Oil and Gas News

Schlumberger and Rockwell partnership resolves issues through well surveillance


The complexity and inefficiency of oil well surveillance systems is being overhauled by Sensia, a joint venture between industrial automation leader Rockwell Automation, and oil and gas instrumentation leader Schlumberger.

“With most systems in place today, surveillance engineers responsible for monitoring oil wells have their work cut out for them,” said Ivan Alaniz, Solutions Architect, Sensia.

“These hardworking safety officers are often simultaneously monitoring hundreds of well assets, and attending to multiple alarms across different software systems, to keep operations running safely and efficiently,” Alaniz said.

“Some industry estimates suggest that surveillance engineers can be inundated with more than 4,000 alarms in one shift.”

One of the root causes for this alarm overload is the complicated nature of monitoring well assets. For maximum protection, asset alarms are often set with tight threshold limits, and they can be activated frequently because of the evolving nature of oilfields.

Another cause of this complexity is the fact that engineers often need to use several different applications, that aren’t always on the same platform or interconnected, as part of their surveillance protocol.  In a busy surveillance centre, they may need to switch between those applications up to three or four times per minute, which presents more opportunity for mistakes.

A solution that works well

Sensia, with its team of more than 1,000 experts serving customers globally, shifts the focus away from providing as much data as possible, and focusses on delivering only the information that engineers need to know, and the actions they need to take.

Having this useful data all in one system, eliminates application jumping and the need to copy and paste data between applications.

“Modern systems also make it easy to track the performance of wells over time, merge the cognitive computing capabilities of AI and machine learning based software with the surveillance engineer’s human intelligence and resourcefulness in collaborative operations, so that the experience and intuition of experienced engineers is captured and so that system responses are continually optimised. This also frees up engineers so that they can spend more time on higher value add tasks,” said Alaniz.

To learn more about Sensia’s modern well asset surveillance, visit the Sensia website.

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