Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

GE, Accenture launch intelligent pipeline offering for oil and gas players

Iain Morris
September 16, 2014

GE and Accenture have launched what they call an intelligent pipeline solution designed to provide information about condition and status of machinery to pipeline operators.

The companies claim this the first-ever industrial internet offering aimed at helping pipeline operators to make better decisions based on machine-generated data.

The technology combines GE’s Predictivity software with Accenture’s (Dublin, Ireland) digital technology and systems integration capabilities.

By helping customer make faster decisions regarding pipeline operations, it should help to improve safety as well as prevent costly downtime, claims GE (Fairfield, CT, USA) in a statement.

GE has also revealed that Columbia Pipeline Group (Houston, TX, USA), which operates within the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, will be the first customer to make use of the technology.

Columbia plans to deploy the intelligent pipeline system across its entire network of 15,000 miles of interstate natural gas pipelines.

“We need an agile and comprehensive pipeline solution that could be delivered quickly and allows for a more real-time view of pipeline integrity across our interstate natural gas pipelines,” said Shawn Patterson, the president of operations and project delivery for Columbia. “GE’s industrial internet software platform and extensive pipeline equipment and inspection capabilities combined with Accenture’s strong industry knowledge, digital capabilities and experience with business process and systems integration made them the clear choice for CPG.”

Brian Palmer, the president and chief executive of GE’s measurement and control business, said the software developed by GE would help customers to prioritize where valuable resources are most needed.

“We anticipate transportation pipeline companies using the solution will see operational efficiency improvements in integrity, maintenance, safety and regulatory compliance,” he said.

According to GE, current transmission pipeline infrastructure stretches across nearly two million miles globally, while considerable amounts of natural gas are being transported in the US from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, forcing operators like Columbia to examine new ways of keeping up with demand.

With much pipeline infrastructure looking dated, operators are investing as much as $40 billion a year to expand, maintain and modernize existing infrastructure.

“Accenture and GE have unveiled a breakthrough solution with a global standard for pipeline safety and productivity,” said Peggy Kostial, senior managing director for Accenture’s North America resources operating group. “This is a tremendous opportunity to use advanced analytics and digital technologies to help Columbia Pipeline Group address its key industry challenges.”
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