Hint automates metering and allocation software for offshore oil and gas | Automation.com

Hint automates metering and allocation software for offshore oil and gas

Hint automates metering and allocation software for offshore oil and gas

February 4, 2016 - ENGIE (formerly GDF SUEZ E&P the Netherlands) operates on the North Sea. As a partner in several fields and two gas transmission networks, ENGIE works together with gas producing countries including the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The organization also carries out daily operations for NOGAT gas transmission network.

With all these collaborations, complex contractual relationships arise for all stakeholders, which ultimately serve to ensure they can share in the revenues from the North Sea reserves as well as the costs incurred. The processing of the large amount of measurement and allocation data underlying the distributions along with the preparation of report findings for stakeholders is a tough job and requires complex IT systems. ENGIE is supported by Hint, who specializes in engineering and ICT solutions for the oil and gas industry.

Martin van Beelen is a project manager for ENGIE in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands, and is engaged in the hydrocarbon accounting for the company. He discusses the problems in the development of oil and gas fields: “We seek out, explore and develop oil and gas fields. Many IT systems are required to be able to do this. We also manage the IT systems for two gas transport systems, which bring gas from sea to shore. In field operations, there is often a tangle of shareholders and stakeholders. They are entitled to certain fees or they must pay others. We have a metering and allocation system that collects all data for the allocation of proceeds from oil and gas sales and because of the many interests and allocations it is a complicated system to understand.”

Report preparation

In order for ENGIE to support the translation of data into useful information for interested customers, the company hired Hint, based in Hattem the Netherlands, four years ago. Hint went to work on configuring and setting up the allocation system and developing reports. These include information from ENGIE’s system, including gas quantities, allocation and invoicing. Van Beelen: “To compile these reports, one needs knowledge of the software from our tool and understanding of complex databases. We work with many databases, which means that precision must be used with the numbers. Sometimes, interpretation of this data is also required. Then you need to comb through the information there and put down the right relationships. Close monitoring is necessary.”

Developers

For ENGIE it is important that reporting is outsourced to an expert partner. Firstly, because it is time consuming and specialized work. And secondly, it makes sense to people “from outside” to look at the data. “To do this work, you have to be a software developer. The draft report is one half of the work, interpreting the data is the other half. Here you should be able to use abstract thinking, and in that developers are generally very good. In addition, knowledge of databases is required. You are only working with numbers. Hint specialists have all this knowledge and skill in-house, hence our choice to work with them,” said Van Beelen.

Drafting a report is done interactively, therefore, it takes a lot of time. “The people at Hint sit in our office on a weekly basis. You see that they already have gained a lot of experience with us because they now can perform the work more quickly. Our process is as follows: Hint creates the reports and, in turn, the users compare the data with their own administration and link any errors or comments back to us.”

Higher quality data

Before Hint went to work for ENGIE, the organization worked with a report developer from the software provider of its system. That did not produce the desired results. “We now receive appropriate reports faster and with better structure. We also get positive feedback from our customers. The output of the system, hence the quality of the data, has improved since we began working with these reports.”

Van Beelen sees opportunities for expanding cooperation in the future. “The system is under development and we want to use it more widely. There will be numbers and, thus, also reports. During the migration of the system I estimate that fifty percent of the reports will need to be re-made. We could use experts for this. I see opportunities in the future for companies like Hint to deal with software development and integration.”

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Related Portals:
Oil & Gas, Process Automation

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