Petrofac News 1700X397
20 September 2018

If plant could talk…

The fourth industrial revolution is upon us. Digital technology has changed the way we live, and now it’s transforming the way the oil and gas sector operates too.

Petrofac’s Group Head of Strategy, Jon Carpenter, has this week been sharing his views on the future of digital in oil and gas, as a panellist at the 2018 Gastech conference in Barcelona. Here he tells us more, and talks about some of the work we’ve been doing to harness data driven technology to enhance asset management.

“Over the last few years our industry has done a great job of reducing inefficiency. But it continues to face broad challenges in maintaining and further improving efficiency, safety and sustainability”, explains Jon. “It’s no secret that digital technology and clever use of data can help with this. Our session at Gastech looked at just that – the fundamental impacts of digital innovation on our industry.

“Companies across our sector are sitting on massive pools of proprietary data. If made visible and refined well, this data can support huge improvements in ways of working and deliver significant benefits for our clients. Asset Management is just one great example.

“Traditionally, plant undergoes routine maintenance triggered by time intervals. But what if plant could talk back? What if it told us what it needed and when, to help us optimise machine performance and improve uptime? In today’s digital era, it can.

Plant diagram

“We’ve been working with Accenture to harness our 25 years’ operations and maintenance experience to develop a tool that uses historical data and applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve asset management.

“In its simplest form, our dashboard technology ensures maintenance is carried out on the basis of data driven insight rather than to fixed and generic schedules”, explains Jon. “These forecasts help optimise production and identify potential failures, allowing them to be mitigated prior to impacting performance.

“The tool records the mitigated actions taken and applies data science to recommend the most appropriate mitigation for next time. It supports speed to action whilst ensuring our operations and engineering personnel remain integral to the decision-making process.

“Data driven technology is a key enabler for our business”, says Jon. “This predictive analytics tool is a great example of how we’re using digital to deliver valuable business insights which will enhance our decision-making processes and drive proactive maintenance strategies. It’s an exciting time for the company as we seek new ways of applying digital technologies to our operations to deliver ultra-efficient asset support.”