Taking Control of Data at Plains Midstream:  Part 2

By Janice Abel


Plains Midstream Canada was able to reduce information storage costs, comply with the government regulations, and obtain complete visibility into the data by using automated workflows and data maps and then streaming the data to the cloud.

Enterprise Data Management Use Cases

As part of their digital transformation initiatives Plains Midstream Canada deployed four enterprise data management initiatives:

Data from Acquisitions

Plains Midstream Canada acquired several large complex plants and needed to manage the data. They had several terabytes of unstructured data from one particular business unit and over ten thousand zipped files. The ActivNav tool enabled them to unzip the files and examine their contents quickly. On one network, they found over 15,000 zip files. After unpacking, they uncovered 872,000 files. After classification, duplicates were found for over 800,000 files, out of which only 400,000 were needed. By removing 400,000 records off their network the company no longer needed to back them up daily or pay for storage costs, resulting in safe operations and huge savings.

ROT Removal and Risk Reduction

Data represents significant risk to the oil and gas industry, particularly if there’s uncontrolled access to sensitive information and poor data quality. Contracts, asset management, regulatory information and well file documentation need to be managed to facilitate data-driven decision making. “For example, one facility had three million files out of which 13 percent was invalid data, 36 percent were Taking Control of Dataduplicates and 51 percent was all that was needed to run the facility,” according to Ms. Delorme, Information Systems Management Specialist, Plains Midstream Canada.

Because of the sheer volumes of information stored in multiple locations the company began looking at redundant, obsolete, and trivial (ROT) data removal to reduce risk taking data from historians, network drives and other data sources. To lower their legal and regulatory exposure, they analyzed the unstructured data systems to reduce the amount of data available to manage for contracts, regulatory submissions, and well file documentation for more efficient information management.

Plains Midstream Canada is reducing their risks and storage costs by cleaning up the data and information with around 48 to 50 percent redundant, obsolete, and trivial data (ROT). A lot of the ROT are duplicate files. Active Navigation provided significant value and cost savings by enabling them to identify and remove these duplicates.

Migration and Metadata

Plains Midstream Canada is also classifying metadata and other data for sensitive content, confidential documents, and other vulnerable data to lock it down. Plain Midstream Canada created an always-on data mapping system for over 50,000 pieces of equipment, such as heat exchangers and chillers. The data maps ensured that the data was migrated to the right place, automatically mapped in place with the right metadata, and files renamed automatically.

In 2020, they migrated over 50,000 pieces of pressured equipment within a few days. The data is migrated to the exact location that the file and data point needs to go. For example, Active Navigation migrated 225,000 files with clean data in 65 minutes. According to Ms. Delorme, “We have information that we’re pulling from a network that we would have never found without Active Navigation. Being able to use this technology for regulatory and operational efficiency information, like for example the installation data of equipment, has been a key accomplishment for Plains Midstream Canada.”



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Keywords: ARC Industry Forum, Plains Midstream Canada, Data, Information, People, Redundant Obsolete and Trivial (ROT) Data, ARC Advisory Group.


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