eOperations extends lifetime

September 19, 2003, 10:00 CEST

eOperations shall increase production, reduce costs and extend the lifetime of mature fields in the Norwegian offshore sector through better utilization of drilling and production data, and closer collaboration between offshore and land-based personnel.

The first two steps in increasing efficiency of operations on the Norwegian continental shelf involved better utilization of seismic surveys, well technology and reservoir knowledge, in addition to reorganization measures.

The third major step forward involves better utilization of the data collated during drilling and production. The aim is to achieve a 10 percent increase in production and a 30 percent reduction in work load.

Important gains can also be achieved through planning maintenance on installations using information from the sensors that monitor the conditions of technical equipment.

"Operations on the Norwegian continental shelf are becoming increasingly data-intensive, although we have not succeeded in utilizing all the data we acquired," says Trond Lilleng in Operations an Production. "The introduction of eOperations (eDrift) will help to realize the long-term scenario for the Norwegian continental shelf as described in Report no. 38 to the Storting (the Norwegian parliament)."

Lilleng leads the work group established by the Norwegian Oil Industry Association to chart the status, development alternatives and impetus for introducing eOperations in the Norwegian offshore sector.

Two operation centres at Sandsli

New eOperation systems are currently under development, and will help prolong operations on the platforms Oseberg C, Oseberg Øst and Brage.

The new building at Sandsli, which will be completed next May, will contain two operation centres that will monitor operations in real time in production and maintenance, and drilling and petroleum technology respectively.

If this is successful, it will be possible to introduce similar solutions for other fields at a later date.

"This is not a question of closing down the offshore control rooms. The operations centres at Sandsli are intended to provide support for personnel offshore so that they can concentrate more on safety-critical situations, while land personnel take care of administration, planning and optimization of operations," explains Lilleng.

Reduced work load offshore

In the short-term, eOperation systems can result in manning reductions being realized sooner than would have been the case if the tradtional methods were retained. But it is also clear that the new systems will prolong the lifetime of the fields and increase their production, which means that jobs will be more secure in the long term.

"We're talking about a 30 percent reduction in the offshore work load, but we will also be able to continue operations for longer on mature fields. If we don't find ways of maximizing production from these fields, I'm afraid that their lifetime will be shortened be several years," says Lilleng.

He hopes that the parties who are working to find good eOperations systems will be open as possible.