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Bentley Systems' digital platform key to BP success

by Robert Willock on Nov 12, 2017


BP and Bentley are currently managing a six-stage migration of the 60,000 documents, which will take place between now and April 2018.
BP and Bentley are currently managing a six-stage migration of the 60,000 documents, which will take place between now and April 2018.

BP’s Khazzan field in Oman has produced its first gas two months ahead of schedule, with the project 25% under budget, and the handover to operations is well underway.

Andrew Hunter, BP’s operations information manager in Oman, was speaking at the Bentley Systems’ Year in Infrastructure 2017 conference in Singapore in September, where the project’s central information store (CIS) won an award for advancements in utilities and industrial asset performance.

The gas field was built on a greenfield site in Block 61, in Oman’s Ad Dhahirah governorate, and covers a landmass of 3,950km2 above one of the largest natural gas deposits in Oman. Power, water, waste management, roads, buildings, warehouses, and substations were all necessary to meet the project’s infrastructure requirements. “It was like building a small town,” said Hunter.

Phase one of the major tight gas project – with 200 well sites and “lots of fracking involved” – is on track to deliver one billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of gas, and future expansion is planned to increase output to 1.5 bcf/d, with a project life duration until 2043. 

“We produced the first gas on 22 September – that means gas into the export pipeline and on spec – ahead of schedule and under budget. And the site is now being given over to operations,” said Hunter.

Under a production-sharing agreement, BP is the operator of Block 61 and holds a 60% interest. The Oman Oil Company for Exploration and Production (OOCEP) holds the remaining 40% of the stake. Hunter revealed that Omanis make up 50% of the project’s leadership team and 70% of the total workforce – a figure that is projected to rise to 90%. Additionally, 38% of the total contracting spend was awarded to Omani contractors.

The scale of the project’s information management challenge, Hunter explained, gave BP the opportunity to look at the software vendor market. “We generated 160,000 tags and 60,000 documents across the supply chain. We needed global access to information we could trust, and the ability to find it quickly. We needed a tool that could support existing systems and procedures. And it had to have change-management abilities. Of course, safety was a main driver. And it had to be all electronic, with no paper copies.”

Hunter listed BP’s additional requirements: “We wanted to work with a company we knew; we wanted a hosted solution, seamless migration from project to operations, the ability to link to third-party solutions, efficient import and export, and a user-friendly interface.

“We selected the Bentley AssetWise solution.”

Hunter described it as a “central store, a one-stop shop”, and added that everything is just four clicks away. “I didn’t want a 35-page user manual; just something on my desktop that allows me to find what I need.”

BP and Bentley are currently managing a six-stage migration of the 60,000 documents, which will take place between now and April 2018. So far, 8,000 documents have been transferred into the CIS during the first migration stage. 

Immediate benefits of the implementation of AssetWise have included reduced information search time; users’ search tags, which  give direct access to equipment data and associated documents; and direct links to the standard operational procedures (SOPs) and equipment strategies, Hunter said.

There are also reduced costs, because of the need for fewer information-management staff. And Hunter reported improved collaboration across all project locations, and improved decision-making. “The rigour applied to the management of the change process allows me to trust the information to make informed decisions.”

This is the first regional deployment of Bentley AssetWise for BP, and it has caught the attention of senior BP personnel, both in the region and further afield. “The deployment of AssetWise gives me the assurance that we have the right tool in place to enable easy access, and to manage and maintain the integrity of our information, in support of safe and reliable operations,” said Dave Campbell, COO and VP operations, BP Oman.

Hunter added: “We are concentrating on getting the basics right first. We are the first in BP operations to deploy a CIS, and now we are looking to expand it to other operations elsewhere in BP, and roll it out as a global initiative.”

The CIS implementation process at Khazzan included detailed functional specifications, defined operational workflows, and defined standard reporting. Hunter advised, however, that training was one of the most important aspects, involving a tiered support model using assigned system super-users. 


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