SPE Applied Technology Workshop (ATW)

Tuesday, May 16 - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

“Data Enabled Operational Excellence – The Value of Information in Oilfield Operations“


Operational Excellence is a long-term goal to introduce sustainable changes in culture and operations. Digital Oilfield and Integrated Operations have been started as strategies 15 years ago and are still not implemented mainstream. Will current low oil prices hinder all these long-term goals while quarterly reports are key today? How will data help to get culture change and strategy implemented in a sustainable way? This workshop wants to put new ideas and related lessons learnt on the table to be discussed. The industry is still struggling with proper field data acquisition, integration and quality control – after all these years.


Progress in information technologies has led to more robust and effective solutions for production operations. Real-time monitoring devices are becoming the norm, providing large volumes of data. Nevertheless many operators still struggle to retrieve value out of these investments. Properly planned data acquisition, data integration, preparation and enrichment is still an issue due to migrating data to actionable information.


What does Operational Excellence mean in Oilfield Operations? It simply says that there should be no need for management interventions, that standard methodologies capable of fixing sources of malfunctions are in place and people know what to do if data shows that operations go wrong. Asset awareness is key to achieve the results described above and is based on developing valuable information from trusted data. The latter is a main obstacle as trustworthiness is based on known data treatment and preparation from sensor to application - and that is rarely provided. Quite often these processes are not automated and thus always lag behind.


In Oilfield Operations short term fire-fighting competes with sustainable Operational Excellence initiatives. The missing necessary feedback loop hinders learning from failures and successes. Data is mainly used for monitoring, but not for evaluating the success rate of decisions made in Oilfield Operations. There is a common lack of basic decision-analysis skills and the inexperience with applying Value of Information methodologies. How to distinguish between constructive and wasteful information (data) gathering? These methodologies evaluate the benefits of collecting additional information before making decisions and evaluate the decisions made to improve future decisions through long-term feedback loops.


The workshop will cover the necessary technologies, methods and lessons learnt about the introduction of a Value-based Information Broker for Oilfield Operations in order to support Operational Excellence programs. Only the long-term change in Oilfield Operations culture towards full asset awareness for all involved personnel based on trustworthy data will involve people to see the flow of value they generate and where and how “more-with-less” can be achieved. We must become more efficient.


The workshop will provide latest results and lessons learnt from industry leading experts to escape the catch-22 situation to proof value of data acquired today in order to improve Oilfield Operations decisions made in the future. How to provide trustworthiness in data, increase accessibility and learn from feedback data? Does it require huge investments? Probably not. Low oil prices even could be an enabler for better usage of existing infrastructure, data flows and applications to continuously identify business opportunities in Oilfield Operations. This will overcome today’s short-sighted event based model of improvement through introducing long-term Operational Excellence fully leveraging field data.