Even before the price of crude oil dropped south of $50 per barrel, oil and gas companies were focusing on improving their performance. With uncertainty about where the price will go, there has been a pull back in new capital investment and in exploration. Oil and gas companies are depending on maintaining production from the most profitable existing wells. Instrumentation coupled with software can be used to help producers predict potential critical equipment failure and remedy potential issues before they occur, thus mitigating the risk of unplanned outages. Enter a new offering by GE Measurement & Control and Meridium.
To that end last July, GE’s Measurement & Control business has made a minority equity investment in Meridium, and entered into a non-exclusive alliance and distribution agreement that interfaces Meridium’s suite of Enterprise Performance Management tools and GE’s Bently Nevada System 1 (S1)™ Asset Condition Monitoring (ACM) software. In six months, the partnership has produced a new offering – Production Asset Reliability (PAR) that was unveiled at the GE Oil & Gas annual stakeholder meeting in Florence, Italy at the beginning of February. What is interesting about this offering is that it allows data from instrumentation monitoring conditions and control systems to be served up for analysis and decision-making on what is the best approach to an asset showing signs of potential failure, and then enables the execution of repair or replacement, if needed.
An example of how S1 and Meridium’s tools can work together is their use at offshore oil platforms. In this instance, the asset owners were interested in implementing a remote monitoring system –with mechanical and mathematical analysis of condition data to predict malfunctions in the equipment. The owners also wanted to identify possible malfunctions earlier and measure effectiveness of the new program. So far, the new system of early detection and corrective action has prevented a significant amount of production losses in the first two years. In addition, the solution has enabled the identification of systemic defects and subsequent corrective action that improved the reliability centered maintenance program. Now PAR is commercially available as an integrated offering, it is worth a look by oil and gas owners, operators and service companies.