IoT in the Oil and Gas Industry

Shaibana S on January 15, 2019

The application of IoT in the Oil and Gas industry has created a value that comes through the deployment of strategy. It has leveraged the industry in optimising and automating several processes that include resource management, predictive maintenance, safety alerts, data management and many more.

Examining some of the most invaluable services IoT can render to this multi-billion industry.

Remote Services

Rigs are compounded with a number of technical issues besides being located in very remote areas. Issues like oil spills, shutdowns and field operations are very regular. Rectifying these issues are very challenging and could turn out to be unviable at times. Leveraging IoT has enabled the Oil and Gas companies to make services available round the clock to manage and maintain these issues. The adoption of IoT has also improved upon the deliveries considerably.

The upstream sector in this industry, which involves the discovery and extraction, frequently incurs huge loses every year leading to a lack of productiveness. The real-time data provided by IoT can help predict conditions in the area thus reducing or preventing money loss.

This data available with IoT can help plan the placement of wells and flow rates, which help prevent accidents and get processes automated.

Predictive and Preventive Maintenance

Most of the O&G facilities require regular monitoring. This becomes feasible through remote services that let facilities react to issues through predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance is done through studying the conditions of equipment at realtime. Predictive maintenance allows the O&G industry to enable remote monitoring of equipment through sensors. Sensors collect data and alerts updating the system when the machines need repair or maintenance avoiding expensive equipment failure which can incur a great loss of money and manpower.

The IoT enabled predictive analysis not only helps in preventing loss but also aids in creating a maintenance strategy while keeping track of the deterioration of equipment and parts.

Health and Safety

O&G sites are located in the world’s remotest part with a majority of them in the most dangerous of places. Operations happen in submerged reservoirs that are 3000 meters deep or at far away offshore rigs. Hence the safety and security of personnel stationed here are a huge concern.

Many incidents of accidents resulting in amputations and deaths have been reported. These places will benefit from IoT connections that will allow remote monitoring of operations where individuals are no longer required to travel without first knowing the risks involved and helping them take precautions to ensure safety. This can also help companies in being prepared to face the worst.

Resource Management and Monitoring

The tracking and monitoring of operations with the safety implementations in the O&G is perhaps the fastest growing wireless network with its IoT applications. Price fluctuations have led players in the industry to analyse the internal operations to see where cost cuts can be effected while maximising output and resource utilisation.

Resource or Asset management is an area that can influence operational productivity and operational productivity can be improved with better predictions through Enterprise Asset Management (EAM).

By incorporating EAM into the O&G  processes, companies can take advantage of applications that help in the utilisation of assets and provide employees with a condensed view of everything from daily operations, productions, employee performance, maintenance plans and inventory. This can provide a proper insight into the operation and running of processes which can be accessed from any devices.

Data Management

A number of disruptive technologies have bought about the digital transformations in O&G. The millions of connected IoT devices generate a multitude of data to be processed with the data requiring to be integrated and filtered for data quality, analysis and operation.

As data play an important role in improving uptime and recovery rates, data management is crucial in determining the success of this industry. And data will not be useful unless it is analysed and optimised to provide insights.

The Future of IoT in Oil and Gas

The O&G is an industry segment replete with innumerable processes that involve upstream, midstream and downstream operations. It requires a platform that would seamlessly manage these operations without affecting its architecture.

IoT applications work closely with the system and enable deployments that can be closely monitored across the framework. As one of the most capital driven segment contributing significantly to the economy, the tracking of assets coupled with predictive maintenance can provide that cutting edge, that would boost system efficiencies and eventually the industry output.

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