FutureOn Today


Digitalization’s Role in the Great Crew Change

By | FutureOn Today

Retirement parties seem to be more common than new hire luncheons in the oil and gas sector as the industry evolves through what it calls the Great Crew Change – the retirement of thousands of mature, highly experienced and knowledgeable workers.

Companies go to great lengths to bridge the talent gap by hiring younger workers, veterans, and folks outside the industry. Baker Hughes, the oilfield services company, runs a mentoring program for young engineers, while ExxonMobil has spent $2.6 million on workforce training initiatives in the Gulf Coast over the last decade.

But how do companies prevent a retiree’s asset and project knowledge from also walking out the door?

Smart companies are investing in cloud-based technologies such as FutureOn®’s FieldAP™ and FieldTwin™ to capture and maintain asset data in one place, breaking up the traditionally siloed data streams that only a handful of engineers might access. These technologies offer real-time data from design concept to decommissioning, and the data is accessible to anyone in the world with permissions, indefinitely. The platform never plans for retirement, taking all the asset knowledge with it.

Smarter use of talent

Digitization not only helps preserve that knowledge but also makes better use of its stretched engineering talent as a result of tighter operating budgets and lack of experienced talent for hire. The smartest and most future-focused, long-term-profit-driven companies implement digitalization strategies to drive higher and better thinking from their engineering talent while meeting the business imperative of providing value to bring in revenue.

“Everybody that’s going through the process of downsizing their business right now is faced with this extra complication (looming retirements),” said Bob Sullivan, a management consultant for New York-based AlixPartners, at a 2018 industry roundtable. “Decisions that get made right now on how you right-size the company are going to have a huge impact when the market turns.”

Upskill talent

Studies show digitalization can also help boost engineer satisfaction and improve retention rates because workers are more eager to upskill into the new roles created through digitalization, according to Stephanie Rogers, managing director at Accenture. “We have conducted research which shows that workers are very interested in developing new skills to have greater digital capabilities,” she explained at a 2018 industry roundtable. “Where companies aren’t offering training opportunities, workers are taking the initiative to go out and find the education themselves.” That could include finding new jobs with employers embracing the digital era of energy.

As we navigate through the Great Crew Change, digitalization will propel the industry forward by capturing knowledge before it retires, support talent in their current and future roles and provide company recruiters with an additional lure.

Contact FutureOn today to preserve asset knowledge and make better use of your talent acquisition and retention strategy.

Offshore Future: Enhance safety and production; Reduce operating costs

By | FutureOn Today

Unfortunately, oil and gas incidents happen globally.

Companies with static business or safety models continue to put themselves at risk while companies adopting smart technology such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices spot operational or maintenance issues before they are serious or even deadly.

While these devices enhance safety, they also produce a deluge of data that cannot be adequately managed and interpreted by one or two engineers. Instead, companies turn to technology such as FutureOn®’s FieldTwin™ to harness the data appropriately to allow teams to make better decisions when it comes to operations and maintenance of assets.

Visual Data Improves Decision-Making

Visualizing data streams across the entire lifecycle of a field allows oil and gas companies to meaningfully interpret the data and plan crucial operational and maintenance activities. For example, the integrative data visualization capabilities of FieldTwin (integrated with IoT devices)
create and maintain a digital twin or an exact digital copy of an oil and gas company’s physical assets.

Through FieldTwin, critical operational data is then visually represented on specific assets as warnings or notifications when set parameters are exceeded. Customers create safer and more responsive operating conditions, thereby lowering risks and better preserving the longevity and integrity of field equipment. Additionally, offshore asset inspection, maintenance, and repair programs become more effective as access to more robust information informs priorities, timing and the expertise needed during planned maintenance.

Data Drives Profitability

The return on investment for these type of technologies are significant: up to $1 billion in cost savings or production increases, according to McKinsey. And as oil prices remain low, companies must innovate operations and improve efficiencies to stay competitive. Today’s executives need to look to technology to harness the right tools to support business strategies and make better use of existing technology because simply having the operational data isn’t enough to stay ahead of the competition and remain profitable.

With FieldTwin, visualize the data to streamline operations and maintenance, and make better, faster, safer and more profitable decisions out in the field. Contact FutureOn today and make your investments count with FieldTwin.

EPC’s Industry 4.0 Bidding Process is here

By | FutureOn Today

In the oil and gas sector, terms such as digitalization, smart assets, digital transformation, and Industry 4.0 are on everyone’s lips. Whatever the label, these technologies, particularly big data analytics, significantly transform the bidding process for oil and gas engineering firms.

In the past, the basic bidding process captured brainstormed ideas from engineers on flip charts and in PowerPoint, and then converted them into visuals via Visio, Corel Draw, and MS Paint. An outsourced engineering house would then convert these documents into Computer Aided Design or CAD files. The legacy engineering design process limited the EPC firms’ ability to meet tight design schedules and implement late changes quickly.

Save time and money: more field concepts in a much shorter time

Technologies such as FutureOn®’s FieldAP™ and FieldTwin™ have completely altered the way EPC companies are able to conduct business. FieldAP™ generates many more field concepts in a much shorter time and eliminates inaccurate options because data is uploaded into the cloud to visualize the fields and run computations, bringing higher value to oil and gas operators. For example, a Houston-based engineering firm now uses FieldAP™ to build 2D and 3D fields directly in a collaborative web environment to rapidly produce many more concept designs for multiple fields that include essential information, such as flowline data. The company now develops concept proposals in 20 percent of the time it historically took and responds to questions from operators and partners by accessing critical data in FieldAP™ directly.

