate for a number of reasons. Setting up the initial infrastructure is challenge number one, but it does not stop there. That infrastructure then has to be maintained once it comes online.
To maximize the value of CAPEX and manage OPEX spending, production needs to be kept up, and costs kept down. When a metaphorical spanner gets thrown in the works issues with gathering and distribution pipelines can arise and rates of production take a hit. What is causing the problem? Where is the problem located? And how can this problem be fixed? These are all questions that have to be addressed, and as quickly as possible. After all, time is money!
With 10’s if not 100’s of kilometers of pipeline to be scrutinized in these remote areas, typically with a highly distributed workforce, addressing such problems can be time-consuming and expensive. The traditional value levers for increasing production and reducing costs are no longer sufficient. The E&P industry must now look to digital technologies for more efficient and cost-effective solutions.
ADDRESSING REAL PROBLEMS WITH REAL-TIME SOLUTIONS
There are a number of multifunctional technologies available on the market today to support oilfield automation. However, to maximize their value, they need to be integrated and function together seamlessly. By leveraging “smart” hardware capable of harvesting vast quantities of data, and connecting and integrating this data via the cloud, there is an opportunity to address real problems in real time. Such an approach to facilitate the delivery of innovative solutions can enable companies to bypass the need for time-consuming, resource intensive and costly investigations.
An example of this approach is Landmark’s Voice of the Oilfield™ solution. In a recent webinar, entitled “Pipeline Monitoring Reimagined: The Voice of the Oilfield™ Approach,” Mike Scott and Graham Jack (Halliburton) spoke about the power of applying disruptive technologies to enhance integrated pipeline monitoring workflows. They showed how line instrumentation, edge analytics, remote sensing and flow modeling and monitoring can be successfully brought together, in conjunction with unique pressure-wave technology, to identify and locate pipeline blockages and breaches. The ease and speed at which this service is provided, not to mention the accuracy, gives operators an efficient and effective solution that can help manage their response to this type of challenge, thus, avoid unnecessary OPEX impact.
The ability to monitor and alert both onsite and offsite engineers of problematic pipeline issues in real time is crucial to optimize intervention efforts, especially in remote/hostile environments. This can be achieved by deploying smart hardware and connecting it to the cloud. Once in the cloud, the data can be accessed from anywhere at anytime, and the power of big data analytics can be brought to bear on the multitude of information, providing your assets with a voice that is well worth listening to.