Inside Aera
Operations Apr 27, 2017

At Aera Energy, Improving Operational Processes through Technology

With its ability to capture real-time data from field operations, PI System software offers Aera unprecedented capabilities.

What if Aera Energy employees could predict days in advance that a compressor will need maintenance at the Midway-Sunset oil field in southwest Kern County?

Or compile and analyze complex data in hours rather than days? And visualize all that data on a custom display on a computer?

That’s all possible, thanks to OSIsoft’s PI System, an application software Aera implemented in 2016. Users can now easily access real-time operational data to gain valuable insights into field operations.

“We no longer have to rely on yesterday’s data,” said Michael Dixon, an Aera information analyst. “The PI System allows users to integrate real-time data across processes so we can discover issues and make decisions more quickly.”

The PI System is used by companies worldwide, including Shell and ExxonMobil.

Tapping into PI’s abilities

The PI System collects current data from a variety of Aera-wide sources and makes it quickly available to employees. Users can then analyze and visualize that data in any number of ways. Currently, PI collects data from steam generator systems as well as XSPOC, an application which monitors well performance. Soon, the software will pull in injection-related data.

The PI Team, led by Aera Information Specialist David Luter, is excited about the PI System’s ability to support predictive analytics and its granularity of data. They also like PI’s ease of access and use, even with smartphones and other mobile devices. The team foresees a day when the PI System will provide “future data,” helping spot issues before problems arise. One day soon, the system will even allow users to visualize data with live maps.

Increasing numbers of employees are being trained to use the PI System. “They’re finding that PI’s tools offer capabilities they never had before,” Dixon said.

Among the early adopters are Aera engineers Deanna Starbuck and Mo Mansur, who quickly realized PI’s substantial time savings and value. Starbuck used PI to create a dashboard for wells on node test stations, enabling easier surveillance and faster troubleshooting of production drops.

Mansur identified several wells that needed work. He found the issues by joining diverse pieces of data on one screen, something he couldn’t do before PI was implemented.

“The PI System makes it easy to query and transfer real-time data into Excel for further analysis,” Mansur said.

Changing how Aera Energy does business

“While the implementation of PI System started prior to the Next Aera efforts, the system is exactly the type of project that has the potential to fundamentally change the way we do business. Proven technologies like predictive analytics and intelligent devices will take Aera’s surveillance and operational productivity to the next level. Other oil companies using the technology have seen significant cost reductions and efficiency gains. PI looks toward the future and will help to strategically position us to be more competitive in years to come.”

Cindy Reid, business solutions manager.

Reid supervised the PI System team and is part of the Next Aera project management office

We live our safety motto that “Every day, everybody goes home alive and well!” / DID YOU KNOW? Aera Energy has been honored with the North American Maintenance Excellence Award and the AME Manufacturing Excellence Award.