ADNOC pioneering oil & gas 4.0

March 25, 2020
Panorama Command Center provides dramatic centerpiece of integration effort spanning the hydrocarbon value chain.

By Keith Larson, Smart Industry editor in chief 

As the state-owned oil company of Abu Dhabi and the principal economic engine for development within the United Arab Emirates, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is one of the world’s leading energy producers. The company processes some three million barrels of oil each day, along with almost 10 billion cubic feet of gas.

Three years ago, when Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber was named director-general (and CEO soon after), he set about remaking ADNOC as a world leader not just in oil & gas production volume, but in efficiency and profitability, too.

The highly visible front end of ADNOC's unified platform is a 50-meter display, where more than 120 dashboards are on call, drawing on some 200,000 data points gathered from across the organization's 14 operating companies.

“We are committed to maximizing the value of our oil and gas assets and to remain a trusted and reliable global energy supplier for the long-term benefit of our country and our customers,” Al Jaber writes in the CEO message on the company’s website. “We will do so by focusing on four strategic areas: enhancing the company’s performance, increasing profitability, optimizing efficiency, and investing in our people. In this way ADNOC strives to be the energy that powers the nation and drives the engines of prosperity by unlocking the full potential of our natural and human resources.”

A key strategy for realizing this vision would be the digitalization and integration of the company’s 14 relatively standalone units into a single enterprise, optimized in real time. “Oil and Gas 4.0 is putting the Industrial Revolution 4.0 within an oil and gas context,” says Abdul Nasser Al Mughairbi, SVP Digital, ADNOC. “We aim to be a leader in adapting new technology, and a leader in integrating technology that comes from outside our domain to see if it can add value to our production for the good of the economy and the world in general.”

ADNOC’s integration journey first meant bringing data from a disparate array of business and operational applications together in the Panorama Command Center on the 37th floor of ADNOC headquarters in Abu Dhabi. “Digital transformation requires some crucial preliminary steps that we have to go through,” says Tasnim Ahnaish Al Mzainin, head of value chain optimization and analytics, ADNOC. “And that is to allocate, centralize and integrate all of our data on one single platform.”

120+ dashboards, 50-meter display

The highly visible front-end of this unified platform is a 50-meter display, where more than 120 dashboards are on call, drawing on more than 200,000 data points gathered from across the organization. ADNOC partnered with engineering software provider AVEVA on the project, with the company’s System Platform and InTouch Operations Management Interface (OMI) providing the foundations of the display and enabling integration across various ERP business and IT applications. Much of the functionality on display in ADNOC’s Command Center is now bundled in AVEVA’s Unified Operations Center offering.

“AVEVA has been a trusted partner of ADNOC for many years,” says Al Mugharibi. “So it’s not abnormal to see them partnering with us in digital transformation.”

Panorama also leverages AVEVA solutions for supply chain management and integrated production planning to optimize operations across its formerly siloed organizations. “There had never been a deployment whereby there was a full integration in terms of gas processing facilities integrated to refineries and petrochemical—all in a single platform,” notes Al Mzainin. “We now have the ability here in ADNOC’s HQ building for my realtime optimization team to be able to actually switch back and forth between the standalone models and the network model.”

And given ADNOC’s production volume, there’s a lot at stake. “One run of these scenarios and we can save $60 to $100 million dollars in optimization—easily,” says Al Mughairbi.

Remarkably, once Panorama’s outsized display, other room furnishings and essential visualization tools were in place, integrations with eight of the 14 organizations to be unified in Phase I were executed in only eight weeks—albeit through agile, around-the-clock efforts of AVEVA delivery engineers. The remaining operating companies were brought in over the next 22 weeks in Phase II of the project.

Predictive maintenance at scale

While ADNOC’s control and monitoring systems already encompass some 10 million tags in total, Al Mughairbi sees that number going higher because of the deployment of new sensors. In particular, ADNOC is also working with AVEVA on reducing downtime through the use of predictive maintenance with the company’s Predictive Asset Analytics solution. “We’re going to be hooking almost 700 compressors into that system,” Al Mzainin.

“I really appreciate AVEVA, I appreciate their efforts,” Al MZainin said. “They really set a very good example of what a good collaboration is, and what really could come out of a good collaboration.”

“Panorama is an example of what Abu Dhabi can do,” adds Al Mughairbi. “We are an energy company of the future."