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Oil and Gas

How AI Is Transforming the Oil & Gas Industry

Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) technology is proving not just worthwhile but also transformative for those working in a multitude of industries. Oil and gas executives are no exception: Using disruptive technology applications like machine learning (ML) and predictive analytics can help industry insiders improve operations and could cut costs by $50 billion in upstream oil and gas activities alone. However, AI’s impact on the industry extends beyond cost savings, offering several potential benefits. It’s vital oil and gas executives understand what’s at stake — and what they stand to gain.

How AI shines

Big data is a core element of AI functionality, going beyond dated information buried in spreadsheets and moving toward up-to-date actionable intelligence. Oil and gas executives can collect and leverage big data in many ways to gain an edge. For example, according to the Engineering360 article, data-driven technology solutions such as wireless networks, remote sensors, and analytics software help industry insiders gather, track, and interpret data to maintain optimal production and efficiency. However, while incredibly valuable, AI goes far beyond smart data.

AI technology really shines in its potential to enhance human worker capabilities, freeing them up for greater strategic thinking and enabling smarter decision-making. Thanks to machine learning capabilities, AI-driven software can take vast amounts of unstructured data, such as seismic activity, and not only predict potential problems but also recommend solutions. In cases where data is incomplete or unreliable, AI-driven systems can use “fuzzy logic” to overcome data information gaps — essentially making sense of inconsistent data, a task that’s likely harder for humans to accomplish with the same accuracy levels. AI technology has the potential to propel the oil and gas industry into the future, reaching many aspects of the oil and gas production pipeline.

Making a business case

So, how are industry insiders employing this technology — and what are some specific use cases? More complex and seemingly popular AI applications in the industry include virtual assistants and intelligent robots. These robots, for example, are “designed with AI capabilities for hydrocarbon exploration and production, to improve productivity and cost-effectiveness while reducing worker risk.” Exxon Mobil Corp. executives are using robots to detect natural seeps on ocean floors, helping to preserve the ecosystem while they discover new resources. Others have introduced AI-driven platforms, called “cognitive workers,” that support operations in the field. These platforms, like IPSoft’s Amelia, help human workers complete tedious, hard-to-replicate, or even dangerous tasks.

Leaders of the AI software company Nervana Systems are harnessing AI to revolutionize oil exploration. They use deep learning to train an “artificial neural network how to find oil and gas using data from geoseismic studies.” Humans give examples using data sets, and the network then learns by example. Those at intelligent software technology company Kpler are geotracking energy vessels and using deep machine learning to model trends, according to the OilPrice.com article.

Oil and gas executives in other companies incorporate digital oil field technologies into their production processes. By setting up IoT field devices that measure different data points, analysts can use AI technology to gather predictive intelligence, which can help to maximize efficiency and safety by pinpointing unsuspected safety problems and predicting potential failures.

While business use cases can highlight specific benefits, what are the overall advantages oil and gas leaders stand to gain? Here are four key ways in which AI technology can positively impact oil and gas operations:

  1. Improve operational efficiency.
  2. Employ greater safety measures and tactics.
  3. Elicit more cost savings.
  4. Leverage vital predictive intelligence.

The time is now: Industry-specific AI technologies are in place for savvy oil and gas executives looking to gain an edge. The first step to leveraging AI is to harness your company’s data. When starting a data analytics practice, consider master data management (MDM), system integration, and creating a data lake. AI requires smart data; once you’ve cleaned and organized your data, you can begin your journey toward AI-driven analytics, helping you achieve more strategic operations and greater efficiencies.

For more on the latest trends and developments shaping the industry and disrupting business, or to learn more about innovative solutions, visit Value Global online.
Oil and Gas

4 Best Practices for Oil Production Allocation

As valuable team members, production accountants handle vast amounts of data derived from oil wells and gas lines. Company leaders then use this collected data to determine an entire operation’s overall production. However, since this data comes from a wide variety of sources and industry experts use different allocation techniques for different cases analysis can become complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, accountants can utilize a few process upgrades and best practices to significantly reduce their manual processes, improve productivity, and increase accuracy.

