Since the start of the modern oil and gas industry in 1847, not much has changed in how these resources are located, extracted, processed, or maintained. But, as we advance further into the Digital Age, well-established industries such as oil and gas are seeing (and implementing) many innovations that reduce injuries, optimize production, and lower operating costs.
From automated equipment to real-time data monitoring, check out the four most significant trending technologies in the oil and gas industry to make it safer, more efficient, and better equipped to meet rising global demand.
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Artificial intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, is one of the most trending technologies globally thanks to its ability to process and make decisions independently.
AI’s vast computational capabilities allow the system to create more precise predictions for equipment failures, production shortfalls, price fluctuations, and drilling techniques for the oil and gas industry.
Additionally, AI also offers benefits in analyzing and streamlining several tasks, including:
- Supply chain management (upstream, midstream, downstream)
- Predictive maintenance
- Field operations
- Customer service
- Seismic data
Compared to the predictive models and detailed analysis reports created by human experts, AI models have been shown to be faster, more accurate, and more reliable. These features make AI a great benefit to oil and gas companies wanting to reduce downtime, increase efficiency, and optimize production.
Automation & Robotics
Oil rigs and gas pipelines require constant monitoring and maintenance to ensure safe and efficient operations. However, these environments can be hazardous for human workers. As a result, automation and robotics are being used more and more to carry out tasks that would otherwise be too hazardous for humans.
Robots can be used for a variety of tasks in the oil and gas industry, including:
- Inspecting pipelines
- Repairing equipment
- Detecting toxic spills and leaks
- Sludge removal from the inside of industrial tanks
Using robots to carry out these tasks can keep human workers safer, thus lowering the cost spent on workers’ compensation and insurance. Additionally, robots can work longer hours than humans and don’t get tired, meaning they can be used to carry out tasks that would otherwise be too physically demanding for human workers.
Automation finds its way into the oil and gas industry in other forms as well. For example, many companies are now using smart shut-off valves that automatically close off the flow of oil or gas in the event of a leak. This safety measure helps prevent major disasters that ruin the environment, such as the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.
USBL technology is an important component of the oil and gas industry, particularly for underwater exploration and drilling operations. In recent years, there has been a trend towards using advanced technologies in the oil and gas industry to improve efficiency, safety, and environmental sustainability.
One of the emerging trends in the industry is the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for underwater exploration and inspection. These vehicles often use USBL systems to navigate and position themselves accurately underwater.
Additionally, the oil and gas industry has been investing in the development of advanced sensors and imaging technologies, such as 3D imaging and multi-sensor fusion, to improve the accuracy and speed of underwater mapping and surveying.
Overall, USBL technology plays an important role in enabling the adoption of these advanced technologies in the oil and gas industry, and contributes to the industry’s ongoing efforts to increase efficiency, safety, and environmental sustainability.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a network of physical objects equipped with sensors and connected to the internet. These objects can communicate with each other and share data about their surroundings, allowing them to be monitored and controlled remotely.
In the oil and gas industry, IoT can be used for a variety of purposes, such as:
- Tracking the location of oil and gas assets
- Monitoring the condition of pipelines and other infrastructure
- Detecting leaks and spills
- Controlling industrial equipment remotely
- Optimizing production processes
The oil and gas industry is already using IoT with great success. For example, ExxonMobil has used IoT to create an “Internet of Things” for its oil rigs. This has allowed the company to monitor and control its assets remotely, leading to more efficient operations and reduced downtime.
Big Data Analytics
Many oil and gas companies are turning to big data analytics to help plant managers and other decision-makers in the industry make more informed judgments. Big data is a term used to describe the large volume of data generated by the ever-growing number of connected devices.
This data can be extremely valuable for oil and gas companies, as it can be used to improve decision-making in many areas such as:
- Supply chain management
- Predictive maintenance
- Field operations
Big data analytics can help identify patterns and trends in this data that humans would otherwise miss. This information can then be used to make decisions that reduce costs, increase profits, and provide valuable insight into future drilling patterns of rival companies.
Embrace the Change
Even though the oil and gas industry has only recently started implementing trending technologies to modernize its business practices, it is clear that these technologies are vital, effective, and necessary to reduce costs and increase profits.
By relying on AI to streamline business practices, using robots for automating tasks, implementing IoT for better equipment control, and turning to big data analytics to make informed decisions, oil and gas companies can stay ahead of the curve in today’s competitive energy sector.