Oil & Gas Operations Technology and Supplier Selection

Oil and Gas Operations Technologies (OT) have gone through years of evolutionary changes.  The need for operational improvements and cost management is now greater than ever across the oil and gas industry.  Suppliers are developing a number of different oil and gas operations systems, components, and modules to overcome the increasing number of different operational challenges users encounter when trying to extract more hydrocarbons in an era of “lower for longer” oil prices.

Based on most industry sources, there are over 1,100,000 onshore and offshore platform oil and gas wells operating across the world today, and on average, there are about 100,000 new wells drilled annually.  Per OE magazine, there were over 4,400 operational subsea wells and another 6,400-plus wells that can be developed in the coming years.  OE data shows there were almost 10,000 operational offshore platforms and almost 2,000 platforms that can be developed in the coming years.  There are hundreds of thousands of wells operating onshore and tens of thousands more that will be coming online annually through the forecast period.

More users are realizing that the benefits, even if incremental, provided by these solutions are now de facto investments and no longer just a consideration.  Most users need to decide on how comprehensive an oilfield operations management system infrastructure they require to optimize their production and recovery rates.  These solutions can help them lower costs and ensure more efficient operations with fewer experienced personnel.  Oilfield operations management systems are increasingly seen as a vital investment that translates into material ROI and helps ensure continued competitive survival.

The Oil & Gas Industry Requires Modern, Reliable and Safe Operational Technology

Of course, advances in underlying technologies as well as international standards play a part in making sure the correct solutions are selected for the future as well as the current business needs.  For example, Industrial IoT (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 provide new opportunities to improve overall business performance.  For owner-operators, this includes operational improvements mostly through improved asset reliability in the oil & gas industry.  For end users, the incorporation of IIoT, analytics, and other predictive and prescriptive technologies help to bring performance to a higher level.  

ARC Advisory Group’s suite of  Technology and Supplier Selection Guides are invaluable tools for process automation solution end users trying to navigate the ever changing market dynamics resulting from the trend towards the digital transformation of the heavy process industries, global pandemics, trade wars, currency exchange rate fluctuations, and dynamic economic swings.  ARC’s broad range of related selection guides are used by some of the largest process manufacturers to ensure they choose a solution partner best suited for their regional, vertical, and application focus.

For detailed information, please click on the selection guide titles below.  For more information or to purchase a selection guide, please contact us.

Oilfield Operations Management Systems

Depending on the production level of an individual well (or field), the financial benefit of increasing operational performance by even 3 percent to 4 percent can translate into thousands and even millions of dollars per year, per month, or even per day for very large projects.  Therefore, investments in oilfield operations management systems must be viewed in terms of ROI and other meaningful metrics, which owner-operators, independent E&P companies, and oilfield service suppliers can measure and manage.  ARC believes most wells producing at rates sufficient to financially justify an investment in an oilfield operations management system should be doing so already.

As more owner-operators, independent E&P firms, and related stakeholders embrace the new “lower for longer” margin-compressed environment, an increasing number are expected to continue their investment in oilfield operations management systems solutions as oil prices continue to recover and the supply-demand equilibrium regains its balance.  They realize that an oilfield operations management system can help them lower costs, enhance production, improve and/or enhance recovery, and ensure more efficient operations with fewer experienced personnel, which is a vital investment that translates into material ROI and continued competitive survival.

More information on the Oilfield Operations Management Systems selection guide. 

SCADA Systems for Oil & Gas

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems for Oil & Gas (O&G) are designed to meet the specific requirements of Oil and Gas pipelines applications.  The need for a highly reliable SCADA system has never been more important than it is today.  In addition, a modern SCADA needs to be able to easily integrate with other systems and technologies from a distributed remote environment, to the central site.  Not only is it necessary to ensure uninterrupted flow of water, but it is also necessary to ensure the return on assets (ROA) that is required by all modern business practices. 

Many SCADA systems are well over 20 years old.  In many cases not only are the components difficult to find to maintain these systems, but also the personnel skills required to keep them functioning are becoming more and more scarce.  The total SCADA solution has become complex and functionality involves the combination of an expanded range of capabilities and specific technology requirements.  While product plays a major role, suppliers have specific domain expertise, geographical presence, and knowledge of the specific industry needs.

More information on the Oil & Gas SCADA Systems selection guide.

Oilfield Drilling Optimization

The deployment of drilling optimization systems is critical to ensuring owner-operators, independent E&P players, and drilling contractors can maximize their rate of penetration and speed to first oil, improve recovery rates in both new and mature wells, and open up production on a broader array of well types and application locations, including subsea, offshore, and onshore.  Selecting the right drilling optimization systems requires detailed analysis and understanding of potential suppliers’ technology, services, as well as their overall business practices and outlook.

More information on the Oilfield Drilling Optimization selection guide.

