Non production time (NPT) results in millions of dollars of incremental costs for oil and gas companies every year. With demand growing and new discoveries declining, oil and gas companies must take advantage of new ways to improve production capacity for existing assets. Reducing NPT will not only reduce operating costs but serve to lower the risks of major catastrophes.
To date, many oil and gas companies have attempted to manage asset integrity with various IT and ERP systems. The results have been less than impressive. To gain improvements to asset management, energy companies need strong analytics capabilities that can help production managers glean usable insights from the volume of big data flowing from sensors and equipment. Achieving this outcome requires the ability to use data more effectively to make better decisions about how to optimize asset health and performance.
Using data analytics to improve asset utilization and reduce NPT includes insights about:
- Proactive maintenance – applying maintenance before an outage occurs
- Improved productivity – analyzing the impact of not making repairs
- Getting to root cause – understanding the underlying cause of events thought to be unrelated
Oil and gas companies depend on equipment to generate revenue. Equipment downtime as a result of unanticipated maintenance or breakdowns means lost revenue. Almost as important to the bottom line is the cost of unnecessary maintenance performed on a predetermined schedule whether or not it’s required.
Offsetting NPT with Better Insights for Asset Utilization
Let’s say a compressor failure causes a well to be shut down. How do you determine the urgency of repairing the compressor and reinstating the well to production? What if a lower cost fix to five other wells would increase production so that the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) for the reservoir is not affected by the shut-in well? And what if this fix would take less time than replacing the compressor? Would you then prioritize the lower cost repair and move the compressor repair to a time when a maintenance crew is scheduled to be in that location?
Maintenance issues abound as oil fields strive to increase production while guaranteeing safety, flow assurance and equipment reliability. When a piece of equipment fails, there are many interpretations for why it failed, most of them related to the perspectives of different roles; process, production and reliability engineers, operators and maintenance crews. With all of the conflicting views, how does the right—or best—decision get made? The capacity to coordinate the differing assessments to find the root cause and mitigate the problem requires a holistic approach.
Transform Asset Management from Tactical to Strategic
By unifying your data environment—integrating all the sources of data from all the applications, including the monitoring and data collection initiated by external vendors—all of the people brought into look at an issue with an asset can now review the big picture of everything going on with that asset.
This unified data architecture broadens the view beyond the specialty each one practices. It allows all involved to see potential impacts from other specialties and look at the asset in a fuller and more complete context. This can change their perspective and invites collaboration that may spark new interpretations based on the additional data. They’re ability to see how the issue presented on a similar asset under similar conditions in the past and the results of the chosen resolution.
Allowing a more comprehensive view where everyone—regardless of specialty—is looking at the same information, can bring transformative insights and solutions to problems that were once approached in more tactical way based on standard engineering decisions.
The Status Quo is No Longer Acceptable for Asset Management
From the health of your assets and reduction of NPT to making the best decisions about proactive management and the bottom-line impact of decisions and prioritization of repairs, oil and gas companies need to evolve their approach. Data volumes will continue to increase. Some of the multi-nationals gather more than one terabyte of data every day. Not using this data to advantage will perpetuate the gap between the revenues produced by an oil field and the EUR that it’s actually possible to achieve. A unified data architecture can help oil and gas companies improve the potential of their asset portfolio.