3 Modern Challenges in the Midstream and Upstream Markets
Midstream and Upstream markets are modernizing. This modernization and digitalization push is in response to production challenges common across many industries and challenges unique to this market. Some of these challenges are particularly crucial in the midstream/upstream market: cybersecurity, safety, and data handling.
Hargrove’s midstream/upstream vertical team has been working in the industry for decades, which means this team is particularly effective at assisting our clients with their Industry 4.0 transformation. Our Team has industry experience with the old ways of doing things, why things were done that way, and an understanding of what is important for the future. We also work side by side with Teammates who spend their days in cybersecurity, AI, IIoT, and the latest in process control technology.
“The knowledge of how we did things yesterday cannot be replaced; but bridging that with the expanding control systems of tomorrow, that’s something unique.” – Pat Lyles, Upstream/Midstream Industry Leader
Cybersecurity is an ever-important topic, especially with midstream and upstream markets. Because these systems affect hundreds of thousands of people, they become prime targets for hackers. For example, the well-known Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack affected the entire east coast fuel supply. Malicious entities make software advancements every day, so it is vital that the correct cybersecurity layers of protection are in place and constantly updated.
Most of our customers are moving (or have already moved) from proprietary networks to Ethernet, which requires a higher level of cybersecurity. With open networks, it is important to have a full understanding of servers, routers, etc. to ensure correct setup and protection. We have expertise in both business IT and control OT, which helps us to offer customized solutions for implementation of new hardware/software, assessment of existing systems, or advanced monitoring solutions.
To find out more about our cybersecurity offerings, click here.
Safety is a major concern in all markets, but it takes on a whole new meaning in the midstream and upstream industries. These systems are complex, can cover a large area, and safety failures can become catastrophic. Many risks must be considered when designing and implementing safety to protect the surrounding environment, wildlife, and human lives.
With such a high level of risk, we have a team of TÜV and ISA certified Process Safety experts that perform extensive analyses, such as SIL studies, LOPAs, HAZOPs, PHAs, along with assembling, programming, and testing of our systems. Rarely does one person have all the necessary knowledge and experience to perform the entire safety lifecycle effort. However, we have combined our expertise into one Team, working shoulder to shoulder, learning from one another, and leveraging our talents to bring our customers holistic safety solutions.
To find out more about or process safety compliance, click here.
Data in the midstream/upstream markets is crucial – accurate data that is correctly analyzed can streamline decision making for production and transportation. In addition, data is critical to the board room – what is happening on the ground level affects stock prices.
Midstream and upstream industries run continuously with few shutdowns. This makes collecting data on the systems crucial to prevent downtime. For example, data can be collected and analyzed through AI to ensure that scheduled maintenance is performed at optimal times – predictive maintenance.
At Hargrove, we can bring relevant data to the operator to help them make informed decisions and prevent disruptions from occurring.
Data doesn’t stop at the operator level. The real expertise comes from analyzing raw system data and presenting it in meaningful ways to all levels of a company. We can take information from the process to the board room. We work with our clients to collect all necessary data, including operator alarms, predictive maintenance alerts, or production throughput summaries to the correct individuals.
Read here for information on our partnership with companies like AspenTech and Noodle.ai on how we are using their AI product lines to handle data and improve our customer’s reliability, efficiency, and profitability.
Many of our Teammates began their careers working on our clients’ control systems, gaining valuable knowledge. With our skillsets in process control and safety, IT/OT, cybersecurity, digitalization, panel fabrication, and more we can offer our midstream and upstream oil and gas clients turnkey one-stop automation solutions.
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