With much of the equipment used in the oil and gas industry up to 40 years old, taking advantage of modern information and control technologies can be a challenge.
However, the advantages of being able to access, analyse and use production data in real-time makes the investment of time and money beneficial in the long run.
Cloud and mobile technologies taking advantage of internet-of-things thinking open up new levels of operational visibility, helping producers to respond appropriately to dynamic market conditions and make better business decisions wherever they're based.
Having the right staff with the right equipment reduces operating costs and increases productivity.
Remote monitoring technologies enable operators to access and manage equipment and production data across multiple applications from one single location.
This technology seamlessly integrates software, hardware and sensors to extract important operational information across a variety of production equipment and applications and feeds it back to a centralised location in real time.
Centrally-based operators can continuously monitor current operating conditions, troubleshoot any potential issues, and make process adjustments at an earlier stage to avoid failures, while helping to increase uptime.
Beyond remote monitoring, these systems gather, analyse, contextualise and share information to help oil and gas producers optimise operations.
By pairing production intelligence with intuitive dashboards and historian functionality, operations management systems can automatically collect production data, calculate KPIs and present easy-to-understand displays via wireless, remote technology.
A connected production environment breaks down geographical barriers, securely providing access to data and making it widely available.
This actionable information drives measurable improvements in business value, including production throughput, operational efficiency and asset health.
The technology is being used in a wide range of applications, onshore and offshore. A major North American transporter of liquid and natural gas, for example, lacked access to reliable data from its pipeline network, threatening performance, profitability and even pipeline and product integrity.
To help unlock operations data, the company worked with Cybertrol Engineering, a provider of control, process, and information solutions.
Cybertrol developed an operation intelligence strategy for the pipeline network based on an information software suite for improved integration with varied information sources.
The new system drastically increased the scalability and reliability of information collection with machine-level historian software coupled with site-level software.
More than 170 historian modules have been installed in pipeline pump stations, terminals, remote device monitoring stations, and tank farms. These modules feed information to up to four historian servers to provide an enterprise-wide view of the historical data.
The new system provides the pipeline network with a better representation of operating conditions, enabling the energy operator to record data in real time, forward this to centralised servers, and view a comprehensive picture of system performance at any given moment.
For more insight into the role automation plays in improving OEE for oil and gas companies, download our short overall equipment effectiveness guide.