Growing Market for Real-Time Data InfrastructureWed, 01/25/2012 - 15:43
OSIsoft has been providing its software services and technologies to the Mexican oil and gas industry since the 1990s, first in Pemex’s refineries and later expanding to include gas, petrochemicals, and E&P. OSIsoft is focused on providing its own brand of software system architecture that groups various data sets and displays them together, thus allowing the user to compare historic data to realtime results and make production and control decisions.
OSIsoft’s Mexico Country Manager, Silverio Cavazos, explains that the company sees itself as “control system agnostic.” In other words, the OSIsoft system can be used with many different control systems, and display data from them all in a way that is easy to compare results. Cavazos says, “OSIsoft is a software company; we are not attached or related to any provider of control systems, and OSIsoft is the only company that has more than 450 interfaces to connect these different control systems and software infrastructure. We can connect to SCADA (supervisory and control and data acquisition) systems, dynamic control systems (DCS) and energy management systems (EMS), and many others, but also with business systems such as SAP, and internet data. So the benefit that not only Pemex but other oil companies are getting from our system is visibility of real time information across the value chain. From production to the end point of distribution, companies using OSIsoft software have integrated visibility of all these operations.”
He adds that the benefit of the OSIsoft infrastructure is access to a long history of the processes being monitored; the operator can compare five years of operations on the original resolution of the values. OSIsoft’s software works in three phases: the interface area, where information is acquired, the historical data and calculation abilities, and then visualisation. Visualisation tools are available both through the physical systems and over the Internet, which makes for easier analysis and gives the whole corporation a view of the data.
OSIsoft’s PI System architecture allows an operator to view historical data of control system performance while putting in place a series of key performance indicators (KPIs) that can compare the performance of multiple control systems at multiple locations: a hot topic in the oil and gas industry today.
Cavazos explains why, although the company started in Mexico’s downstream, today their PI System is mostly used in the upstream: “At a refinery, you have a big complex and a lot of signals, but at the end of the day it is just one physical place. In the upstream, operators have several fields that are dispersed geographically. Companies do not have a big control system for all these wells; rather, there is a SCADA system in place for each one. Our technology can bring all these control systems together and monitor the performance of each well.”
Although some control system vendors use OSIsoft software in their products under OEM agreements, the software company normally deals directly with the oil and gas operator; this is also true in Mexico. The advantages for Pemex also extend to security systems, which has become increasingly important.
With other oil and gas companies around the world, OSIsoft has exchange agreements in place to provide their software across the whole value chain of activities, and this is being discussed in Mexico. Cavazos says that, under the current level of integration, Pemex is only taking advantage of 40% of OSIsoft’s full offering.