Posts tagged ‘Shell’

IBM Uses IT to Boost Oilsands Efficiencies

IBM is using information technology to help energy companies extend the life of oilfields and make them more efficient and environmentally friendlier. IBM’s Oil Sands Centre of Excellence in Calgary has developed an “integrated information framework” that analyzes huge amounts of real-time data from oil operations to identify problems sooner.

“There’s no more easy oil,” said Andy MacRae, a partner with IBM’s Business Consulting Services unit in Calgary. “The next evolution in trends are related to digital energy. It drives a significant improvement in the energy consumption of oil operations.”

In February, Shell and IBM announced a joint collaboration to extend the life of oil and natural gas fields using complex analytics and simulations.

“Using predictive analytics to drive new intelligence into oil and natural gas reservoir management has the potential to extend the life of existing oil and gas fields in a responsible way,” said John Kelly III, Sr. VP and director of IBM Research.

IBM is helping oil companies become more efficient in many different ways. One oil and gas company in Calgary wanted to optimize the extraction of heavy bitumen from the oilsands, but found the effectiveness of their extraction process varied significantly depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the water, changes in temperature, calcium content and ore quality.

IBM mapped and modeled patterns across multiple areas to show how to adjust the extraction process under various conditions. The result was the entire operation’s efficiency improved, reducing energy consumption and the environmental footprint of the operation.

“Not only the energy, but the waste products that get discharged were reduced significantly,” MacRae said. “If you can take more oil off in the extraction process, you end up with less in the tailings pond.”

In another example, an oilsands operator was managing its mine and upgrader “fairly well,” but the operation as a whole was not optimally efficient. After using an integrated software and automation process, routine maintenance was stepped up and scheduled in the least disruptive manner. The strategy included finding more efficient ways to plan shutdowns and improve turnaround time using condition-based monitoring through a series of sensors and fiber optic cables, as well as robotics.

“It means the reliability of the equipment is better and they run more efficiently and use less energy,” MacRae explained.

IBM spends about $6 billion (with a B) on research and development each year, and oil companies can leverage some of that research to reduce oil and gas operations’ costs and environmental impact. As energy companies are forced to look for oil and gas in more difficult places, IT is expected to play an increasing role in how they are developed, MacRae predicted.

March 24, 2010 at 10:08 am Leave a comment

Honeywell, Shell Sign Automation Agreement

Honeywell has signed a global five-year agreement to be a Main Automation Contractor (MAC) for Shell. The Global Framework Agreement is part of Shell’s long-term MAC strategy to maximize production while lowering total operating costs by equipping its worldwide facilities with integrated process automation technology.

As a MAC, Honeywell will design automation and safety systems that will help Shell meet world energy demands in an economically and environmentally responsible manner. For more than three decades, Honeywell has served as a MAC on hundreds of Shell projects. Currently, Honeywell is working on three of Shell’s largest projects:

  • The new gas to liquids (GTL) plant in Qatar;
  • The Athabasca Oil Sands Project; and
  • The expansion of Shell’s Port Arthur Refinery.

“Honeywell’s performance in helping us execute these highly complex projects was one factor in selecting the company for this work,” said Ronaldo Marques, Shell’s Enterprise Group Categories Manager for Equipment. “This agreement allows us to provide consistent global delivery of the highest quality technology with best-in-class strategic support at sites around the world.”

By designing their production facilities with integrated process automation systems, manufacturers can improve overall plant safety, reliability, efficiency and sustainability while ensuring critical information gets to the right people at the right time. Using integrated systems such as Honeywell’s Experion® Process Knowledge System (PKS) and Safety Manager solutions, plant personnel at all levels get a better picture of how various process subsystems affect the entire operation. Plant operators, for example, can make better decisions in the control room when systems like Experion tell them how a specific process is affecting the rest of the plant.

Designing a new facility with an integrated system allows manufacturers to plan more accurately how to integrate new technology in the future. This saves money in the long term by preventing systems from becoming obsolete.

“More and more, our clients want our early engagement to design integrated process automation systems from the ground up because it’s a smart strategy for protecting an asset’s long-term viability and the business’ profitability,” said Norm Gilsdorf, president of Honeywell Process Solutions. “Shell recognizes this opportunity, and this MAC agreement is a proactive step in maximizing its global production while providing a technological path forward as needs change.”

