Petrobras, a leading energy company based in Brazil, recognized the critical importance of intelligent asset management and maintenance in achieving its vision of being the best diversified and integrated energy company.

To address the challenges of manual processes, lack of accurate information, and decentralization of maintenance processes, Petrobras sought help from SAP to implement an innovative new solution.

The Need for Transparency of Asset Management Processes and Value Chain

The company’s use of manual spreadsheets and the lack of real-time insights and transparency into the asset management process hindered its ability to make informed decisions. Additionally, regular failures and disruptions, as well as synchronization issues with supplier assets and third-party products, impacted worker morale and overall efficiency.

“We lacked real-time insights and transparency into the asset management process and value chain to make informed decisions based on real-time data,” explained Bruno Vidal, business applications consultant at Petrobras. “We were looking for a best-in-class platform that could provide a central view of our mission-critical assets, allowing our assets and data to work in harmony.”

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Petrobras needed a solution that could provide real-time insights, reduce downtime, and align with its wider ERP and digital transformation strategy.

Building on Petrobras’ Ongoing SAP Journey

Petrobras looked to SAP Intelligent Asset Management due to its rich SAP ecosystem and legacy. Building on its ongoing SAP journey, the company saw an opportunity to enhance its SAP footprint across the organization and implement other SAP innovations.

“We had an SAP legacy, a technological program to implement SAP S/4HANA, and we had a strong operational demand for an asset management solution,” Vidal shared. “Together, this created a powerful business case for SAP-powered intelligent asset management solutions and tied in with our SAP–first approach.”

From Proof of Concept to Successful Pilot Implementation and Beyond

In 2020, Petrobras conducted a proof of concept to evaluate the feasibility and potential of SAP Intelligent Asset Management. The successful execution of the solution led to the selection of the BUZIOS oilfield for a pilot implementation project. The BUZIOS field is the world’s largest ultra-deepwater reservoir, representing almost 16 percent of oil and gas production for Petrobras.

“Given the size of the BUZIOS field, even a small return of value has the potential to generate a huge return for the company with reduced downtime and increased efficiency,” said Vidal.

Thus, the project initially focused on a limited scope, including SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management for reliability assessments and SAP Predictive Asset Insights for equipment monitoring and failure predictions. The pilot implementation project started with one unit and expanded to include all units and critical systems. such as gas compression, oil and gas production gathering, fire and gas detection, firefighting, and energy generation. These systems involved a significant amount of maintenance and reliability data.

Leveraging Machine Learning to Detect Errors and Predict Failure

In addition to the pilot implementation, Petrobras activated the machine learning engine in the SAP solutions as a pilot project for anomaly detection and failure prediction.

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“We had great results from the machine learning features, which allowed us to uncover further insight and make performance improvements,” Vidal recounted.

Thanks to the success, the solutions were later launched to five more critical systems of the oilfield, including offloading, oil, water and gas treatment, and water pumping for injection. By the end of 2023, Petrobras had moved from proof of concept through going live with 10 critical systems in all units from BUZIOS field, including uncovering machine learning benefits, as well as concluding the proof of concept for the same solutions in Petrobras’ downstream operations.

Business Benefits that Create High Value to Petrobras

As the company achieved significant operational benefits at the BUZIOS oilfield, it plans to roll out SAP Intelligent Asset Management solutions to other upstream locations, introducing solutions beyond reliability engineering. With a significant return on investment, Petrobras plans to evaluate the value returned by the new technological solution and expand its usage across its teams and other locations in the future.

“The implementation of SAP Intelligent Asset Management has led to an improvement of our operational efficiency and increased availability of our machines,” Vidal concluded. “When we reduce failures, accurately monitor our equipment, get real-time performance data, reduce production losses, and implement a reliability culture, we reduce oil losses, inspire greater confidence in our people, and return huge value to our organization.”

Karin Fent is senior director of global Customer Success Digital Supply Chain.

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Top image courtesy of Petrobras