Digital Transformation and Environmental Management | AIChE

Digital Transformation and Environmental Management


Conference Presentation

Conference Type

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety

Presentation Date

April 22, 2021


15 minutes

Skill Level




Digital Transformation and Environmental Management

Environmental protection is a fundamental and long-standing focus area in the oil and gas industry. Its significance is only growing each day as the planet continues to shatter record high temperature levels across the globe, resulting in much needed environmental movements and increasingly stringent regulations with the intention to minimize the environmental impact and create a sustainable future.

Saudi Aramco has long maintained environmental protection as an integral part of its culture with the goal of ensuring that the Company operations are conducted in an environmentally safe and cost-effective manner. This latest endeavor is no different, falling in line with the aspirations of the Company and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding economic diversification and digital transformation.

With a generational shift in technology and an industrial revolution on the horizon, the Company is exploring new fronts with the potential to transform its business, including its environmental management approach. The answer comes in the form of the Integrated Manufacturing Operations Management System (imoms); a system built upon a thriving digital economy to deliver best-in-class production, reliability, safety and environmental management.

When viewing the industry’s approach to improving environmental performance, the main focus is on reducing the environmental footprint; whether that is related to air quality management, water management, hazardous waste management, or other environmental aspects. That is normally managed by a proactive and structured approach based on careful planning and monitoring of operational activities. This approach needs the right tools to improve how the system is applied.

imoms: An Operations Excellence Enabler

imoms is a pioneering digital transformation project and is the foundation for the 4th Industrial Revolution (IR4.0). It is made up of a set of advanced technologies and is positioned as an Operations Excellence enabler that contains Saudi Aramco business processes, best practices, and know-how; and contains the “blueprint” for how to safely and efficiently operate a facility. The system is a pre-engineered package that enables all manufacturing business processes, including Production (POM), Inventory (IOM), and Quality Operations Management (QOM), Reliability and Integrity Management (RIM), as well as Regulatory Compliance Management (RCM).

imoms is designed to improve operations by facilitating planning, execution, monitoring, and control. It does so by building upon traditional refinery methods of extracting and contextualizing information by introducing integrated solutions that manage operations and connect the data with the user.

Typical tools within the platform are integrated decision-making dashboards, mobile platforms, big data analytics, predictive fault models, material and energy balance models, asset performance models, electronic work permit, environmental management, management of change, and numerous other mission critical and advanced tools.

As an example, existing systems such as OSI PI Historian and LabWare are connected to the imoms integration engine and supported by specific systems such as Sphera, and common systems such as the visualization platform to deliver the right information at the right time to the right user to make the right decision. imoms also aims to break down the structure of multidisciplinary teams to create a collaborative work culture.

Industry references have shown that implementing this type of platform will result in improved personnel efficiency, profitability, asset performance and environmental, health and safety.

The estimated annual savings are seen as 0.5–1.5 $/bbl. This industry leading investment will revolutionize manufacturing and is being extended to oil and gas, energy and petrochemical facilities in Saudi Arabia. The system is cloud based and can easily be extended to any Saudi Aramco manufacturing facility and joint venture ensuring the following benefits:

  • Improved business performance while creating a new talented interchangeable workforce of engineers, bringing all facilities to the highest level of automation and business performance
  • Minimizing the overall IT investment (CapEx) and standardizing processes and digital architecture to reducing TCO (OpEx) over the next few years
  • Improving governance with near real-time visibility across the entire portfolio
  • Offering the possibility to extend and manage one integrated oil and gas value chain building a team of talented Saudi engineers in the imoms center of excellence

Environmental Management Systems and IR4.0

The Environmental Management System (EMS) is one of the key systems that is classified under the RCM system found within imoms. Essentially, EMS as an IR4.0 technology acts as a watchdog, reducing manual intervention and allowing the user to make an effective and informed decisions when needed to attain maximum compliance with internal and external environmental regulations.

It is easy to dismiss the prospects of advancement in favor of the “if it is not broke, don’t fix it” adage. However, industry professionals have long complained about issues of the current work structure that is driven by rigid systems, inconsistent processes and practices, and different experience levels, and spend a significant amount of time in locating relevant data. Couple that with the growing environmental challenges and it becomes clear that the current approach is simply not able to keep up.

EMS promises key benefits that include role-based real-time monitoring complete with notifications, reports and advisories visualized on one central dashboard. The system is able to identify environmental deviations based on operating parameters and internal and external environmental regulations, execute the complete incident management workflow in real-time, and calculate the severity of noncompliance items with minimal user involvement. What would normally take weeks of data collection from numerous sources, conversion, analysis, validation, and manual reporting could be summed up in one solitary click of a button.

The best part is that imoms is not reserved to the latest and most cutting-edge facilities. Its ease of adaptability allows integrators to account for differences between facilities by making the necessary tweaks on a pre-built and scalable infrastructure, positioning it to become the core of the smart and digital plant by streamlining the entire business operations.


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