Accounting for oil production

On the surface, calculating oil allocation is a simple equation: Beginning Inventory (BI) + Production – Sales = Ending Inventory. However, a few prohibitive factors make the calculation more complex in execution. For example, though meters for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on oil data exist, many are too expensive to install or maintain. As a result, operators often rely on manual mathematical models to calculate production from each well or line. However, the information they derive can become inaccurate, especially as parts degrade over the life of each well or line. Unless industry insiders design their production allocation processes with adaptability in mind, these calculations will inevitably be less than practical. Here are four best practices to help manage operations productively and gain a competitive advantage:

  1. Consult your schematics. Whether you’re in oil or gas, it’s important you consult your schematics — layouts of all your tanks and how they flow — as your first step. Many production accountants do not consider schematics because they are mainly designed by and for managers and engineers. However, schematics can help accountants allocate accurately by allowing them to visualize oil flow. Schematics can also alert production accountants to important changes such as a tank having been moved.
  2. Implement a process for run ticket reconciliation. Each time a transporter arrives to pick up oil, he or she submits a run ticket to report how much oil she or he removes. However, compiling and reconciling these tickets at the end of each month can be a tedious process for production accountants, especially if they do it manually. Automated workflows can significantly increase data integrity and improve efficiencies for production accountants each month.
  3. Leverage new technologies. Implementing new systems and updated technologies can help streamline operations. For example, a sensor that can detect and send information from the tank strapping factory directly to your production allocation application can help you reduce errors and alert production accountants to potential loss during reconciliation early in the process.
  4. Choose the right application. The days of Excel may seem long gone, but many production accountants still utilize spreadsheet formats to organize information. Similar but more up-to-date applications like P2 Merrick offer built-in workflows and adaptors. These applications help automate processes such as reconciling run tickets and come with built-in validations.

Production accountants and company leaders alike can greatly benefit by working with a partner who understands how to properly allocate oil production. Don’t be afraid to leverage new technology: Production allocation applications can reduce manual efforts, increase accuracy, and improve data integrity. This, in turn, can save production accountants both time and hassles.

Business leaders have a lot to consider when it comes to production allocation. You can achieve great success for your company with the right practices, tools, and partner — including a trusted partner like Value Global. Visit Value Global online today to get started.
Information Technology, Oil and Gas

Data Analytics: What Does the Oil and Gas Industry Stand to Gain?

Big data and data analytics are changing the game for nearly every industry, and oil and gas is no different. Although some are resistant to change, some experts argue the only thing holding them back is they resist cultural change — in other words, an attitude of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” What this means, however, is companies whose leaders do take the leap are at a significant competitive advantage. For example, some oil and gas executives are harnessing Master Data Management (MDM) solutions to begin organizing and removing data from silos, putting them on a path to more mature data analytics. These leaders are harnessing data analytics to help boost production capacity, and, in some cases, are seeing ROI multiplied by as many as 50 times.

For oil and gas companies, big data is about more than just high data volumes. In addition to traditionally structured data, industrial operations generate unstructured data, which may be disjointed and nearly impossible to use without advanced analytical software. For instance, those inside some geophysical firms use unstructured seismic data to locate oil deposits while others use data for predictive analysis, which can help these professionals avoid or prepare for accidents or disasters.

Using these and other big data analytics applications is already proving essential for helping company leaders decrease costs, increase efficiencies, and reach maximum production potentials. Companies like BP equip their wells with cloud-connected sensors, each “dumping” roughly 500,000 data points every 15 seconds into a software program.

GE and BP leaders aren’t the only ones noticing big data’s advantages. A 2015 survey by Accenture and Microsoft Corp. reported that nearly 90% of respondents in the oil and gas industry believe they could increase their businesses’ values by improving their analytical capabilities. And that number will likely increase as AI and machine learning continue evolving and disrupting the oil and gas industry. But how can company leaders successfully employ data analytics and stay ahead of the curve? According to a McKinsey & Company article, here are five factors business leaders should consider:

