Four Pillars

ENGenious 2018 will explore four key pillars across the Oil & Gas industry.

  • Automation & Control Systems

    Technical Pillar Theme: Automation & Control Systems

    Champions: Bazmi Husain


    Automation and control systems have evolved significantly since the early days and the 4th industrial revolution opens even more opportunities.
    Modern automation systems can mirror the different physical aspects of an controlled or monitored assets into a digital twin, the increased data integration allows faster and more flexible deployment of solutions and at the same time require modified workflows to leverage the value such as for example remote commissioning and distributed engineering.
    Access to more process and device data allows not only to control and monitor processes better, but also allows improved condition monitoring. New data analytics drive root cause analyses and preventive maintenance solutions.

    Modularisation and standardization will tomorrow further increase flexibility during project execution as well as during the full life cycle. Compared to the past where entire DCS systems needed to be replaced by newer technology to keep up with the plant’s needs this will help to gradually enhance the automation system and provide extended overall life cycle and avoid major system renewals at high cost and risk to production.

    In digital operations, analytics are employed to convert measurements and data into information and knowledge, and the active use of such refined information are enablers for improved maintenance operations and process performance. Degradation can be discovered before in-operation faults occur, leading to both cost reductions and safety improvement. Allowing all relevant data to be securely available in cloud type repositories allow plant owners to use big data technologies to analyse failure patterns, failure modes and effects for equipment categories and identify systematic manufacturer or equipment type performance. In this way digitalization are becoming the new operations theatre, leading to lean productive and safe operations.

    Augmented reality has started to find its way into the oil and gas industries. Process operations information can easily be superimposed to plant equipment and procedural instructions can be displayed to field-technicians or maintenance technicians while they work outside of the control room. Remaining life time prediction for equipment paired with augmented reality will help to operate the plant for efficiently, maintain degrading equipment at the right time and most efficient even by personal that is not permanent stationed at site. In future unattended control, data validations and autonomous inspections will further improve reliability of unmanned sites.

    Increased access to data also means more connections to the automation system that needs to be secure to protect performance and integrity.
    Companies must be more vigilant than ever before in protecting their assets. Fortunately, solutions exist to protect assets from cybercrime. Companies will need to ensure their assets are protected correctly from the very start and are vigilant on an ongoing basis.

    Not all of this technology is necessarily bound to Greenfield installations. Data based decisions and analytics as well as operations and maintenance support through augmented reality can also be deployed to brownfields. The emergence of lower cost wireless sensors allows existing devices to be equipped with smart IoT technology at an acceptable cost so that the news solutions can be deployed also in a brownfield installation without jeopardizing older systems integrity or cybersecurity.

  • Data Analytics

    Technical Pillar Theme: Data Analytics
    Champions: Satyam Priyadarshy & Andrew Smart


    Oil & Gas companies are awash with data. Almost every step of the operation generates or employs data and yet the industry itself feels it fails to utilise data to maximise business benefits.  Data analytics, a science deployed within the oil & gas sector for decades and one near universally recognised as being ‘value adding’, has for a variety of reasons not yet become an end to end, fully imbued capability within Oil & Gas businesses.

    There have been many successive hype waves: moving from advanced visualisation to streaming analytics; and from Big Data to Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.  That said, the application of these powerful technologies has been patchy at best and there is a growing sense across the industry that ‘we might be collectively missing a trick’. As a consequence, this rear view reality is now being challenged by players across the industry as they actively focus on gathering, maintaining and governing data from across the enterprise and bring modern analytics technologies to their data to drive insight-led solutions to business critical issues.

    The goal of the event is to bring together researchers and technologists from both the oil & gas industry itself, the technology community and academia to explore state of the art, emerging and future data analytics technologies, applications and methodologies. Different business cases and challenges will be presented to evaluate current capability and limitations of data and analytics technologies covering the spectrum of analytics from descriptive analytics (Bi/MI/KPI management and streaming) through Predictive analytics, Predicative analytics, Big Data technologies and Artificial intelligence.  The latter focussing heaving on machine learning but also exploring other sub-capabilities within this analytics domain.

    Emerging trends, including the way companies are organising for analytics, accessing data science capability and trends in next generation technologies; these include computer vision, deep learning, neural nets and NLP will all be explored. Next-gen future application areas and technology trends, including the role of automation, analytics at the edge, machine to machine based analytics, cyber-security and cloud based applications, will be discussed and evaluated. These technologies have the power to revolutionise the sector in the same way as they have Financial Services, Communications and Hi-tech and Fast Moving Consumer Goods. The event will ensure attendees have the opportunity to learn and experience from other industries and to understand how these same approaches can be adapted for the O&G sector.

