Abstract

A web-based real-time decision support system - connecting nine plants to a central information serverwas implemented at a large Oil &Gas facility information center in the Middle East. The case study presented shows how a real-time decision support system improved profitability.

The implementation included a full Well Accounting package - allowing operators, engineers, petroleum engineers and accountants to direct production and Well Properties, access Test Separator results, and reconcile production with the individual Well Settings. Qatar Petroleum chose Matrikon's Process Net as their Webbased Decision Support System, as it allowed them to retain their existing and proven business processes - while enabling these processes through open connectivity, accessibility, and easy usability. By sharing and distributing information between the business processes and providing this information in single views, efficiency was greatly improved.

Introduction

Decisions at any corporation are made at a level, which is usually applicable but sometimes not pertinent to the problem at hand. This situation comes about when all the information is not available to the key decision makers. An example is that of an operator, who might adjust process parameters beyond normal operation limits to address an issue caused upstream by changed feedstock properties. This might put the product off-spec, whereas the feed-stock was purposely changed elsewhere, to improve product quality. This illustrates the need for access to applicable information at every level in the plant. The operator should be able to view the feed stock properties in the control room, and production staff should be able to analyze process conditions based on feed-stock properties, to prevent future upsets.

Whether made at the correct level or not, both longterm and short-term decisions are based on available information that is "processed" through experience or by analysis. Decisions based on experience - are in danger of being biased or conservative, while decisions made by analysis - could be misguided due to bad quality of data. An objective, fast and reliable decision-making process requires timely and good quality data, distributed to the correct levels in the corporation.

The core technology implemented for the needed decision support system, should allow the corporation to keep the existing infrastructure of information-gathering (i.e. process data in various forms, real-time and historian based), and the long-time proven business processes (i.e. accounting data), while providing access to this information to the entire corporation, if desired. The barrier now no longer need exist between plant process data, sales, supply chain, accounting, and management data. The project included configuration of many different and consolidated views - often comprised of Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) specific to the users needs and job functions. Enabled with secured web access, engineers can review the plant's performance while away from the site. At the same time, this engineer can query the maintenance database to check the last time a compressor was serviced and correlate that to the current run-time of the compressor and its current power consumption.

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