What Real-time Monitoring Is … And Isn’t

Cultivating an Inspector’s Perspective
March 1, 2019

By Eric Fritts, Engineering Manager, Offshore Technical Compliance

You may have heard… On April 29, a new real-time monitoring regulation becomes mandatory. The new rule sets out some additional requirements for monitoring that have not been in place previously. So, with the stipulated date upon us, you might be asking yourself, “Should I be worried?” The message from OTC is, “Don’t be.” Our customers rely on OTC to provide them with independent third party verification services for well control equipment. In that role, we strive to put our clients’ minds at ease. We go about this by firstly clarifying the confusion surrounding regulatory requirements and secondly by reassuring our clients that they can always count on us to help them successfully and painlessly navigate any change in the regulatory landscape.

Don’t Panic

In the case of the April 29 rule change, OTC is advising clients that the technology available on the market for real-time monitoring often far exceeds the level of technical complexity that will actually be called for. We have all seen sensational visuals of supersized real-time monitoring mission control centers, where banks of desks support rows upon rows of screens actively scrutinized by dedicated teams of engineers. This is what real-time monitoring is… And isn’t. The truth is that this scenario, although exciting, is actually way above and beyond what is called for in the new regulation.

So what are the requirements that will be enforced as law? The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) stipulates in 30 CFR 250.724 that you must have an “independent, automatic and continuous monitoring system capable of recording, storing, and transmitting data.” The majority of the assets operating in the Gulf of Mexico today, to which this rule applies, already have the capability to do this. For example, OTC GREENLIGHT digital pressure testing software suite analyses data offshore and sends pressure testing data to shore in real-time. Digital pressure tests conducted with OTC GREENLIGHT can be monitored through a web browser at your desk, or when you’re on the move from your mobile phone.

Real-time monitoring is not 24/7 eyes on a computer screen. In fact, it is a set of tools, and a plan for how and when to utilize them. It is the ability to capture, store and transmit relevant data, and to view/process that data remotely if, or when, it becomes necessary to do so. OTC wants our clients to be aware that adopting a more modest, cost-effective approach to complying with the upcoming regulations is also still a viable option for those that want to take that route. With this understanding of what is required to meet the new rules, OTC is able to help you put in place the processes and documentation that meets the standard.

OTC-Omni: A New Monitoring Solution

OTC will add to its compliance oversight capabilities by launching a new monitoring service, OTC-Omni, which will serve the role of increasing reliability and efficiency of well control equipment. Tiered levels of service will range from FREE to OTC clients utilizing VoC services all the way up to full-scale reliability trending.

OTC-Omni is being developed in partnership with Hecate Software Inc., a pioneer in predictive digital BOP pressure testing in the oil and gas industry and developers of OTC’s GREENLIGHT and GREENLIGHT-Yard digital pressure testing software suite. OTC envisions important synergies between the technologies, enabling us to provide information backed by data that will work to improve our clients’ efficiencies. By becoming more fully aware of well control equipment maintenance requirements, OTC-Omni users will have the option to meet regulatory requirements but also exceed them in areas identified with the potential to boost their profitability. At OTC, we see the future of predictive modeling played out through massive data collection and algorithm development. And we’re excited about it.

With the OTC-Omni rollout forthcoming, OTC is now accepting requests for further information from interested parties. Call Eric Fritts today on 832-463-5076 to find out more.

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