We look up to other international and regional oil companies, and we would like to be similar if not ahead. Why not KOC? We have the technology, and we have the team. Why not?
Finding tools for greater efficiency and transparency within ArcGIS Enterprise
As a producer of oil and gas products for global markets, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has teams involved in exploration, development, and production. Embracing the standards of industry leaders, the company also is committed to regulatory compliance, safety, efficiency, and environmental responsibility. Now leaders at the 87-year-old company are modernizing to better centralize and automate its increasingly complex workflows. They chose geographic information system (GIS) technology as the foundation for change.
“We have so many operations that require logistics or wayfinding,” said Shaima Shihab, senior engineer and team leader for Digital Innovation and Geospatial Services at KOC. “We are working in oil fields. We have people who need navigation. We have people who need to plan to drill new wells. The spatial content and the geographic sense – that’s what really gives the technology its value and helps our users in their daily operations.”
KOC has hundreds of thousands of assets—oil wells, pipelines, gathering centers, and booster stations – spread out over more than 3,800 square miles in the Middle East. Many of those sites are distant and difficult to reach, and desert roads can be unstable.
With such a broad distribution of personnel, equipment, and facilities, KOC’s leaders wanted to improve efficiency, collaboration among teams and access to up-to-the-minute information about operations across the business. Achieving that higher level of transparency would also aid in identifying and addressing problems in real time.
Equally important, the company’s leaders wanted to give team members the tools they need to do their best work. This would mean moving beyond shared spreadsheets and data stored in regional and local networks and desktop computers.
A geographic approach to modernization was appropriate for many reasons, especially when considering KOC’s scope of work and the wide distribution of its work sites.
ArcGIS Enterprise, the foundation software for a geographic information system, offers the needed capabilities within a single, unified platform available to more than 5,000 users at KOC. The technology allows users to create a live, digital model that offers visibility across the business. Leaders glean insights for decision-making using data analytics tools.
The KOC team used GIS to build and deploy its Maps Portal—a system that monitors and helps manage activities at thousands of locations while also offering tools for coordinating travel routes between locations. Sensors allow for real-time tracking on maps as tankers move about to distribute fuel, essential for keeping equipment running according to production schedules at all locations. Monitoring also reduces fuel theft.
Team members also use GIS technology to automate the processes for reserving land and verifying its suitability for business operations. Logging new requests in a central system reduces duplication, helps to ensure compliance with safety regulations, and streamlines the process for getting equipment set up at work sites. Managers have access to progress reports through a dashboard. In other words, the technology brings relevant data to teams that need it.
Leaders at KOC say having a powerful, centralized database for information sharing and collaboration has increased efficiency in large and small ways. GIS capabilities have also improved the reliability of the data available to team members for planning and decision-making.
KOC’s Maps Portal system also made it possible to integrate GIS capabilities with other information systems, advancing the organization’s progress toward enterprise-level digital transformation, according to Shaima Shihab.
Optimizing routes for drivers using GIS helps the company conserve fuel. Sensors synced with the GIS portal monitors equipment and conditions at work sites. “In optimizing the fuel tanker operation process, the system enhanced the quality of services by providing a centralized application that supports mission planning and control for all fuel distribution operations,” Shihab said.
Perhaps most importantly, the system empowers team members and gives workers in the field more peace of mind. Carefully choosing and monitoring travel routes is critical for protecting crews during exploration or production. With capabilities within their systems still untapped, leaders and team members are looking to the future with greater expectations and confidence.