Data Analytics Could Save UK Offshore Industry $2B per Year

File image courtesy Oil & Gas Technology Centre

By The Maritime Executive 09-07-2018 06:28:00

A new study by the UK oil and gas industry’s Technology Leadership Board, the government-backed Oil & Gas Technology Centre and the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has found that data analytics and digital technologies could save $2 billion per year on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) alone. 

The group found that equipment failures for gas compression, oil export, power and water injection systems resulted in lost production of around 110 mmboe on the UKCS last year. While most organizations have adequate sensors and data infrastructure in place to monitor their equipment, the application of modern analytics to exploit this data is not as widespread in the UKCS oil and gas sector as is found in aviation or in utilities. 

Survey responses suggested that there may be a lack of awareness in the industry about what digital technology is available and what it can deliver. Risk aversion and a perceived high cost of implementation may act as additional barriers to adoption, the group found.

However, if these hurdles could be overcome, the potential benefits are large, the researchers say. The group's report includes case studies from Nexen, GE, BP, Chevron, Marathon Oil, IBM and other operators around the world to illustrate the potential for downtime reduction and cost savings. Overall, adopting data analytics and digital technologies across the UKCS could deliver an estimated 25 percent improvement in the reliability of critical systems and a 15-20 percent reduction in overall maintenance spending, contributing about $2 billion in additional value to the industry, the researchers concluded. 

“It’s widely recognized that oil and gas has been relatively slow to embrace the digital revolution when compared with other sectors. It’s encouraging to see some operators already benefitting from the application of data analytics, but these examples are too few and far between. As an industry, we need to harness the power of data if we’re to maximise economic recovery and unlock the full potential of the UKCS," said Stephen Ashley, the manager of the Digital Transformation Solution Centre.