Data and analytics could play a major role in boosting enhanced oil recovery efforts, GE officials said.
GE Oil & Gas believes that data and analytics can play a very strong role helping oil and gas companies make better decisions, with the prize being the equivalent of 80 billion barrels of oil, or three years of global supply.
Three years ago, GE really leaned into the possibility and potential associated with the Industrial Internet, or the intersection of smart sensors, Big Data and analytics and services that come together to help improve outcomes for oil and gas customers. To date, the company has invested $1 billion in GE Software Center of Excellence to get out ahead of the industry and how to deliver value in the space, Ashley Haynes-Gaspar, software & services general manager for GE Measurement & Control, told reporters Monday at the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
The size of the prize that can be attained by tapping the Industrial Internet’s potential is huge, Haynes-Gaspar said. Current global oil recovery rates (EOR) are in the 35 to 40 percent range.
Very real dollars exist on the table for operators in using data and analytics to reduce non-productive time at oil and gas facilities such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, Haynes-Gaspar said. Mid-sized LNG facilities see on average $150 million a year in unplanned downtime. Using data and analytics to monitor operating processes, equipment health and services and how a company intervenes to address issues can provide flexibility needed in today’s environment.
GE currently is developing Predix, which Haynes-Gaspar likened to the relationship between IOS and the iPhone. Predix will serve as the foundational layer for applications that will deliver value to customers. GE is taking a different approach in its development of Predix. In the past, development of new products involved a group of exceptional engineers working together in a room on the next big thing. Instead, co-creation between GE and its customers is playing a very important role in this space. Customers are sitting at the table with GE, saying what they want constructed, and GE running programs in 60 and 90-day sprints, Haynes-Gaspar said.
Advances in storage and cloud technology put GE in a different place today, but GE’s oil and gas customers are in different phases of the journey towards the digital oilfield. Some companies have great data infrastructures that are ready for the next step; others are just starting to build the foundation, Haynes-Gaspar said.
Because investments in data analytics software and associated technology are very isolated from equipment levels, data feeds are not connected across business assets, oil and gas companies are not getting as much value from their investments in data technology and insights into assets as they could be, said Jeremiah Stone, general manager of industrial data intelligence with GE Oil & Gas.
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