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How Rockwell Automation's FactoryTalk Software Applications Are Helping Oil and Gas Users to Gain Better Operational Control of Offshore Production Assets

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Because most of the field's operating facilities assets are located beneath the surface of the ocean, Chevron uses a floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to help process and transport the oil.

The field and the FPSO's safety instrumented system (SIS), process shutdown (PSD) and power management distribution systems come from Rockwell Automation's ICS Triplex division, and include approximately 6,000 I/O points going to multiple ‘Trusted TMR' systems. Lochman added that Rockwell Automation provided full, turnkey engineering services, and delivered solutions, including part of the HAZOP team, to Chevron on the project's front end. In fact, these systems were built in Singapore, delivered to the FPSO's construction yard in Korea, and are now engineered, programmed and managed from Houston.

Rockwell Automation also supports the systems through long-term maintenance contracts. Also, the FPSO and the field's power management distribution system exchanges 50,000 tags with the FPSO's distributed control system (DCS).    

Obviously, integrating all these operational and safety systems is no simple task. "Agbami's first iField objective is to capture and manage sub-surface and topside real-time and historical data," explained Lochmann. "Its second aim is to facilitate asset management work processes by accurately characterizing the reservoir, optimizing the displacement efficiency, water and gas injection performance and improving ultimate recovery, and then feeding into well-work and base-business operations to maximize the value of the asset. The third goal is to improve collaboration and facilitate prompt operational decisions and interventions. Because all the assets are subsea, Chevron has to know what's going on down there." 

To help Chevron meet its goals for the field, Lochmann reported that Landmark implemented and Agbami is now running 35 workflow processes of its DecisionSpace for Production architecture and infrastructure. However, because these workflows include 16,000 applications and 10,000-12,000 databases in the exploration and production space, Landmark also employs Rockwell Automation's VantagePoint to help coordinate all these data sources and get them to present their information in a more uniform way. These data sources comes from a variety of software applications from a range of vendors, including Landmark, AspenTech, TietoEnator, Schlumberger, Microsoft, Oracle, Honeywell, Yokogawa, OSIsoft, GE Fanuc, Matrikon, IBM, SAP, Rockwell Automation and others.

Lochman reported that coordinating and standardizing all these data sources with VantagePoint has produced some startling benefits for the Agbami field and its FPSO application. "It's achieved about a 95% uptime for well availability and facilities, compared to 50-65% initially projected, and is projected to save about $10 million per year in otherwise lost production opportunities," said Lochmann. "Most interestingly, we've also seen a 98% reduction in non-productive time associated with data access and management procedures. In addition, Agbami's plateau production levels were reached well ahead of the planned schedule, and it standardized its business-practice and capture-asset team know-how through workflow automation.

"Integrated production operations are a key part of digital oilfield strategies, and their clear value is being realized today. Their technology has advanced significantly, providing the foundation they need to succeed. In addition, tomorrow's solutions may come from outside oil and gas, and so changing how we work is the next step. These new workflows, using the convergence of people, processes and technology, will define the future."

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