The additional smart functionality of FieldAP™ eliminates the pre-FEED CAD work during the proof-of-concept stage and the need to hire an outsourced engineering firm, saving tens of thousands of dollars. For example, an outsourced team of four drafters, working for two to three weeks, could cost up to $40,000.

Single data source and greater collaboration

As a single data source, both FieldAP™ and FieldTwin™ house real-time data in one place from design concept to decommissioning. The data is accessible to anyone no matter where he or she sits. The platform creates a space within the engineering process for creativity, without affecting progress negatively, and enables solutions to evolve through a collaborative effort versus a siloed approach as in the past.

To learn more about FieldAP™ and how it drives substantial competitive advantage in subsea field concepts, see the Houston Energy Industry News.

By rethinking the bidding process, FutureOn®’s EPC customers win more bids and drive new revenue in offshore engineering projects. Contact us today to learn how we can help take your bidding process to 4.0.

Digitalization helps manage costs in uncertain times

By | FutureOn Today

Oil and gas companies used to consider cost management only during struggling times.

Oil and gas companies used to consider cost management only during struggling times. But now in our new low oil price reality, it is standard operating practice for operators and contractors to constantly find ways to reduce costs in uncertain times.

With the emergence of disruptive innovations such as robotic process automation, analytics and cognitive technology, cost management is morphing into a strategic enabler with the power to disrupt entire industries and fundamentally change business, according to Deloitte.

However, cost management remains challenging

Based on surveys of more than 1,000 senior executives across the globe — Deloitte found cost reduction has become a standard business practice with 86 percent of global respondents saying their companies are likely to undertake cost reduction initiatives. Nearly half of all organizations surveyed are pursuing cost reduction targets of less than 10 percent yet almost 63 percent are failing to achieve their goals.

FutureOn®’s FieldTwin™ technology is an intelligent platform designed to help with cost management by building an exact digital copy of an oil and gas company’s physical assets on a single platform, enabling greater collaboration among teams working at a higher speed on an oilfield project from development to decommissioning. In fact, FieldTwin™ deployed operationally in real-world fields reduces pre-front- end-engineering design time and investment by as much as 60 percent.

Single platform

FieldTwin™ enables engineering companies to effectively design early concepts of offshore oilfield projects that are then handed off seamlessly to the construction teams and oil and gas operators to construct and maintain. This process happens all in a matter of weeks, as opposed to months or longer because teams are working from the same single data platform. This results in cost savings for both contractor and operator.

For example, our customer McDermott recently designed and delivered four early design concepts to an oil and gas operator using our technology. Before implementing FutureOn®’s technology, McDermott’s team would likely only have delivered one design because of limitations of its traditional design methods.

Budgeting FieldTwin™

In our new reality of a barrel of oil fluctuating in price unpredictably, the oil and gas industry is looking for new tools, as well as new approaches to budgeting, forecasting and reporting, according to Deloitte. Oil and gas operators can budget FieldTwin™ as an operational expense rather than a capital expenditure (CAPEX) to avoid carrying over the expense on the company’s balance sheet year after year like other technologies such as robotics or Internet of Things (Iot) sensors.

Cost solutions based on next-generation technologies such as FieldTwin™ are only emerging and have the potential to deliver increasing savings over time. Contact us today to help you achieve your cost reduction goals.


The risks of DIY digitalization offshore

By | FutureOn Today

More and more oil and gas companies are jumping on the digitalization bandwagon, but without a comprehensive and collaborative digital strategy, a piecemealed approach can be costly. To avoid falling behind, have a well-planned approach to your digitalization journey and avoid these pitfalls.

Siloed systems

Oil and gas companies are only as effective as their oldest legacy system. Companies can adopt the most advanced expert systems and efficient workflows, but if a legacy system still requires engineers and project manager to manually search for data, the entire process is slowed.

In fact, one internal audit conducted by an oil and gas company found its upstream employees spent up to 80 percent of their time merely searching for the data they need to drive decisions. FutureOn®’s FieldTwin™ addresses the problems oil and gas companies face in accessing data, converting data across expert systems, and then visualizing that data. Embedded as an interactive object within any web-based operational dashboard, FieldTwin™ allows user access globally via any device. User- and context-sensitive dashboards can be easily configured and can connect any aspect of the virtual field to workflows to speed and improve operational decision making.

FieldTwin™ can also plug into existing expert systems, so engineers don’t have to close out of FieldTwin™ to open flow simulation software. Instead, engineers simply open the flow simulation software or other engineering software in an iframe within FieldTwin™.

Data unused

Forrester Research estimates 60 to 73 percent of data enterprises have access to goes unused for business intelligence and analytics.

This unused data is mainly due to the data pouring in from robotics or Internet of Things sensors. Engineers cannot possibly manage the data without a sophisticated digital management software to handle the influx and make better sense of the data. Without a comprehensive platform, engineers and project managers are given the impossible task to scroll through large volumes of data to identify patterns and catch real-time problems. A digital management system such as FieldTwin™ is designed to identify discrepancies on the spot, enabling teams to make better business decisions and improve workflows quickly.

For more on how to avoid the risks of DIY digitalization, contact us today to discuss a well-planned digitalization approach.