Aug 29

New ARC Study: Terminal Automation Systems for the Oil & Gas Industry

ARC has released a new edition of our Terminal Automation Systems study.

This report provides an in-depth analysis of the terminal automation systems (TAS) business in the oil & gas industry worldwide. It can serve as an effective planning guide for companies interested in providing terminal automation systems to the marketplace. The report provides strategic information to industry executives responsible for developing, marketing, or purchasing terminal automation systems.

While the market continues to be dominated by older niche suppliers, the market is opening to new suppliers with greater value propositions. Regions with little infrastructure are opening up to new suppliers as well, unencumbered by the inertia of an incumbent.

Source: Endress+Hauser

Source: Endress+Hauser

ARC’s analysis of the worldwide TAS market includes market size and segmentation, market forecast, industry structure, and supplier market shares and profiles. In addition to providing our clients with a quantitative assessment of the terminal automation marketplace, this report provides an insightful analysis of the products and strategies of the leading TAS suppliers.

ARC Terminal Automation Systems Study Brochure

 

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Aug 28

Check out the ARC/Control Magazine Podcast Series

ARC has partnered with Control magazine to do a series of regular podcasts on various automation topics.  Here’s the latest three podcasts:

Larry O’Brien and Jim Montague: 25 Years of Fieldbus:  We talk about some of the history behind fieldbus technology and its most recent development.

Harry Forbes and Jim Montague: Recent Developments in Wireless: Learn about the changing landscape of industrial wireless technology

Larry O’Brien and Jim Montague: Developing Economies and their Impact on the Automation Business:  Growth in BRICs countries has fueled overall growth in the automation market for the past decade, but is that about to change?

I also just completed another podcast with Jim on two recent case studies covered in Control that highlight the benefits of Fieldbus and intelligent configurable I/O.

ARC/Control Podcast Series

ARC-CT_podcast_80X100

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Aug 26

ABB to Divest Full Service Business

ABB’s Full Service business, an outsourced maintenance business, will be divested to Nordic Capital.

From the press release:

The ABB Full Service business provides fully outsourced industrial maintenance services. ABB Full Service was developed as an adjacent business to ABB’s life-cycle service business and has become a successful stand-alone business unit. ABB is divesting this business because of limited synergies with ABB’s core portfolio. ABB will continue to supply its standard life-cycle services for the company’s installed base.

This is an interesting development for ABB.  Much of the revenue from the Full Service business comes from industries such as metals and mining and pulp and paper, which have not performed so well over the past couple of years.

ABB to Divest Full Service Business to Nordic Capital

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Aug 26

World Oil: Mega Projects are Game Changers for Costs, Logistics

Projects in the oil and gas industry are getting bigger, more complex, and more costly.  Reporting from the ONS oil and gas exhibition in Stavanger, Norway, World Oil highlights some interesting presentations on the increasingly complex world of mega projects.  The very large Shell Prelude floating gas to liquids project, which is also the largest ship in the world, is highlighted.

ONS ’14: Mega Projects are Game Changers for Costs, Logistics

ONS 2014: Stavanger, Norway

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Aug 26

Yokogawa Financial Results for Q1 2014

Yokogawa recently released its first quarter financial results for 2014.  Highlights include:

  • Overall sales up 2 percent, orders down a little over 5 percent compared to the same period last year
  • Control business sales up almost 3 percent, orders down a little over 6 percent compared to the same period last year
  • Long term outlook remains good primarily due to increased energy investment
  • Forecast growth is three percent growth for overall sales for the fiscal year
  • Highlights for Q1 include some large new project and a new release of the CENTUM VP system

You can see the presentation of the results here.

Yokogawa Financial Results for First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2014

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Aug 19

New Data Shows the Rise of Texas Oil

As a recent transplant to Texas, this is good news.  Texas oil production has reached record highs since record keeping began in 1981, although it’s not quite at the levels it was during the heyday of the 1970s, but at 2.7 mmbpd of crude being pumped, it’s getting pretty close.

Texas Oilwell

Old Time Texas Oil Well (Source: State of Texas)

A new article at FuelFix, a very nice web site dedicated to oil and gas news sponsored by CH2M Hill, sums up the environment in Texas nicely. From the article:

After decades of decline, Texas oil production abruptly turned in 2008 with the beginning of the shale oil and gas boom. Innovation in oil field technology, particularly hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, have opened new regions of the United States to oil and natural gas activity in recent years. Production from deep, dense rock formations, once uneconomical to drill, has unleashed a new wealth of oil and gas on the energy-hungry nation.

