A web based system has been developed to improve workflow optimisation, collaboration and the communication of a business process. This new generation project management application greatly enhances the ability of an organisation to comply with external standards and implement consistent internal systems. It helps people of all levels of experience to share information across geographical and organisational boundaries, can reduce cycle or reactivation time and helps to implement controls such as stage gates. The user interface displays the workflow and current status of single or multiple projects with unparalleled clarity.
All companies have management systems or work processes, some more formal than others, to help maintain consistency and quality in their business delivery and to ensure compliance with corporate and regulatory requirements. There is a common need across industry sectors and disciplines to define a way of working and then ensuring that this "business process?? is used. Management systems may be inefficient or may even fail for a number of reasons, including lack of detail or too much detail, poorly defined requirements or inadequate information technology.
The simple but highly innovative web based system described in this paper was completed and implemented six months after coding began. An existing process had been mapped to the new software so users were immediately familiar with the task descriptions and terms used. The application delivered on its basic promise; improved process visibility, consistency and compliance with defined standards.
This paper contains a summary of the system attributes that led to a successful launch in Talisman Norway (TENAS) and suggests that a high degree of commonality exists between processes in different organisations. This paper will be of interest at all levels of an organisation - Managerial, Technical and Administrative.
Monitoring system for reservoir pressures in Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) consists of several components in the workflow. These include such processes as well bore surveillance plan, data acquisition from well bore surveys, data conversion into well-designed formats, data validation checks, flow of the formatted data into database, processing and analysis of total data for appropriate reporting. The reports on reservoir behavior may then be used for making informed decisions.
A review of the existing pressure monitoring system in the organization revealed some opportunities for improving the information system. This was found to be especially the case, since it was recognized that the corporate database that serves as a common platform for storing many different classes of data, could now be utilized efficiently to support an improved information system. Potential areas of improvement were found to lie in areas such as, increasing the speed of process flows, improving the value of the information itself and improving the user-friendliness of the overall system. These factors were taken into account while formulating an approach for system improvement.
Accordingly a series of software applications were developed in-house to improve the pressure monitoring system. The overall design was tightly integrated with data support from the corporate database. In terms of technology, the new system offered solutions through an integrated interface and provided flexibility in information generation on the basis of a variety of criteria that can be selected on-line. Such features offered versatility in the diagnostic capability of the system.
Deployment of this new monitoring system will be complemented by a training program where potential users will be shown how to access the system with ease and comfort and on how to derive the value-enhanced information through a faster work flow.
Well and Facility Operations make operating decisions based on processing huge amounts of data. However, there is a practical limit to the number of optimization moves an operator can make (due to: changing operating constraints, plant disturbances or interactions, fundamental process delays and dynamics, and the remoteness of wells). Automatic Process Control enhances the speed and accuracy with which decisions can be made and is essential for optimization. However, the advantages of automatic process control are often underestimated; hence the discipline is under-staffed and under-utilized.
Process Control also plays a crucial role in plant safety and availability as stable wells or facilities are operated more frequently within the design window. Stable operation results in fewer shutdowns, less breakdown maintenance, less deferment, less flaring, lower operational cost, and sometimes even higher ultimate recovery. The impact of process instabilities on overall well or facility performance are often not recognized; a single trip may wipe out months of optimization benefits.
To achieve the full potential of process control in Oil and Gas Production requires change management; Process Control technology skills need to be used throughout the whole projects lifecycle and integrated with the various processes from field development planning to surveillance and optimization.
This paper will provide the following examples:
where the application of automated control technology has improved production surveillance, management, and optimization.
The role of Process Control in Exploration and Production
Most engineers and managers confuse Process Control with Instrumentation; i.e. they think Process Control is only about the video screens in the control room and the associated computers. However, Process Control is the rationale behind the visible systems (instruments and valves) and the strategy about realizing process objectives. Design decisions are made when devising the control strategy; if the level in a vessel is higher than the desired level, the control strategy is either to open the valve of the liquid outlet stream or to throttle a valve in the incoming stream. The right choice will depend on the process itself and the process objectives of the integrated facility (i.e. the consequences of the strategy upstream or downstream of the unit must be considered). Certain control objectives will be conflicting or have different priorities. It is also important to consider the dynamics of the process, the drifts and changes in the underlying equipment and processes, the measurement noise, and the possible disturbances that can occur.
