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Problems at Safaniyah, the World’s Largest Oil Field and Lessons We Can Learn

The Safaniyah oil field in Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest producing oil field. Recently, it’s production compacity was reduced after a ship’s anchor cut the main power supply while there. Reuters reports that this was a partial shutdown, citing their source. Markets worry that this might be the start of an oil shortage, and it looks like their worries could be justified.

At the same time, Venezuela is sliding further into chaos while the U.S. levies more sanctions against them. These sanctions reduce the flow of Venezuelan heavy crude oil. Looking at their current political strife and it’s easy to see this could last for some time. When combined, these two disasters could tip the oil market into chaos.

When running at full speed, Safaniyah has a production capacity of over 1 million barrels of heavy crude oil. Due to this large amount, it’s unsurprising that interested parties could be happy or upset by the recent development. Either way, this is something that oil companies can learn a great deal from.

Preparation Can’t Fix All Problems

Without knowing more about the exact situation at Safaniyah, it’s hard to say why the anchor was able to cut the power. There’s a chance the power line was in a dangerous place. On the other hand, the anchor could have been the problem. Finally, it could have been a freak accident.

Regardless of all the precautions they took, it still happened, and that’s the critical part. Though Safaniyah can overcome this issue, a smaller oil field might be put out of business if they lose power and can’t get it back in time. Since no one can predict the future, we must do everything we can to reduce the hazards connected to it, starting with preparing and using data to fix problems beforehand and ending with disaster plans to help speed recovery after the fact.

Advanced Planning with AI Powered Tools

This time is where FieldEquip comes into play. With AI-powered analytical machines, you can use past evidence to help prepare for any possible future. Easy to use displays allows for instant updates as well as notifications about what may cause an issue in the future. From one screen, you can see all field equipment and workers from your home office or even on a plane.

When working on large oil fields, this can be a money and company saver. Without the ability to look over everything at once, there is a chance you could miss something vital, a power surge to one machine over time might not seem like much when you look at each report individually among hundreds a day. However, the software will notice this change with ease allowing for a fix before there is even a problem.

Disaster Recovery

On the other hand, being able to work as effectively as possible after a power shuts off oil or a machine break is just as important. The longer you stay without power or vital equipment, the longer you continue to lose money. Getting alerts the second something goes wrong is the first step in fixing the problem.

Without knowing right away that something has happened, it could take a few hours for someone to see, another person to call, and you to get the message. After you get the message, being able to see what options you have will be step two. Managing anything is hard, and it only gets harder with the scope of your job. Sometimes an answer or temporary solution could be staring you in the face, but without a hundred eyes, you might never see it. Smart software is your one hundred eyes.

There is no magical trick to keep accidents from happening. However, by ensuring that you have the proper connectivity with the field, you make sure you are as safe as possible and recover as quickly as well.

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