  • Data availability — Most leaders of major oil companies have vast amounts of unstructured and structured data already at their disposal; the question now is how they can best harness it since many are underutilizing this valuable resource. In fact, according to a Master’s in Data Science article, oil and gas information “streams in from a dizzying array of sources – exploration, production, transportation and distribution,” but industry insiders often struggle to organize and leverage it.
  • Infrastructure — Many analytics tools are easy to access, and plenty of services are available to help business leaders get started on big data analytics, even in these early days of oil and gas industry implementation. According to the McKinsey & Company article, “today’s powerful tools use a combination of state-of-the-art engineering, data science, and computing power to identify superior solutions to complex production optimization problems.”
  • Analytics skills — It’s essential oil and gas executives employ skilled data scientists, creating a foundation of analytics excellence for their companies. Data team members should understand the connections between business problems and analytics solutions.
  • Redesigned work and governance — It’s also important for company leaders redesign their work processes to increase efficiency and optimize production. When it comes to analytics, they should consider end users to achieve the best results. According to the McKinsey & Company article, one North Sea operator employed data scientists to find major bottlenecks by analyzing data, pinpointing key areas ripe for process improvements.
  • Business-driven agility — IT infrastructure designers should not do everything all at once. Instead, they should build momentum for advanced analytics programs via short, metrics-driven pilot projects. From there, designers and company leaders can develop a long-term vision for how analytics can reshape their business.

While change can be costly and the unknown met with hesitation, the potential costs of production losses and operational expenses for those without smart data is too great. Savvy industry experts who invest in modern-day technologies to make optimal decisions and streamline efficiencies are already proving big data’s worth. It’s time for oil and gas leaders to embrace this transformation to not only stay ahead of the curve but also help their companies thrive.

There’s no doubt about it: Analytics are an industrial game changer. To keep pace and maximize your competitive advantage, you need to work with a trusted IT solutions provider. Visit Value Global online or contact us today to get started.
Oil and Gas

P2 ASCEND Conference

ASCENT 2017

Discover the ways to streamline efficiency in production and reduce costs! P2 ASCEND will be hosted in San Antonio from Nov. 13-15, 2017. Learn how those in the oil and gas industry are achieving a competitive edge and becoming more successful using the P2 Oil & Gas Platform. With more than 500 oil and gas professionals expected to be in attendance and over 100 session presentations, the insights and expert advice on how to maximize use of the platform will be invaluable.

On Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 3:10 p.m., Shree Sannabhadti, managing principal at Value Global LLC, will deliver a presentation entitled, “BoxBridge: Bridging the Gap Between EBS and the Cloud.” Sannabhadti will discuss the transformation into a hybrid enterprise and how it is imperative for all businesses across industries today. Oil and gas companies rely on the security, flexibility, and scalability of applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) — and this is where Value Global LLC’s BoxBridge comes in. It serves as a multifunctional plug-in that allows users to store and access content, taking the pain out of transitioning to a hybrid enterprise.

To find out more about Value Global LLC, visit their latest blog regarding the challenges in the oil and gas industry by clicking here.

Oil and Gas

Implement a Smarter, Sleeker IT Environment

The past couple of years have seen a challenging downturn affect the oil and gas industry. Navigating through cutbacks to budgets and postponed initiatives are now second nature to many professionals. Those who have risen to the challenge are offering creative and innovative solutions. These innovations help to increase automation and offer better integration solutions to improve profits and aid in expansion as the market picks up.

For IT environments across industries, one of the main challenges is the ability to meet the constant need for new extensions and interfaces in their ERP systems and applications to reflect streamlined processes and new workflows. And without an effective infrastructure, oil and gas professionals are constantly creating workarounds to cope with such challenges as:

  • A lack of a comprehensive cloud-based strategy. This hinders the ability to streamline the archival process in systems and applications such as Oracle or P2 Enterprise Upstream, crucial documents such as land title documents, allocation network structures, as well as royalty and regulatory information.
  • An inability to integrate scanned documents and seamlessly upload them into the system.
  • Microservices and application programming interfaces (APIs) are requirements for all software products, but they are unable to connect with the existing systems.

These technical adapters often require a great deal of time and effort to develop, cutting into the ROI and desensitizing decision-makers.

So how can oil and gas professionals avoid being paralyzed in the present or trapped in the past by their IT environments?

Fortunately, there are several options.