  • Robotics

    Technical Pillar Theme: Robotics

    Champions: Ashok Belani, Susan Nash, Attilio Pisoni, & Joerg Schubert


    The advent of robots in industrial automation in the 1960’s was primarily motivated by operational safety. Early on, the feasibility of automation for repetitious tasks was recognized. In the past two decades, mechanization and systems automation has progressed further and is replacing labour in domains hitherto thought to be exclusive to humans (e.g., inventory management and warehouse delivery, infantry, medical diagnosis, surgery etc.) With the decline in price of automation, rapid transformation in a multitude of industries is inevitable and may be hindered only by social constructs.

    Robotics are playing an increasingly important role in the oil and gas industry, including upstream, midstream, and downstream.  Innovation in robotics has focused on increasing efficiencies and assuring a safe and fully functional operational environment.

    In the oil and gas industry, price decline has imposed an unprecedented drive to reduce E&P costs while improving quality and safety. Automation and customized robots may be the only avenue for this industry to retain its historical profitability.  However, there are pitfalls in the early adoption in robotics since many times, a solution that has been implemented becomes the “legacy” solution and very difficult to modify or expand. Further, as opposed to warehouse operations or factories, the operational environment of data acquisition for upstream (geophysics, etc.), imaging (geological), sampling (geological), drilling, completing, processing, and transportation are highly variable, and often quite remote. Thus, it is not as easy to implement robotics solutions, and they must be able to withstand harsh conditions (arctic, subsea, etc.) and long periods without maintenance.

    Nonetheless, the adoption of robotics in oil & gas well-construction has been challenged by process and domain uncertainty, environmental conditions, diverse supply chain and equipment complexity. This is not to belittle advances in dynamic station-keeping to position floating rigs, rotary steerable tools to control drilling trajectory etc. Most modern drilling rigs incorporate mechanized equipment manipulation such as automated pipe-handling that have reduced operating manpower, while increasing efficiency and process consistency. 

    The expensive land and off-shore infrastructure that supports the production and transportation of hydrocarbons is inspected by human operators for preventive maintenance, fault diagnosis and regulatory compliance.  Here, repetitive tasks are amenable to robotics with improved efficiency of Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR).  On land, the advent of drones has enabled new and safe approaches for inspection in hazardous locations.  Off-shore, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have extended the operator’s ability for subsea infrastructure IMR.  Whether on land or off-shore, regardless of the unstructured environment, oil and gas robotic systems need to be robust and reliable, with sophisticated operational flexibility to complete the desired tasks.
    Industrial innovation over the next decade is likely to be led by emerging intelligent systems that rely on sophisticated inferences for performing complex tasks through robotic intermediaries.

    The early industrial successes of AI depend on data sourced from diverse sensors, and interconnected distributed computing. Could emerging intelligent systems and availability of prolific data-processing lead to disruptive changes in the domain-knowledge dependent E & P industry where performance reliability despite uncertainty is paramount? If so, are these disruptions going to be timely?

  • Smart Communications

    Technical Pillar Theme: Smart Communications

    Champions: Ashraf Al-Tahini, Stephanie Cathcart & Accenture nominee (Andrew Smart)


    Efficient Oil & Gas exploration and production operations require reliable and resilient, high capacity and smart communication networks that can operate under harsh environmental conditions. Such communication networks can facilitate the reduction of capital and operational expenditures, while increasing operational efficiency and safety. Additionally, once these smart communications channels are in place, there is a broader organizational need to connect data from equipment to insights for clear enterprise visibility that can drive transformational change across an organization and our industry.

    The environmental conditions that oil and gas operations face are extremely challenging, including explosive atmosphere, extreme operating temperatures, high vibration and shock, and often in remote locations without proper communication infrastructure. Furthermore, downhole communication is also very demanding because of harsh temperature and pressure, presence of multiphase and conductive fluids, complex formation, strict reliability requirements and long communication distances. As such, many times these communications and data methods are kept in silos, creating a lack of connectivity or “single-source-of-truth” understanding for oil and gas organizations. Developing reliable, connected, smart communication systems under these conditions can pose significant challenges.

    The goal of EnGenious is to bring together researchers and technologists from both industry and academia to explore state of the art, emerging, and future smart communication technologies for connectivity, organizational change models to break down industry silos, and identify how to integrate these communications into persona-based processes throughout your organization.

    The event will focus on state of the art technologies, cloud and edge connectivity developments, learnings in other industries including aerospace, automobile and aviation, and how these technologies can be adapted for O&G applications. Different business cases and challenges will be presented to evaluate current capabilities and limitations of existing communication technologies including WiMAX, Wireless HART, ISA-100, Zigbee and downhole communication techniques like mud and acoustic telemetry.

    Emerging trends and next-generation technologies including 5G, optical communication, and advanced sub-surface acoustic/EM techniques will be explored to push the envelope of evolving O&G applications. Furthermore, futuristic and far reaching ideas will be discussed including industrial IoT, downhole wireless sensor networks, and self-powered intelligent sensing systems. These technologies can revolutionize the smart communication network for future production and exploration operations.


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