Innovation and Knowledge Management
Importance and Mission
PTTEP started off as a small petroleum exploration and production (E&P) company as a co-venture in domestic projects. Over the past 30 years, the Company has grown and evolved amidst the dynamic social, business, and technological changes. Specifically, the transition to a low carbon future and energy which will impact the entire energy sector in the future.
Therefore, PTTEP focuses on enhancing the main business (petroleum E&P) through an increase in petroleum exploration success rate and production efficiency, operational cost and environmental impact reduction, as well as monitoring the development of new relevant technologies in preparation for future challenges.
- Develop and commercialize at least ten new E&P technologies and increase returns by at least 350 million USD through the deployment of these technologies by 2024.
- Develop technologies in support of the Company's sustainability in areas such as greenhouse gas emission reduction, efficient use of resources, waste reduction, as well as marine ecosystem preservation and restoration.
- Register at least 15 patents for its intellectual property by 2025.
- Publish research papers and win domestic and international recognitions every year.
- Construct basic infrastructure to support further technology development, with the aim to complete the construction of PTTEP Technology and Innovation Centre (PTIC) by 2021.
PTTEP Technological Development
PTTEP develops technologies to drive the Company towards sustainable growth. Two development approaches have been exercised: application of existing technologies available in the market; and development of its own technology through collaboration with domestic and international partners including companies in PTT Group, government agencies, private companies, educational institutions and research institutes. Concerning technology development, PTTEP has the following 3 main objectives:
- Enhance Core E&P Business
- Minimize Environmental Impact
- Support New Business
The following are details of the 3 objectives.
1. Enhance Core E&P Business
PTTEP sets to achieve 3 main goals in applying technologies to enhance the core E&P business: to increase the success rate of petroleum discovery, reduce production cost for greater competitiveness, and enhance operational capability and efficiency in new concession fields. Technology to pursue is categorized in 5 groups: advanced exploration technology, condensate treatment technology, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology, decommissioning technology, and unlock high CO2 reserve technology. Some of technologies under the Research and Development (R&D) process include development of seismic data processing methods to obtain more information on petroleum resources; absorbent materials and filtration technology for condensate decontamination; CO2 separation technology and process; development and testing of EOR chemicals; and low-cost decommissioning technology.
2. Minimize Environmental Impact
There are 3 main goals in applying technologies to minimize environmental impacts; to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the petroleum production process, reuse of leftover materials from E&P activities, and conservation of the marine ecosystem. Some of technologies under the R&D process include the chemical conversion of greenhouse gases and production waste to valuable products and the development of buoys and seawater quality monitoring devices.
3. Support New Business
Technology in this group is aimed at creating new business opportunities and equipping the Company with knowledge and greater capabilities, to accommodate changes in the energy industry and reduce business risks. Proposed for development include new form of energy, carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technology, advanced material, and AI and Robotics.
Technology Development Process
PTTEP has outlined a technology development process to ensure the most efficiency of budgeting, technology portfolio management and monitoring. The process is divided into 5 phases: preliminary study, lab-scale experiment, prototype development, pilot testing, and deployment or commercialization.
For more information on R&D budgets, the number of projects under R&D process, progress, patent registration, research papers and publications, and innovation awards, click here: Innovation and Technology Performance Data.
Technology Development for Petroleum Exploration and Production
1. Metal Foam Filter Technology
A filter made from porous metal foam with large contact surface enables efficient filtration of contaminants from natural gas liquid or condensate. The filter's lifespan is relatively longer than old filters. This technology was developed in collaboration with the Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University.
Project Benefits: Lower expenses on filtration, totaling 2 million USD per year.
2. Sampling Pipeline Inspection Gauge (PIG) Technology to support Decommissioning
Sampling Pipeline Inspection Gauge (PIG) enables sample collection from pipeline's internal surface to support Decommissioning. It is safer and more cost effective compared to the old method. Sampling PIG equipment can navigate and collect samples along the pipeline automatically without a support vessel. This project was developed in collaboration with Dacon Inspection Technologies Co., Ltd., a company specializing in subsea petroleum pipeline inspections.
Project Benefits: Greater safety and convenience in sample collection. Lower expenses on subsea pipeline decommissioning by 1 million USD per 1 kilometer.
3. Low BTU Flare Tip Development
A flare tip that demands low heat in burning flare gas helps reduce gas consumption and hence saves more gas for sale. This project was developed in collaboration with John Zink Hamworthy Combustion, a company specialized in flare tip production.
Project Benefits: Lower gas usage in flare burning process, valued at 7 million USD per year.
Technology Development to Minimize Environmental Impact
1. Carbon Nanotube from Flare Gas Project
PTTEP emphasizes R&D on Carbon Capture Storage & Utilization (CCS & CCU) while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from its operations, to achieve the corporate goal in reducing total emissions. PTTEP is looking for the technology that uses flare gas to produce high valued product: the carbon nanotube.