FuelFix: New data show ‘meteoric’ rise of Texas oil

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Aug 19

Emerson Releases OpenEnterprise v3 SCADA

Emerson Process Management’s OpenEnterprise v3 SCADA platform for the upstream production and distribution market offers ease-of-use and expanded device connectivity for communication protocols, according to the company. The latest OpenEnterprise v3 release introduces a new paradigm to the SCADA automation market with its “Action Engine” technology. OpenEnterprise v3 offers an intelligent automation engine that does not require programming or scripting to manage complex sequential control. This reportedly enables users to gain competitive advantage and increases operator productivity.

The Action Engine’s rapid application development and change management tools enable users to get their new system commissioned quickly and empowers them to make automation changes required to meet changing business needs. OpenEnterprise v3 is a source for real-time data for both operational and business users and as such is an integral part of business processes, providing a unified platform for better decision-making across the enterprise.

The template-based design of the software simplifies the process of building the SCADA database, enabling faster well replication and easier management of field installations with a mixture of RTU types.

OpenEnterprise v3 ease-of-use also applies to the deployment of flexible system architectures needed for geographically remote locations. It supports a distributed communication middleware that allows clustering of remote radio towers into a single consolidated centralized server.

OpenEnterprise v3 also offers significant lifecycle cost savings by leveraging an integrated wireless SCADA architecture. By integrating the WirelessHart instrumentation network along with the Distributed RTU Network, remote oil and gas operations are easier, safer, and more secure.

Unlike traditional SCADA software, OpenEnterprise v3 is not licensed by tag count and consists of scalable software tiers that are fit for applications from local metering to mega intelligent oilfield automation projects that require automation of thousands of wells. A simplified unlimited licensing model lowers initial software licensing costs, while generating major cost savings as the system grows over the project lifecycle.

ARCWire: Emerson SCADA System Streamlines Oil and Gas Operations

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Aug 19

BP Energy Outlook 2035: Read it Now

If you haven’t had a chance to review the BP Energy Outlook 2035 I highly recommend it.  Everyone, regardless of their job or position, should read this report if you want to have an intelligent conversation about the real global energy picture.  Some highlights from the latest report:

  • Energy demand will increase by over 40 percent through 2035, but will flatten over time
  • Renewable energy sources will overtake nuclear power by 2035
  • Oil and gas will still dominate the energy mix through 2035, despite high growth in renewables
  • Highest growth in energy demand will be in China, but growth there will slow and India will start to grow rapidly
  • Natural gas will be the highest growth fuel, led by production in North America

As the energy industry goes, so goes the market for process automation.  Based on the results of the BP outlook, things still look good for the process automation business for the next decade, but leveling growth and slowing growth in China will have an undeniable impact on the industry. ARC is already seeing a slowdown in China between 2012-2013 for markets such as DCS.

BP Energy Outlook 2035

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Aug 06

Emerson Process Experts: Reliable Fiscal Metering at Highly Complex Reliance Refinery

Fiscal metering is a big topic in oil and gas and you can read this interesting post from the Emerson Process Experts Blog on Reliable Fiscal Metering at Highly Complex Reliance Refinery.  Reliance is the largest single site refinery on the planet and this case study shows how ultrasonic flowmeters are used in custody transfer applications.

From the article:

These meters use an electronics platform that detect changing flow dynamics in real time to ensure flow variables are communicated in a matter of seconds, providing low-flow accuracy and linearity throughout the calibrated flow range. This accuracy is an extremely important quality, particularly because of the significant financial risks in fiscal metering applications.

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Aug 01

PdVSA Mulls Citgo Refinery Sales in US

From Wall Street Journal, Venezuelan petroleum giant PdVSA has announced a plan to sell off its Citgo refineries in the US.  PdVSA is the primary source of hard currency and Venezuela is in need of cash.  In an environment of overcapacity and disappearing refining margins, it will be interesting to see who purchases these refineries.  The Citgo sign at Fenway Park in Boston may become a thing of the past.

citgo_boston

WSJ: Cash Poor Venezuela Weighs Sale of Citgo

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