Being prepared for a crisis is hardly on the mind of corporate management, despite the fact that across the coasts of North America several big and small upstream companies struggle to keep their assets safe beyond the harbors. Times have changed, and technology has come to the rescue in case of emergencies that may erupt on the shores where oil wells are located. Fire explosion continues to be a major natural threat. But with advanced oil and gas production analytics, it is possible to have a cautious approach to work safely.
As Shale boom rises upwards, there is a vital need to safeguard the initial injection stations, pipelines, pumps, various regulators, block valve stations. With real-time status update so much can be done as information can be utilized, and live data monitoring, and all these results in data-driven crisis management.
The necessity to act on the information provided by analytics
Offshore platforms are capable of running to 100% production capacity if analytics is used on a daily basis. In the case of the O & G industry, the revenues depend largely on facilities and processes that are dependent on capital investment. In North America alone, there is a performance gap of about USD 200 billion* (i.e. about 10 million barrels per day). This means only 77% capacity is utilized to get the black gold onshore. Operators have the onus to use technology to make investments more valued. The complex nature of processing and the production facility makes it difficult to use tools and techniques to get data. However, now sensors in large numbers are proving to be an asset to get data for analytics. So, there is a large data that can be derived from the downhole or the subsea level. There are different settings that can be controlled by the sensors as data emerges. Once the data emerges, it becomes necessary to act on the data- whether it is during operation time or during an emergency. The data may pertain to volumetric, temperatures, levels of humidity, and other exogenous factors. Now, it is also possible to have simulation tools which behave like drills to caution the crew on the rig site if any untoward incidence occurs. It is a part of the analytic data that can prove to be beneficial.
*Via McKinsey reports
Simulating data training essential
Oil and gas production analytics thrive on various tools and techniques. But the crew has to be trained to use them by experts. Handling sensor-based systems and calibrating custom design can test the capability of the assets. After the simulation process, it is also essential to upgrade the facility and workforce with the latest tools. It helps to understand operational data and induces actual performance. This is a huge task and necessary for crisis management. Oil and natural gas sector deal with hostile environments and a crisis training can never be underestimated. Many companies which choose to expand the reserves to tap hydrocarbons are prone to challenges and risks during exploration. In deep waters, there are high-pressure valves that can have explosive temperatures, wells may have sour gas or become volatile in very humid conditions. When the weather turns for the worse, it adds to the crisis. Establishing an emergency response with the available data becomes the responsibility of the operators and well managers. Any incident will need to be coordinated by three nodals—Onshore operation, tactical support office, and offshore strategic managers. No matter what crisis engulfs the upstream continuity of business operations should remain a priority. This is one of the most stringent ways to deal with oil spills and fires or storms that disrupt the normal activities.
The USA – The highest gas consumer in the world
The drilling activities on the hard rock are also increasing as the shale boom indicates. Technology companies have rescued the industry with getting resourceful data concerning:
- Drilling and logging
- Seismic activity
- Production details
- Images, videos from deep-sea wells
- Information streamed from various public filings
As the USA remains one of the highest consumers of oil, (since 2016), the demand for startup analytics has also grown. They have been able to accelerate the growth of using data-driven information and digital processes to fulfill the availability of fossil fuels in the region. The dependency on oil and gas production analytics to meet the domestic needs is very high and with the aid of breakthrough technologies, several vendors have introduced customized programs for energy sector successfully. The key to keep them in business is the challenge to use the data for emergencies and at the same time not let the business down on account of accidents.