This paper presents a novel approach for oilfield digitalization from an operator perspective in view of big data and industry 4.0 topics. The objective is to organize a smart technology change to state-of-the-art conditions in mature brownfields under the circumstances of a low oil prize scenario, minor hydrocarbon production rates, high water cuts and the availability of a certain percentage of a well’s turnover for digitalization and monitoring purpose, as demand from the company’s management.

The core of the smart brownfield concept is the formation of a team of multidisciplinary professionals, working on projects outside the day-to-day business, with the aim of introducing and developing state-of-the-art technology solutions in order to optimize production in mature brownfields. The project team consists of three main pillars to cover organizational, commercial and technical key aspects. The relinquishment of internal IT services, as well as a focus on individual skills of each team member are primarily responsible for the successful implementation of the defined objectives.

Combining more than 80 years of operational experience in brownfield development with new state-of-the-art technology approaches, forms the basis for effective oilfield digitalization. The multidisciplinary project team conducts the elaboration of a holistic approach covering all relevant operational disciplines, under the aspects of production improvement, cost savings and health and safety compliance. Data generation is established by using purpose built devices, and by equipping wells with commercially available sensors. Data transmission is accomplished with a new approach in terms of LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network). Field operator are equipped with smart watches for data communication purpose during on-site field inspection. An internal developed software platform using the advantage of machine learning and smart computational approaches forms the base system for innovative analysis of automatically transferred field data. The project team programs integrated software applications for smart data visualization based on long-term expert knowledge in field operations. The so created oilfield digitalization concept serves as platform for field development and decision-making purpose for engineering and management level.

A big advantage of the created concept is, that the workflow can be applied to any oilfields and facilities around the globe for different well types (SRP, PCP, ESP) and customized according to required settings. The novel concept forms a holistic approach in a retrofit design, to combine the old analog and the modern digital world for a smart digitalization of brownfields in the E&P business.

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