Challenges & KPIs for Oil & Gas accelerate the move to Oracle PLM Cloud

Oct 09, 2020
Oracle PLM Cloud | 5 min READ
While increasing oil reserves have helped oil and gas companies remain profitable and competitive in the past, that strategy will not be enough with falling prices and stricter regulations. What the industry needs is cost-efficient processes, and that is where a move to the cloud can help. Thanks to the diminishing cost of computing power, better data processing, and machine learning capabilities, cloud migration is more viable than ever. As the oil and gas industry grapples with uncertain demands and legacy applications, it needs to transform its operating models on the cloud for quicker decision making while meeting cost margins and driving profitability.
Brion Carroll II
Brion Carroll II

Practice Lead


Challenges and KPIs tell the tale for PLM
A typical oil platform generates up to 2 TBs of data every day. With the number of sensors and Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems at oil fields growing, the amount of data collected will only increase. If that data remains siloed across different units within an organization, it will not be of any use. Data storage and analytics need to keep up rather than play catch up. Cloud services do offer data storage as a service that can be rapidly scaled to meet the needs of such connected oil fields. The benefits are not just advanced analytical capabilities but also the ability to automate labor-intensive processes.
Some oil and gas giants have already started reaping these benefits. EY reports that with cloud computing and AI-powered algorithms, oil and gas giant BP reduced the operating costs at its Wyoming facility by 22% and increased production from oil wells by 20%. American energy company Hess Corp expects to optimize costs by 40% and reduce labor costs by 10-20% with automation on a cloud management platform.
A consideration to move to the cloud also increases operational efficiency. Downtime at oil and gas facilities can be costly and disruptive as most typical liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities go down at least five times a year. An MIT Sloan study reports that a single day of downtime for an LPG facility can cost $25 million. Fully digital systems on the cloud can run simulations and diagnostics to detect any maintenance and repairs necessary preemptively.
Another example is that of mapping underground faults. Earlier, geoscientists took months to map such faults. Oil giant Shell’s CTO believes that technology can do the same within hours for as much as $20 by sifting through enormous amounts of seismic data.
Digital thread is transforming Oil and Gas
The terms of thinking digitally as well as the supporting technology are transforming the oil and gas industry. The digital thread allows for engineers to create virtual realities of physical assets, like plants, facilities and pipelines, in order to track assets, improve maintenance and mitigate down time as never before. Basically, a digital representation of a physical asset with real-time integration between the physical and virtual worlds.
Obviously for oil and gas this is of major value and let's face it, it is the same for pretty much any industry. We can probably highlight a multitude of cases just in maintenance of rigs and pipelines that would benefit the maintenance workers to have reference to the latest design drawings in the field to ensure asset replacement and repair are accurate.
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Thinking of digital continuity in the model means we can also simulate and predict scenarios that can improve reliability as well as performance. Of course, these are just a couple examples of the many benefits for digital continuity in the oil and gas industry.
Integrated engineering design and PLM platforms are the backbone of managing all data regarding a facility from early planning through engineering, construction, operations and maintenance. However, it is hard to integrate these silos of design from shop to field with so many IT walls and barriers. In a move to the cloud strategy, we can look at more than just IT and operational cost savings. We can also look at reclaiming the infrastructure and unifying our business with a common platform.
The real questions that come to mind are "Where do we start?" and "How do we get there?".
Steps to digital continuity and full PLM in the cloud
When it comes to digitalization of complex asset like plants, subsea systems and facilities or large construction projects, it usually requires the accessibility of huge volumes of data. That is why it is important to assess where an organization is in the maturity of its data and governance.
When we add innovative considerations like cloud, it can mean meticulous planning, strategy, gathering information on business and technology requirements, cost estimates, but the long-term benefit makes such a consideration worth the investment. However, a big bang strategy isn't always the most rewarding. We can look at adopting specific geographies or divisions into our cloud enablement strategy while still freeing process and data to other areas of the organization.
A crucial starting point is a digital roadmap that takes stock of existing technologies and their usage as well as the future of exploration, innovation, and deployment. Since oil and gas corporations could use a plethora of applications and legacy systems, it might help to get a clear picture of what areas are aging and have limited ability to innovate and what areas are underutilized that can be matured.
Creating a digital thread strategy in the cloud is a great way to combat these economic shifts while also allowing us to design anywhere and build anywhere. Additionally, it creates predictive insights as well as fact-based outcomes for in-service plants and facilities; but it is not easy nor is it unsurmountable.
A technology partner and consulting practice like Birlasoft can take care of all such aspects by working with different business units within the organization to gather all business requirements, designing an offering, orchestrating a data migration plan, and building integrations for the entire product ecosystem.
Finding a leading PLM cloud solution and proven software vendor can also remove much of the uncertainty and give security to future planning. There is no doubt Oracle has made it clear that the cloud is their future home. With such an investment in their solution, we can be secure in the certainty of organizations that trust their information and their way of doing business; but we will have to do the leg work.
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