Exhibition & Conference

13-16 September 2021

Singapore EXPO, Singapore

Strategic Programme

Andy Howell

Chief Executive Officer

KBC (A Yokogawa Company)

16:50 - 17:15

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

S1.6 How Deeper Integration of Engineering Silos Can Increase Production

Full Title: Why digitalization is only scratching the surface, and how deeper integration of Engineering silos can increase production

A theme of digitalization is joining up different organizational silos. leaders today are attempting this in two key ways, firstly, by aggregating data from many sources and tools into integrated platforms which then make a single master source of the truth available to all stakeholders for visualization and analytics. Secondly digitalization is automating the handoffs of data and actions between different functions, which is accelerating the process and reducing errors.


This type of digitalization works well for reasonably linear work processes where the steps follow one another in a well-defined fashion, however this is not adequate when very complex iterating work-processes are involved. For instance, in optimization of the design of upstream wells, gathering networks and production facilities there are a great many interactions between reservoir engineers, pipeline engineers, flow assurance specialists, process engineers, suppliers, [add as see fit]. The design process proceeds with iteration, give and take, and tradeoffs between the disciplines. Proposed changes need buy in from multiple disciplines, and the number of iteration steps may change. By nature, this cannot be codified into a linear work process with cleanly defined hand-offs of information from one discipline to another.


However, there is huge value in optimizing this process. The complexity of the workflow means that boundary conditions between disciplines are often set arbitrarily in order to allow both groups to work in parallel, and project time constraints mean that full optimization is not carried out even though there is still room to improve. An example where this happens is in the setting of receiving pressure at the facility inlet, which is used to provide a design basis for the subsea systems and the topside facilities.


To digitalize this process, a deeper level of digitalization is required, that natively integrates the technical tools used by the different disciplines. By truly integrating at this level any changes in one part of the complete system are instantly reflected in the designs for the other disciplines. This makes iteration instantaneous and seamless, without needing action (whether driven by a workflow system or not). In this paper we illustrate the benefits of completely integrated sandface to facility modelling using a single engineering tool, and how this revolutionizes engineering workflows in design and operation. We provide a case study where optimization of the platform receiving pressure whilst simultaneously modelling subsea and topsides facilitated an increase in production. We also discuss how the new generation of simulation tools has native data connectivity and data models to allow seamless digital integration.