Installing, commissioning and operating the power systems is a major challenge for the oil and gas industry. Onshore drilling, extraction, offshore platforms present difficulties when it comes to deploying electrical distribution systems. Besides the costs and the complexity involved in deployment, the challenge is also on bringing the pieces together and making them work in a reliable manner.
However, the two innovative methodologies have enabled O&G companies to address the challenges of power infrastructure deployment, while keeping the profitability and reliability aspects intact.
The first is Fit-for-purpose methodology, which involves a step-by-step approach, removing the Rules of Thumb and Cut-copy-paste approaches. This methodology allows to prevent oversizing, which typically burdens the power distribution projects with high costs and low efficiencies. It relies on optimisation-driven designs. The methodology also focuses on eliminating waste and on low-risk solutions.
The second approach is focused on delivering packaged electrical distribution systems, which are pre-assembled and pre-tested and ready to be plugged in at the assigned sites (extraction, onshore drill, offshore platform). The two immediate advantages of this method, also known as E-house provides cost optimisation and schedule optimisation. The E-house comes with pre-configured, pre-tested transformers, switches, cables, circuit breakers, UPS, and other devices, encased in a “house”. They reduce interdependencies and bring efficiency. The pre-fabricated design enables faster delivery time, ensures safety and provide plug-and-play facility.
Because of high oil prices, the O&G companies used to rely typically on a 40-year-old electrical distribution system designs. The old designs were considered reliable and reusing them was a better way to keep it economical. In the present day, with low commodity prices, it is time to re-evaluate the traditional practices. With digital tools becoming accessible, designers can build solutions that encompass energy supply, process automation and energy management systems. Through proper integration of design, engineering and management, deployment costs can be reduced by 35% and delivery time can be decreased by 6 to 12 months.