A joint study by the UK oil and gas industry’s Technology Leadership Board, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre and the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has found that adopting data analytics and digital technologies for asset maintenance and operations could increase production and lower maintenance costs worth £1.5 billion annually to the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
The failure of critical equipment offshore, such as gas compression, oil export, power and water injection systems, resulted in lost production of around 110 million barrels of oil equivalent on the UKCS in 2017.
The study investigated how data from topsides production and operations equipment is currently being used, and can help sustainably improve production efficiency and maintenance planning, reducing operational costs.
More than 60% of the study’s participants reported that adequate data infrastructure is in place, with extensive sensor coverage across offshore assets and ‘good to excellent’ transmission and data storage capabilities.
A small number of North Sea and international operators are already benefitting from data analytics technologies, with case study examples including a 65% reduction in system outages and annual maintenance savings of more than £1 million per year on a single system.
However, the application of data analytics is not widespread and consistent across the industry or individual organisations. There is a lack of awareness as to what digital technology is available and, more importantly, the potential value it can deliver to a business. There is also a perceived high cost of implementing such technologies, and risk aversion to their deployment.
Furthermore, other industries, like power and utilities, and aviation, are more advanced than the oil and gas one, and have been using data analytics to transform the way they manage their assets, demonstrating large efficiency gains.
Adopting data analytics and digital technologies across the basin could deliver a 25% improvement in the reliability of critical equipment and systems and a 15-20% reduction in overall maintenance spend, resulting in an estimated £1.5 billion of value to the UKCS per year.
The landscaping study report can be downloaded here.