AWS for Industries

How Oxy uses SensorUp Gas Emission Management Solution for informed decision-making and strategic operations

Multifaceted challenges in emission management

Managing methane emissions has become increasingly important in the dynamic oil and gas sector. Operators are embracing the opportunity to meet rising emission monitoring requirements, using the wealth of data from screening sensors, addressing emissions fees, and enhancing their reputation by proactively managing super emitter identification. These opportunities are supported by regulatory and market incentives to reduce methane intensity and implement effective abatement strategies alongside the benefits of advanced leak detection and repair (LDAR) and streamlined audit reporting processes.

The growing volume, velocity, and variety of sensor and operational data offer unique opportunities for in-depth management and interpretation of large emissions datasets—this wealth of data calls for deploying sophisticated analysis tools for impactful emissions reduction. Additionally, addressing lost gas bolsters environmental sustainability and opens avenues for increased operator revenue, underscoring the importance of operational excellence in methane management.

Proactively identifying and addressing super emitters is vital in enhancing brand reputation and meeting stakeholder expectations for environmental stewardship. The industry’s dedication to achieving more stringent emission reductions and complying with voluntary standards, such as The Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0), MiQ, and GTI Energy’s Veritas protocols, presents opportunities to navigate the complexities and resource requirements of regulatory compliance and reporting. This dedication enriches the operational landscape with advanced measurement and data analysis capabilities, helping operators rise to the challenge and achieve their environmental and operational goals.

To address methane emissions, the oil and gas industry must use advanced technologies and strategic partnerships to enhance data analysis, super emitter response strategies, and operational efficiency to navigate the increasingly challenging emission management landscape. Addressing these complex challenges effectively helps the industry meet regulatory pressures, fulfill voluntary program requirements, and uphold environmental sustainability and stakeholder trust.

SensorUp for emission management

In response to these multifaceted challenges, the SensorUp Gas Emission Management Solutions platform, built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), is helping companies meet the complex demands of methane emission management in the oil and gas sector. Oxy is a leading global oil and gas producer, and its implementation of the SensorUp solution illustrates that the platform is a critical facilitator, boosting operational efficiency, warranting regulatory compliance, optimizing abatement activities, and resulting in more accurate and standards-based emission reporting and reconciliation.

Oxy’s successful application of SensorUp demonstrates the platform’s capability to navigate emission management complexities with precision, effectively transforming emission oversight into a streamlined and manageable process. By deploying SensorUp, Oxy has set a benchmark in operational excellence and environmental stewardship, showcasing the impact of strategic technological integration in overcoming the pervasive challenges of methane emission management. On the advancements achieved through collaboration, Jeremy Underwood, Oxy’s director of production operations technology, has this to say: “We brought all these requirements to bear with SensorUp, and the progress we’ve made so far has been nothing short of remarkable.”

Figure 1. SensorUp’s value propositionFigure 1. SensorUp’s value proposition

As shown in figure 1, SensorUp’s unique value proposition lies in its end-to-end methane emission management capabilities, offering operators a consolidated, verified, and compliant data source. This results in efficient and rapid emission reductions alongside operational improvements. SensorUp, an AWS Partner, aggregates and analyzes methane emission data from a wide array of heterogeneous sensors and operational data from across oil and gas operations. By unifying emission data from diverse and disparate sources, SensorUp helps operators drive reductions, improve operational efficiency, and minimize the costs and liabilities associated with emission management.

The operator benefits and value derived from SensorUp are multifaceted:

  • streamlines emission management: The SensorUp solution empowers operations and air quality teams by simplifying the detection and management of emissions. By amalgamating disparate multiscale and multimodal sensing and operational systems into a standards-based emission event model, SensorUp helps operations teams find leaks and fix them faster while creating the data foundation to empower air quality teams to complete their regulatory reporting and reconciliation processes easily and accurately.
  • prevents lost gas and reduces fee exposure: Using SensorUp’s ability to improve time to repair, time to respond, and quantification accuracy, SensorUp helps operators avoid lost gas and ultimately lower reported methane emissions, reducing Waste Emissions Charge fee exposure.
  • enhances operational integrity with discrepancy reconciliation: Using its robust data foundation, SensorUp provides operators with relevant “clues” that help with identification of root causes, elimination of false positives, avoidance of unnecessary field trips, and swift execution of mitigation actions.
  • provides common operating picture for emission operations: SensorUp’s advanced spatiotemporal visualization tools offer a unified operational perspective, improving the comprehension of emission sources and methane intensity with support for multiple granularity levels in space and time. These tools help operators transition seamlessly from intricate, site-specific insights to comprehensive asset summaries and from analyzing real-time data streams to reviewing historical data playback, resulting in a thorough understanding of emission dynamics across all dimensions.
  • reduces emissions: Operators can use the SensorUp time & rate engine to accurately establish start time, end time, and quantification of multiple observation emission events and to provide a more accurate estimate of mass and volume. This not only helps achieve environmental compliance targets but also improves the sustainability profile of the organization.
  • offers a sensor-agnostic approach: Effective and efficient methane emission mitigation must use a multisensor approach.1  SensorUp’s flexibility to integrate seamlessly with heterogeneous sensing technologies and operational data results in a better understanding of the source and cause of emissions, improving data accuracy and helping operators choose the most efficient mix of monitoring technologies for their operations.

