LUKOIL’s Intelligent Functional Environment, or LIFE-Field, has allowed the company to solve production bottlenecks and make its operations at various assets around the world more efficient. Oil Journal takes you to Iraq’s West Qurna-2, where LIFE-Field has made a huge impact.
Imagine a month-long time-lapse of a West Qurna-2 well pad cluster in the Iraqi desert: workers coming and going for their shifts operating the rig, maintenance and supply trucks passing through, the sun going up and down. At a field as complex as this one, multiple operations including oil production and transportation, HSE and maintenance occur simultaneously in a relatively small physical space. If a single one of these processes is not perfectly coordinated with all of the others, disaster – or, at the very least, extreme inefficiency – can occur because they are all interdependent.
Enter LIFE-field, the integrated operational system being implemented across various LUKOIL assets. While every oil company in the world has its own version of LIFE-Field, they all constitute a way of automating all data inputs from an oil field’s operation and analyzing them to make key decisions and prognoses for the future.
Absent coordination, oil production at West Qurna-2 would have to be halted nearly daily for various maintenance operations (electrical testing, pressure checks, etc.) to be conducted. The entire operation would be paralyzed. LIFE-Field allows the company to avoid this in a smart and efficient way.
The History of LIFE-Field
In 2011, as LUKOIL moved into the active phases of realizing West Qurna-2, which was an unprecedented project for the company in terms of size, it realized it needed a more efficient system of management and international best practices. It therefore invited consultants from Schlumberger Business Consulting (the company was later acquired by Accenture) to create Operations Management System (OMS) for its first Iraqi project.
All business processes were carefully defined and integrated into OMS. The new system would minimize bottlenecks in the various phases of implementing West Qurna-2 by using data to construct new models for everything from geological exploration to how to equip on-site situation rooms. In 2014 the project was given the name LUKOIL Intelligent Functional Environment, or LIFE-Field.
Around that time, the “digital oil field” project has become company-wide. Integrated Operations Centers (IOC) designed to collect performance indicators from oil fields’ facilities, has been created in several LUKOIL subsidiaries, including those in Iraq, West Siberia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Special Company’s unit – LUKOIL-Engineering - was assigned with the task of creating and updating of integrated digital models for the oil fields. To make all data compatible, LUKOIL-Engineering is going to create a common database for LUKOIL upstream projects.
The Company plans to raise the number of integrated digital models to 124 to cover 20% of existing LUKOIL oil fields and 80% of production.
LIFE-Field at WQ-2
The core of Integrated Operations Center at West Qurna-2 is a comprised of Production Dashboard, which reviews data from thousands of indicators across the project around the clock and allows the team to react quickly to any anomalies. A similar system called PANDA (Production Assurance and Daily Adjustment) monitors data from across West Qurna-2’s wells and logs and out-of-range indicators in real time, allowing the team to respond to any emergencies.
At the same time, company’s management in Dubai or Moscow can use aggregators from the system called KPI online to make strategic decisions.
The capstone of LIFE-Field is LUKOIL’s Integrated Modeling System, which was developed with the help of experts from Petroleum Experts and Schlumberger. It measures output, analyses potential and identifies bottlenecks in the production cycle.
The system analyses data from various layers of the reservoir, and its pressure maintenance systems and oil treatment and transportation. Its integration with a unique financial and economic model allows for more accurate predictions about well outputs and costs. Between 2014 and 2017, LIFE-Field brought $7.3 million in net savings to the company at West Qurna-2. Combined with a 4.5-million-barrel incremental increase in oil production, that translated into $106.2 million economic effect.
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