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Unleash the Potential of Your Oil and Gas Operations

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Getting the most from your oil and gas equipment can seem like an impossible task when you lack insights into their health and performance.

Especially in recent years, with the downturn in oil and gas prices, producers have been eager to improve equipment availability and get ahead of failures. But too often, they either don’t have real-time performance data or the data they do have is trapped in silos.

This is why producers should consider shifting operations to an IoT platform, such as our ConnectedProduction™ solution that helps transform data into actionable analytics. In this environment, stakeholders are connected and can use real-time equipment and downhole insights to help minimize the unknowns that impact your oil and gas operations.

The Answers Are in Analytics

Analytics can tell you a lot about your operations and have one common purpose: to help stakeholders make better operational decisions and improve business results.

Before building a roadmap for deploying analytics, it’s important to understand the four analytics categories:

  1. Descriptive analytics describe what happened.
  2. Diagnostic analytics explain why something happened.
  3. Predictive analytics predict what will likely happen.
  4. Prescriptive analytics suggest what should be done to correct an issue or optimize performance.

Your starting point should be the use of descriptive and diagnostic analytics. They inform your team at the most basic level of how things are performing and the conditions in which they operate. This way, if a failure occurs, your technicians have the insights they need to diagnose the problem quickly.

Increasingly, many producers have their sights set on predictive analytics. This type of analytics helps you identify problems early, before they result in failures or downtime in your production. However, it is important to keep in mind that predictive analytics won’t always be absolute. Sometimes it is configured around the probability of various figures.

What to Consider Before Deployment

Using a mix of technologies from multiple vendors can make integration difficult if your analytics software isn’t vendor agnostic. You can run into issues with connectivity or data limitations.

An open-architecture analytics approach will support your current technology investments. And it allows you to simultaneously connect with multiple analytics software engines, like those from oil and gas industry consultants. This can help you create an end-to-end production advisory system that leverages both internal production intelligence and external domain expertise.

You can also benefit from scalable analytics solutions that process data as closely as possible to where the data originates. Some examples of scalable analytics solutions include:

  • Device-level analytics can provide health and diagnostic information for critical devices and send alerts to a worker’s smartphone if a device needs attention.
  • System-level analytics can alert workers of impending equipment failures or improve your collaboration with external stakeholders.
  • Business-level analytics can help drive your production and operational performance.

One aspect of an analytics strategy that is often overlooked is the importance of data integrity. This is critical for achieving accuracy and useful results. The information solution you use should be able to validate data coming from the field as well as minimize data gaps that could impact the results of analytics software and the decisions made by operators.

Lastly, it is important to consider how operators interact with the results of the analytics software and other systems. Intuitive dashboards can help workers not only easily identify and understand critical production information but also respond to it as quickly as possible.

An Essential Asset

Analytics can help you identify performance trends, quickly react to events affecting production and equipment uptime, and even proactively prevent lost production and downtime.

You may still have lots of questions about how to effectively plan, build or launch your analytics roadmap. But given the pressures facing oil and gas producers, the most critical question you should be asking today is: How much longer can you compete without real-time insights?

Andy Weatherhead
Andy Weatherhead
Global Engineering Manager, Rockwell Automation

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