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Operational Efficiency through Digital in the Oil & Gas Industry

A project presented by Leon Sperling, Peter Bierdrager, Franc Boverhof & Bert De Groot

Leon Sperling


Continuously improving operational efficiency is a critical challenge for managing activities in the oil industry. As part of this drive, digital technologies can play a key role in reducing production costs and enhancing safety. In particular, these technologies enable remote monitoring, thanks to the recent development of smart rooms. Smart room operators tasked with site assistance and support use purpose-designed resources to help them decide which measures to take to improve production or avoid unplanned shutdowns. Several of our affiliates are already equipped with smart rooms, notably in the Netherlands, where teams have developed a collaborative environment that integrates numerous technological innovations. Genius (for Generating an Environment with New Integrated and Unified Solutions) has improved operational efficiency by 4%, offering new prospects for both our mature fields and other assets.

Best Innovators 2018 - Genius - Exploration & Production - Total

Optimizing a Mature Affiliate's Performance

TotalEnergies E&P Nederland (TEPNL), created in 1964, is in the center of the mature North Sea region, where it operates some 20 offshore gas platforms. TEPNL introduced the smart room concept back in 1996, as the remote onshore Central Control Room (CCR). It made our Dutch affiliate an operational benchmark within TotalEnergies based on the complexity index versus site manpower.

With its leading-edge expertise in issues related to operational efficiency, TEPNL was the natural choice to serve as the pilot for the Genius. The objectives were to optimize manpower and operational efficiency beyond what a smart room could do and to build an innovative collaborative environment that brings together people, processes and technologies in a structured way. This in turn reduces safety risks, as well as management and production costs.

And lastly, Genius is a major enabler to shift the financial cut-off point for brownfield operations.

For nearly a year, an in-house team was assigned to the project with the goal of developing a solution tailored to the affiliate's needs. This involved analyzing data, creating 3D models of installations, and pooling processes, information and technology. In the end, the project’s cost was one-third the initially budgeted amount.

Genius at the Forefront of Innovation

Inaugurated in 2016, the Genius smart room is considered to be one of our most advanced initiatives in the area of applying digital technologies to operations. Genius features no fewer than five major technological innovations that make it possible to:

  • Monitor well productivity, thanks to data management tools like Viewport, which combines piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) on a single platform; installation specifications and technical drawings; and MySurvey, which generates a 3D copy of facilities so they can be surveyed remotely.
  • Monitor well productivity with software like Well Operating Envelope, which summarizes data from producing wells in real time to maximize production.
  • Optimize maintenance and coordination by reducing feedback and search times via a single access portal that combines all of the digitalized data and tools available to the affiliate. This centralization was made possible by Logbook, a solution that compiles reports, production levels, priorities and other information while providing real-time statistical analysis of inputs.
  • Improve organization and planning within the affiliate, thanks to predictive data analytics tools like TrendMiner.
  • Build an open environment to stimulate disruptive thinking.


Projet Genius - Best Innovators 2018 - Exploration Production - TotalEnergies

Compelling Results

Genius provides continuous, real-time data, enabling the different métiers to access all the cross-functional information they need quickly and easily, without having to go on site. It’s a very useful resource for optimizing mature fields, but that's not all. Because each integrated tool is developed locally to meet the specific needs of a given site, Genius can easily be applied to any facility.

More than 1,000 virtual visits were organized in one year, ensuring the highest levels of scrutiny and safety. The initial results are more than encouraging:

  • Already, Genius has helped the teams improve production by 0.3% in one year.
  • Genius has also enhanced safety performance. By reducing the number of platform visits while maintaining a high level of safety vigilance, the affiliate was able to cut the number of incidents in half.

Best Innovators

The 10 Innovations Rewarded in 2018