Oil and gas companies increasingly require environments that support real-time E&P business processes, where wellsite information, applications, and experts can be linked with operational managers and decision makers in one place so that daily operational parameters can be viewed and decisions executed. Most companies believe that making decisions in real time while leveraging global resources and infrastructure will help to improve their field productivity while reducing costs.
Project team members are often collocated to ensure open communication and planning. However, since E&P activities often take place in remote and hostile parts of the world where it may not be possible or economical to deliver all the required resources and personnel, global operations with dispersed personnel frequently require such operations support centers to be "virtualized." Reliable and secure information flow is central to ensuring success in the contemporary oil field.
In a previous paper, the authors outlined the significant challenges of process, networking, security, hardware, and software infrastructure encountered in creating and supporting these integrated operations centers. These challenges include the end-to-end IT infrastructure such as wellsite and field IT, the design of the work processes to be supported, and the business model for company implementation.
This paper discusses some of the progress that has been made in meeting these challenges over the past year, with particular focus on the actual applications that support oilfield operations.
Managing information associated with extremely large and long lived Oil and Gas assets poses unprecedented challenges and opportunities. Success is dependent upon efficient and effective use of company skills and knowledge.
Saudi Aramco and Petris developed a long term solution called Data Services (DSS) to the information and knowledge management associated with the O&G assets of Saudi Arabia. The system grew out of a comprehensive multiyear study of users' workflow, existing information issues and inventory of data, applications and processes. The issues were classified into common themes of problems. A root cause analysis identified the sources of problems. This enabled the design to focus on solving the problems rather than treating symptoms.
The solution was constructed to be independent of data type and format. The system architecture is generic so that the business and workflow logic can be configured by each group without necessitating change to the underlying software. It provides the flexibility to introduce new data, new database models and even different data storage mechanisms as they occur during the long life of the projects.
The services are built to achieve the following objectives:
These services provide a data management framework for data managers to configure solutions for scientific workflows.
Many papers inside and outside our industry have discussed tapping into the ‘wisdom of the crowd' to meet organizational needs. Many papers have also discussed the need - and methods - to innovate. So perhaps we need to ask ourselves how we can tap into the ‘creativity of the crowd' to better understand what needs to change, identify opportunities for improvement or new market spaces to explore, share technologies across disciplines and industries and attract new types of talent.
Cultivating and supporting innovation can be a significant challenge within any organization. Empowering people to generate new ideas should be a part of successful business organization. One should be mindful that innovation knows no boundaries and can happen for anyone at anytime. This becomes apparent within each of us when we ask "What if…???
There are several challenges in capturing these innovative thoughts in the proper context and putting them in front of the appropriate audience. This includes creating a mechanism for stakeholders to share their ideas, a process for management review and monitor submissions, the ability to bounce ideas off the ‘wisdom of the crowd' and tools to connect the R&D effort to stakeholders throughout the development process.
We have addressed this challenge through the creation of an IDEA system and using existing knowledge management tools to affect the development and commercialization process. The approach allows the entry and tracking of submissions through the process while maintaining intellectual property security.
This paper discusses cases where these new tools and processes effectively managed and nurtured innovation within and between product service lines. Typical barriers that have hindered end users from sharing innovative ideas will be highlighted along with solution measures utilized. Finally, areas of future exploration related to the effort will be identified.
This paper was also presented as SPE 115188 at the SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, 20-22 October 2008, Perth, Australia.
The role of managing PSC's (Production Sharing Contractor) performance as the main function of PETRONAS's Petroleum Management Unit (PMU) poses challenges for Production Operations and Surveillance (POS) engineers to efficiently perform technical review and monitor performance of the fields across all Malaysian PSCs.
In order to address these challenges, PMU has embarked on an Integrated Production Surveillance and Reservoir Management project to implement a system that integrate cross-domain data into end users engineering software with a pre-defined surveillance workflow, processes, procedures and techniques. The objectives is to provide POS engineers with the required data and workflow templates at their fingertips to enable them to make quick analysis, hence, accurate decisions.
IPSRM implementation consists of two components. The first component involves the Data Management team to build the Data Hub to consolidate cross-domain data from PSC Operators. The second component consists of setting up the workflow and techniques templates in engineering software with online interface to the Data Hub. A unique hybrid Petroleum Engineering tools that combines parametric, user-driven and data driven analysis capabilities are introduced to allow full surveillance capability.
