LNG Operators: Digital Transformation via SaaS providers of asset management

In 2020, Arnlea began to focus more deeply on providing our Intrinsix cloud-based asset management solutions to forward-thinking LNG operators. You can read the article we published here. This is a summary and shares the challenges and opportunities for this growing marketplace and why digital transformation here will change so much for the industry.

LNG operators are as regulated as any other part of the energy industry and this includes formal inspection campaigns, and asset management and maintenance of equipment used in hazardous areas. The list of items to be inspected can number in the thousands and are found both on and offshore, giving rise to a huge burden of work, administration and reporting. How this is done, operator by operator, will give rise to huge, often hidden cost savings or expenditure.

When done well, the impact on both CAP and OP-EX, as well as morale, recruitment and HSEQ performance, can be significant and contribute to the lifetime of a plant, terminal or vessel.

Inspections used to be performed with pen and paper, clipboards – or if a little more advanced, using spreadsheets and printouts. In fact, perhaps surprisingly, there are more than a handful of operators still using one or both of these methods, because it’s not seen as core business, so it’s not given the investment, attention and profile it deserves. These methods make reporting and analysis of an individual inspection campaign or piece of equipment, harder, slower and less valuable as well.

Significantly, with many LNG operators using SAP or Maximo, they already have the capability of radically upgrading their asset management system, producing high calibre reporting, inspection regimes that are smart and saving, in one example £90,000 per asset per annum.

In other words, if LNG operators were to extend or invest in their digital transformation strategy to include asset management, then reporting, inspection campaigns, human resources and HSEQ would suddenly be more cost-effective, easier to manage and offer better value to their business.

The global pandemic has brought the issue digital transformation into sharp focus at every level and in the oil & gas industry, the drive for carbon net-zero has also started to push change. It seems that in LNG, the same may well be happen. There are many other global industries, notably aerospace or automotive, where digital transformation has been fully embraced for years. There, anonymised data sharing is part and parcel of best-in-class operations so that the whole industry works together to raise standards and continually improve efficiencies, technology and the supply chain.

As a SaaS provider, we provide a huge amount of support and information and practical training to help customers make good decisions when considering cloud-based inspection and asset management software.

Our video highlights the criteria you should consider as part of any decision-making criteria: HSEQ and compliance; user functionality and experience; financial advantages; and deployment.

It’s also really important that the UX/UI (user experience and user interface) delivers as contemporary functionality as possible. We’re all used to smart phones, tablets, desktops, gaming… We expect the same level of UX/UI in the software and equipment we use at work. It sounds trivial perhaps, but when our home tech is superior to our work tech, it can feel demoralising or less satisfying to do our jobs. It shouldn’t be underestimated.

For LNG operators looking to make the switch, it’s worth understanding that the buying cycle can take up to 12 months to complete, in terms of research, business case and purchasing processes involved. This gives procurement, IT and inspection teams time to consider the experience and track record of their preferred supplier and start to build a relationship with key team members before making a final decision to buy or go a particular route. This timescale should provider buyers with the comfort factor they need to make sure that their investment is timely, proven and effective.

Any investment is always with some risk. Yet Ex inspection software is already proven across the North Sea and around the world among oil & gas operators. LNG operators can start their buying journey to deploy Ex inspection cloud-based software, with their SaaS provider of choice, in the comfortable position of knowing others have gone before them, which will enable the LNG industry to take even bolder steps forward, leaving older technologies and industries in their wake.

For more information on Arnlea’s experience and capabilities contact the Business Development team, by calling +44 1224 620000 or emailing info@arnlea.com.