March 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm Leave a comment

OleumTech Supplies Products to Haynesville Shale JV

EnCana has selected OleumTech’s wireless products to be used in the EnCana-Shell joint venture in the Haynesville Shale fields. EnCana and Shell will implement OleumTech’s patented WIO System for wireless tank level monitoring, wellhead monitoring and artificial lift applications.

            The selection of OleumTech offers tighter integration across EnCana and Shell in an effort to operate multiple well sites that have traditionally been supported with multiple products from different vendors. Leveraging the WIO System as the single system for the “last mile” connectivity will allow EnCana and Shell to increase productivity and improve efficiency in the hydrocarbon extraction process. The WIO System simplifies the process of remote field data collection and integration to SCADA systems.

            “We are excited to add Shell to our growing roster of customers,” said Vrej Isa, Chief Operating Officer at OleumTech. “This is a testimony to our continued focus to provide solutions that meet the needs of the industrial wireless sensors market and affirms our value proposition.”

            EnCana has been an OleumTech customer for more than three years. The recent EnCana-Shell selection extends OleumTech’s footprint to north Louisiana and presents significant growth opportunities in this major natural gas play.

March 2, 2010 at 11:48 am Leave a comment

Shell, IBM Team Up to Extend Field Life

Shell and IBM have announced a research collaboration that aims to extend the life of oil and natural gas fields. Shell sees potential to reduce the time and money required to model its reservoirs. IBM’s long-standing analytics and simulation experience will meet Shell’s strong subsurface and reservoir expertise to create a more efficient, more accurate picture of energy recovery.

            The companies will explore advanced techniques for reconciling geophysical and reservoir engineering field data. As a result of applying improved algorithms, analytics and accelerated simulations, Shell can reduce the educated guesswork and extract natural resources with more certainty and efficiency, thereby optimizing the recovery of oil and gas.

            “This collaboration is remarkable,” said Gerald Schotman, Exec. VP of Shell Innovation, Research & Development. “Two industrial research giants are coming together to solve a very specific, real-world problem and make the most of oil and natural gas reservoirs. This will not be done through expensive, experimental facilities, but by bringing together a powerful team and powerful computers so we can be smarter than before.”

            The complex process of reconciling often-differing views of oil and natural gas fields can take several months to complete and involves measurements of production volumes, flow rates and pressures. For example, geophysicists must examine time-lapse seismic data from subsurface rock formations; reservoir engineers receive well and laboratory data, and geophysicists receive cross-well seismic tomography data covering wide spaces between the wells.

            Shell and IBM will reformulate and automate the task of reconciling the different data and create an enhanced, yet practical, mathematical optimization solution. This can improve the cost-effectiveness of the data inversion process and, once available, will become part of Shell’s proprietary reservoir modeling tool kits for application in new oil and natural gas developments as well as existing assets.

            “Working with Shell is a prime example of the importance of collaborative research in the effort to build a smarter planet,” said John E. Kelly III, Sr. VP and Director of IBM Research. “Using predictive analytics to drive new intelligence into oil and natural gas reservoir management has the potential to extend the life of existing oil and gas fields in a responsible way.”

            As part of this Joint Development Agreement, IBM and Shell research scientists will work in several laboratories in both the US and the Netherlands.


March 2, 2010 at 11:36 am Leave a comment

HP, Shell to Develop Wireless Onshore Seismic Technology

At International Petroleum Week 2010, HP and Shell announced a collaboration to develop a wireless sensing system to acquire extremely high-resolution seismic data on land. By delivering a much higher channel count and a broader sensor frequency range than are currently available, the new system promises to vastly improve the quality of seismic data.

            HP and Shell will use their complementary knowledge and experience to produce a groundbreaking solution to sense, collect and store geophysical data. The system is designed to integrate seamlessly with Shell’s high-performance computing (HPC) and seismic imaging environment and to be deployed safely and more cost-effectively than current systems.

            “We think this will represent a leap forward in seismic data quality that will provide Shell with a competitive advantage in exploring difficult oil and gas reservoirs, such as subsalt plays in the Middle East or unconventional gas in North America,” said Gerald Schotman, Exec. VP, Innovation/Research and Development, Shell. “As a result of this exciting collaboration, we expect to fully realize the potential of Shell’s processing and imaging technology on land.”

