Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Repost: What is assay knowledge management?

Guest Blogger, Emma Price, Customer Relationship Manager for Spiral Software
Spiral was founded with a vision to transform the oil industry’s use of software, helping to maximise the value of every drop of crude oil. The inspiration behind this was twofold.
Firstly, the evolving industry context creates new challenges and opportunities. Refiners are seeing a more diverse feedstock market than ever before—diverse in both quality and pricing. There are now many crude oils available which present some processing challenges in return for a discounted market price. At the same time, product specifications are becoming more stringent and legislation is tightening around safer operational limits. Put together, this makes a confident understanding of feedstock refining behaviour more important than it has ever been.
Secondly, the new capabilities of information technology enable effective collaboration, even across huge global organisations. It is perfectly realistic to gather real-time information from operating sites and provide meaningful analytics that help users collaborate to make the best possible decisions. This is the step from looking at assay data as simply a set of laboratory measurements to seeing it as “assay knowledge”: bringing together assay measurement with operational data, refinery models, past experience, market information and even news feeds.
This is what we mean by “assay knowledge management” and since 1998, our tools span this whole space: from traditional implementations at laboratories that help them validate and work-up assay data, through to oil major implementations with over 2,500 users in a single enterprise, spanning every area of the business, across upstream exploration, feedstock trading, strategy and operations.
This pushes well outside the bounds of legacy assay management software. For example, some of the largest commodity trading companies use our tools to run thousands of cases to understand how markets would react to feedstock and refining capacity changes. In parallel, engineering and consulting companies use our tools to analyse strategic investments, understanding the future value and risk of capital investments and green field developments.