Integrated operations, process data portal drive production improvements for energy giant

Working with Goodtech Solutions, an AspenTech system integration partner, Statoil launched an integrated operations initiative that included implementing an AspenTech manufacturing execution system (MES) across 18 sites and establishing a process data portal to address data availability challenges and increase production. The company considers an MES fundamental to...


An integrated operations initiative at this energy company included implementing an MES with a general process data portal architecture and a means for linking onshore and offshore user system data. Source: Control Engineering, AspenTechMany manufacturers operate over a wide geographical area today. Being able to seamlessly integrate production information cohesively across such diverse facilities is critical to improving the work process, enhancing the use of resources, and increasing operating efficiency. Energy leader Statoil recently learned just how important those connections can be when it took steps to integrate its operations.

Working with Goodtech Solutions, an AspenTech system integration partner, Statoil launched an integrated operations initiative that included implementing an AspenTech manufacturing execution system (MES) across 18 sites and establishing a process data portal to address data availability challenges and increase production. The company considers an MES fundamental to successful data integration across the enterprise.

This morning meeting portal display gives all key personnel, whether onshore or offshore, a common view of data so that everyone makes critical decisions based on the same information. Source: Control Engineering, AspenTechHeadquartered in Norway with operations in 34 countries, Statoil draws on more than 35 years of experience in oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf. The company employs some 30,000 worldwide and is committed to meeting world energy needs responsibly through technology and innovative business solutions. Also based in Norway, Goodtech Solutions has been an AspenTech partner since 2005. Twenty of its 350 employees work regularly with Statoil to provide turnkey project support for integrated operations.

Defining integration requirements

Statoil defines its integrated operations initiative as “the use of information technology to change work processes to reach better decisions, monitor remote-control equipment and processes, and move functions and personnel from offshore to onshore.” The effort is expected to improve troubleshooting capabilities and drive production efficiency increases equivalent to some 40 billion euros. Integral to the initiative is the development of a process data portal, which requires dependable, high-availability data collection, historical analysis, and a viewing solution independent of operations and the system platform. A standard interface, role-based web functionality, and powerful analysis tools are essential for meeting overall program goals.

Statoil recognized it would need to make some significant changes to reach its program goals. It needed to improve data access and availability across the enterprise, a goal inherent with enterprise-wide integration magnified in importance when remote locations such as offshore production wells are involved. Issues to consider included the reliability of the IT infrastructure, network and data security, and communications with other applications. Acquiring a thorough understanding of how the system will be used and mapping the required architecture were essential before the company could move to the implementation phase.

As part of project planning, Goodtech helped Statoil define the functional requirements. These included the ability to:

  • Provide real-time data access
  • Support operating procedures
  • Communicate common information to all users
  • Allow for paperless, online reporting
  • Facilitate remote support for offshore wells.

The solution needed to enable interfaces easily using standard protocols to other systems and applications. In addition, tag synchronization and other ease-of-maintenance capabilities were important considerations. Along with real-time data access, the capability to provide alarm/event management and reporting were other important requirements.

Crafting, configuring the system

After reviewing all the needs, Goodtech and Statoil selected aspenONE Production Management and Execution from AspenTech as the foundation for the process data portal. Implemented across the18 sites, it served as an enterprise best practice in support of the integrated operations concept. The process data portal design includes applications specific to multiple areas including:

  • Production
  • Process
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Safety
  • Environment
  • Technical integrity.

The flexibility to visualize data in a variety of ways was imperative to meet diverse user needs. Although Aspen InfoPlus.21 functions as the central data collection system for the process data portal, a number of other products within aspenONE Production Management and Execution also serve critical functions: Aspen Event Manager monitors and detects predefined events and conditions related to production well performance. Key visualization tools Aspen Process Explorer and Aspen IP.21 Process Browser provide core trending functions for monitoring and analyzing available information. KPIs reporting on critical platform data are another essential part of the solution.

Reaping benefits from the initiative

Implementing the process data portal as part of an integrated operations system has increased production for Statoil between 1% and 3%. Improvements attributed to using aspenONE Production Management and Execution include high-frequency data, which provide key resources with a more granular view of process and equipment performance. Combined with historical data access and strong analysis tools, the system better equips Statoil to make sound business decisions. For example, the company can now understand problems more quickly by getting onshore experts involved. Responding to issues faster lowers operating costs and improves well efficiencies. It has also enabled Statoil to reduce the number of operations personnel required offshore.

The availability of data in various forms such as reports, KPIs, and trends has made the information more valuable to the user because less data gathering and manipulation are required. For example, a morning portal display (see illustration) can be viewed by all key personnel, whether onshore or offshore. It provides a common view of data so that everyone works from the same information to make critical production and business decisions.

The comprehensive nature of the available information combined with powerful analytical capabilities within the aspenONE toolset has made it easier for Statoil to define and discuss process bottlenecks. The reporting functionality has reduced the amount of time required by personnel to gather data, format data, and generate reports. Implementation of the process data portal using aspenONE Production Management and Execution solutions has enabled Statoil to make substantial progress toward its overall integrated operations goals, resulting in a more unified enterprise across its global operations and providing a significant competitive advantage in an increasingly demanding environment.

Information for this article was provided by Dan Roessler, chemicals PME industry marketing manager, AspenTech. For more information on these products and concepts, read Goodtech’s “Visualization of Performance and Work Processes in Statoil’s Integrated Operations Environment,” by Kjetil Torvanger, presented at the aspenOne Global User Conference, May 2010; and also visit the AspenTech website at For more about Statoil, visit the company website at

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