            The new system reflects the breadth of HP’s portfolio. It will be delivered by HP Enterprise Services and includes a recent breakthrough in high-performance sensing technology from HP Labs (the company’s central research arm) and the company’s Imaging and Printing Group. Additionally, the system uses HP ProCurve networking products along with HP storage, computation and software products.

            “These advances in technology to discover energy resources could transform the ability to pinpoint abundant new oil and gas reserves,” said Joe Eazor, Sr. VP and general manager, HP Enterprise Services. “HP is uniquely positioned to offer Shell a complete sensor system that delivers innovation to address key technical seismic challenges.”

            This strategic relationship with Shell is a cornerstone in HP’s blueprint for an information ecosystem that empowers people to make better, faster decisions to improve safety, security and environmental sustainability while transforming business economics. Sensing solutions are positioned to provide a new level of awareness through a network of sensors, data storage, and analysis tools that monitor the environment, assets, and health and safety.


February 16, 2010 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

Oil Industry Embraces Social Media Tools, Yet Corporate Policy Lags

Nearly 75% of oil and gas professionals see value in using social media and collaboration tools at work — an 83% jump from last year’s poll — but corporate-wide endorsement of these tools continues to lag behind, according to a Microsoft Corp. and Accenture survey released at Microsoft’s Global Energy Forum in Houston.

            The Microsoft and Accenture Oil & Gas Collaboration Survey 2010, which surveyed 275 professionals within international, national and independent oil and gas and related companies, found that social media and collaboration technology adoption is primarily a grassroots phenomenon within firms. At the same time, half of those surveyed said their companies prohibit or restrict the use of many of these publicly available tools, such as photo-sharing and social networking sites.

            Oil and gas employees stated that productivity gains (37%), work flexibility (95%) and the ability to complete projects on time and on budget (36% and 38%, respectively) are the primary reasons for use of social media and collaboration tools. However, company-wide endorsement has not mirrored employee demand. The survey found that only 11% of social media adoption is driven by the executive suite, and higher-ups’ greatest concerns center around a “limited ability to control or provide a secure environment” (39%).

            “With fewer resources overall and colleagues scattered across continents, it is no surprise that oil and gas professionals are increasingly turning to technology to connect and share information,” said Craig Hodges, general manager of US Manufacturing and Resources at Microsoft. “However, we recognize that securing company data and intellectual property are obviously key company priorities, and there are many corporate collaboration technologies today that achieve both goals.”

            “The survey shows that companies are not realizing the strategic benefits from their collaboration tools investments such as increased workforce performance, improved sharing of knowledge or skills across the work force,” said Craig Heiser, Accenture senior executive in the Energy industry group’s management practice. “To realize the full potential of collaboration investments, companies need to change work processes and individual roles while training their employees on how to achieve improved business performance through collaboration.”

            Johan Krebbers, Group IT architect at Shell, confirmed the industry’s need for heightened workforce collaboration.

            “The challenge we have with exploration is that we have people positioned globally to explore for oil and gas,” Krebbers said. “Eighty percent of our teams are global teams, with members in multiple locations around the world. We must offer world-class collaboration capabilities so that our people can work at a global level.”

            More information about the survey methodology and the full results are available at:


January 27, 2010 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

Shell Realizes Value from Landmark R5000 Software Upgrade

Landmark, a brand of Halliburton, announced it had completed the first of several critical deployments in Shell’s global rollout of R5000 versions of Landmark software.

            “With R5000, we offer many innovations, including improving multi-user collaboration through OpenWorks® software; adding new workflows, such as pre-stack seismic data interpretation; and streamlining existing workflows,” said Paul Koeller, VP Halliburton Software and Asset Solutions. “Shell’s rollout of R5000 is one of the largest and most ambitious global deployments of R5000. It has been a privilege to be involved in the partnership and to share in their success.”

            Additional benefits of R5000 include the simplification in management of cartographic and seismic data along with the ability to integrate proprietary subsurface applications with vendor applications using a standard data format. A standard global approach was taken when rolling out this project, including common architecture, hardware, software applications and workflows to achieve cost savings in IT infrastructure.

            Shell began its production upgrade to the new R5000 versions of Landmark software in the company’s Americas Region in April 2009. Today, all of Shell’s asset teams in the US and Brazil have been upgraded to the R5000 versions of Landmark’s software. Once complete, the R5000 deployment within Shell will encompass 28 sites worldwide, including locations in Canada, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.




October 28, 2009 at 5:12 am Leave a comment

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