Advanced Collaborative Environment (ACE) drives improvements to BP's business performance by strengthening teamwork, encouraging mentoring and personal development, and enabling rapid response to dynamic situations, all supported by collaborative technology. In the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), ACE is transforming the way teams, offshore and onshore, work together, aided by real time data monitoring and video links. This higher level of connectivity between the offshore operation and onshore office is fundamentally changing the way BP works. ACE enables a ‘one team’ approach that significantly improves the decision making process and optimization of field operations.
BP has several ACEs in operation around the world, supporting application of the Field of the Future concept. Faced with a set of operating challenges particular to GoM, BP has realized significant value from ACE at Atlantis and Thunder Horse by improving the efficiency of operations. Starting up a deepwater, subsea completion, offshore production facility for the first time is a very complex process. There are complexities associated with reservoir management, in-well controls, well head controls, production processing and export. During start-up, all of these areas of field management are changing. Each of these areas needs to be managed simultaneously on a continuously changing basis. Also, during normal operations, even seemingly simple operations can be made more efficient, to better utilize our valuable resources.
GoM, as one of the original BP sites to adopt ACE, has a long history of continuous improvement through ACE. As ACE becomes an embedded part of GoM's production operations, increasing numbers of anecdotes and benefits are attributable to this methodology. This paper will review how ACE in GoM, specifically Atlantis and Thunder Horse, enables both the complex operation of start-up, and the day-to-day operations, to drive improved production performance. The benefits of ACE are translating into increased production, lower costs and improved safety and operational integrity.
BP's Gulf of Mexico platforms Atlantis and Thunder Horse are located over one hundred miles from land (Figure 1 - Gulf of Mexico ACE Overview) and require readily available onshore support resources. Nevertheless, because of geographic distance, accessing those resources could be slow and cumbersome.
Additionally, all offshore platforms face the problem of limited Personnel On Board (POB), and these two platforms were no different. As a result, BP implemented the Advanced Collaborative Environment (ACE), a component of the Field of the Future concept, as a method of addressing the issues.
Ultimately, the goals for the ACE had to be consistent with the company's goals for these two platforms, safe and efficient operation. When everything runs as it should, with no incidents and no harm to people or the environment, it's often called Silent Running. To achieve these ideals, the ACE was constructed to:
Remove people from harm's way, lowering the number of people exposed to the process environment, by creating remote support centers
Improve business performance through a multi-discipline, real-time interface with the production operation
Remove boundaries between teams networked across long distances
Improve the quality of the decisions made by leveraging the company's experienced resources across multiple crews and multiple platforms
Drive continual improvement through shared learning and training opportunities
Lower travel and housing costs