Analyser management software reduces cost for oil producers

| Global Environmental Processes

New metering tool from Hint is available to reduce the costs of workplace and laboratory analyser management within the cost sensitive oil industry.

With ever decreasing oil prices, the demand for cost savings and efficiency in the oil and gas industry, and petrochemicals is getting louder and louder. One of the business units in which much is to be gained is analyser management. Therefore, Dutch plant IT and engineering specialist Hint introduces the AML automation solution. AML offers industrial production locations the infrastructure to manage and maintain online analysers, flow meters, and transmitters in the field and in laboratories, with a minimum of resources. This increases the reliability of measurements and contributes to an efficient operation.

The low oil prices start to take their toll in the oil and gas sector. Energy producers see their income fall and are forced to take action. Cost savings and efficiency are therefore at the top of the agenda of management boards. These companies recognise that the hitherto conservative industry will have to turn to technological innovation to survive the lean years.

Failing analysers

One of the areas where many technological gains can be made is the analyser management in the workplace and in laboratories. Online analysers provide essential measurement data and information on process applications, provided the analyser systems are reliable and accurate. This is often not the case because they regularly fail due to their complexity and sensitivity. In reality, production volumes and compositions seem to deviate considerably from the measured quality and numbers. This can result in a difference of millions of dollars. Losses are always to the detriment of the supplier or buyer. Analyser management therefore contributes significantly to cost savings, also because servicing the equipment can be planned better.

Analyser Management, Metering and Loading

For this, plant IT and engineering supplier Hint from Hattem, the Netherlands, developed the AML automation system (which stands for Analyser Management, Metering and Loading). Hint specialises in metering and allocation in oil, gas and petrochemicals. Drawing on its practical experience, the company finds that substantial savings are possible with better analyser management. Online analysers measure and analyse product flows at plants, drilling platforms or drilling wells. This yields data about produced quantities and quality, which is used to determine revenues of measurement stations, wells, concessions and reservoirs (allocation). Analysers are also required for measuring emissions and monitoring process safety. Both of these are required by law.

With AML, operators and managers can monitor the performance of analysers and perform maintenance where necessary. The software package provides an easy way to understand processes. As the performance of the analyser and flow equipment improves, the equipment becomes more reliable for the operation and it functions on spec. Maintenance costs are reduced and the entire plant is running more efficiently.

Investing in digital technology

Hint represents a holistic view on performance. Validation and data integration can bring major quality improvements in the overall performance of systems. Connecting the dots from measurements to maintenance management. To facilitate this, an analyser management system is indispensable. Wout Last, president of Hint said “Companies in energy production want to do more with fewer people and deliver higher quality at lower costs. Loss of product must be kept to a minimum. Until recently, there was little investment in digital technology to optimise the operation, but I see that changing now. With AML, Hint hopes to show end clients which savings are already possible in the short term, by focusing on analyser management with the help of smart tools.”

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