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Standardising production reporting

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The EPIM industry association in Norway have for the last couple of years been working towards standardization of daily and monthly production reporting on the Norwegian continental shelf

For example you might see two different fields with different owners, sending oil to a processing facility on a third field, and from there the oil is sent out through pipelines or out as vessel cargo, mixed with oil from other fields.

Working out who owns what using e.g. spreadsheets gets very tricky - not only is there a lot of manual work, but it is hard to keep revision history of the data and ensure compliance, or find out how a certain result was derived, says Magnus Svensson, Senior SystemConsultant with DongEnergy in Stavanger, speaking at Digital Energy Journal''s Stavanger conference in April.

The end result is that people might not be sure that they are being paid what they should be.

''My main point here is how you keep track of all this data, how you ensure that you get your share in all this,'' Mr Svensson said.

At Dong, ''we would like to have the ability to automatically track hydrocarbons through these different situations, and be able to detect errors,'' he said.

History of standardizing
Efforts to standardise production data in Norway started in 2002, with a project which the main operators participated in together with OLF, to develop a standard way to share daily production data between operators and their partners.

A standard was developed together with Energistics (which at the time was known as POSC), an oil and gas standards organization based in Houston.

One outcome of the project was a big set of reference data, for example with definitions of ''net oil''. This is defined differently by production engineers (who see it as the amount of oil without including water) and finance people (who look at how much money they get from it).

In 2005 a global standardization initiative was started called PRODML (started under the Energistics umbrella), to develop an XML standard for exchanging production data.

''In 2006 we were finished with our daily production reporting XML standard on the NCS for exchange of data between operators and partners,'' he said.

The next step was to use the standard for exchanging monthly production data to the government and partners, a standardization process which started through the same joint operator''s effort in 2008, using XML data.

In 2011, the EPIM ReportingHub initiative started, with the goal to build a central reporting hub, where operators can feed in all of their production data, and get the latest data about production from operators.

''In 2012 we (EPIM) did a lot of live piloting of monthly production reporting with the government,'' he said.

''We had done it previously, but we hadn''t done it in real production setting as such with actual efficient production systems.''

''EPIM together with the government will roll this out field by field.''

It includes data flow through pipelines, well bores, and hydrocarbon flow through formations.

The data also has a time dimension, showing whether it is daily, weekly, monthly or yearly (and when the start and finish date is).

There is data about the ''flow type'' - whether it is fuel for consumption / export, injection stream, or a flare.

The standard also shows how the data was derived - if it comes from a flow meter in the field, or is it calculated from the well test.

Some health and safety data is also made available, with how many people were onboard the platforms, and any alarms which went off.

The monthly report can also mention any laboratory tests which were done on fluid samples, and any adjustments which were made to production data as a result.

''We are actually covering a lot of different aspects of how you do this - exchange of data, but also how we operate a field when it comes to production,'' he said.

The EPIM ReportingHub system is now moving into full production. ''As always when you start putting this out into production you will see a lot of interesting things that is typically always referred to as the battle test,'' he said. ''You can do as many paper exercises as you would like to, but you don''t know how it really works if you haven''t tested it in a real life situation.''

''You have things falling down and you need to typically decide what you do in that situation,'' he said.

''And these are some of the challenges that we (under the EPIM umbrella) have been working over the last 10 years.''

Greenfield is easier
It is proving much easier to implement a standardized production reporting on startup fields, compared to fields which have a long history. With these, ''it is really hard to tackle,'' he said. ''They have defined their requirements already and their way of doing business.''

With respect to a brown field implementation of a standardized production reporting scheme you will in many situations face the fact that you cannot get all of the data that you were used to as most standards will not ever have a complete coverage.

Standardization will also in many cases uncover a lot of manual "massaging" of the data after it has left the system and reached its final destination.

With older sites, you have to answer the challenge of how to match historical data against future data if you move to a different standard. You have to decide if you are going to try to convert the old data to the new standard, or keep the data in 2 different formats.

The biggest benefit of exchanging production data in a standardized manner is that data distribution and generation can be fully automated avoiding the risk of manual massaging of the data.

''We don''t simply need to have any manual intervention. You can feed it directly out of our systems and take it directly into our system,'' he said.

Once people running older fields have moved to the new standardized production reporting scheme, it gets easier for everybody, if the production data is available automatically and much earlier on in the day. ''You can receive it first thing in the morning, rather than at lunchtime,'' he said.

Automation will also free up a lot of people''s time. ''Previously we would need to utilise a production engineer to manual loading of quality checking of it,'' he said.
There have also been big improvements in quality of data.

''We have the standard way of dealing with this,'' he said. ''Even if I have 2 fields that I need to get data from, I know I can get it in the same format and the same structure. So it''s a lot easier to work with.''

The data is typically reported into the central database daily, so if there is a mis-measurement there is time to do corrections.

With the previous monthly production reporting standard to the government, data was ex changed in text files. ''The issue with the text based format is that it is so easy to edit".

''And with standardized production reporting scheme that we now have in Norway, I would never recommend anyone to do this manual editing in this standard because it''s a nightmare.''

For operators, having manual massaging of the data can be very scary, because if the person who did the manual changes leaves the company given that the process is undocumented, there is no record of what was done.

Associated Companies
» Dong Energy
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