September 4, 2018
A transformative digital data tool is pinpointing operations’ anomalies in minutes on BP’s Gulf of Mexico platforms – identifying causes that once might have taken hours for engineers to work through manually.
The cloud-based software, called Plant Operations Advisor (or POA), can analyse more than 155 million data points per day. Its deployment is expected to “deliver improvements in safety, reliability and performance”, while helping “raise the bar for the entire oil and gas industry”, according to Ahmed Hashmi, BP’s global head of upstream technology.
Developed with Baker Hughes, a GE company, BP has adapted the tool to integrate real-time data from each of its deepwater oil and gas production facilities in the Gulf.
Global roll-out: After a successful pilot phase on the Atlantis facility, POA is now on board all four GoM platforms and is set to go global. The technology will be deployed at more than 30 upstream locations worldwide, including Angola this year and the North Sea and Oman in 2019.
How it works: The software monitors some 1,200 ‘mission-critical’ pieces of process equipment, providing insights on performance and maintenance. If the software identifies an issue, it notifies engineers about operational issues, allowing BP to respond quickly.
What else? POA can also help eliminate repeat excursions from safe operating and design limits. There is more to come, too. In future, the tool is expected to use data analytics to anticipate issues before they even occur.
This will all add up to better reliability, meaning greater productivity thanks to reduced system downtime and, overall, even better safety performance.
The big picture: “BP has been one of the pioneers of digital technology in our industry,” says Hashmi. “Co-development of Plant Operations Advisor with BHGE is key to modernizing and transforming our upstream operations.”
According to Baker Hughes, as the system goes global, it will “become the largest upstream Industrial Internet of Things deployment in the world when complete”.
How the engineers see it: “The pilot has demonstrated how we can transform our management of data and our approach to diagnosing what’s happening,” says BP Upstream technology process engineer, Greg Hickey.
“For example, after a plant shutdown, POA can generate a report in just 15 minutes, bringing together all the various data sources used in monitoring operations to help find the root cause. This would previously have taken hours.”