TechnipFMC and Flutura Use Artificial Intelligence to Make Oil Production More Efficient

Executive Summary

TechnipFMC used AWS Partner Flutura Decision Sciences and Analytics (Flutura) to achieve a cloud-based analytics solution for monitoring oil production equipment in near real time, advancing the goal of transforming energy brownfields into smart fields. TechnipFMC, which provides technologies used for energy production, wanted to shift to offering fully integrated solutions. The company used Cerebra, Flutura’s artificial intelligence (AI) solution built using AWS services, to create InsiteX, a scalable monitoring and analytics environment. TechnipFMC can now offer its customers a differentiated solution for achieving equipment intelligence, improving operational efficiency, reducing costs, and detecting greenhouse gas emissions leaks.

Shifting to Integrated Surface Technologies

TechnipFMC, a technology provider to traditional and new energies companies, saw the value of delivering completely integrated solutions to its customers in the oil industry. Its goal is to transform energy brownfields into smart fields to maximize production, decrease unplanned downtime, and reduce emissions. Previously, customers were responsible for integrating TechnipFMC’s surface technologies—such as onshore and offshore drilling solutions—into their existing systems. By offering integrated technology, TechnipFMC knew it could automate equipment and support customers’ remote operations by providing predictive analytics to help operations teams digitize oil fields faster as well as identify and fix issues before they cause downtime.

The company weighed building its own cloud-based analytics solution but discovered that Flutura already offered a comprehensive solution: Cerebra, an AI solution that provides operator access to near-real-time job performance information, equipment health information, historical trending and comparative analysis, near-real-time SMS or email alerts, and automated reporting tools. “We tried different offerings and saw the most success, speed, and value from Cerebra,” says Andrew Cappello, Director of Digital Control and Automation at TechnipFMC. “We now have the features and functions we need to achieve credibility in the analytics market.”

“Using AWS, we have the scale of the infrastructure we need to expand without practical limits.”

- Andrew Cappello, Director of Digital Control and Automation, TechnipFMC

Merging Engineering and Data Science Using AWS

AWS Partner and AWS independent software vendor (AWS ISV) Flutura was founded in 2012 with the goal of using AI to improve asset uptime and operational efficiency for companies in the oil and gas, specialty chemicals, and heavy machinery industries. Cerebra, its flagship product, provides near real-time visibility into various assets used in production—from a specific piece of equipment to an entire facility. The solution delivers insights that help companies optimize their production processes, perform predictive maintenance, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Even customers without data analytics experience can glean insights from data collected in Cerebra using the Engineer’s WorkBench, a core part of the solution. “We wanted to merge the two worlds of engineering and data science so that industrial engineers can easily get the insights they need to solve problems out in the field,” says Jigar Doshi, Principal Consultant at Flutura.  

Initially, Flutura developed Cerebra using open-source components but later scaled the solution using AWS services, including Amazon EMR, a solution for rapidly processing, analyzing, and applying machine learning to big data using open-source frameworks. Flutura keeps overhead costs low using Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK), a fully managed, highly available Apache Kafka service for secure data streaming. When TechnipFMC needed an analytics solution for the energy industry, Flutura worked alongside the company to customize Cerebra. Using AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud, Flutura and TechnipFMC can scale their analytics solution simply and cost effectively.

Making Energy Production More Efficient

TechnipFMC began exploring data analytics solutions in 2015. It started using Cerebra in its projects in 2017 and formalized the commercial relationship in April 2021. TechnipFMC integrated Cerebra with its existing solutions, iComplete—an integrated system that uses digital capabilities to achieve faster, safer fracking—and iProduction, a digital solution for achieving more efficient oil production. The resulting cloud environment, InsiteX, brings together TechnipFMC’s knowledge of energy production equipment and processes and Flutura’s AI capabilities, including early anomaly detection and diagnostics models, near-real-time reporting, and last-mile visibility into operations. TechnipFMC’s customers can log into InsiteX from anywhere, supported by AWS global availability—no special software needed. TechnipFMC maintains a secure environment and uses segmentation to keep customers’ data private. “Typically, if somebody wants remote access to a site, they have to use a legacy system with on-premises servers and designated laptops to run the software they need,” says Cappello. “In contrast, by using our technology, they can remotely achieve immediate visibility on any device they want. This saves time and improves safety by reducing trips to the field because workers now have the ability to take action from wherever they are.”

Now that customers can monitor their equipment health and performance in near real time, they can improve their operational efficiency, scale the resources they use, and reduce costs. Major integrated operators in North American shale that are using iProduction and InsiteX have reported a 58 percent reduction in their facility footprint, a 30 percent shorter time to first oil, and a 33 percent reduction in capital expenditures. In addition, these customers have reported a more than 60 percent reduction in low-pressure gas flaring, a process that releases methane emissions. Operators can also scan their equipment to detect which systems emit large amounts of methane, so they’re ready to react quickly to remediate leaks—and as a result, reduce their greenhouse gas footprint. In the past, TechnipFMC developed custom-made solutions for each customer—a time- and labor-intensive process. Now, it moves quickly by using standardized building blocks that can be configured and deployed at scale. Since developing its solution in the cloud, TechnipFMC can support data at volumes ranging from a small stream to a permanent production facility with 20,000 data points updating every few seconds. Unlike many other companies producing surface technologies, TechnipFMC can serve both customers seeking data as a service and those that want a full digital twin of their production operations along with interpretation of their data. “Using AWS, we have the scale of the infrastructure we need to expand practically without limits,” says Cappello.

“Delivering high-value outcomes at scale needs unmatched expertise of oil field equipment and processes, the pragmatic application of data science, and a scalable platform to deploy mission critical solutions. TechnipFMC and Flutura’s partnership brings this expertise to operators with a faster time to value.”

- Jigar Doshi, Principal Consultant, Flutura Decision Sciences and Analytics

Achieving a Highly Scalable Solution

Now that it has changed its business model to offer integrated, data-driven surface technologies, TechnipFMC plans to keep moving forward with its digital transformation. “InsiteX is leading us into the future,” says Cappello. 

Flutura will continue supporting TechnipFMC’s efforts to transform the energy industry by delivering data insights that support leaner and greener decision-making. “Delivering high-value outcomes at scale needs unmatched expertise of oil field equipment and processes, the pragmatic application of data science, and a scalable platform to deploy mission-critical solutions,” says Doshi. “TechnipFMC and Flutura’s partnership brings this expertise to operators with a faster time to value. There’s a huge opportunity to use this solution to empower thousands of other industrial engineers in oil fields around the world.”


About TechnipFMC

TechnipFMC is a global technology provider to the traditional and new energies industry, delivering fully integrated projects, products, and services. Based in London, the company has operations in Houston and Paris.

About Flutura

Founded in 2012, Flutura Decision Sciences and Analytics provides AI solutions for the energy, process manufacturing, and heavy machinery industries. The company is an AWS Partner and an AWS ISV.

Published December 2021