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As I explained in my previous blog Revolutionizing the Oil & Gas industry with the IIoT, IIoT is having a noticeable impact on all Oil & Gas processes. By utilizing new technologies such as cloud services, fiber optics, predictive solutions and Software as a Service (SaaS), Oil & Gas executives are cutting costs through improved efficiency, allowing them to innovate at every level.
Big data capture, OT/IT convergence and new software analytics solutions
Gathering accurate and useful big data is essential for any Oil & Gas company. Research by Technavio revealed that the industry reportedly spent $3.5 billion on big data projects in 2015 and this figure is only going to increase in coming years. This is because oil producers are learning that detailed, real-time data is affordable and can be used to develop new strategies to reach previously inaccessible areas.
OT systems are now also much more sophisticated with improved connectivity; more data can be analyzed and put to use. OT devices are designed to be ‘cloud-ready’ and able to interact with IT systems instantaneously. So, for example, in the context of pipeline management, the IIoT creates cohesion between different systems, allowing operators to improve their responses to abnormalities.
Optical fiber is another innovation that is proving itself in Oil & Gas industries. Operators are using it to understand conditions of pipelines. This includes the accurate measurement of the impact from earthquakes on pressure and temperature.
Once all data has been gathered, it needs to be stored and managed efficiently. Implementing the cloud layer that stores big data is a way to cut costs quickly, with operational savings of up to 50% in the first year.
Those looking for the next phase of streamlining operations could consider adopting cloud-based predictive maintenance. Predictive models use algorithms to forecast required maintenance, so improvements are only made when necessary, reducing unnecessary replacements. Cloud-based solutions also share information and plug in directly to back office, minimizing data input and human error. They can connect to existing automation, standardizing all devices and systems instantly.
The data from these solutions must be presented in a way that is useful and easy to read. It is at its most useful when first input into an existing model, so that machinery data can be directly compared with real-time data and any discrepancies highlighted.
However, no progression in technology is without compromises. Increasing the volume, breadth and optimization of data must be balanced with the risk of compromising the security of operating systems. Many vendors today tackle this challenge with processes and engineering to secure their products.
Innovation at every level is changing the Oil & Gas industry
Isolated devices and software cost the Oil & Gas industry millions of dollars every year, and the solution to this loss is already out there. Switching to cloud systems unifies supply chains and increases collaboration, resulting in more efficient, targeted actions. Cloud systems are designed to match the uptime and reliability of control systems so that they can merge. The advantage of SaaS is that it can be constantly updated and improved, and can be bought on an ‘as needed’ basis, which gives you ultimate flexibility. Bringing these systems and services together, our Innovation at Every Level puts you at the forefront of technology in the sector.
Want to learn more? Download our White Paper: IoT impact in the Oil and Gas Value Chain