Data being captured includes but is not limited to:
THE FDC SYSTEMAn FDC system can range from:
- Hand written log books
- Excel spreadsheets
- FDC software
- Data must be accurate
- Data changes must be auditable
- Data must be available to multiple groups and departments within a company, and to external partner companies
- Data must be available to different departments with different urgency
- Operational issues must be identified and resolved daily, whereas production accounting groups need data on a monthly basis.
- The system must be flexible and expandable when new employees or equipment is deployed to the field
- The system might be required to share data with other applications
- Hand written log books would be difficult to share with multiple groups and the data may not be available in order to resolve operational issues depending on the amount of data being captured.
- Excel spreadsheets would be easily shared between groups but, as with hand written log books, the data may not be available in order to resolve operational issues depending on the amount of data being captured.
- FDC software could be easily shared between groups, and if most of the data is downloaded electronically then the data would be available in order to resolve operational issues
DATA CAPTURECurrent methods of capturing data include:
- Manual entry: written on paper, typed into software
- Electronic capture: downloaded from the field in various formats with one of many interface options
- To be printed for filing
- To be uploaded into FDC software for analysis and verification
iSolutions’ RECOMMENDED DATA FLOW
COMMON ISSUESProblems faced by oil and gas companies with regard to electronic collection of data include but are not limited to:
- Fragile handheld devices that are cost prohibitive for company wide use
- Software maintenance of systems that must communicate
- Feasible plans to allow for data capture during system downtime or offline
- Company IT bandwidth limitations
BENEFITS OF FDCThe benefits of excel or FDC software is that the application can perform some of the analytics and calculations necessary for the operator or engineer which gives the user more time in the day to determine solutions for increasing profitability rather than spending that time performing the calculations. Also there is a reduction in duplication of work and effort when all the data and calculation results are available from a single source. The benefits of moving towards cloud based data availability is that it eliminates the oil and gas company from requiring the IT infrastructure and in-house staff which also increases profitability.
BOTTOM LINEThe bottom line is that oil and gas companies need to reduce costs and increase profitability. Time is money and the more time that staff are required to expend on the collection of the data, the less time they have to devote to the analysis of the data and the implementation of cost cutting and profit enhancing measures. In the current economy production deferment tools are vital and allow the operator to link production outages to specific maintenance events, resulting in a more clear analysis of production issues. In addition, depending on the region that the company is operating, there could be legislative requirements that need to be enforced and field data that needs to be relayed to government bodies for approval.
LOOKING AHEAD…The future of FDC is a move towards cloud based data availability and internet access for software applications on many different devices and away from paper based collection. Important issues to take into account are:
- Field environment and its effect on handheld or mobile devices
- The device itself and the user (battery life, weight of device, ease of use)
- Connection speeds with wireless service
- Offline options for users who will be out of range
- Security of information when using wireless services
- Hardware performance and capability of handheld and mobile devices
- Operating system updates of handheld and mobile devices as they may impact FDC applications
- Security of the data when it’s being housed by a 3rd party data center