Artificial Lift Optimization

The majority of oil and gas wells operated throughout the world require some form of artificial lift during their lifecycle.  Selecting the right lift technology requires detailed analysis; including gas, oil, and water property predictions; pressure loss from inflow to wellhead; variation in gas and oil ratio; and water cut over a time period.  Monitoring and optimizing the artificial lift system is equally important to selecting the optimal lift technology, because improper operation of the lift system generally leads to higher OpEx and subsequently CapEx investment.

More information on the Artificial Lift Optimization selection guide.

Subsea Controls for Oil & Gas Production

The major oil & gas companies have invested on deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects.  The amount of data being transmitted from a subsea installation may also increase considerably.  There is a risk that the introduction of new equipment and an increase in data will introduce faults into the control system.  It will be important to ensure adequate independence between critical functions (control functions and safety functions) and monitoring functions so that the reliability of the critical functions is not compromised.

The outstanding characteristics of subsea control systems in improving oil/gas recovery ratio have become the main reasons for the selection of resource development in deepwater.  Nowadays, the advantages of high efficiency, economic be.

More information on the Subsea Controls selection guide.

Pipeline Scheduling Solutions

Pipeline scheduling solutions continue to develop and evolve as an increasing number of pipeline operators and transporters now view automation of the scheduling operations as a positive investment in productivity, operational and profitability improvements, all being done with increasingly reduced staffing levels due to “the Great Crew Change” and layoffs experienced during the extended decline in oil prices.  Pipeline operators are realizing that reliance on manual approaches or legacy pipeline scheduling solutions is no longer sustainable in today’s margin-compressed markets, especially when relatively cost-effective automated pipeline scheduling solutions are readily available. 

More information on the Pipeline Scheduling Solutions selection guide.

Compressor Monitoring and Controls

Compressor monitoring and controls are a critical part of optimizing the performance of compressors, which, in turn, are a critical component in oil & gas operations.  Growing demand for energy, increased focus on energy efficiency of compressors and other economic factors are driving the demand for compression and thus increasing the demand for compressor monitoring and controls solutions.

The advancements in the compressor monitoring & controls solutions in incorporating Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled solutions such as advanced analytics, machine learning, and enhanced communications to enable remote monitoring are also expected to drive future demand as users realize greater performance, compressor uptime, and reduced maintenance costs.

More information on the Compressor Monitoring and Controls selection guide.

Intelligent Pumps for the Digital Oilfield

The complex nature of oil and gas production coupled with the fluctuating market forces in the oil and gas industry make the need for the digital oilfield greater than ever.  A key requirement for the digital oilfield is the accurate and reliable control of flow from the wells and throughout the oilfields.  Historically, pumps have not been intelligent, and therefore could not provide remote personnel sufficient command and control.  Different pump technologies are required depending on such factors as pressure and temperature, as well as the condition of the oil that is being pumped.  For example, certain pumps are better suited for artificial lift, while other technologies are best for multi-phase, while other technologies are best for high volume.  Also, considerations must be made as to the conditions of the material to be pumped.  Crude oil is typically very viscous and may contain entrained gases, or solid mater.

More information on the Intelligent Pumps for the Digital Oilfield selection guide.

Inventory Tank Gauging

Throughout the oil & gas operation from exploration, pipeline and final delivery for processing, storage tanks are important.  Whether the liquid will be in the tank for a brief time or longer, choosing the right Inventory Tank Gauging Device supplier and technology to measure liquid storage can be one of the most important decisions you will make for your business operations for years to come.  Immediately, one thinks of accuracy, however there is reliability, safety, and maintainability that are also important for the years of service you will expect from these devices.

More information on the Inventory Tank Gauging selection guide.

Leak Detection Systems

The complex nature of oil and gas pipelines that connect the production fields both onshore as well as offshore require specialized solutions to keep the pipelines operating continuously.  An important part of the controls and information systems is leak detection.  Different detection technologies are required depending on such factors as pressure and temperature, as well as the condition of the oil that is being pumped or the gas that is flowing through the pipeline.  Where the pipeline is located and what it passes through (e.g. water, land, combination) are also important in the proper selection of the leak detection solution.

Selecting the correct leak detection system can be crucial to the pipeline operation for environmental and business reasons.  Failure to detect a leak can cause environmental harm, but also can represent a safety hazard, particularly if the leak occurs in a populated area.  Quick determination of what the leak is and where it is makes the correct leak detection solution selection essential. 

More information on the Leak Detection Systems selection guide.

Multiphase Flow Meters

Oil and gas flow measurement is not a simple process.  Multiphase Flow Meter technology is designed to help. The fluid being measured may be a mixture of oil, gas – wet and dry, condensate and water, and therefore requires specialized technology to measure such a multiphase condition.  The oil and gas production fields both onshore as well as offshore require specialized solutions to accurately measure the oil and gas production.  Accurate measurement is an important part of the information systems used for production allocation and production accounting as well as flow control.  Different sensing technologies are required depending on such factors as pressure and temperature, the density and composition of the fluid, and the mass/volume fractions of oil, gas, and water, as well as the condition of the oil that is being produced. 

More information on the Multiphase Flow Meters selection guide.