Maximising the value of a connected vessel

Connecred vessel 4 blogSteffen Zendler, regional segment leader – EMEA – heavy industries, Rockwell Automation, has discussed the purpose and value of floating production operations in the oil and gas sector, explaining how the various elements of a connected vessel contributes to these goals

The growth in floating units, amid a turbulent macro-economic backdrop, reflects the investment major companies in the sector are making in order to capitalise on new production opportunities. Floating production is particularly appealing in areas of shorter-term supply where it doesn’t make economic sense to build a fixed platform, which normally operates for 20 to 30 years, or where there may be physical dangers in doing so. 

Floating production is beneficial as it enables the producer to optimise an FPSO with reduced start-up time, and then move the vessel to different oil fields in order to benefit from a nimbler approach. The ability to operate them as greenfield projects means the units can be equipped with the latest in digital equipment in order to maximise the efficiency of operations. This approach enables the producer to realise massive cost savings.

Extracting the value of connected production

The rapid progress of digital and automated technologies has transformed the role an FPSO can play within a company’s wider production operations. To help generate the maximum value from a connected vessel, there are several aspects for decision makers to consider.

1. Optimising remote operations

A remote approach allows for rapid maintenance and resolution of nascent issues before they become more serious problems. It also reduces the potential dangers associated with having personnel on site in hazardous or unsettled conditions and saves money by reducing operational costs such as travel to distant locations.

2. Enhancing network for reduced downtime

A robust infrastructure layer can underpin effective operations on the vessels and dramatically reduce the risk of downtime. This includes the use of control systems, edge servers and IoT technology in order to analyse the performance of equipment (including separate OEM parts), improve asset utilisation and conduct preventative maintenance.

3. Reducing risk through OEM integration

A connected FPSO can be built from its foundations to ensure OEM equipment is integrated harmoniously. Our approach is to use interface management and standardisation of systems to drive coordination among the different OEMs involved. 

Connecting with the right partners

Rockwell Automation helps customers to realise the full range of benefits of floating production. We partner with Schlumberger and Sensia (a Rockwell Automation and Schlumberger joint ventre) to offer the end-to-end services and solutions that help oil and gas companies to get the full value out of their FPSO investment.

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