German energy and manufacturing conglomerate Siemens has launched an integrated approach to the engineering, supply and life cycle optimization of pipeline assets that is says is tailored to meet the evolving needs of North American operators.
Pipelines 4.0 combines equipment and turnkey packages for pipeline stations with data analytics, life cycle service and cyber security, building on the company's pipeline experience, product breadth and expertise in rotating equipment, electrification, automation and digitalization.
While unconventional resource development has grown production in North America, it has also strained transportation infrastructure, namely pipelines—the most efficient means to move oil and gas to market. The resulting bottleneck poses an obstacle to the entire industry, Siemens said.
Despite the pressing demand for pipelines, operators face a number of challenges, including a potentially “lower for longer” price of oil and gas, the need to reduce CAPEX and OPEX, aging assets, the effective management of large amounts of data, cyber security concerns, tightening legislation and the looming retirement of highly experienced personnel.
Pipelines 4.0 is the company’s answer to this complex conundrum. It comprises integrated offerings and turnkey solutions for pump and compressor stations to enhance efficiency; data analytics and life cycle services to optimize critical asset performance; cyber security services to protect information and “smart” equipment; and dedicated support teams to facilitate inter-company communications.
The company has added integrated packages to its portfolio, such as an electric-motor-driven (EMD) compressor. The EMD is pre-engineered for efficient installation and startup, thereby allowing operators to significantly reduce project lead times. Siemens has the ability to offer an extended electrification package that includes compressors, drives, motors, skids, automation, e-shelters, sub-stations and transformers, enabling operators to further streamline interfaces and reduce risk.
The company also recently developed Smart Pump to optimize the power consumption of pipeline pump stations. Siemens has invested more than 10 billion EUR in software acquisitions in the last 10 years and is now one of the world’s top 10 software companies. Software-based solutions include the use of digital twins and the company’s IoT platform, MindSphere, to optimize pipeline asset performance, from pre-FEED through the entire asset life cycle.
“We work with our pipeline customers to deliver what matters most: safety, efficiency, predictability, reliability, and ultimately, peace of mind,” Matthew Chinn, who heads the global Siemens Oil and Gas Account Management Team, as well as New Equipment Sales and Customer Operations for the Dresser-Rand business, said in a statement.