Another report from Valentijn de Leeuw who attended the SPE Intelligent Energy show in Utrecht recently:
Intelligent Energy has been defined since its inception as a combination of social and technical components, and this seems completely natural to the participants of the conference. Comparing to conferences in other industry sectors such as the process or the discrete industries, it is quite refreshing to see teamwork, collaborative work environment, change management and leadership discussed next to environmental and safety, and highly sophisticated 4D seismic, simulation and real-time process control. It makes perfect sense, since social sciences have evidence that best practices in managing individuals, teams and organizations have positive impact on business results. And indeed, the testimonials from managers of oil majors speaking at the conference confirm this.
Intelligent energy is a better term than “digital oil field” or “smart field” we find. Field of the Future, is also a good term, since all these terms have a similar width in scope, ranging from technical to human aspects.
As my mind requests more clarity, I wanted to know which components make up Intelligent Energy. The fundamental concept is to make oil and gas recovery more efficient and profitable, by using state-of-the art technologies.
Since one or more operators work simultaneously with many contractors, but in exploration and production, and more and more in “Integrated operations” the possible number of relationships and interactions can easily get out of hand. In addition, multiple disciplines need to interpret more and more abundant real-time and static data, using more and more specialized skills and as a result there are a multitude of opportunities for misunderstandings. Indeed, recent disasters have shown how critical communication and interpretation of information can be. Therefore collaborative work environment, effective communication and teamwork became built into Intelligent Energy from the beginning. It was also recognized that process safety, occupational heath and safety, and environmental footprint need to be improved not only by technical measures and clear rules, but in conjunction with behavioral changes stimulated by management leadership.
Components of Intelligent Energy:
- Reservoir information (seismic, gravity, electromagnetic, geodesy)
- Real-time data from the drilling operation and (automated) drilling process control
- Real-time data from the well (down-hole and at the surface: temperature, pressure and flow) and (automated) production process control (for example slug control or gas breakthrough control)
- Real-time information from surface facilities (pipeline monitoring, flow and flow quality, rotating equipment)
- Operational decision support (technologies ranging from real-time data visualization, to decision support where to drill or inject and how to control flows for optimal depletion)
- Surveillance (real-time reservoir and process data, optical information, seismic information)
- Environmental monitoring (water, air and soil quality monitoring) and exposure monitoring
- (Virtual) teamwork and collaboration
- Fast and high quality decision making by multi-party multi-disciplinary teams
- (Sustained) support for changing activities, processes, use of technologies and behavior
- Project screening, configuration and management
The components have the following enablers:
Smart sensors and smart devices
- Industrial mobility (explosion save handheld and mobile devices for field operations)
- Robotics, drones
- Video and voice
- Modeling and simulation, (reservoir, process, 3D equipment), augmented reality
- Cyber security, Cloud computing, Big Data (mining) and real-time analytics (data driven operation)
- Fiber optic cable, Radio and Satellite transmission, Industrial Internet of Things
- Automated and manual processes design, process interactions, optimization and performance management
- Maturity models, strategy and governance
- Skills and resource management
- Collaborative work environment
And just when I thought I had a handle on it, I attended presentations about maturity modeling of Intelligent Energy and understood that defining mature Intelligent Energy is a moving target. As a result, the list of components will be extended over time, along with changing priorities, technologies and capabilities.