The Real-Time Optimization (RTO) Technical Interest Group (TIG) has
endeavored to clarify the value of real-time optimization projects. RTO
projects involve three critical components: People, Process, and
Technology. Understanding these components will help establish a
framework for determining the value of RTO projects. In this paper, the
Technology component is closely examined and categorized.
Levels within each Technology category are illustrated by use of spider
diagrams, which help decision makers understand the current status of
operations and the future RTO status. The perception of uncertain value has
been one of the critical issues in adopting RTO systems in our industry.
Therefore, case histories are reviewed to demonstrate the impact of RTO
To assist RTO project promotion further, we list lessons learned, suggest a
justification process, and present a simple example of an economic-evaluation
Industry case histories demonstrate many types of benefits from RTO such as
production-volume increase; better return on investment (ROI); higher decision
quality; health, safety, and environment (HSE) improvements; and operational
expenditures (OPEX) reduction. However, they have lacked systematic
project-evaluation processes for justification.
Today, promoting RTO is, in essence, a competition for capital within a
company. The project teams that recognize this fact and then clearly
outline the purpose, benefits, costs (direct or indirect), and strategic
business alignment of their proposals will be in an advantageous position to
secure funding. Because RTO is still an emerging discipline, classifying
projects of this nature is still dependent on an individual’s point of view.
This paper provides classification of RTO to help provide a common vocabulary
to address a multitude of issues.
© 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- Original manuscript received:
7 June 2004
- Meeting paper published:
26 September 2004
- Revised manuscript received:
10 May 2005
- Manuscript approved:
19 January 2006
- Version of record:
20 November 2006