Upgrading legacy production reporting

How one operator increased efficiency, resilience and autonomy

Knowing who’s offshore when you’re thousands of miles away onshore in a dynamic, high risk operating environment creates real challenges. Eigen’s solution for one operator enabled it to integrate existing data from multiple sources with some clever logic to create a single place to build one team and drive productivity.

Problem: A European oil & gas operator generated their production efficiency report through a network of Microsoft Excel sheets containing the data required to fulfil the requirements of the management team.

The manual workflow consisted in updating data fields in Excel from the sources and performing calculations so that graphs and trends could be updated and copied over to the final report in Microsoft Word.

The existing process required the engineer to import data from the automation system and then copy-paste the oil production rates, and electric semi-submersible pump run-times for each day of the month, for each well. Then, using his own criteria, they needed to check or adjust the well’s potential, based on the latest well test.

At this point, the losses due to downtime were calculated by Excel formulae.

In order to generate the monthly report, the field engineer had to manually enter some downtime events and explain all losses so they could be totalised for each category in the final monthly report.

Problem: One Norwegian operator faced a challenge of legacy reporting and workflows, using a mix of Excel and PowerPoint, custom applications and other tools; one all too common for oil and gas operators

Daily production reports created manually were taking up to a week of an engineer’s time every month: data pulled from different sources, copied into Excel to produce calculations, charts and tables, then pasted into PowerPoint, before being exported to PDF and eventually emailed out to managers on and offshore.

The operator had identified four key challenges in running such workflows:

1. Time wasted (up to a week a month), as well as the opportunity cost (and motivation cost) of the highly skilled engineer running the process.
2. Risk of error copying and pasting data manually from one application to another – as well as the difficulty of correcting errors after reports were shared.
3. An inability to track trends in data over time because each report was produced as a standalone document and was not stored centrally.
4. A problem of “Inbox Overwhelm” with emails created for busy managers full dataset attachments rather than highlighting issues and opportunities.

In addition to the daily reporting workflow, the operator also had a separate manual process, using legacy tools and workflows for reporting weekly and monthly.

One option open to the operator was to hand over the full range of reporting requirements to a platform vendor, copying all the relevant information to a data lake. This approach was disregarded as too costly, too time-consuming and too risky holding multiple versions of the data.

Solution: Instead, the operator approached Eigen for support based on our combination of oil and gas domain expertise, our low-code capabilities and the Eigen software they had already installed, as well as our track record in solving similar legacy system challenges for other operators.

We took an agile approach, working in sprints to effectively build a reporting tool, element by element, engaging the operator throughout. Our design process involved working with two user communities – engineers and managers – to gather requirements and understand needs of the business operation.

A template approach was adopted, enabling rapid prototyping and validation with users, as well as a consistent, intuitive interface. This accelerated development time, reducing the time to value for the team.

A fundamental principle of Eigen’s Ingenuity software platform is user configurability, minimising lock-in to a vendor. Eigen Ingenuity’s reporting function enabled the operator’s users to customise their own reports and add new ones according to changing business requirements.

Over a five-month period, Eigen developed nine reports for the operator, underpinned by automated workflows, requiring minimal manual intervention – in most cases a manual approval before data uploaded to a new dashboard, showing both the latest data and historical data for trending and analytics.

Impact: The main benefit of the automated reporting workflow and dashboard for the operator was in the engineering time saved - up to a week a month. Reports can even be scheduled meaning zero manual intervention. This engineering time saved can now be deployed to higher value activities.

Nine standardised reports have been built with consistent templates and formats to help managers better understand the reports. This has also helped to scale the reports across multiple assets and different timeframes.

In addition, the new reporting dashboards made it much easier for managers to build a picture of production over time, identifying trends and enabling earlier intervention.

The reports are entirely user configurable, so the operator can make changes and create new reports themselves without recourse to Eigen or to any single individual in the team.

Eigen cloud experts, in collaboration with the client’s IT department, have now moved the system to the cloud, building in greater resilience and widening access to the reports and data across the entire business.

In summary, the operator has upgraded its legacy workflow and tools, modernised its technology and built a more resilient, independent set of tools, freeing up time and improving its management of its offshore operations.

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