Oil & Gas Industry News Wrap - May 2018

In this month’s PPM Oil & Gas Industry News Wrap, we bring you information about Australia’s premier project management conference. The Project Management Institute Australia Conference (PMIAC) 2018 showcases the latest ideas and thinking around key project management topics and includes a keynote presentation focusing on enterprise projects performance from PPM’s James Crowell.

Also this month:

  • Data the key to digital transformation
  • Support for long-delayed Browse gas project
  • Is Blockchain the next big data?

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Hexagon PPM joins the PMIAC 2018 roster

Australia’s premier project management conference, featuring a keynote speech from PPM’s own James Crowell, will be held at Melbourne’s Crown Promenade from May 20-22.

The Project Management Institute’s Australia Conference (PMIAC) attracts professionals, academics and community representatives keen to share knowledge, experience and professional camaraderie.

With the theme of Diversity, Performance, Wellbeing, the 2018 conference comprises two full days of sessions, including plenary presentations, parallel breakout sessions, meet the speakers Q&A, an executive breakfast plus a selection of Masterclasses. There will also be a wellness-focused side program with de-stressing neck massages, yoga sessions and more.

The conference incorporates the PMI Australia Annual Awards, which recognize and acknowledge professional excellence in six categories.

Crowell’s presentation, Enterprise Projects Performance: Going Beyond Project Controls, introduces an expanded vision for the lifecycle of projects, which looks strategically across an organization to maximize returns and profits.

He has a proven track record of working with leading project delivery companies to eliminate disparate spreadsheets in favor of a consistent platform to standardize processes and boost project outcomes.

As well as Crowell’s presentation, PPM will host a booth to help delegates understand how enterprise projects performance can help ensure return on investment and success across their project portfolios.

To register for the conference, go to the PMIAC website.

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Data the key to digital transformation

In an interview with the Charted Institute of Building, Bechtel CIO David Wilson said the construction industry is at a turning point.

“We’re seeing an influx in enthusiasm and passion around technology and innovation in the construction industry,” he says.

“In the future, we will reflect upon this moment as the tipping point; the moment when technology enabled the unleashing of construction productivity. It is similar to the early internet days, because of the potential of the technology and the growing interest.”

Bechtel has been an early adopter of new technology and has learnt through trial and error how best to identify and harness new digital technologies.

Wilson says the construction industry needs to focus on “building out the foundation that will support new tech” such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“That’s why over the next three to five years, the fastest growing sector of construction technology will be data integration,” he said.

“The key to unlocking the power of hardware is having the analytics in place to identify, organize, and understand objects on the construction site. Everything coming in the future is predicated on successfully accomplishing this task. Once this is done, then you can start looking 10 years down the road at how AI will take these standardized objects and use them for predictive analytics and scheduling.”

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Support for long-delayed Browse gas project

In news that points to some cautious optimism among owners that the Oil & Gas industry is coming out of its slump, the long-delayed Browse gas project off Western Australia has attracted renewed support.

Partners in the North West Shelf LNG plant – Woodside Petroleum, BP, BHP Billiton, Chevron Corp, Royal Dutch Shell and Japan's Mitusbishi Corp and Mitsui & Co – are aiming to agree on a tariff to handle Browse gas by the end of June.

According to an article in Rigzone, Browse is as a key source of growth for Woodside but has been stuck on the drawing board for years as plans for onshore and floating LNG development estimated at $30 billion to $45 billion were scrapped.

Woodside CEO Peter Coleman told Reuters that momentum has picked up over the last couple of months around Browse. “Some of it is now a realisation, in particular on behalf of the North West Shelf partners, that Browse needs to be the anchor tenant for the North West Shelf over the next 25 years," he said.

The plan now is to develop the giant gas field to feed the North West Shelf plant, Australia's biggest LNG plant, when its current gas source runs dry in the 2020s.

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Is Blockchain the next big data?

As the oil and gas industry begins to embrace digital transformation, a new transformative technology has appeared on the horizon – Blockchain.

Blockchains store information across a network of personal computers, which means no company or person owns the system, yet everyone can use it and help run it. The blockchain uses cryptography to ensure record cannot be counterfeited or changed.

Blockchain for data in the O&G industry is about immutability. Data can be trusted because it's always in the chain and a change to a file makes a new entry to the chain, leaving a trail of all the documents modified.

In November 2017, a group of commodity traders and banks joined forces with BP, Shell and Statoil to create a Blockchain-based digital platform to address post trade processes in the energy commodity trade, particularly focused on oil products.

In an article on PennEnergy’s website, lawyer Tara Waters says blockchain technology is a “natural fit” for the oil and gas industry as it relies heavily on the sharing and validation of data amongst a complex network of suppliers, shippers and contractors.

“In theory, all industry participants could have access to a common truth across the entire value chain – from the establishment of title to land to enablement of commodity trade finance to tracking distribution to the end consumer,” she said.

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