Figure 2. Consolidated view of critical metricsFigure 2. Consolidated view of critical metrics

The SensorUp platform aggregates inputs from various sources, helping teams across all organizational levels to comprehensively understand emissions and support informed decision-making in emission management. By integrating data from monitoring programs, source inventories, and operations, the platform’s dashboards offer a consolidated view of critical metrics, including total emissions and methane intensity, as shown in figure 2. This integration facilitates detailed tracking and supports the establishment of corporate emission targets.

Figure 3. Connected AssetsFigure 3. Connected Assets

SensorUp streamlines the process of achieving comprehensive asset management. Through its Connected Assets feature, as shown in figure 3, the platform helps operators effortlessly import and organize sites into assets or facilities, manage schemas, and integrate efficiently with external asset registries and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like SAP and Maximo. The result is that all assets are accurately accounted for and effectively controlled.

Figure 4. Emission ManagementFigure 4. Emission Management

After the configuration of Connected Assets, SensorUp connects with existing monitoring data. The platform’s low-code integration tool streamlines the process, resulting in quick and effortless integration with monitoring partners with an option to import historical emission data. This integrated approach helps operations and air quality teams collaborate and view emissions. Whether analyzing high-priority detections at a site asset or delving into detailed performance and trends across your assets, SensorUp’s Emission Management capability, as shown in figure 4, provides essential insights for informed decision-making.

Figure 5. Executive DashboardFigure 5. Executive Dashboard

As shown in figure 5, detailed, standards-based data is the foundation for Carbon Accounting, where all emission data is quantified and reconciled according to the Veritas standard. SensorUp also equips air quality teams with advanced tools for managing voluntary initiatives, helping them investigate discrepancies between site measurements and source inventories. Teams tasked with OGMP compliance can use Emission Management foundational data to identify differences and conduct root cause analyses. This process facilitates ongoing enhancements to source inventories and the accuracy of overall emission estimates.

Figure 6. Optical gas imaging surveyFigure 6. Optical gas imaging survey

The integrated Outpost Field Service Management (FSM) toolset offers an industry-leading solution for managing optical gas imaging (OGI) data collection processes and other field-based data collection processes, including drone surveys, as shown in figure 6. Outpost FSM excels by delivering accurate, geospatially located, and media-rich field observations coupled with optimizations designed for rapid and straightforward use by operators.

Reference architecture and technical aspects

Figure 7. Reference architectureFigure 7. Reference architecture

A simplified reference architecture as shown in figure 7 has five sections:

1. SensorUp standards and data streams solve the integration challenge escalating volumes of data from satellites, flyovers, sensors, and surveys, as well as operational data.

2. Emission event management helps operators (assisted by artificial intelligence) to establish the source, cause, time, and rate of real-time emissions.

In sections 1 and 2, the solution ingests data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices and uses AWS to provide actionable insights. SensorUp leverages various AWS services for scalable and secure data ingestion, processing, and access in a cloud-native implementation. These include AWS IoT Core, which securely connects devices to the cloud, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object storage service. Together, these two services handle high-volume streaming telemetry and batch file uploads that feed into serverless AWS Lambda functions for extract, transform, load (ETL) and enrichment.

3. Carbon Accounting facilitates emission reconciliation and accounting, providing operators with a durable system of record for Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3.

4. SensorUp Outpost FSM facilitates the efficient operations of LDAR programs, including dispatch, data collection, and ERP integration. In sections 3 and 4, the processed data lands in persisted tables in Amazon DynamoDB (a serverless, NoSQL database service) and an Amazon S3 data lake. Multiple independent backend services with GraphQL APIs run on AWS Lambda (a serverless, event-driven compute service) and Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) (which runs highly secure, reliable, and scalable containers). They are unified via AWS AppSync, a service that creates serverless GraphQL and pub/sub APIs, into a single API surface consumed by web and mobile apps.

