Patrice Laporte
Vice President
Siemens O&G Americas
View from the Top

Delivering the Digital Advantage for Pipelines

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 16:46

Q: Where in oil and gas transportation is Siemens focusing its efforts?

A: The focus for Siemens O&G is on facilitating cost-effective transport of gas as well as development of the offshore field. The pipeline network and transportation areas of energy and petrochemical generation are the two segments where Siemens is focusing on today. Questions remain regarding gas and how it can best be monetized versus other forms of energy in the country. Also, what Mexico can leverage to generate cheaper, safer and more available energy for general consumption. We are working in this area to offer technology-led solutions so that our clients receive far better solutions.

Q: What are the axes that Siemens focuses on transportation for gas?

A: In the transport of gas, we focus on achieving solutions that combine cost-effectiveness and environmental-friendliness. In Mexico’s case, the most economical way to transport gas would be to increase pipeline size. With a larger-diameter pipeline, more gas can be moved for a limited increase in CAPEX and OPEX, reducing the cost per standard cubic foot. At the moment, we are working with Fermaca, which is the first pipeline company to implement our SGT-750 turbine for the larger pipeline. Production should start in 2019.

Q: Where in the Mexican value chain will Siemens Pipeline 4.0 have the greatest impact?

A: Siemens’ Pipeline 4.0 has only one goal: making the customer more competitive, but we do not want to scare the company with technical jargon. Instead, we try to be pragmatic and tell them how we improve reliability, cut costs and reduce emissions. We ask companies to implement our technology in just one segment of their line and see if what we promised is delivered. This process is as much about changing behavior as it is about installing technology, so the need to access and exchange data is fundamental.

Q: How does the use of data change a company’s maintenance strategy and associated costs?

A: One undeniable result of digitalization is reducing the need for maintenance personnel. The offshore segment has been in the forefront as it is still necessary a need to reduce cost to compete with the onshore segment. The need to develop and operate an offshore platform based on a single database with an associated 3D model is imperative. The goal is to control the largest number of tasks from the ground through the replication of live data (Digital Twin), thus minimizing personnel on the high seas and optimizing operations by predicting failures in the main equipment. A good example is what Siemens has done with Aker BP in the North Sea with the Ivar Assen platform. This platform is today managed from an onshore center in Norway and has enabled Aker BP to significantly improve the profitability of its operations.

Q: How does Siemens measure its success?

A: We are measured on sales. In terms of hard numbers, we hope to hit three-digit million-dollar revenue by 2020 solely by rotating equipment in the oil and gas sector. Siemens cannot focus on the hard numbers alone. The pilot tests we carry out, which will pay dividends in the future, must also be considered successes. We celebrate innovation. The mixture of long and short-term thought is integral to Siemens’ operations and has been pivotal in our 170-plus years as a company.

Q: Where is Siemens focusing for the future in Mexico?

A: Siemens is looking closely at upstream onshore gas gathering. The traditional way to extract gas has been to use high-speed reciprocating compressors driven by gas engines; however, this may not always be the most economical and environmentally friendly way to develop a field. Alternatives like motor-driven centrifugal compressors either connected to the grid or linked to a single dedicated power plant may be more profitable. Siemens can cover all of these configurations via its portfolio of turbo and reciprocating compression solutions for the oil and gas industry.


Siemens delivers high-speed rotating equipment solutions to the global oil and gas industry. Headquartered in Houston but with a presence worldwide, Siemens puts digital innovation at the heart of their operations.