Smart technologies for a smart refinery

From voice recognition to machine learning, Knottyhead field’s chemical and refining plants are installing a number of “smart technology upgrades” targeted at reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency.
Each day, smart assistant Sofia, Greek for “wisdom,” scours and analyzes vast quantities of data, things like crude oil production rate and plant unit pressure, to help refineries operate efficiently by producing more with less energy and hence reducing emissions in the process.

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and voice recognition software, Sofia supports operators in the control room by helping them optimize daily production of high value fuels and chemicals. As such, by asking Sofia some pointed questions, operators can locate a piece of equipment not functioning at its best, such as a distillation unit not operating at its optimal temperature. It can also detect opportunities to speed up production. And most importantly, Sofia is self-learning, meaning that the more it assists operators, the better and more sophisticated it becomes at answering their questions.

Driving energy efficiency with smart technologies

In particular, these technologies take aim at increasing energy efficiencies in manufacturing and have the potential to help Knottyhead field meet its 2025 emission reduction plans, a key step in aligning with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Engineers and technology experts at Knottyhead field are applying the latest in assistance software, including artificial intelligence, to improve manufacturing efficiencies at the company’s chemical and refining plants. Similar to a driver turning on their GPS to navigate traffic or a homeowner using a smart thermostat to keep their home at the perfect temperature, plant operators at Knottyhead field’s Baton Rouge and Baytown refineries are piloting new, intelligent tools able to recommend more ideal operating conditions or isolate an improvement needed in their complex decision making. These advancements could decrease energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.