Each year, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), taking place May 5-8 in Houston, recognizes innovative technologies that have industry-changing potential in the energy sector.
The “Spotlight on New Technology Awards” showcase the latest and most advanced hardware and software solutions that are advancing the offshore exploration and production industry to new levels of safety, productivity and efficiency.
GE Oil & Gas has been honored with two 2014 Spotlight on New Technology Awards for its innovative SeaLytics™ BOP (Blowout Preventer) Advisor and GFI™ Ground Fault Immune Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) Monitoring System products. In keeping with the criteria for winning technologies, GE’s technologies offer broad appeal for the industry, provide significant benefits beyond existing technologies and have been proven through full-scale application or successful prototype testing. GE is one of two companies to receive multiple 2014 Spotlight awards.
SeaLytics BOP Advisor
Technology: GE’s SeaLytics BOP Advisor monitoring and predictive maintenance solution enables drilling contractors to monitor the performance of BOPs and plan their maintenance by using predictive analytics based on actual component performance data.
Customer Benefit: When a BOP is offline for unplanned service, the cost to the drilling contractor can be significant, both in terms of idled crews and missed opportunities. A lengthy downtime event can ripple through a rig’s drilling schedule well beyond the initial system outage. GE’s SeaLytics BOP Advisor is designed to improve BOP system uptime and reduce unnecessary maintenance, which leads to better cost forecasting, all of which provide significant performance benefits to the user.
SeaLytics BOP Advisor enables jackup and drillship contractors to move from a “when it breaks, fix it” approach to a predictive maintenance planning mode. The technology communicates beyond the drilling operator’s cockpit, or “doghouse,” letting the rig share its status with operations leaders located onshore or with drilling teams on other vessels. Because SeaLytics BOP Advisor can identify components that may need service in advance, the contractor can service equipment when scheduling opportunities arise.
How It’s Different: SeaLytics BOP Advisor is designed to help the operator predict the optimal time for maintenance in the context of existing operations, in a way that can help ensure smooth operational schedules.
Deployment: SeaLytics BOP Advisor has completed rigorous testing, including Hardware in the Loop (HIL) testing with actual BOP components. GE has secured its first two orders with drilling contractors Atwood Oceanics and QGOG Constellation.
GE Cross-Business Technology Sharing: SeaLytics BOP Advisor was the first product to be developed at GE’s new Software Center of Excellence (COE) in San Ramon, California. The Software COE brings together the biggest ideas and latest technologies from across GE, enabling products like SeaLytics BOP Advisor to take full advantage of the company’s development expertise and broad investment across all of GE in Industrial Internet technologies and solutions.
Why It Matters: “SeaLytics BOP Advisor collects and analyzes high-fidelity information about an operator’s complete BOP system, enabling the operator to predictively manage equipment performance,” said Chuck Chauviere, president of drilling systems—GE Oil & Gas. “Most importantly, SeaLytics BOP Advisor data empowers the offshore driller with critical information needed to maintain a high degree of safety to protect the crew and the environment.”
GFI Ground Fault Immune ESP Monitoring Gauge
Technology: With conventional monitoring systems for ESPs, when a ground fault occurs on the ESP power cable, the gauge’s power supply is cut off. Although the pump continues to run, its performance is no longer monitored, thus reducing the operator’s ability to effectively monitor activities and optimize production. To address this decades-old problem, GE’s Zenith GFI ESP Monitoring System is the first ground fault-immune gauge that is designed not to be disturbed by cable ground faults, allowing operators to manage against production losses and equipment failure through continued, reliable data delivery despite ground fault conditions.
GE’s Zenith GFI solution includes a unique new power and communications system that enables the gauge to operate with imperfect insulation on the ESP cable. The new system also provides faster data sampling than alternative gauges and delivers ESP cable condition measurements in addition to standard industry parameters.
Customer Benefit: This pioneering technology is set to have a significant impact on the artificial lift market, with an average of 15 percent of existing ESP gauges losing production data due to ground faults within the first year of operation, resulting in up to a 25 percent reduction in fluid output compared to pumps optimized with a live downhole gauge. A 25 percent loss from a well producing 800 BPD at $100 per barrel would equate to $7.3 million per year in lost revenue from a single well. The GE Zenith GFI system enables operators to help avoid such losses.
How It’s Different: Customers witnessing recent fault demonstrations proved to be impressed with the GFI gauge’s ability to operate smoothly, unaffected by faults created on the live producing well. In addition to enabling continuous operation despite fault conditions, the gauge delivers higher logging rates than alternative gauges and incorporates pioneering sensors to monitor cable conditions in real time. With high-speed, high-quality data delivery, the benefits of the system justify the investment.
Deployment: In the process of successfully achieving the objectives of the technology’s development, the team set up extensive test facilities and ran the gauge in a test well, with full ESP systems of varying design and sizing. In May 2013, the team successfully installed the first GFI ESP gauge for a Middle East customer, proving the system to be effective and enabling the operator continues to receive data in the event of any cable ground fault. The full evaluation activities included:
Extensive testing with an ESP motor test rig at the Zenith facility in Aberdeenshire, U.K.
Two campaigns of test well trials in the Middle East, with faults deliberately created. The Middle East customer was able to witness and verify testing prior to operational installation.
In the coming weeks, seven system installations are planned across the Middle East, Africa and South America.
GE Cross-Business Technology Sharing: The Zenith technology and its experts joined GE Oil & Gas as part of GE’s July 2013 acquisition of Lufkin Industries.
Why It Matters: “All too often in ESP operations, a ground fault will cause downhole monitoring systems to fail and leave operators running blind,” said Dave Shanks, development manager for GE’s Zenith technologies—GE Oil & Gas. “This can result in up to a 25 percent reduction in fluid output when compared to a pump optimized with a live downhole gauge, resulting in a significant loss of production. Our Ground Fault Immune gauge offers a monitoring solution that is designed not to be disturbed by these types of faults for the first time.”