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Digital enables Hess’ Stampede journey

Karen Boman Tuesday, 31 October 2017 23:27
Stampede subsea layout. Photo from Hess.

A combination of LEAN business practices, technology, and a digital approach will enable Hess to bring online its Stampede tension leg platform project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico under budget and six months ahead of schedule, a Hess executive told attendees at GE’s Mind+Machines event on 25 October in San Francisco.

Stampede is scheduled to start oil production in Q1 2018.  Located in 3500ft of water approximately 115mi south of Port Fouchon, Louisiana, the field is estimated to hold between 300-350 MMboe in gross recoverable resources in Miocene subsalt reservoirs. Hess operates Stampede with 25% interest.  Greg Hill, Hess president and COO, said in the company’s Q3 earnings call on 25 October,  that all pipeline pre-commissioning was completed during Q3. Three wells have been drilled and completed.

Digital technology is a key component of the company’s success, allowing Hess to create and protect value in a low oil price environment, said Brian Truelove, senior vice president of global services for Hess, said at Mind+Machines. Hess has seen digital positively impact production growth, cash margins, capital efficiency, risk management, and health safety environmental improvement, Truelove said. Digital technology is allowing the company to connect reservoir data from beginning to end, and the cloud enables the company to rack subsurface data without large data centers.

“We need access to lots of processing power, and it’s great that we can turn it on when we need it and turn it off when we don’t,” Truelove said. Hess also is using digital technology to enhance the user experience of its workers. For example, a geophysicist wants to be able to see their data immediately in a format they can use in their work.

Technology such as predictive analytics and machine learning will enable the company to not only address issues in drilling and production before they become problems, but free workers from repetitive tasks so they can tackle value-adding work. Robotics process automation also has been a real gamechanger for Hess, Truelove said.

Hess sees digital as imperative in today’s market, but Hess’ digital transformation is only part technology, and is primarily a cultural journey, Truelove said. This cultural shift is about moving from a “know-it-all” to a “learn-it-all” company that isn’t afraid to try lots of new things, can fail fast and can pivot.

Examples of the cultural change at Hess include a remote operations center that allows the company to monitor wells being drilled around the world. When Hess first set it up, the workers on drilling rigs thought it was like Big Brother would be watching over their shoulder, second guessing everything they were doing. But people quickly realized that the remote monitoring center had their back to help them make critical decisions, Truelove said.

Digital across the value chain is enabling Hess to get the most value from its assets and do so in a safe, environmentally sound manner, Truelove concluded.

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2018-10-22 01:59:45am