For the past century, oil and gas have been the main fuels that keep the world going. The oil and gas industry is still one of the biggest and most profitable ones. But it has started to face a lot of difficulties with the ever-increasing concern with the effects it has on the environment. And evermore rigorous regulations governments are starting to implement on it. However, while this can seem concerning at first it has actually had a lot of positive effects. The industry is finally recognizing the gains it can have from implementing modern technologies into its process of production.
While the oil and gas industry has always been using advanced tools and machinery at the core of its businesses, they have failed to keep up with the rapid digitalization of all aspects of modern companies. This has proven to be a huge waste of potential.
However, this seems to be changing. With Chevron and Microsoft partnering up to help the oil giant maximize the potential it can have from fully digitalizing their operations. Companies are finally starting to wake up to the positive sides of embracing the wonders of modern technology.
The biggest use companies have seen from implementing new technologies is being able to properly start analyzing their data. This actually has proven to be just what they needed the most. Namely, reducing the productions costs has always been a top priority for all companies in the oil and gas industry. And implementing systems that help them measure, track and manage all of the data that is coming in from an oil field, companies are able to carefully and accurately optimize their production and predict the most efficient ways to grow even further while still keeping everything under control.
Shifting towards e-commerce
As a traditional industry, equipment providers for the oil and gas industry have always relied heavily on field sales representatives to sell their products while engaging directly with their customers. This is mostly true even today. There are many reasons for this. One of which is that buying drilling equipment is considerably more expensive than buying, for example, a book online. So the trust factor has been a big driving force behind the lack of adoption of new commerce solutions.
However, this is also beginning to change with some companies slowly adopting e-commerce as the primary way to present their oilfield products, and with good reason. Namely, companies have started to come to terms with the fact that being able to look at exactly what they need through an online store without having to go through the hassle of arranging meetings and the logistics of delivering parts saves a lot of time and money. Not only that, but it also allows for equipment to be easily purchasable online. Thus reducing downtime in critical situations.
Making maintenance easy and less dangerous
Working in the oil and gas industry has always been infamous as one of the more dangerous professions. However, technology is making it easier for machines to replace the need for humans to be exposed to life-threatening situations.
For example, we can now use technologies such as drones to access places that would otherwise be extremely difficult to get to. This has helped oil companies not only make the whole process safer but also a lot less time expensive making it easy to get back to production and minimize losses.
Technology has also given companies the ability to perform predictive maintenance, utilizing equipment sensors and other similar tools to improve even further and make maintenance easy by allowing companies to have a constant overview of the state their equipment. This is furthermore giving them the ability to plan ahead and almost completely eliminate the risk factor.
In an industry where constant maintenance is a must in order to prevent possible catastrophes, making it one of the biggest expenses, technologies such as these have allowed companies to decrease their overall costs while still giving them the ability to perform high-quality maintenance.
Becoming less threatening to the environment
The oil and gas industry is notorious as one of the biggest polluters to the environment. And also as a leading contributor to global warming. However, with regulations in place, a lot of investing has been done to try and make oil and gas as little as damaging as possible and it has yielded many results.
Exploring and drilling for oil used to always come with a lot of negative side effects on the surrounding area. Regardless of whether it was on land or under the sea. Now, new technology is increasing the efficiency of exploration and drilling activities while also reducing the negative environmental effects. Satellites, global positioning system, and remote sensing devices are all making it possible to discover new reserves while drilling fewer exploratory wells.
The use of technologies such as horizontal and directional drilling has also made it possible for a single well to produce oil from a significantly larger area while reducing the production footprints.
Not only that but new technologies are also allowing for more energy efficient fuels to constantly be developed in order to decrease the amount of air pollution.
The internet of things (IoT)
IoT is one of the biggest possibilities for the oil and gas industry. Mostly because it connects all of the things previously mentioned into one big interconnected system. IoT will allow the industry to digitize, optimize and automate processes that were previously unconnected to save time, money and also increase safety.
For example, advanced data analytics can work with a host of sensors to automate some systems. This can end up freeing up staff for more critical roles. Technologies can be connected to reduce downtime by using real-time data and predictive maintenance to keep operations moving while at the same time preventing accidents and reducing environmental incidents. Simply put there is almost no limit to what can be achieved. And IoT will surely prove invaluable in creating smarter and better-optimized organizations that will reshape the oil and gas industry.
As an industry that has faced a lot of challenges in recent years, the oil and gas industry is finally starting to wake up. It is coming to terms with not only the fact that investing in new technologies can boost its profits but also with the fact that it may be the only way for it to survive. While we are far away from seeing a world that is fully running on renewable energy there is a rapid rate of innovation that is threatening the survival of the oil and gas industry. The success of companies such as Tesla and European countries such as Scotland generating two-thirds of its electricity from renewables only goes to show the fact that people are starting to adopt negative outlooks towards oil and gas.
However, if there is something to be said about the future of the oil and gas industry it’s that even though the rapid adoption of new technologies has only begun recently, major strides have already been made. So with that in mind there is no telling just how much the adoption of modern technology will be able to reshape the oil and gas industry.