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Interview


Ashish Bhandari
"Despite these challenges, industry’s leaders are embracing Digitalisation with increasing urgency as without it, they will simply not be able to compete in this ever-changing world."

Navtej Garewal
Executive Vice-President, Head of India

AVEVA: Digitalisation Will Protect The Future


January 30, 2018
Digital is swiftly making its way in the industry and is seen as part of the revival of the oil and gas industry. Navtej Garewal, Executive Vice-President, Head of India, AVEVA talks about the latest trends in digitalisation of complex assets; challenges faced by the industry and potential of Digitalisation for transforming the oil and gas industry.

By Namrata Nikale Tanna, Oil Asia Journal

OAJ: Is digital emerging as part of the revival witnessed by the oil and gas industry which is returning to profitability, kindly share your opinion on the same?
Garewal :Back in 2015 when a barrel of oil was below $50 the industry realised that it had to adapt to remain profitable, but there has not been a fundamental change in efficiency in project execution or operations. Across the world, the industry is still operating in an analogue way, but is looking at new and improved ways of the operations and maintenance of their valuable assets.

Digitalisation is emerging, we believe at AVEVA, as a way to protect the future. Engineering, Procurement and Construction companies (EPCs) and owner operators create massive amounts of digital content and it needs to be turned into trusted maintainable engineering information. The vision for this is called a Digital Twin. This is a realisation of the actual physical asset, such as an oil rig, in true digital terms, as data and information.

Our customers look to us to help them drive Digitalisation of an asset’s lifecycle.

OAJ: Even though we see that digital is swiftly making its way in the industry, we request you to address the challenges faced by the industry? And also how the industry can pave its way through the challenges?
Garewal : EPCs and Owner Operators need to keep their engineering information and behavioural data up-to-date. Throughout its lifecycle, the asset is changing and requires modifications and maintenance.

What happens in the real world is that these constant changes throughout the operations phase creates gaps in the design and engineering Information which prevents full Digitalisation of the asset lifecycle. Therefore, a robust Digitalisation strategy requires assured, reliable, maintained and managed digital engineering master data.

“Industry analyst Jim Crompton I think summed up how the process of Digitalisation can be misunderstood, ‘Too often, companies believe they have digitalised when, in fact, they have merely created PDFs of drawings and documents that they share using a technology platform. True digitalisation involves taking a holistic view. It requires a top-down approach, where the enterprise leadership commits to integrated digital data management and begins to treat data as an asset, in the same way as the plant’s pipework, its pumps and compressors, and so on...’ It is also as much a cultural and human process challenge as it is a technological one. Industry analyst Monica Schnitger wrote in a recent blog for AVEVA ‘We need to consider the human scale. A company can’t select a technology solution that its employees cannot use, people need to buy-in to changes to work processes, and no change is resistance-free... This is nothing earth-shaking or new, but it’s important to remember.’

In the past, Digitalisation investments were seen as a discretionary spends. In order to achieve operational efficiency gains, improve safety performance and reduce costs, owner operators require a change in mind-set in how they think about and interact with the data and the asset as well as introduce the strategy across the organisation. At AVEVA’s World Summit in Cambridge in October 2017, the focus was Digitalisation and there was discussion about how it would affect industry across the world. One of the key learnings for me was that if the market wants to stay ahead of the entrepreneurs and digital natives that are entering the market, they must embrace change. Digitalisation will be a key driver for the industry’s future profitability.

Despite these challenges, industry’s leaders are embracing Digitalisation with increasing urgency as without it, they will simply not be able to compete in this ever-changing world.

OAJ: We request you to share AVEVA’s vision for digital; transformation of oil and gas industry in India?
Garewal : There are three steps to unlock the potential with Digitalisation. These are Digitise, Visualise, and Realise. The Data is captured through digitising the asset. It can be visualised in many ways, and insight is realised though the mining of its data.

AVEVA’s vision of a constantly-evolving Digital Twin enables our customers to manage the process of continual change of complex physical assets across every phase of the asset lifecycle. Physical assets with critical information are available at a person’s fingertips and decision-making processes have become much more reliable and quick. This can improve safety, reliability and profitability.

OAJ: Kindly share one of your experience wherein you had to deal with the most complex asset and since AVEVA showcases a strong portfolio of excellence, we request you to shed some light on the advanced technologies utilised in India’s major projects?
Garewal : A good example of AVEVA’s technology in India and dealing with complex assets is L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering, who specialises in upstream EPC projects for the oil & gas industry. One of its most important customers is India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), which produces around 70% of the country’s crude oil. Seeing the benefits to ONGC and other customers of data-centric project handover, L&T established a project team to define and implement a single-point repository of engineering data that would enable them to provide this. At the same time, it would also speed up communication and decision-making, create seamless integration between 3D model, P&ID and engineering data, and enable efficient online search for faster navigation, querying, sorting, consolidation and reporting. The result was a solution based on AVEVA NET™, integrating data from L&T’s extensive suite of engineering, design and project management solutions.

In India we have seen a major change in adopting AVEVA technology over the last couple of years. Large owner operators have started demanding Integrated Digital Project Information Handover from EPCs during the project start-up phase itself. They have mandated digital asset creation from initial phase of the project engineering and handover of the digital twin. Downstream refineries have adopted AVEVA’s engineering technology and their various ongoing assets are getting designed using our technology from the project phase itself. For the maintenance and modification, of assets customers have adopted our brownfield technology.

OAJ: As the government is pushing more towards sustainability and reducing carbon emission, could you share with us some of AVEVA’s highly advanced technologies that are efficiently contributing towards sustainability?
Garewal: One of the key barriers to operating sustainably is a lack of usable information. This can be the absence or inaccessibility either of the information itself, or of the tools to use it. AVEVA’s information management tools can unlock data silos, integrating and validating many different types of information. These technologies perform automatic validation and cross-referencing on import such as providing the right information, to the right people at the right time, integrating and validating disparate silos of data for transformation into readily accessible, usable information.

According to you, how digitalisation will transform the oil and gas industry and shape the future of the industry, also may we request you to highlight Emerging themes and trends as well as future gateway for growth and innovation in the Indian Oil and gas industry for upcoming year?
Garewal : As companies become more familiar and comfortable with the software that is available to embrace Digitalisation, I think we will see the wider adoption of IIOT technologies and cloud computing. The use of Real Time control and visualisation, for example, offers EPCs and owner operator greater insight into the present state of projects and operations. This includes how they can view the asset, on or off-site using, for example, mobile and large touch screen technology. There’s also greater possibility for unmanned facilities, which is already happening in the North Sea. More powerful technology for visualisation, virtual and augmented reality means that immersive, interactive multi-user simulations of real plants can rapidly be created direct from the 3D design model.

More and more EPCs and owner operators will evaluate and implement cloud solutions. We see that once a decision has been made, deployment is often quite rapid. The cloud and SaaS solutions such as AVEVA Connect and Asset Visualisation in the cloud deliver new opportunities to drive down the IT costs. It improves flexibility to scale software usage to meet project demand, and increases focus on core business activities without compromising security or user experience. It also allows cross-disciplinary teams to collaborate and share information with complete clarity on the engineered status of the entire project or operating asset.

For AVEVA, it is what we can offer customers in the future across the asset lifecycle from initial design to decommissioning. By combining with the Schneider Electric software business, we greatly expand our product portfolio into complementary software sectors offering an end to end proposition across many more industries.


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