In­dus­try now look­ing to share


The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - ENERGY -

Oil and gas com­pa­nies are putting their com­pet­i­tive­ness to one side and are over­com­ing a re­luc­tance to share data, an in­dus­try chief has said.

Elis­a­beth Torstad, chief ex­ec­u­tive of DNV GL – Oil & Gas, said the oil in­dus­try will find it eas­ier to catch up with other sec­tors in adopt­ing dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion than many peo­ple ex­pect.

She was speak­ing on the side­lines of Off­shore Europe 2017 in Aberdeen, where a num­ber of in­dus­try lead­ers said oil lagged be­hind other sec­tors in cap­i­tal­is­ing on the “dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion” and mak­ing use of data.

But Ms Torstad said oil com­pa­nies were em­brac­ing new ways of work­ing, in­clud­ing stan­dard­i­s­a­tion, new busi­ness mod­els and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion.

She said the trend was both “im­por­tant and re­as­sur­ing”.

Ms Torstad said: “Au­to­ma­tion and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion are good ways of re­duc­ing costs.

“Oil and gas has been be­hind many other in­dus­tries in terms of dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion of work pro­cesses and project man­age­ment through the sup­ply chain us­ing dig­i­tal tools.

“The aero­nau­ti­cal and au­to­mo­tive in­dus­tries have very much been ahead, but it’s easy to catch up. Oil and gas is fi­nally tak­ing the time to do that.

“There is a lot of new tech­nol­ogy around and more big data – a lot of things are avail­able which weren’t a few years ago. So I see lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties for en­hanc­ing op­er­a­tions and re­duc­ing costs.”

Ms Torstad, who will be­come chief ex­ec­u­tive of DNV GL’s new dig­i­tal so­lu­tions busi­ness area at the start of next year, also said com­pa­nies’ at­ti­tudes had changed and that a spirit of col­lab­o­ra­tion was more ev­i­dent.

She said: “We are com­ing from a po­si­tion where ev­ery­one had data but was fo­cused on not shar­ing and giv­ing away an ad­van­tage. More com­pa­nies are open to shar­ing now. There is still an is­sue with old as­sets with trapped data but we are over­com­ing the shar­ing is­sue.”

Ms Torstad said the oil in­dus­try was also mak­ing “great strides” in shak­ing off the be­lief that au­to­ma­tion and un­manned sys­tems are a sub­sea phe­nom­e­non.

“Now we are mov­ing to un­manned sur­face op­er­a­tions and there are big move­ments in au­to­mated drilling and pro­duc­tion,” she said.

Mr Torstad said com­pa­nies can go fur­ther when it comes to tak­ing peo­ple out of the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process.

“As an in­dus­try we’ve been view­ing dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion as a way to re­duce work pro­cesses or in­for­ma­tion gath­er­ing, but we have to make the right steps when it comes to mak­ing de­ci­sions on an au­to­matic ba­sis,” she said.

“There are still op­por­tu­ni­ties to re­duce the hu­man ac­tor el­e­ment. There are huge op­por­tu­ni­ties go­ing for­ward in re­shap­ing de­ci­sion pro­cesses, over­all.”

DNV GL – Oil & Gas, tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sor to the global oil and gas in­dus­try, used Off­shore Europe to launch its rec­om­mended prac­tice (RP) for im­ple­ment­ing mea­sures to pro­tect op­er­a­tional tech­nol­ogy from cy­ber at­tacks.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said the ben­e­fits of dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion were pro­found, but caused cy­ber risks to emerge, par­tic­u­larly in re­la­tion to au­to­mated, un­manned, in­te­grated and re­mote op­er­a­tions which are ac­ces­si­ble on­line. Al­most 68% of oil and gas com­pa­nies were af­fected by at least one sig­nif­i­cant cy­ber in­ci­dent in 2016, and many at­tacks are as­sumed to be un­de­tected or un­pub­lished, DNV GL – Oil & Gas said.

Its RP pro­vides guid­ance on how to use the IEC 62443 se­ries of stan­dards for projects and op­er­a­tional phases.

In a nut­shell, IEC stan­dards de­fine what to do, while the RP de­scribes how to do it.

DNV GL – Oil & Gas said suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the stan­dards would re­duce the risk of cy­ber­se­cu­rity in­ci­dents, low­ers op­er­a­tors’ costs by re­duc­ing the re­sources needed to de­fine re­quire­ments, and sim­plify au­dits.

The RP was the re­sult of a twoyear-long joint in­dus­try project with part­ners Shell, Sta­toil, Wood­side, Lundin, Siemens, Honey­well, ABB, Emer­son and Kongs­berg Mar­itime.

Pal Borre Kristof­fersen, project man­ager, DNV GL – Oil & Gas, said: “In­dus­try play­ers need con­fi­dence that se­cu­rity coun­ter­mea­sures can deal with more fre­quent and so­phis­ti­cated cy­ber at­tacks, which are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly costly and harder for com­pa­nies to re­cover from.

“Deal­ing with cy­ber-se­cu­rity chal­lenges has be­come a key fo­cus area for the oil and gas sec­tor, and there is greater aware­ness of the re­quire­ments that need to be in place.

“There has, un­til now, been a lack of guid­ance for the oil and gas in­dus­try on how to im­ple­ment th­ese re­quire­ments.

“The new RP, de­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with key play­ers, puts op­er­a­tional tech­nol­ogy, to­gether with IT, in the lime­light, so the oil and gas in­dus­try can pro­tect their op­er­a­tions.”

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