IPSRM implementation has been in operation and provides an effective way for PMU engineers to perform day-to-day surveillance analysis across Malaysia fields. Some benefits and achievements from IPSRM implementation are as follows:
Smart completions that can remotely control the flow from multiple layers of a reservoir interval were introduced in the mid 1990's. Downhole flow-control (DHFC), as it has become known, has since been installed in hundreds of wells. However, there has been very little use of these valves to control water injection distribution within the layers of a reservoir interval at high rates (>25,000 BWPD) in a continuous proportional operating mode. This paper will review BP's efforts to team with manufacturers to deliver new technologies that can reliably provide this functionality.
By 2010 a significant portion of BP's production will come from complex water flooded reservoirs, in an environment of rising operating costs. The injection wells in these fields need to accept, in some cases, up to 65,000 barrels water per day. The use of DHFC reduces the number of injection wells by using one wellbore to enable conformed injection into multiple intervals. This eliminates the need for injection wells dedicated to a specific layer to achieve injection conformance.
BP has been progressing the development of DHFC systems for water injection wells since 2001 through collaboration with technology developers. Assurance related activities are an important aspect of these technology developments. This paper will describe several assurance activities and the scope of work involved in each, including:
A case study will be presented, describing the application of the above processes to a choking downhole flow control system being deployed by several BP Projects.
Even with the experience of delivering nearly forty real time/collaboration centers worldwide for oil companies or for its own offices, there was little sense of the routine as Schlumberger Information Solutions approached the design, construction, and use of its newest center for its Houston headquarters. Completed in 2007, the center promotes real-time and cross-discipline workflows for E&P teams while managing the competing needs of R&D to experiment and create new, more efficient workflows to optimize the search for and recovery of hydrocarbons. This facility meets needs for both intra and inter-company use and is designed with evergreen capabilities and maximum flexibility. Lessons learned as the center moved from initial design to daily use are shared along with the business side of managing one of the world's newest intelligent energy centers.
Whether called centers of excellence, collaboration centers, real time operational rooms, or immersive visualization and interpretation environments, these facilities are designed to help oil companies or oil service companies solve today's oil and gas challenges through the use of innovative technologies and shared views. Several hundred have been built since the late 1990's with varying degrees of impact to oil companies. The facilities range in size and complexity from single rooms with one to two overhead projectors to energy centers with complex display environments and multiple use facilities.
Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS) has built nearly 40 of the latter around the world either for clients desiring visualization and/or operational centers or for its own use. An existing executive briefing room in Houston was lost as a result of the corporate relocation from New York into the building at 5599 San Felipe. The decision was made to open a new center of enhanced room in 2007 with visualization technology and real time operations capabilities for oil companies and for internal use. While selecting projectors and network configurations would be important, SIS personnel first reviewed challenges and lessons learned from immersive centers built and used by other companies during the previous nine years.
The majority of immersive centers with high-end display and computing technologies were constructed after 1998 with an especially rapid uptake and wide acceptance of their value by 2002. Early debates on design centered on rear versus front projection systems and relative benefits of curved versus flat screens for display of subsurface images. In addition, most centers were designed with a bias for use for peer review/integration of different technical disciplines but some were dedicated interpretation centers for high profile/large seismic volume projects.
While most were successful, of particular interest were the ones that either had been removed because they were underutilized or where teams failed to realize the expected benefits. One such center was built by a large independent in the western United States for over one million USD yet was dismantled in less than two years. In another case, one of the largest multinational oil companies had two teams utilizing the same new center yet one team was twice as effective as the other even though both had identical access and decision support. These were reminders that investing in changing company culture and team alignment remain as important as the spend on technology and furniture.
Other challenges were long term viability of centers and adapting them to changing conditions and business needs. Finally, our review showed that even the best centers had to proactively limit the use of the high end display rooms for large but static slide shows.
Most common training methods are not sufficient to prepare employees for complex or potentially dangerous tasks. We propose therefore Virtual Reality Training as a method for interactive and experienced based learning where employees can perform practical tasks in a virtual world without putting their health or the production at risk. The refinery of Schwechat has made a Virtual Reality training simulator part of their regular training curriculum. Experience has shown that the simulator helps in speeding up training time and effectively preparing employees for tasks which cannot be practically trained for in the real world.