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• Improved operational efficiency, superior HSE performance
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• Comprehensive project management, design and
• Global service and support network
– for improved operational efficiency
companies just need to unlock the right information at the right time
and send it to the right person so they can act on it effectively. To do
this, companies need “Collaborative Operations,” an approach which
uses big data and data analytics to realize the potential of the IIOT.
Ideally, it works from a solid bedrock provided by the intelligent
projects approach described above and adds to it similarly intelligent
services and applications. How does it work?
Oil and gas employees receive hundreds of alarms a day. The
question is to prioritize responses such as those with the greatest
risk of impacting production are handled first. After all, if an offshore
rig shuts down it can cost some $1 million per hour of downtime.
In a Collaborative Operations approach, the integrated system of
intelligent infrastructure, applications and services would alert all
key people in real time about any priority alarms, i.e. ones with the
potential to halt production if left untreated. In fact, it is also possible
that the rig’s maintenance teams, on-site or remotely, may have already
been made aware, through predictive asset monitoring, of a related
and potentially urgent maintenance issue. As such, a solution might
already have been in the works. Either way, all key people would
be informed with sufficient notice to take corrective action quickly
enough to avoid downtime. Furthermore, the system would capture
any relevant data to lessen the chances of recurrence.
In a less collaborative environment, considerably more time and
money would have been lost if the customer had been distracted by
too many non-priority alarms and non-urgent maintenance activities.
In fact, ABB has proven that Collaborative Operations can help
operators reduce alarms by 50% and ensure these are prioritized so
people can focus on the ones which matter.
An example of collaborative operations in use can be found at Norske
Shell where Ormen Lange delivers 99% uptime each year – a feat the
company recognizes as unusual for a facility as large and complex
as this. To achieve such results, the data collected from the safety
and automation systems is continuously analyzed by Shell and ABB
to find new ways to increase productivity.
Together, they have also extended the operating life of Ormen Lange
by an additional 20 years through the use intelligent services to develop
an upgrade or replacement path for each item of hardware and software.
The plan minimizes risk and expenditure while safeguarding Shell’s
existing high availability. Additionally, authorized ABB employees
perform thousands of hours of work on Ormen Lange facilities from
remote monitoring and operations rooms at ABB various locations in
Norway. This remote access, facilitated by digitalization and trusted
collaboration, allows ABB to implement changes safely, carry out health
checks and troubleshoot as required, reducing the burden on Shell.
There is an increasing realization by senior oil and gas executives that, in today’s challenging market environment, integrated
digitalization is no longer optional. They need to explore how they
can make better use of the digital technologies they already have to
facilitate collaborative operations. And, they need to ensure that any
new projects are delivered using new technologies to minimize cost,
schedule and risk while also guaranteeing that the final output of
each project can be seamlessly integrated into the company’s wider
digital ecosystem. •
Håvard Devold is Group Vice President, ABB AS and Chief Digital Officer for the
oil, gas and chemical industries business unit. He is also Country Technology Manager for ABB Norway which is the main technology center for the company’s oil and
gas business, with a focus on emerging and disruptive new technologies. Devold has
authored and continues to update the “Oil and Gas Production Handbook,” and has
published a large number of papers and holds several patents with ABB.
1. BP Magazine, “Big Data: The growing role of analytics,” Issue 2, 2014.