Smart Oilfield: Diminish Downtime and Optimize Maintenance Costs with SAP Upstream Field Activity Management by OIS

In our daily lives, the black gold below ground is omnipresent in one way or another. Fossil oil is used not only as vehicle fuel, but also in the production of articles we use daily — plastic containers, fleece jackets, mascara. Using these everyday objects won’t bring images of black liquid bubbling from the ground, yet this is their origin.

“An oilfield is a very sensitive geological entity,” says Igor Pak from SAP Co-Innovation Lab Moscow. “We speak of oil wells, but it really is an interconnected system. So what happens at one well affects several others.”

Underground pressure is very high in an oil reservoir that is being tapped with subsurface pumps at several places at once. Oil and gas customers face the challenge of coordinating a complicated integration of very different systems to get the necessary amount of oil through mechanical pumping with sucker rods.

The oil well equipment, especially borehole pumps, must be maintained on a regular basis. But as soon as one piece of equipment is switched off for maintenance, it influences the pressure within one well. And since they are all interconnected in this complex geological system, it influences the others. That makes it important for the specialists monitoring the oilfield to have a single-information environment at their disposal.

The SAP Upstream Field Activity Management application was created for that purpose by SAP partner OIS (Oil Information System) within a project with SAP Co-Innovation Lab Moscow. Based in Russia, which is widely known for its large oil reserves, OIS has developed a solution called OIS Production. This solution provides a digital model of the oilfield in order to calculate dependencies and schedule maintenance in a way that minimizes the risk of oil production stalling at the respective well.

OIS Production is one of more than nine solutions OIS offers to the oil and gas industry. “These days OIS Production is used in the production of 85 percent of fossil fuel on the territory of the Russian Federation,” says Igor Ermolovich from OIS. The existing solution was enhanced with the help of specialists from SAP Co-Innovation Lab.

SAP HANA Platform for Solution Enhancement

In 2016, OIS approached SAP because the company wished to better integrate its own solution with the SAP solutions many of its customers had in place.

“Today, SAP is the global standard for almost every successful company in the world,” says Ermolovich. “Within the oil and gas sector, especially finance specialists use SAP ERP for accounting while operations specialists traditionally use their own systems to manage processes they are responsible for. The issue of two separate worlds of operations and finance is quite common in almost every oil and gas company. This prompted the idea of creating a solution that will serve both operations and finance in order to make overall business more effective and transparent.”

“SAP considered OIS as very useful for the oil and gas industry,” says SAP’s Pak. “We found it would be beneficial for customers in and outside of Russia if the solution were further developed on SAP HANA platform.”

SAP Co-Innovation Lab is currently represented in 18 locations around the globe. “Our job is to enable SAP partners to provide their customers with solid proofs of concept,” says Pak. “We offer a guided approach with shorter time-to-market and at reduced risk, as well as, of course, technical know-how by linking the partner to an internal network of SAP experts.”

Powered by SAP HANA, the solution gained not only speed of calculations, but also many possibilities for further development. SAP Upstream Field Activity Management combines such new technologies as Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning to both reduce operational costs and increase production.

Big Data, IoT, Machine Learning for Increased Productivity

SAP Upstream Field Activity Management by OIS integrates the main production systems of the enterprise, covering all aspects of the life cycle of an oil and gas producing asset it. Operations specialists can track the location of the asset on a map and access the technical data collected by IoT sensors. Optimized maintenance thus becomes possible, including not only planned activities, but also trouble shooting.

The solution builds one integrated plan of all possible activities that influence production. The plan is then optimized according to targets that are defined by the user, such as budget or production volume. The solution offers smart automatic selection of activities based on Big Data and the targets, and details why those activities were selected. Once the user approves the suggested list, the solution distributes and optimizes them in real time.

“Well shutdown times are kept to a minimum and the production is increased,“ says Pak. “At the same time, it helps reduce costs of operations and staff by simplifying decision-making on whether to perform activities in combination, simultaneously, or consecutively.”

SAP Co-Innovation Lab is currently engaged in a new project with OIS to further develop the solution. “Collaboration with SAP Co-Innovation Lab opened new horizons for us,” says Ermolovich. “The fact that SAP is represented everywhere in the world creates opportunities for our new solution SAP Upstream Field Activity Management by OIS.”

SAP continues to work with OIS for various customers both in Russia and abroad. SAP Upstream Field Activity Management by OIS is now included in the SAP price list. “It can be purchased as part of the SAP portfolio for the oil and gas industry and integrated into existing SAP landscapes,” says Pak.