Achieving net-zero goals with digitalisation

Martin Piesker for webIn the latest issue of Oil Review Middle East, Martin Piesker, head of digitalisation at Siemens Energy, discusses how digitalisation can help companies achieve both their sustainability and their business objectives

It is undeniable that sustainability and emissions reduction are at the top of the agenda now for oil and gas companies, many of which have set ambitious net zero targets. Digitalisation offers the potential to gain actionable insights into assets and processes, enabling better decision making for sustainable operations, as Piesker explains.

“Digitalisation is always based on data; looking at your data, finding the sweet spot in the data and what the operators and the equipment can tell us. Digitalisation is a way to look inside the asset, the process and ultimately the whole facility. It is not an end in itself; we are using it as a tool to get better insights. The real insights are the know-how you have about the asset, the process or the system itself.

“We need to use whatever the data tells us, beyond what we can see. For example, for determining the health status of assets, we analyse the data. We use AI and machine learning to give us first indications of what the data tells us, but the real strength we contribute as Siemens Energy, is what we know about the asset itself. So we’re not only looking at correlations, but adding our know-how from our experience in operating facilities and maintaining assets. What we look at is combining correlations and combining indicators. So this is what we do when we are using digitalisation; we are looking into the data and correlating the right data to give the right recommendations on what to do. That’s what we see as one of the main values of digitalisation for us.”

That doesn’t necessarily directly contribute to reducing CO2 emissions, he concedes. “But the segway to it is, that by knowing the health status of your equipment, you can plan downtime and better plan production. 

“It is becoming increasingly important in production not only to plan output, in terms of energy, barrels of oil or chemical product, but also to plan emissions, particularly in this region. We can use data not only to monitor emissions but also to predict them. Using data analytics and our know-how of the process, we are able to tell our customers the amount of CO2, NOX or CO they will emit in the next week or month if they continue with the process they are using now. So we can have our customers balance their business targets and their environmental targets by looking at the data.” 

In the interview Piesker highlights a use case relating to a customer in the Middle East, where Siemens Energy helped a client to optimise processes in a plant, resulting in a huge reduction in gas consumption and a saving more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. He comments on the willingness of Middle East customers to embrace digitalisation and decarbonisation, and the necessity for bringing the cost of decarbonisation initiatives down.

You can read the full interview in the latest issue of Oil Review Middle East, at 

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