Project Benefits: Lower greenhouse gas emissions by turning flare gas into valued products.
2. Drill Cuttings for Road Construction
Drill cuttings, rocks and soil from the drilling of onshore production wells, are used in road construction instead of disposal by incineration at cement plants. This project is a collaboration between PTTEP, the Department of Rural Roads, and the Department of Mineral Fuels at the Ministry of Energy.
Project Benefits: Lower in disposal cost by over 50% compared to the incineration method.
3. Marine Preservation Buoy Development
Renewable energy-powered buoys are developed to help check seawater quality and send data to onshore centers on a wireless transmission line. The project was developed in collaboration with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and the Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University.
Project Benefits: Seawater quality data supports the study and research on how to improve the marine ecosystem and enhance biodiversity. Such also supports Thailand's goal in improving its Ocean Health Index (OHI).
Fundamental infrastructure for technological development
1. PTTEP Technology and Innovation Centre (PTIC)
Located in the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi), PTIC serves as fundamental infrastructure for future technology development and higher success rate. On its progress, in 2020 PTTEP finished the project design and completed the first phase of construction that involved basic structures and testing field for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Phase 2 is underway, in preparation to support the expansion of research results into a prototype and pilot scale testing and pushing technology development to commercial use. PTIC will play a crucial role in ensuring greater efficiency and success for PTTEP's development of technology and innovations.
2. PTTEP-ARV-VISTEC R&D Collaboration Center (RDCC)
Located in VISTEC's premises, the center was established to accommodate research and development collaborations that involve, for instance, E&P improvement and AI & Robotics.
3. Rapid Scale-Up Center (RASC)
Situated in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, the center is designed to offer testing space for under-development technology in simulated environment that is comparable to the actual environment of PTTEP's production processes.
PTTEP's knowledge management entails 3 dimensions: Create, Share and Apply.
Employees are encouraged to study and acknowledge the guidelines and use knowledge correctly and effectively. Knowledge from their experiences are expected to be shared and employees should apply the learnt knowledge before performing their duties, to reduce errors and enhance problem-solving skills. New work process standards can be developed upon the knowledge, which will eventually lead to innovations.
PTTEP sets a goal to become a high-performance and innovative organization. Its Knowledge Management (KM) Policy is shaped to achieve the goal, aligned with PTT Group's knowledge management. PTTEP's knowledge management is regularly assessed and benchmarked against international practices, to pinpoint maturity level and devise measures that will integrate knowledge management into the organization's work processes and lead the organization towards innovations as expected.
Activities and projects have been organized to strengthen KM practices, primarily through high-level executives' talks on the issue and their exemplary roles. Standardized KM System is in place, to involve knowledge sharing by internal and external experts. Community of Practice is set up as a stage for knowledge and exchange sharing and all data is being added up to KM Portal.
PTTEP plans the following activities to further strengthen organizational culture on knowledge management:
1. KM Capability Development
Executives' competency is enhanced through "KM Awareness for Management" course to ensure their understanding and win high-level executives' supports. Meanwhile, staff competency is enhanced through "KM for Process Improvement Camp 2 and 3", "KM for Innovation Camp" and "KM Facilitator Camp for Myanmar Assets". A total of 99 staff based in Thailand and abroad participated in these courses, which led to the development of 45 KM projects and 23 innovations that can generate a total of 50.89 million USD in gained value.
2. Work Process and Communication Technology Development
PTTEP has prepared 7 manuals, to ensure consistent practices and efficiently reduce work-related errors. An IT system under "One System One Goal" project is developed, to allow employees' faster and easier access to the organization's knowledge portal.
3. Recognition for Information Exchange
PTTEP initiated "Recognition" program, to praise the employees or a group of employees whose actions support the Company's 3-dimensional knowledge management cycle: Create, Share and Apply. In 2020, 5 Communities of Practice received Excellence CoP Recognition Award. KM Recognition was presented to 21 employees: Best Expert for 6 persons, Best Contributor for 8 persons, Best Facilitator for 4 persons and Best Learner for 3 persons.
In 2020, the 24th Technical Forum and 2nd Business Forum were organized, as stages for employees' academic publications. The forums attracted 209 submissions. Employees' publications were also presented at annual KM Week.
4. Organization-wide communication
PTTEP prepares a year-long communication plan, to ensure correct understanding in the organization's knowledge management and provide information on KM tools. Personnel can therefore appropriately utilize these tools for the betterment of their operations and their daily life.
PTTEP adopts a process that promotes the exchange of knowledge, experiences and best practices with American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC). APQC's knowledge management capability assessment put PTTEP in Level 2 in 2018 and Level 3 in 2019. PTTEP expects to be in Level 4 in 2020. The assessment results are reviewed for further improvement, so that knowledge management can support the Company's vision and mission in achieving the stated targets for sustainable growth.