The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a transformational period – the impacts of which will not be fully understood for years. An oil market with sustained low prices, record levels of consolidation, and a massive demographic shift caused by the retirement of personnel who began working in the 1980s and 90s will reshape the face of the industry for decades to come. Add in the effects of rapid technological innovation, which is occurring both inside and outside of the oil and gas industry, and you have a future that is both exciting and uncertain.
This article is being written at an interesting time, as it has just been announced that Summit ESP will become a Halliburton company. This opens exciting vistas for advancing Summit’s already state-of-the-art data management and data analytics systems.
A large, fully integrated service company has a data “home field advantage” in that it can track a well from the earliest stages of geological exploration to final plugging and abandonment (or, in industry parlance, from ‘womb to tomb”). In addition, the service company has full visibility into every step of the supply chain — from the foundries that cast metallic components to production data from well monitoring systems.
No other type of company in the industry has the ability to track data with this level of breadth or depth. That’s an advantage that Summit, with its unique and transparent culture, is well positioned to leverage in order to provide our customers with information and insight on their wells and fields beyond what most think is possible.
There’s a lot of mystique around big data and analytics (and all of the other buzzwords), but all they really mean is that you’re able to transform data into information that personnel can use to make intelligent decisions. It’s the business of enlightening our customers so they can maximize the productivity of their wells. It’s Summit’s business.
Our Summit Knowledge system allows a user to see all relevant well data on a single page, including geographic information, job history, equipment details, and real-time data from our monitoring system. Users can drill down into this information with a single click of their mouse. If knowledge is power, then having this amount of information at your fingertips is dominance.
Meanwhile, our reliability and equipment dashboards integrate information from multiple databases and make the connections between well conditions and equipment, which our engineering staff uses to drive improvement. Because a relentless focus on improvement and efficiency is what is needed to overcome the challenges that the industry currently faces.
In our factory of the future, stored video of assembly processes provides unrivaled accountability, inventory is constantly tracked via RFID, and comprehensive data collection and analytics drives improvements in material and processes throughout the supply chain. Our engineering staff utilizes systems and visualizations, through a set of analytics systems and dashboards, which allow them to provide customers with clear visibility into their systems’ performance, stated unambiguously in terms of cold, hard numbers.
Under the supervision of our monitoring group, machine learning systems issue smart alarms, providing early detection of issues before they become problems, while simultaneously capturing applications knowledge that was once relegated to tribal knowledge. This invaluable base of information is used to feed the artificial intelligence of the soon-to-be-released Summit View II VFD controller, which will allow a split-second response at the well head to changes in downhole conditions.
Picture applications best practices tailored to your wells and economic models and backed by quantified knowledge gained from thousands of previous installations. Envision a VFD that predicts a failure and calls home for a replacement ESP component, while automatically scheduling maintenance based on rig availability. Imagine swarms of VFD controllers autonomously optimizing production from your reservoirs.
What does the future hold? The possibilities are endless.
David Beck is a Senior Software Developer at Summit ESP. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University and a MS in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. Prior to joining Summit ESP, he worked elsewhere in the oil industry in field and R&D engineering and worked in the defense and biotechnology industries.