Business transformation is a journey

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Success doesn’t happen overnight. There are many hurdles along the way, yet when the right vision, strategy, structure, plan, leadership, and people align, the sky becomes the limit. Let me share a success story.

One that I’m most proud of is a digital oil field for one of the largest fields in the world. There was a strong vision and agreements were put in place to transform their traditional oil fields into digital. We agreed to start with the largest field, and after a successful implementation, we intended to replicate it to the remaining fields. The team was set, a plan was signed, technology decided, and a project charter was created with a clear statement of work, deliverables, acceptance criteria, and measure of success. The project was managed very professionally from the customer’s side, and the project became a partnership between us, the customer’s oil field team, and their ICT department.

We also decided on the deliverables, and working as a single team, managed to deliver the following:

  1. Remote real-time facility monitoring and control We connected all the meters, including the pressure meter, temperature meter, flow meters, valves, pumps, and all the well devices to an IoT gateway, which is then connected using an eLTE private network to the onshore control room. This way, the control room was able to monitor and control the field facility and pro- cess systems through the network of SCADA. Data is collected in real-time, and the supervisor can set the control points and manipulate equipment like valves and pumps. One big challenge was the lack of connectivity in the area. The customer decided to use the eLTE private network for security reasons and to access real broadband connectivity, including voice video and data; the eLTE requires a special license for the frequency from the telecom regulatory, which was refused. As a workaround, we worked with the customer to rent a frequency from one of the mobile operators in the country to complete our tasks.
  2. Surveillance, health, and safety (H&S)
    • The system used intelligent cameras to detect any intrusion on the field.
    • The system is intelligent enough to analyze any disregard for H&S policies. For example, if someone is not wearing a helmet, the system will detect and report it to the concerned supervisor in real-time, and if they are at the gate, it will stay locked until the safety breach is resolved.
    • The system will detect and report if anyone crosses into a restricted area where they do not have clearance or permission to access.
    • Gas detection and man fall:
      • Many suppliers provide H2S gas detectors, which field individuals wear to detect gas. The device beeps when gas is detected so the individual can be aware and exit the location for their safety. However, there is still a possibility of an accident as the gas is poisonous. Huawei and one of the gas detector suppliers jointly created a new version connected to the network. It can share real-time details with the concerned H&S team members if gas is detected in any location.
      • The device can also detect if any individual trips or falls for any reason and reports details in real-time.

        These enhanced capabilities can potentially save lives and increase the efficiency of H&S measures.
  3. Real-time production surveillance
    • The installed capacity levels are maintained and optimized using advanced alarm systems to trigger an analysis of important production integrity trends.
  4. Remote communications technology offsite facilities with real-time visual, voice, and data communication.
    • Before the digital transformation, the field team used voice-only, half-duplex communications, where only one person could talk on the channel at a time. There was no data or video communication. With the eLTE broadband connectivity, the control room was able to observe what was happening in the field, communicate with the team and receive data in real-time. Everyone on the field was able to talk to each other and with the control room. This has facilitated rapid response and better collaboration between the onsite and offsite team members.
  5. Integrated asset management
    • With the increased asset connectivity on the field, including people, machines, sensors, meters, cars, computers, etc., the solution has enabled a full asset management system that can track everyone and everything on the field. We can track the movement of any asset in real-time, and there are higher-level security measures in place so concerned team members can be alerted and take action.
  6. Production volume management systems
    • The team in the control room is equipped with standardized production data and allocations, which enables them to take more efficient real-time production decisions, reducing deferral and improving operational integrity.

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