Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Center tailors various system engineering methods and other practices to the agenda of oil and gas industry. Resulting consistent approaches will produce a sort of work book enabling management of complex projects throughout the Upstream perimeter.

Value-Driven Engineering is a strategic approach to system engineering that optimizes several disciplines within a single model. For example, complex project components are broken down into simpler elements, making it easier to find responsible action officers. Planning is broken down into phases that make it easier to meet the assigned deadlines. It allows you to fragmentize the end product at the design and management phase with a view to edit the product's configuration during the work. Essentially, the VDE approach best resembles a step-by-step guide to putting together a construction made up of multiple elements: without this guide, building the elements into one piece is a much harder job.

System engineering is being successfully employed by NASA and aircraft industry today. The approach helps bring together numerous correlated technologies in spacecraft and aircraft building. In the oil industry, BP and Shell are the pioneers in using VDE. Seeking to tailor the system engineering approaches to the applied problems of Gazprom Neft, the Company engineers deliver work in several stages. Stage one is a look back study of projects that covers all the aspects of oil production, from seismic survey to field operation. To build the optimal concept, a project team studies special literature and existing practices in related sectors, essentially among foreign counterparts. The Company has already analyzed the existing research breakthroughs, best practices and digital tools.

Even though VDE will chiefly focus on the development of new reservoirs, its individual practices may be successfully utilized at existing assets.

Oil and gas production system is growing more complex every day because of the number of control elements and uncertainties that the oil and gas Company has to face at the early stages of planning a future asset. Development of each product, from concept to final implementation, involves a number of lifecycle stages; the sequence of these stages and the necessary toolkit for each stage is identified by the area of expertise known as system engineering. System engineering works perfectly if a certain product or system has existing equivalents, but engineers today may have to handle their tasks in absence of equivalent solutions, which necessitates engagement of creative competences. Development of such competences and inventive problem solving are in the focus of the area of expertise known as creative problem solving that relies on the TRIZ methods (TRIZ = theory of inventive problem solving). Technology intelligence is the area of expertise that focuses on aggregation of experience and employment of solutions from related industries or even from fundamental science. It allows engineering teams to work in an orderly and consistent fashion to find appropriate solutions in nature or in other areas of expertise and to accumulate such solutions in the Company's knowledge cloud. Development of complex systems and products, which include reservoir management, requires multidisciplinary engineering teams. An area of expertise known as team leadership is designed to make collaboration among team members more efficient.

Value-Driven Engineering (VDE) is premised on the fundamental principles of systematic thinking of an engineer and human creativity. The conceptual framework of Value-Driven Engineering is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Conceptual framework of Value-Driven Engineering

Figure 1

Conceptual framework of Value-Driven Engineering

The concept involves four key areas of expertise:

  1. System engineering, i.e. the set of practices to control the technological system/product development process;

  2. Inventive problem solving, i.e. the methods and tools used to catalyze creative competence and problem solving skills;

  3. Technology intelligence, i.e. management of comprehensive scouting for human resources and new technologies;

  4. Team leadership, i.e. step-by-step guide to transform a group of specialists into a successful team by means of identifying the optimal team size and balance of roles and building a leadership system (goal, mission).

This article provides a detailed outlook on the above methods and practices of tackling the challenges faced by the oil and gas industry.

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