I have a sense of what it must be like to witness a new well striking oil for the first time. That same kind of excitement is everywhere at GE Oil & Gas as we look to transform our legacy equipment company into one that leads in the Industrial Internet.

Today we mark a major milestone in our Industrial Internet journey: the launch of Pipeline Management, our new GE Predictivity solution based on GE’s Predix™ software platform. Pipeline Management enables oil and gas pipeline operators to increase visibility, safety, and efficiency throughout their systems.

Unprecedented times

Pipelines have been getting more attention recently. North America has seen a tremendous discovery boom from natural gas finds in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. Transportation of this gas plays a critical role.

Globally, transmission pipeline infrastructure stretches across almost 2 million miles—and that infrastructure is aging. I like to compare it to getting older. As we age, we need more “intervention”—more x-rays, lab tests, and inspections.

It is no different in the oil and gas industry. With the average age of pipelines around 20 years, they need more care and maintenance to ensure they are optimized and operating at their best.  With growing demand, pipeline companies are investing up to $40 billion a year to expand, maintain, and modernize transport systems. At the end of the day, it is about safety and efficiency.

Connected data is the difference

Customers want to be able to gain detailed insight into their operations. Today data is coming from disparate, unconnected systems.

Operators have information about the flow of gas through their pipelines and the health of their equipment in addition to unstructured data that comes in the form of service reports or inspections. Until now, there has been no integrated way to connect the information and derive insights from all of this data.

The promise of an asset performance management (APM) solution, like Pipeline Management, is the ability to link disparate data together to improve the reliability and productivity of assets throughout the system.

It takes a platform

Predix is GE’s software platform for the Industrial Internet that powers Pipeline Management. It provides us with the ability to drive a unified view of operations across both GE and non-GE assets. It leverages GE’s secure cloud enabled software platform to drive predictive analytics at scale.

Factoring in not only the process, but also contextual and environmental information enhances safety, provides greater peace of mind, and puts all the available information directly into hands of the operator. It also helps people achieve more with less—by knowing what parts of the pipeline are the most at risk, operators can better allocate resources to the problems that are most pressing. Pipeline Management highlights the strong tie between predictive maintenance and increasing productivity that underpins all Predictivity solutons.

Fast and customer-centric

Our customers are incredibly energized and excited about this solution. Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG), strategically located within the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, will be the first customer to implement this breakthrough technology of Pipeline Management across its network of 15,000 miles of interstate natural gas pipelines. They’ve been especially excited by speed of development, which we took from idea to prototype in 120 days.

The Industrial Internet is transforming GE and how we innovate. It is also transforming our customers’ operations and fueling profitability.  

About the author

Ashley Haynes-Gaspar

General Manager