These AR Goggles Are Making Faster Fixes in Oil Fields

By Milana Vinn

  •  Managing complicated repairs remotely saves oil companies time and money

Replacing parts of an outdated Baker Hughes turbine at a petrochemical plant in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, is about as fun as it sounds. The chore was supposed to halt operations at the facility for at least 10 days and cost $50,000 to fly a specialized U.S. work crew about 9,000 miles. Instead, once the equipment upgrade began last year, it took only five days and zero air travel—just an on-site technician wearing a dorky helmet camera and a few American engineers supervising remotely. They watched and coached the local crew through the helmet from a Baker Hughes site in Pomona, Calif.

Augmented-reality headsets, which overlay digital images on a real-world field of vision, are driving advances in industrial technology a few steps beyond FaceTime. While the likes of Apple, Amazon.com, Google, and Microsoft race to develop mainstream AR consumer gadgets in the next couple of years, they’ve been outpaced by oil companies looking for ways to cut costs. Some are simply buying the goggles and building custom software; others are investing directly in AR startups; still others are making the hardware as well. Baker Hughes, a General Electric Co. subsidiary, calls its rig a Smart Helmet. “Traditionally I would have to pay for two people’s travel, two people’s accommodations, and so forth to visit the customer’s site to do the mentoring,” says John McMillan, a regional repairs chief at the company whose team uses the helmet regularly. “It’s saved me a lot.”

Baker Hughes co-created its AR headset with Italian developer VRMedia S.r.l. and wrote its own software. BP Plc says it’s using AR glasses to bring remote expertise to sites across the U.S. Startup RealWear Inc.says it’s signed two dozen other energy companies, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp., to test its $2,000 headset. On March 6, AR software maker Upskill announced a fresh $17 million in venture funding from Boeing Co.Cisco Systems Inc., and other investors.

Remote gear can help experienced workers stay on the job even if they can no longer handle the travel or other physical demands of rig maintenance. “With these technologies, it’s more about the people than the hardware,” says Shell Executive Vice President Alisa Choong. Janette Marx, chief operating officer for industry recruiter Airswift, says remote work is also a good sales pitch to skilled technicians who might be lured by cushier gigs in Silicon Valley.

The bigger prize for oil companies is reduced downtime for equipment. Each day offline for a typical 200,000-barrel-a-day refinery can mean almost $12 million in lost revenue. Offshore oil and gas facilities often halt operations while waiting to fly specialists in by helicopter and, according to industry analyst Kimberlite International Oilfield Research, shut down 27 days a year on average. Little wonder, then, that analyst ABI Research estimates energy and utility companies’ annual spending on AR glasses and related technology will reach $18 billion in 2022, among the most of any industry.

Remote AR work doesn’t always go smoothly. Oil rigs often lack reliable wireless networks, and many headsets don’t yet meet the strict standards for areas near hazardous materials or high-risk jobs. Under certain conditions, for example, the headsets might emit dangerous sparks. That’s one reason many of the oil companies’ pilot programs remain just that for now.

Baker Hughes hasn’t had to worry about those issues yet, says John Westerheide, director of emerging technologies. In Malaysia, engineers were able to view equipment, send images to the headset screen, and talk directly to the on-site workers with few hiccups. “The way that we currently go to work,” Westerheide says, “that’s going to become much more virtual, interactive, and collaborative.” —With David Wethe

BOTTOM LINE – Energy and utility companies’ annual spending on AR and related technologies, which reduce travel and equipment downtime, is expected to hit $18 billion within five years.

Source Bloomberg

Video

TED Talk on methane and the oil and gas industry

This TED Talk heralds a new era in fighting climate change, from space

Watch this video to learn about a bold, new initiative to combat global warming

EDF and partners are launching a rocket to put a new satellite in orbit that could change the course of global warming in our lifetimes.

MethaneSAT will gather data about a pollutant – methane – that’s warming the planet, and put that data in the hands of people who can easily fix the problem.

EDF President Fred Krupp unveiled the groundbreaking project at TED’s flagship event in Vancouver, British Columbia, as part of The Audacious Project, successor to the TED Prize.

Just the first step will have the same near-term climate benefit as shutting down one-third of the world’s coal-fired power plants.

Fred Krupp, EDF President

Fred Krupp, EDF President

Our goal is to cut methane emissions 45 percent by 2025, and the data gathered by this satellite will make that possible. Nothing else will have the same kind of near-term impact at such a low cost.

The power of information

To learn the magnitude of the problem with methane, we collected data with drones, planes, helicopters, even Google Street View cars. It turned out that emissions are up to five times higher than what the government is reporting.

So we didn’t wait for Washington. We published our research, shared it with everyone and saw them take action. Leading oil and gas companies replaced valves and tightened loose-fitting pipes. Colorado became the first state to limit methane pollution. California followed suit, and the public joined in.