5. SensorUp uses various AWS services for identity management and security to achieve an enterprise-grade security posture. For user identity and access control, SensorUp integrates with Amazon Cognito, a service that implements secure, frictionless customer identity and access management that scales. Static assets get served through Amazon S3 and Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience.

Additionally, the infrastructure relies heavily on Terraform template, Serverless Framework, and continuous integration and delivery for automated provisioning and deployment. The platform emphasizes tenant isolation, encrypted data persistence, and SOC 2 compliance to provide enterprise-grade security backed by services such as AWS Security Hub (a cloud security posture management service) and Amazon CloudWatch, which observes and monitors resources and applications on AWS, on premises, and on other clouds. By leveraging fully managed AWS building blocks, SensorUp achieves reduced operational overhead, optimized total cost of ownership, and accelerated innovation through faster delivery and simplified cloud operations.

Emphasizing security and compliance, SensorUp integrates AWS best practices found in the AWS Foundational Technical Review, such as identity and access management roles, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), and data encryption at rest and in transit based on the needs, to cultivate a secure operating framework. SensorUp’s success here is demonstrated by its achievement of SOC 2 certification, ISO 27001, and General Data Protection Regulation frameworks, which underscores its dedication to enterprise-grade security. The adoption of the AWS Well-Architected Framework and AWS advanced security protocols empowers SensorUp to uphold stringent security and reliability standards, achieving compliance with the OWASP Application Security Verification Standard Level 4 and Mobile Application Verification Standard Level 2.

Conclusion and contact information

SensorUp aims to be a leader in methane emission mitigation solutions, driven by its commitment to building solid partnerships and enhancing its platform through customer and partner feedback. By engaging closely with industry leaders and technology innovators, SensorUp is continuously updating with features that meet the complex demands of emission management. Because of this collaborative approach, the platform remains at the forefront of technological advancements and regulatory compliance, reinforcing SensorUp’s role in shaping sustainable practices within the oil and gas sector.

SensorUp can help any midstream or upstream operator improve its journey toward net-zero emissions. Contact SensorUp for more information and to schedule a demonstration. Contact the AWS Energy team to learn more about the results that this group is driving together with SensorUp.

[1] National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. “Improving Characterization of Anthropogenic Methane Emissions in the United States.” The National Academies Press (2018).

Steve Liang

Steve Liang

Dr. Steve Liang is the CTO and founder of SensorUp and a professor at the University of Calgary. He is a global influencer on IoT and the author of several international sensor web standards for the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and the Open Geospatial Consortium. His role at SensorUp is centered on product strategy, where he actively liaises between customers, standards groups, and internal engineering teams to deliver an industry-leading solution called SensorUp Gas Emission Management Solution.

Jeremy Underwood

Jeremy Underwood

Jeremy Underwood is the director of production operations technology for onshore resources and carbon management at Oxy. His responsibilities include selecting and applying technology that enhances operational excellence, as well as setting and managing Oxy’s emission technology strategy. He has nearly 20 years of industry experience and has managed technology teams responsible for drilling, completions, well servicing, HES, maintenance, mechanical integrity, and industrial cybersecurity. Jeremy has a bachelor of science in computer science/electronics engineering from the University of Arkansas-Grantham and proudly served in the US Marine Corps during Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

Laura Sturch

Laura Sturch

Laura Sturch is a data-driven engineering leader transforming complex challenges into effective solutions. At SensorUp, she directs a team of engineers to create an industry-leading platform for mitigating methane emissions in the oil and gas industry. This effort draws on her expertise in cloud-based development and data analytics. With over a decade of experience integrating satellite, aerial, and ground-truth data, Laura has consistently demonstrated her ability to apply her passion for geospatial data to generate positive outcomes across various industries.

Spencer Cox

Spencer Cox

Spencer Cox is a technology leader with over 20 years of experience empowering enterprise customers. He has broad technical experience, having led technical services within an AWS Partner, driven senior product functions at a Bay Area geospatial data company, and led innovative product and engineering teams. Spencer is driven to help customers solve their most important problems at scale.

Dhruv Vashisth

Dhruv Vashisth

Dhruv Vashisth, a principal solutions architect for Global Energy Partners at AWS, brings over 19 years of deep experience in architecting and implementing enterprise solutions, with a 15-year tenure specifically in the energy industry. Dhruv is dedicated to helping AWS energy partners in constructing upstream and decarbonization solutions on AWS. Since joining AWS in 2019, Dhruv has been driving the success of energy partners by leading solution architecture, solution launches, and joint go-to-market strategies on AWS.