Analytics for an Edge: Optimizing Operations in the Energy Sector

Three pumps over orange sky (see more in my portfolio)

The energy economy has been patchy in 2016. Engineering innovations in drilling and completions have been successful, leading to a glut in crude supply. Cheap crude has increased fuel production, and refinery margins are narrowing.

While margins are low, successful companies are focusing on technology innovations and running profitable businesses.This results in more attention on planning and operations issues like what wells to operate, which assets to acquire or divest, and how to run the business to optimize production, sales, marketing and profit.

The use of analytics is fundamental in optimizing the business and maximizing returns. There has never been a better time for energy companies to sharpen the saw on their data infrastructure and analytics deployments.

How can data and analytic insight help? 

From upstream exploration and production to refining and logistics, trading, downstream fuels, and marketing; there are opportunities for optimization. All of these areas benefit from data discovery, dashboards for business insights, embedded reports, collaboration, geo-analytics, and predictive and streaming analytics for decision support and systems automation.

Driving business operations from analytic insights applies to many facets of the digital energy business including:

  • Upstream exploration and production: g&g applications, well engineering, production forecasting, surveillance and optimization, asset portfolio management
  • Drilling equipment management: asset monitoring, management, scheduling
  • Environmental health and safety
  • Business performance, risk and trading: oversight, trading/hedging, revenue/risk analysis
  • Midstream: inventory and supply chain management, demand forecasting and analysis
  • Downstream refining and supply: asset management, netback and margin analysis
  • Downstream fuels and marketing: orders and contracts, sales and marketing, call center management

The TIBCO Insight platform and industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) 

TIBCO integration software interconnects systems, data, APIs, people, and processes. TIBCO analytics provide intelligence that helps companies with strategy, tactics, and operational decisions.

The TIBCO Insight Platform combines systems integration, data management, analytics, collaboration and event processing components into a closed loop system of insight—extracting insights from historical data “at rest” and putting those insights into action on fresh data “in motion”. This applies to data refresh rates that are daily, hourly, by the minute, second or even sub-second in some applications. Some examples include:

  • Industrial equipment management, anomaly detection and the industrial internet e.g. oil and gas production surveillance and optimization
  • Customer analytics e.g. for refined products and lubricants, managing netback, cross-sell and upsell; and for downstream fuels and marketing
  • IT systems monitoring e.g. IT applications and systems operations
  • Risk analytics e.g. trading and hedging commodity positions and options with respect to available product and cash positions
  • Drilling operations e.g. kick detection and rate of penetration monitoring

Consider production optimization as a use case. With careful interconnection of systems and application of analytics, a production manager can be physically sitting in Houston, monitoring thousands of wells around the world from close-to-real-time feeds of equipment sensor data.

Based on the sensor data stored in historian systems and integrated with advanced analytics tools, that manager is able to visualize patterns and leading indicators for equipment stoppages that the analytics team has developed. The analytics patterns can be simple rules like changes in pump intake pressure, or more flexible empirical models; forming leading indicators to failure conditions such as gas buildup in the downhole, plugged tubing, and the like.

These patterns can then be used to monitor new equipment sensor data in real time, to anticipate when and why equipment-issues may arise. Potential issues can be communicated to responsible engineers for intervention; and managed in a collection of accumulated intelligence on the equipment for ongoing assessment, maintenance, and production optimization.

This is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in action, and the energy sector continues to be a technology and business leader in this area.

The TIBCO Insight Platform features interconnected data, systems, and analytics—that enable the analyst and manager’s daily experience. This platform can underpin a company’s intelligent operations with comprehensive data management and analytics logic.TIBCO’s Insight Platform is anchored on TIBCO Spotfire and TIBCO Streambase for visual and streaming analytics.TIBCO EMSBusiness Worksand Open Spirit may be included for messaging and integration, including data connectors for specialized data sources in the energy sector. TIBCO Active Matrix BPM may be included for Business Process Management; TIBCO MDMfor master data management, and TIBCO Tibbr for collaboration and crowdsourcing throughout field and management teams.

TIBCO Spotfire is widely used in the energy space across upstream exploration and production, asset management, supply chain, trading, refining, and downstream fuels and marketing. Spotfire has a large install base in the Energy sector – used by all the majors, across all functional areas, and by most exploration and production companies worldwide. Spotfire also has a healthy ecosystem of partners and system integrators specializing in the Energy Sector.

While simple to use, Spotfire is deep in GeoAnalytics and Predictive Analytics, including TIBCO’s unique commercial R engine, TIBCO Enterprise Runtime for R (TERR), and advanced mapping capabilities.

TIBCO is also strong in streaming analytics and event processing. TIBCO StreamBase, a streaming analytics platform that utilizes a visual programming paradigm to apply math to real-time data streams, is used for equipment maintenance, management of non-productive time (NPT), well operations and real-time drilling applications. TIBCO BusinessEvents, a stateful, event-driven rules platform allows organizations to quickly build event analytics applications with real-time logic and reasoning.  These analytics applications may be configured with an in-memory data mart TIBCO Live Datamart, combining rich real-time visualizations with continuous queries and user-driven alerts, actions, and responses.

The TIBCO Insight Platform enables equipment management and production optimization in real-time, and builds institutional knowledge identifying the kind of equipment components with issues, regions impacted by those issues, and any consistent bad actors in the system. This Enterprise Insight Platform forms a digital nervous system across the field equipment, technical and management staff, providing notifications and alerts to the appropriate engineers who can take action to keep the oil and gas production flowing.

TIBCO’s 14th annual Houston Energy Forum 

The TIBCO Houston Energy Forum brings together hundreds of data management and analytics professionals in the Energy Sector for 2 days of technology innovation and sharing. Themes for 2016 include Operational Excellence, Strategy, and Technology – with presenters from leading energy companies across the US.

The latest and greatest updates from TIBCO Spotfire, Streambase, and Open Spirit are featured on the program – including new geo-analytics, graphics, data discovery and predictive analytics features, templates and data functions. Day 1 features customer and TIBCO technical presentations; Day 2 includes training and a Hackathon for Spotfire users. Some of the technical material is being published to the TIBCO Community – for use in the Hackathon and to extend the reach of the forum.

TIBCO Community—Energy

TIBCO Community—Spotfire Community Wiki

TIBCO Community—Exchange

Some notable Spotfire updates with applications in the energy sector include:

  • Data access: connector updates across many data sources, HANA and Spark certification
  • Data wrangling: one-click unpivot, split; source view, data panel updates
  • Maps: TMS layers, radius selection (across projections), context-smart auto-zoom
  • Collaboration: threaded and searchable conversations, annotations, guided analytics
  • Charts: waterfall chart, KPI charts, updates to all graphics
  • Mobile: new iPhone and iPad app updates, responsive design KPI charts, OEM kit updates
  • Ease of Use: multi-screen support, API updates for simple web deployment
  • Administration: Spotfire Server admin console updates, scale-out topology, smart routing

In these times of low margins, innovative companies are accelerating their digital journey. From upstream exploration and production to refining and logistics, downstream fuels, and marketing, there are opportunities for optimization. Innovative companies are using analytics to prioritize asset portfolios, maximize production, address environmental health and safety, manage equipment, and streamline logistics, sales and marketing. It’s the surest path to competitive technical and business process, operations, and profit in the current environment.

Join us for 2 days of augmenting intelligence for energy professionals at the Houston Energy Forum. Find more information and register here.