By bringing the right people to the table – and leveraging the best of technology, science, data and partnerships – we were able to make the invisible visible, empowering everyone. This enabled us to find new solutions that can be taken to scale and make a lasting impact.

And that’s what the emerging Fourth Wave of environmentalism is all about.

Source:  EDF Environment Defense Fund

BP deploys Plant Operations Advisor on Gulf of Mexico platforms

Advanced analytics solution, developed with BHGE, will be installed on BP’s upstream assets around the world

HOUSTON – BP announced today that it has successfully deployed Plant Operations Advisor (POA), a cloud-based advanced analytics solution developed with Baker Hughes, a GE company, across all four of its operated production platforms in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The announcement comes after an initial deployment of POA proved the technology could help prevent unplanned downtime at BP’s Atlantis platform in the Gulf.

The technology has now been successfully installed and tested at BP’s Thunder Horse, Na Kika, and Mad Dog platforms – and it will continue to be deployed to more than 30 of BP’s upstream assets across the globe.

Diana and Barth keep a close eye on the plant

“BP has been one of the pioneers in digital technology in our industry, and co-development of Plant Operations Advisor with BHGE is a key plank of modernizing and transforming our upstream operations,” said Ahmed Hashmi, BP’s global head of upstream technology. “We expect the deployment of this technology not only to deliver improvements in safety, reliability, and performance of our assets but also to help raise the bar for the entire oil and gas industry.”

Built on GE’s Predix platform, POA applies analytics to real-time data from the production system and provides system-level insights to engineers so operational issues on processes and equipment can be addressed before they become significant. POA helps engineers manage the performance of BP’s offshore assets by further ensuring that assets operate within safe operating limits to reduce unplanned downtime.

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“BP has been one of the pioneers in digital technology in our industry, and co-development of Plant Operations Advisor with BHGE is a key plank of modernizing and transforming our upstream operations.”

Ahmed Hashmi, BP’s global head of upstream technology

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Now live across the Gulf of Mexico, POA works across more than 1,200 mission-critical pieces of equipment, analyzing more than 155 million data points per day and delivering insights on performance and maintenance. There are plans to continue augmenting the analytical capabilities in the system as POA is expanded to BP’s upstream assets around the globe.

BP and BHGE announced a partnership in 2016 to develop POA, an industry-wide solution for improved plant reliability. The teams have built a suite of cloud-based Industrial ‘internet of things’ (IoT) solutions that have been tailor-fit for BP’s oil and gas operations.

“The partnership between BP and BHGE has resulted in a unique set of capabilities that quickly find valuable insights in streams of operational data,” said Matthias Heilmann, president, and CEO of Digital Solutions and chief digital officer for Baker Hughes, a GE company. “Together, we are creating leading-edge technologies to automate processes and increase the safety and reliability of BP’s upstream assets. As we extend the solution globally, this will become the largest upstream Industrial IoT deployment in the world when complete.”

BP is currently in the process of deploying POA to its operations in Angola with additional deployments in Oman and the North Sea scheduled for 2019.

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About BP

BP is a global producer of oil and gas with operations in over 70 countries. BP has a larger economic footprint in the U.S. than in any other nation, and it has invested more than $100 billion here since 2005. BP employs about 14,000 people across the U.S. and supports more than 106,000 additional jobs through all its business activities. For more information on BP in America, visit www.bp.com/us.

About Baker Hughes, a GE company

Baker Hughes, a GE company (NYSE: BHGE) is the world’s first and only full stream provider of integrated oilfield products, services, and digital solutions. We deploy minds and machines to enhance customer productivity, safety, and environmental stewardship while minimizing costs and risks at every step of the energy value chain. With operations in over 120 countries, we infuse over a century of experience with the spirit of a startup – inventing smarter ways to bring energy to the world.

Further Information

Name: BP U.S. Media Affairs
Email: uspress@bp.com

Name: Ashley Nelson
Phone: +1 925 316-9197
Email: ashley.nelson1@ge.com

Name: Gavin Roberts
Phone: +44 7775547365
Email: gavin.roberts@bhge.com

SWIT™ Technology

The SWIT™ technology provides high-quality water in areas that are essential for increasing sweep efficiency and avoiding reservoir souring. By creating a total subsea waterflood system, increasing IOR possibilities beyond what is achievable by traditional topsides water injection systems, the SWIT Technology fills a technology gap.

The Seabox™ unit is our base disinfection and sediment settlement unit. The Seabox unit will encompass three different treatment processes. At the intake, the seawater passes through an electro chlorination grid where sodium hypochlorite is mixed into all of the passing seawater. Inside the Seabox unit, the seawater will be allowed to react with the chlorine for more than one hour. At the same time, particles larger than 15 microns will be settled out. At the outlet from the Seabox unit, a second electrochemical process producing hydroxyl radicals is used for final bacteria kill and to ‘decompose’ biological matters.

