Ahead of the SPE Intelligent Energy Conference 6-8th Sept 2016 in Aberdeen, Peter Boyle DNV GL, has spoken of the benefits, examples, previous issues and changes needed in industry for application of Unmanned and Integrated Operation (IO) facilities. A plenary session will focus on applying such methods by bringing together a panel of oil and gas executives that have used unmanned principles and integrated operations to enable operational efficiency and reduce costs. Whilst Intelligent Energy, Integrated Operations and digital oilfield (DOF) have seen major performance improvement initiatives over the last decade, there is still a reluctance to fully embrace the approach in greenfield projects.
Peter states removing the people is a fundamental principle of inherently safer design. This in turn produces additional design, weight and cost savings. Evidence of value creation in industry has been seen so far in subsea, pioneering a minimal intervention strategy, whilst in other industries, such as automotive, the use of data sensors to determine effective service activity is gathering pace, while further disruptive technologies in the form of the Google car will further step change IO use. The current industry’s reluctance to embrace these technologies is often dominated by its aversion to risk. However, there is a realization that working smarter in an era of constrained CAPEX and rigorous OPEX control demands full contributions from technology, resource planning, collaboration and, where possible, standardization. Where previous stagnation in extrapolating ideas from one industry and applying them to another took place, cost implications now require the need to be bolder and perhaps more radical. Many examples of unmanned and IO facilities are already available, for example, operators control subsea installations and simple fixed offshore installations from shore. With continuing tough market conditions, unmanned offshore installations are a natural development.
You can find further information about the conference at SPE Intelligent Energy International 2016.