New predictive analytics solutions for the oil and gas industry

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Worldwide Software Leader, Chemicals & Petroleum, IBM

As I made my rounds at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, TX last week, it was surely a bit slower than some previous years; however, it was still a great event. In my visits to the exhibit hall, I made it a point to have a number of talks with rotating equipment suppliers. With today’s crude price around $60/bbl, there seems to be a consistent focus in the industry on improving production efficiency by both the equipment suppliers and operating companies. Overall, I had a lot of good conversations and discussed our predictive maintenance and quality (PMQ) solutions with many of these companies.

One question I asked was: How can your company do better than preventative maintenance and predict equipment failure to improve reliability of the facility or field to ensure consistent production? continuity is as important as it gets for oil and gas companies. Rotating equipment such as pumps, compressors and turbines are critical in maintaining production. Asset analytics solutions analyze operational data to develop models that predict equipment failure modes, and then rank failure risks with associated impacts on production efficiency. By applying predictive models to operating assets, operations personnel can assess production impacts related to any failures, and allocate production resources accordingly to greatly improve the maintenance team’s efficiency.

Leading equipment suppliers have services groups that must anticipate the operating company’s needs for uninterrupted production. Many suppliers provide preventative maintenance services; however, a PMQ program offers a less expensive option. Engineering groups also benefit because they can glean better insight from their designed equipment for future improvements. For operating companies, linking a PMQ program with maintenance groups, along with an asset management capability on critical equipment, can help ensure high levels of consistent production. One day of downtime avoided would more than pay for a PMQ project on an offshore facility. In the offshore oil and gas business, drilling equipment, as well as turbines, compressors, pumps and gearboxes tied to production, fits this application.

An example of this would be a PMQ solution for electric submersible pumps (ESPs), which are critical components in oil and gas production. The asset analytics solution takes ESP operational data to predict the effects of a particular ESP failing on output.

The PMQ solution uses the following data:

  • Historical data with time series values for critical parameters
  • Maintenance logs and calibration data
  • Operational specifications of the ESPs

Applying analytics to this type of available data enables the creation of a comprehensive ESP mode of operation that provides the ability to rank the ESPs for priority attention based on fault analysis, recommend maintenance and then perform fault analysis, with recommendations for repairing, rehabilitation or replacement.

Learn how IBM PMQ solutions are saving time and money for the oil and gas industry.