The current Seabox standard unit will treat 40 000 bpd of seawater and are operated and controlled by our proprietary control system. Other capacity units can easily be designed using our standard components. The unit has no moving parts and only the Treatment Unit of the Seabox unit needs to be replaced for maintenance at regular intervals. Typically every 4 years.

The SWIT Technology consists of different configurations, where the Seabox unit is the cornerstone for providing a fully disinfected water with the bulk part of particles removed. Combined with microfiltration and membranes, we provide completely particle-free water, sulfate reduced of sulfate free water and low salinity water. Water qualities can be adapted to the reservoir-specific needs.

 

Published with permission from NOV.

Click here to learn how to keep water in its place

 

 

MOTIVE™ Directional Drilling Bit Guidance System

The MOTIVE™ Bit Guidance System is a decision automation tool that has proven to significantly improve drilling performance. This automated system works in real-time to balance different objectives when making steering decisions. The system takes into account each decision’s impact on drilling speed, tortuosity, and future production potential. The patented system considers rotary tendencies, motor yield, motor potential, the skill of the driller, geosteering adjustments, nearby wells, lease lines, geology, and directional drilling limits set by each operator.

www.motivedrilling.com

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OFFSHORE DECOMMISSIONING IN ASIA PACIFIC REGION: WHY ‘RIG TO REEF’ IS VITAL

The Asia Pacific region is set to follow the North Sea in increasing its decommissioning activity over the next decade. Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the rest of the region is home to 833 installations that are on or over 20 years old – the average life expectancy of offshore assets. But with so much of the region’s infrastructure under threat from decommissioning, many have questioned the impact to the environment.

A thought piece by the National University of Singapore (NUS) singled out the importance of rig to reef in this context back in 2012. In this blog, we explore what could be done in the region to both keep the integrity of the sea bed and complete decommissioning applications as efficiently as possible.

RIG-TO-REEF

Rig-to-reef (RTR) is the practice of converting decommissioned platform infrastructure into artificial reefs for the seabed. The practice has already proved popular in the Asia Pacific when the storm-damaged Baram-8 in Malaysia was made into an artificial reef. Despite there being no current RTRs in place in the region, there is sure to be an appetite as decommissioning work increases.

Rigs prove popular with sea life, especially as they become an integral part of the seabed over their 20-30 year life span. An OCS report that focussed on the Gulf of Mexico in 2000 stated that fish densities were 20-50 times higher around the platforms than anywhere else in open water – a true sign that artificial reefs work.

PROS OUTWEIGH THE CONS

While operators may look towards asset life extension techniques to keep relevant rigs operating, those who are set to decommission will be pleased to know that the pros outweigh the cons in terms of implementing RTRs with old assets.

Despite potential navigational issues around the Asia Pacific region, operators creating RTRs could benefit from being more environmentally friendly, increasing fisheries in the field, and potentially negating costs such as rig disposal. The question on whether RTRs would be welcome in the region are so far undecided and confusing by governing bodies, according to the NUS.

GIVEN THE GREEN LIGHT

In her presentation for the National University of Singapore, Youna Lyons highlighted the large discrepancy between governing bodies and law in the Asia Pacific region that meant operators looking to RTRs would be left confused as to whether they could undertake a project after decommissioning.

“(While) international law does not prevent the re-use of rigs as artificial reefs, provided that it does not compromise the safety of navigation, IMO guidelines (on the matter) are inadequate. A paradigm shift is needed in the approach.”

The biggest issue seems to be the safety of navigation around such artificial reefs by shipping traffic. That aside, the law states that rigs can be re-used, it is just a case of where they will be able to be positioned.

RIG TO REEF IS VITAL

In summary, the presentation reveals how vital rig to reefs can be for both operators and environment. While operators can potentially save money, and enhance the environment they’ve extracted from, the seabed and sea life can see drastic increases in activity if the manmade reefs are positioned well – as long as governing bodies and local authorities agree, Asia Pacific could benefit from more RTRs in the future.

THE INCREASE OF DECOMMISSIONING

As operators around the world review their aged assets, in the current climate it is no surprise to see decommissioning projects beginning on non-profitable rigs. In the Claxton Engineering Decommissioning Case Study Pack, you will learn how the Claxton team have already helped operators on their decommissioning projects and helped to save time and money too.

To find out more about the free offshore Decommissioning Case Study Pack, and to get your hands on a copy, click here.

Please be sure to follow and subscribe to Claxton at http://insights.claxtonengineering.com/.

Originally written and posted by Andy Norman, Head of Brand and Marketing, Claxton.

 

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