Cloud-based integration is changing the game for the oil & gas industry
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.
EMBRACING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
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.
WHERE DOES ONE START?
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.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
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