The Power of Discussion


Last week, Akselos swapped one cold city for another as our team flew from Lausanne and London to Aberdeen, to attend Data Driven Drilling & Production North Sea. The conference, held by Upstream Intelligence, focused on the specialist and increasingly essential topic of data and analytics in the oil and gas industry. It was attended by people who really want to effect change in their organizations and the wider industry, whether through exciting new start-ups or driving a culture of innovation in larger companies.

While there were plenty of fascinating presentations, and our VP of Projects and Delivery, Andrew Young, spoke on a panel on Production Data Management & Analytics – we don’t need to wax lyrical about our Digital Guardian. 1000x faster than the industry standard and the only predictive twin on the market that’s compatible with the Industrial Internet of Things, we can monitor large scale assets with predictive data and configure in minutes what it takes our competitors months to do.

We talked about how adding a data-driven, physics-based digital twin to a big data platform (like Predix) would increase accuracy to 90% from 30%.

Instead of preaching to the converted at our workshop, we asked the attendees to brainstorm some applications for our state-of-the-art technology that would create real value for them and present them to us – alongside the challenges.

What we were really interested in is seeing how the experts in their respective fields, from drilling engineers to VPs of operations, would apply this tech to create real value for their industry.

I was encouraged by the insightful comments from our peers about Akselos’ technology. We had predicted some of the most pressing industry issues and challenges, and we heard back from the audience that they were the exact same challenges they’re facing.

One drilling engineer at BP commented that operators still have lots of challenges to understand the lifecycle of assets and Akselos’ tech could be utilized to understand pipe fatigue. Indeed, Akselos can create a Digital Guardian for largescale assets from wind turbines to space stations – the possibilities are endless.

“We’re dealing with aging assets, they’re old ladies but they’re holding on,” noted Brenda Forbes, Production Programming Team Lead, from TAQA Bratani Limited about some installations in the North Sea. With accurate and up-to-date data and a predictive Digital Guardian detailing the state of the structure, operators would be better placed to make important decisions. “If we can predict the structure and how it’s affected by how we treat it – we might find we want to do more drilling!”

Data connected to tech integrity is important, especially in geographical locations like the North Sea where the weather is rough and often unpredictable. We spend so much time on engineering time for tech integrity, and reports on insights would result in a lot of value through increased productivity for operations, mentioned a senior attendee from Equinor.

Our session got everyone talking and it was clear there’s a strong desire to improve operations with the use of digitalization. A connected world of data models and operations was the driver behind everything we heard at DDDP: a common theme is to always base innovation on business needs.

I’m quite surprised that 10 years on, some people are still talking about needing a big culture change in our industry – it’s already happening! Innovation is still underestimated in the oil and gas industry, but the culture change is upon us – despite being forced in some ways by external factors, as it has in many industries. Innovation is accelerating and we’re embracing new paradigms -particularly digitalization. We’re in the iPhone age now and the industry is adapting to it – and flourishing.

By John Bell, Senior VP