Cloud-based in­te­gra­tion is chang­ing the game for the oil & gas in­dus­try

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - ENERGY -

The down­turn is the new nor­mal. Win­ning is no longer rooted in hav­ing the best so­lu­tions; dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion comes from in­no­va­tion, driven by think­ing and act­ing dif­fer­ently. At the heart of this dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion is a fun­da­men­tal change in the way we work to con­sis­tently achieve safe, re­li­able and prof­itable op­er­a­tions. Op­er­a­tors and ser­vice com­pa­nies agree dig­i­tal is key to op­ti­mise pro­duc­tion and de­liver topline growth; it is the dif­fer­en­tia­tor. Many start with im­ple­ment­ing dig­i­tal so­lu­tions as the first step on their jour­ney. But this alone will not de­liver the ben­e­fits we need. Dig­i­tal is a step change in how busi­ness is done and the re­quire­ments to get there re­quire much more.

This in­dus­try needs a par­a­digm shift start­ing with us­ing the valu­able in­for­ma­tion we have in the right ways while break­ing down data and si­los. We must elim­i­nate bar­ri­ers be­tween up­stream and down­stream, be­tween equip­ment and op­er­a­tions, and be­tween In­for­ma­tional Tech­nol­ogy (IT) and Op­er­a­tional Tech­nol­ogy (IT) data. We must em­brace both tech­no­log­i­cal and cul­tural trans­for­ma­tion to reap the ben­e­fits pos­si­ble from In­dus­trial In­ter­net of Things and dig­i­tal in oil and gas. This is not an easy task for a tra­di­tion­ally con­ser­va­tive in­dus­try where ‘tried and tested’ mod­els of oper­a­tion are pre­ferred over new ap­proaches.


Re­sults from a joint study be­tween Baker Hughes, a GE Com­pany (BHGE) con­ducted with Ac­cen­ture and the Econ­o­mist In­tel­li­gence Unit show the in­dus­try has taken a big step for­ward into the dig­i­tal in­dus­trial era. Ac­cord­ing to this sur­vey, 42% of oil and gas ex­ec­u­tives re­port they are us­ing cloud tech­nol­ogy today, point­ing to grow­ing ac­cep­tance of cloud tech­nol­ogy by the in­dus­try. This also high­lights new op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­tra- and in­ter-com­pany col­lab­o­ra­tion, with cloud-based dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy en­abling speed, scale and more op­er­a­tional agility and re­silience. Re­plac­ing today’s frag­mented tech­nolo­gies with in­te­grated soft­ware that pro­vides a sin­gle “pane of glass” – one win­dow into all of the data and in­sights from your or­gan­i­sa­tion – is the way for­ward.


Suc­cess­fully scale for fu­ture growth. Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is only pos­si­ble when or­gan­i­sa­tional, data and work­flow siloes are bro­ken down.

The key to do­ing this is lever­ag­ing tech­nol­ogy and re­la­tion­ships that are open, flex­i­ble and cloud based. Part­ner­ships need to change, and de­liver once unconventional so­lu­tions. The ben­e­fit of cloud al­lows for the ac­cess to real time in­for­ma­tion and true data-driven de­ci­sion mak­ing (lever­ag­ing ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics and dig­i­tal twin).

Plat­forms are not the only facet of busi­ness that must be open; an open and vi­brant part­ner ecosys­tem is cru­cial as well. Part­ner­ing with com­pa­nies like KBC, an en­gi­neer­ing and process sim­u­la­tion leader in the down­stream in­dus­try, BHGE de­liv­ers an in­te­grated so­lu­tion – com­bin­ing en­gi­neer­ing, equip­ment and process know-how. This moves the in­dus­try fur­ther to­wards so­phis­ti­cated data an­a­lyt­ics – tak­ing pre­vi­ously off­line mod­els, and mak­ing them avail­able, and up­date­able any­time, any­where, with high-per­form­ing, high-ve­loc­ity data mod­els – re­duc­ing time to ob­tain valu­able in­sights. Real-time in­sights from op­er­a­tional data unite equip­ment and process views pro­vid­ing free­dom from dis­jointed, man­ual anal­y­sis.


Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is not ‘a nice to have’ for oil and gas com­pa­nies today. It is a busi­ness im­per­a­tive.

By in­te­grat­ing data from mul­ti­ple sources (real-time, his­to­rian, en­gi­neer­ing, fa­cil­ity pro­cesses) high-end data an­a­lyt­ics paired with ma­chine learn­ing and in­tu­ition en­able us to delve into pre­dic­tive ac­tions. This will help re­duce bot­tle­necks in fa­cil­i­ties, ex­pe­dite pro­cesses and en­hance equip­ment life to achieve op­ti­mal pro­duc­tiv­ity, re­duce cost and lower risk.

Tech­nol­ogy and ser­vice providers need to work to­gether, think dif­fer­ently, and take ac­tion to im­ple­ment dig­i­tally-en­abled op­er­a­tional ex­cel­lence.

We are past the wait­ing game. We know this in­te­gra­tion of data is nec­es­sary to com­bat a “Lower for Longer” mar­ket – and it’s needed full­stream. Only when in­for­ma­tion is shared and ac­ces­si­ble in the right ways across en­ter­prise and ecosys­tem, will in­no­va­tion flour­ish.

Op­ti­mis­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity today is es­sen­tial to re­main com­pet­i­tive, weather volatil­ity and find ways to be com­pet­i­tive. Dig­i­tal will con­tinue to be the driv­ing force for our in­dus­try. The ques­tion is not why, or how, but when our in­dus­try will take the step to fuel un­prece­dented gains in pro­duc­tiv­ity and in­no­va­tion. ■ Matthias Heil­mann, Chief Dig­i­tal Of­fi­cer, Baker Hughes, a GE com­pany

A study has re­vealed that the in­dus­try is tak­ing big steps for­ward into the dig­i­tal in­dus­trial era

Matthias Heil­mann

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