Improving field efficiency with situational awareness

November 19, 2020

Repsol’s GIS team used Esri technology to create tools that monitor field workers, deliver real-time asset status information to central dashboards and make getting the right people to the right asset a snap.

Summary

Repsol is a global multi-energy company based in Madrid, Spain with oil field operations in Alberta, Canada. Their Canadian Integrated Operations Centres (IOCs) needed a system that would better support situational awareness in the field. That is, they needed to see where their field workers were relative to Repsol’s highest-value oil wells so that maintenance on these wells could be prioritized. Repsol’s GIS team used Esri products, including ArcGIS Workforce (now part of ArcGIS Field Maps), ArcGIS Dashboards and ArcGIS GeoEvent Server, to map the real-time data with the locations of their field workers and the status of their facilities and assets in their Edson and Chauvin fields. Having combined this with production data for each well, they now can much more easily get the right people where they’re needed, when they’re needed.

To help assign field workers to different jobs, Repsol’s IOCs were looking at paper maps that couldn’t actively respond to real-time conditions. Implementing solutions powered by ArcGIS helped improve overall situational awareness for the business.

Challenge

In September 2018, Repsol’s GIS lead began speaking with Repsol’s instrumentation advisor about the Integrated Operations Centres (IOCs) and whether it was possible to track field workers on a map through a low-cost, internal solution. Under the existing system, field workers employed by Repsol were already being tracked, but third-party field workers lacked the GPS hardware that Repsol staff had in their vehicles. It would have been too expensive to refit third-party field workers’ vehicles with trackers.

At that time, operators in the IOCs had to look at and cross-reference multiple screens to get the information they needed, creating inefficiencies and the risk of inaccuracy through human error.

The GIS team asked additional questions to fully understand the real challenge. What the IOCs really needed was something that would support situational awareness and the centralization of information to help their people make value-directed decisions regarding maintenance, operational integrity and emergency management.

But once the core problem was uncovered, other requirements began appearing. Was there a way to combine real-time asset information and location with worker location on the same map? Could other tracking information be included? What about non-spatial data? Could this all be placed front and centre on an operator’s screen?

Repsol’s GIS team was on the case.

Solution

The ArcGIS platform enabled the GIS team to say ”yes” to all these questions. Once the IOCs were able to see where the field workers were, ArcGIS Workforce (now part of ArcGIS Field Maps) was used to dispatch field workers efficiently using a simple, easy and straightforward interface that anyone could pick up. The Workforce mobile app allowed the IOCs to track the locations of field workers whether they had GPS hardware in their vehicles or not. Repsol’s assets were added to the same map, giving the IOCs a full understanding of what was going on in their operating area.

Getting real-time asset data into the system—data like pressure, temperature, volume and flow—was trickier. The assets, primarily wells in Repsol’s oil and gas fields, stream data constantly through Repsol’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. To pull the data while maintaining security, the GIS team used ArcGIS GeoEvent Server, which can ingest real-time data into a server and pass it directly to any connected ArcGIS Enterprise dashboards. Once this step had been completed, third-party tracking information was added to the GeoEvent streaming service for a full field view.

Repsol’s GIS team has tied several easy-to-use ArcGIS apps to their field workers and assets so that they can maintain live situational awareness of their entire operation in the Edson and Chauvin oil and gas fields.

The team also introduced other GIS tools that improved field operations. Using the Network Analyst and the geometric network, the GIS team has optimized routes to and from assets to allow for efficient maintenance and logistics planning. Trace analysis functions can be performed by the operators in the IOCs to identify any upstream or downstream assets that may be affected by an event.

Within three months, an early prototype was ready to roll out a test environment for stakeholder approval and feedback. The finished product is in production today and the GIS team continues to work with the business and IOCs to enhance productivity in the field.

Benefits

The new system was officially rolled out with hands-on training and feedback. The GIS team was able to better understand the IOC environment, check on how the 122 field workers were adapting to the new system and address issues and new ideas. This created a feedback loop between the GIS team and the users, helping them secure long-term buy-in. The team was able to quickly respond to the IOCs’ managers’ request for a simple executive dashboard to provide key performance indicators for immediate feedback on daily operations goals and production variance.

Real-time situational awareness and visibility to Repsol assets, personnel and non-Repsol personnel and assets has improved the ability of the IOCs to respond with greater speed and accuracy to routine and emergency events. Consolidating information into a single interface has removed the need to reference multiple Repsol and third-party systems. Centralizing GIS tools like routing and tracing has optimized field crew workflows and enabled better response. To date, over 300 work assignments have been managed through the field worker dashboard.

Other departments are now leveraging the real-time streaming data from 2,238 live wells that has been made available on the ArcGIS platform.

The GIS team is pleased that this “wall of awesomeness” is now a core part of daily operations and continues to be enhanced and leveraged by the entire organization.

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