Oil Industry InnovationsOctober 23, 2020
Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. Nowhere is this adage more apt than in today’s oil and gas industry. With simple oil on the decline, oil and gas companies are exploring less accessible sources located in challenging environments. This, along with the increasing rate of global energy consumption has led to a lot of innovation. Whether its new methods of drilling and completing advanced wells, data mining techniques for monitoring and fine tuning remote drilling operations, or the proliferation of distributed sensors and analytics software, development and research in this industry is in full swing. The advantages of this work are many.
Smart sensors integrated in oil well monitoring systems 3 miles beneath the earth’s surface can identify signs of wear prior to failures or accidents occur, reducing downtime and costs, and reduce risks by allowing individuals to monitor and control operations from a safe location. By infusing intelligence and automation in their systems and ways of working, companies are able to sense equipment problems prior to they occur, and automatically make adjustments and trigger events to help reduce the potential risk of equipment failure, and risk to individuals and the environment. An instrumented, interconnected and intelligent oil and gas companies can continuously absorb and apply the sea of data generated through oil value chains, combined with data from a number of external sources, and transform this raw data into actionable insight for much better decision making, production efficiency, performance results, and environmentally sound operations.
Continued innovation of this type is essential, and it must occur in the following 3 industry wide areas that almost all stakeholders agree are the keys to build a smarter oil and gas industry. Enhancing exploration and production – The harder it is to find oil and gas reserves, the greater the need for much better, more reliable info that may support timely decisions. But right now, oil engineers can spend just as much as 60 percent of their time mining that data to better manage well performance. By integrating seismic and geological data from multiple sources and using advanced data modelling along with supercomputing, companies may increase the success rates in identifying remote resources and unburden their engineers to concentrate on more productive work.
Analytics, optimization and visualization techniques can make large amounts of complex data in more intuitive ways, enabling engineers to enhance their decision making and, ultimately, their production efficiency. For instance, Repsols decision to enlarge its primary, land based properties in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Brazil reflects its need to replenish declining reserves. To find Significant reserves, Repsol recognized that its best choices lay further offshore in fields difficult to find and produce. Nevertheless, by optimizing advanced seismic info and utilizing new technology, Repsol increased its overseas drill success rate to 50 percent against an industry average of 20 percent. Improving refining and manufacturing efficiency – In downstream operations, oil and gas companies face thin margins and are under continuous pressure to manage costs.