SAN ARDO — Every time a piston moves on a compressor or warm air passes over oil in a dehydration plant at any of Aera’s field locations, including at San Ardo in South Monterey County, it is all tracked in real time in Aera’s new 2,600-square-foot state-of-the-art Integrated Operations Control Center (IOCC) at Belridge.
The centralized IOCC tracks every piece of equipment so Aera employees can ensure everything is working as it should 24/7, at Aera’s field locations in Kern, Fresno, Monterey and Ventura counties. It helps Aera put the health and safety of people and the environment first while improving efficiency in its operations.
It also helps Aera employees focus on producing the crucial oil and gas California depends on — getting people where they need to go, warming homes and supporting the production of critical petroleum-based products.
“It’s the most technologically enhanced command center with multiple visuals to see everything from reservoir performance to the sales point within our production system,” said Brent Ilott, vice president of operations. “IOCC tracks all activity to ensure it’s being done as safely and efficiently as possible.”
IOCC technology can now detect a change in system operations in just seconds, identify a cause, and deploy a crew to fix any issue within minutes. Anywhere from four to 10 employees are available around the clock, keeping a close eye on its 60 computer monitors and 24 giant screens.
Before IOCC, all tracking happened through technology set up at individual field locations.
As Aera continues innovating to provide safe, reliable energy, it is also implementing technologies like renewable energy to power its oil and gas operations; reduce its own carbon footprint; and test the feasibility of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). All this activity will be monitored in the IOCC as it comes online.
“This is an exciting moment for Aera and it’s an exciting moment for the valley to see this all come together in the IOCC,” said Aera President and CEO Erik Bartsch. “… With this operations center, we will be able to efficiently execute our current operations, but plug in future technologies and facilities as well. This is another innovative step in how we’ll continue to meet the energy needs of Californians, and the possibilities are endless.”