Uptime and reliability
Reliability is one of the most critical requirements for equipment used in subsea processing and production. Subsea assets are expected to operate maintenance free for years. In many cases, the vessels being deployed may be on site over the subsea well for decades. Multi-phase flow metering solutions need to be designed to operate for years prior to being retrieved for repair and maintenance. Solutions with embedded intelligence for self-calibration and/or remote diagnostics and repair capabilities can help enable the equipment to continue to operate for extended periods of time, minimizing lost production.
Most upstream oil and gas operations must operate with disparate and often widely distributed assets by different groups (reservoir engineers, production engineers, etc.), each with their own agendas, types of data (structured, unstructured, reservoir data, drilling data, production data, etc.), and means of accessing and analyzing their respective data. Often, a lack of collaboration between these groups and inability to access data in a timely manner can increase nonproductive time, reduce efficiencies, delay time to first oil and/or lower than desired production rates. IIoT-enabled solutions can increase operational visibility and collaboration among personnel by enabling real-time data to be transformed into actionable information that can be shared across groups and across assets (wells, vessels, etc.) to help optimize production, improve operational efficiency, and increase profitability.
Transportation and storage
IIoT-enabled subsea pipelines can be equi-pped with sensors and predictive analytics to monitor pipeline integrity in real time for leaks or detect corrosion or pending structural defects that may require repair or replacement. Subsea factories of the future will be designed to operate with self-contained subsea storage facilities that will also benefit from IIoT-connected sensors and instrumentation to detect potential problems before they can negatively impact safety or environment.
One of the biggest causes of nonproductive time is people not being able to find the right data, inability to integrate different data types (WITSML, PRODML, RESQML, MICROML, etc.) and data structures, and the complete lack of collaboration among operational groups (reservoir/seismic, drilling, production, operations vs IT, etc.). Assuming increased standardization and data type and communications network interoperability, IIoT can be an empowering solution that helps make the holy grails of petro-technical data integration and smart oil fields practical realities.
Currently, the global oil and gas industry is experiencing an unusually volatile period with oil prices plunging more than 50% in six months. ARC believes that there has never been a better time for the oil and gas industry to consider targeted investments in IIoT technologies.
While it is likely that some marginal production will not remain viable at these prices, IIoT-enabled collaboration between previously siloed groups and IIoT-enabled intelligence and predictive analytics for key decision makers can go a long way toward reducing costs and maximizing production.