Oil and gas digital data exchange tipped to save industry millions

Source: press release, 2 April 2019

Vice President of Sharecat Solutions and a director of the UK Hub, Brian Imray
Vice President of Sharecat Solutions and a director of the UK Hub, Brian Imray (photo: UK Hub)

A revolutionary new initiative that will transform supplier equipment information management across the UK oil and gas sector, potentially saving the industry GBP 250 million a year, will be previewed in Aberdeen later this month.

Backed by North Sea majors – many of whom have supplied material information, equipment standards and engineering support to help develop the system – the UK Hub Digital Data Exchange has also received financial backing from the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC).

At present, UKCS operating companies annually hire or purchase an estimated 700,000 parts for oil and gas facilities, with each transaction involving multiple requests and exchanges of technical information. Requirements vary between companies, resulting in suppliers having to create several versions of equipment technical information for different operators.

A study executed by one North Sea operator showed that a lack of equipment information led to an average procurement transaction of three manhours – a transaction which could be performed in minutes if all the information was readily accessible.

The study also revealed a significant volume of duplicated information leading to unnecessary procurement of material for stock. The average number of duplicates in the study was calculated to be around 20% to 25% of the materials. Aligned to the principle of Maximising Economic Recovery within the UKCS, the UK Hub aims to digitally transform the industry’s procurement process and become the single, online source of technical equipment information, enabling the collection, storage and sharing of standardised and quality-assured information for equipment and parts across the oil and gas industry.

Fully compatible with existing software commonly used throughout the industry, participants in the UK Hub will avoid duplication of effort and time-consuming repetition of data-sharing throughout an asset’s lifetime.

Sharecat Solutions is leading the technical development of the revolutionary software. Brian Imray, Vice President of Sharecat Solutions, and a director of the UK Hub, says, “The UK Hub Digital Data Exchange is the result of over 2 years of effort from all the participating companies and engagement with all levels of the supply chain. The concept stems from a cost sustainability study that clearly showed collaboration and standardisation were key to future-proofing the life of the UK oil and gas industry.”

“The potential to create business efficiencies is enormous, by avoiding costly and time-consuming duplication of effort across projects. One operator alone reported proven annual benefits of approximately GBP 60 million,” Imray adds.

Stephen Ashley, Digital Transformation Solution Centre Manager for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, says, “We’re delighted to be part of the UK Hub project. In our discussions with the industry, standardisation has been identified as a key enabler for an efficient supply chain. This project represents an agreement between operators, contractors and suppliers to implement a collaborative solution that could deliver significant benefit across the entire industry. Its future success hinges on wider uptake, so I encourage anyone who’s interested to get in touch.”

“Industries such as retail have gone through an unprecedented revolution in terms of supply chain management. We need to embrace the fourth industrial revolution and create a digitally enabled supply chain for the UKCS. The UK Hub is one of a number of projects that we’re co-investing in with industry to make this a reality,” continues Ashely.

The UK Hub Digital Data Exchange Preview event will take place on Wednesday, April 24 at Aker Solutions, Aker Solutions, Aberdeen International Business Park, International Drive, Aberdeen AB11 0BR from 9am – 12 noon. Speakers will include

  • Stephen Ashley – Digital Transformation Solution Centre Manager, OGTC
  • Murdo Macleod – Materials and Warehousing Manager, BP North Sea Operations
  • Colin Hamnett, GPO PIM/Systems Functional Manager, BP Exploration & Production
  • Chris Mitchell, Project Information Manager, Aker Solutions Ltd.
  • Brian Imray – Director UK Hub/Sharecat Solutions

To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ukhub-digital-data-exchange-launch-registration-58716914873