  • Implement a hybrid enterprise. While it’s crucial you build your IT infrastructure on best-of-breed software, keep in mind implementations require significant capital and a lot of effort. They also carry the risk of becoming “scope challenged” by the time they’re ready for company-wide use due to their long implementation cycles. Conversely, if implementations are fast-tracked, compromises might be necessary as they could affect scope and functionality, additional fragmentation of business processes, data, and any underlying IT infrastructure.
  • Design a standard architecture to get different systems connected via the hybrid cloud. It is important to create and leverage microservices and APIs offered with various products. Companies must then use a standard architecture for all implementations. It is best to do this using service-oriented architecture (SOA) principles, which can be complicated.
  • Execute in smaller project sections. These small, operations-oriented solutions are quick to implement and allow companies to provide measurable ROI and benefits to stakeholders in a very short period. By focusing on extensions that target specific workflow or process gaps within the business, an IT system can be enhanced to meet larger strategic goals, maximize value, and eliminate waste without straining your budget. The oil and gas industry is dynamic industry with a lot of expansion capability. By focusing on projects that target specific workflow or process gaps within the business, an IT system can be enhanced to meet larger strategic goals, maximize value, and eliminate waste without straining your budget.
  • Streamline extensions in a cloud model with out-of-the-box microservices from a third-party expert. This is a powerful way to cut manual tasks. They help your systems run better and stronger, giving the ultimate boost without breaking your budget. They also allow your workers to continue using expert oil and gas applications, such as P2 Enterprise Upstream or Merrick, while also leveraging cloud providers like Box or Google. This can increase productivity and workability across an entire enterprise, letting your workforce of superheroes shine.

As a longtime partner for the oil and gas industry, Value Global has helped companies find success and realize initiatives through all the above strategies. Whether it’s implementing a hybrid enterprise, streamlining a small workflow, or providing SaaS-based products that integrate systems and applications, our goal is to help professionals navigate the downturn and come out with IT environments that are smarter, sleeker, and better than ever.

Value Global experts can help create a better hybrid enterprise by integrating your Oracle, P2, and SAP systems and applications with your Cloud environment. Call us to learn more!
Oil and Gas

Supercharge your IT Systems with Extensions

The bad news is that the Oil and Gas industry has been having a rough year so far, and the downward pressure on pricing is likely to sustain for the near future. But there’s some good news, too: time and time again, industry professionals have proven that they possess near-superhuman abilities when it comes to being flexible and adaptive, despite the challenges they regularly face in the fields, the regulatory landscape and the back office.

Unfortunately, the ability of standard IT Systems to be flexible and adaptive is…well…less than super. This creates an extremely inefficient and complex environment for decision-makers upgrading, implementing and integrating specialized operational solutions for their companies. In our experience, we’ve seen the following challenges affecting productivity and success:

  • Insufficient reconciliation of key metrics due to varying departmental focuses
  • Inability to enable production allocation networks to handle complex events such as gas lift and buy back
  • Difficulty in monitoring field equipment (like meters) 24*7 to ensure accurate volumetric readings and calibration
  • Inaccurate storage of title changes and the corresponding tax components
  • Incomplete, sometimes non-existent, availability of ownership data or life events involving ownership changes
  • Data fragmentation or inaccuracies due to frequent merger, acquisition and divestiture activity

So how can Oil and Gas professionals avoid being paralyzed in the present or trapped in the past by their IT environments? And can they solve these issues without breaking their budgets?

One option, is, of course, to implement an updated enterprise system that addresses more current needs. However, while it’s crucial that you build your IT infrastructure on best of breed software, implementations are extremely high capital and effort intensive. They also carry the risk of becoming “scope challenged” by the time it’s ready for company-wide use, due to the long implementation cycle. Conversely, if the implementation is fast tracked, compromises may have to be made on scope and functionality, causing additional fragmentation of business processes, data and any underlying IT infrastructure.

To maximize your budget and minimize project delivery time, we suggest option two: supercharge your current system with extensions. These small, operations-oriented solutions are quick to implement and allow companies to provide measurable ROI and benefits to stakeholders in a very short period of time. By focusing on extensions that target specific workflow or process gaps within the business, an IT system can be enhanced to meet larger strategic goals, maximize value, and eliminate waste without straining your budget.

We’ve found that consultative Application Development and Reporting Solutions are particularly successful in improving process issues. For example, a mid-size Oil and Gas company wanted to improve overall Enterprise Asset Management, but didn’t have the time or budget to implement a new, comprehensive EAM system. Consultants designed a custom application that targeted AFE uploads, aiming to streamline this process and drastically reduce capital effort. The short, 3 month implementation of this simple application has saved the company over $3 million in operational costs between the Land, Revenue and Accounting departments, better enabling overall EAM without a full-scale implementation.

Extensions are the radioactive spider bite, the gamma rays or the Super Serum that gives your ordinary IT infrastructure sudden super-powers. They help your systems run better and stronger; they give the ultimate boost without breaking your budget, increasing productivity and workability across an entire enterprise, thereby letting your workforce of superheroes shine.

 

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