Tech + Startups
How Technology Is Changing the Oil and Gas Industry
The way technology helps improve the oil and gas industry is twofold. First, you have improvements in mechanical technology. Second, you have the improvements that come from the increased use of sophisticated digital technology. In other words, the oil and gas industry is experiencing a boost in both hardware and software fields, which results in greater safety, profitability and overall efficiency. Here are six important improvements.
1. Monitoring capability
When it comes to the oil and gas industries, it cannot be overstated how vital safety is. The best way to increase it would be to monitor various relevant metrics and set up an alarm notification system that will alert you if anything goes wrong. The best thing about this is the fact that it requires minimal human presence, as well as the fact that all of these systems can be shut down automatically and remotely. This means that technology reduces the number of hazards that people in the industry are exposed to.
2. Reducing operating costs
Digital technology allows for a lot more efficient programming of your equipment, which helps you achieve much greater efficiency. This way, the energy-per-performance ratio is at its all-time-highest and the waste produced is minimal. The damage to the equipment is also minimal and so is the downtime. In other words, capital expenditure can be drastically reduced with the use of digital technology (in some scenarios, even down by 20 percent). One example of this increased efficiency is the fact that you can achieve a better usage of reservoir space, with the help of digital technology.
3. Predictive maintenance
With the help of the above-listed monitoring capacities, you will be able to not just reduce the level of danger that people in the industry are exposed to but also become more efficient when it comes to predictive maintenance. What this means is that an oil company can make an estimate of how many working hours some of their equipment has left and to make orders for replacement parts online. This way, the downtime (which can be incredibly expensive in this industry), can be particularly effective. Other than this, finding suitable oilfield equipment and doing your research is far easier than it ever was before.
4. Better marketing distribution
Even in the oil industry, proper use of marketing can make or break your success. Therefore, the use of technology and analytics can make all the difference. Studying the prices of other companies in order to remain competitive is just one way of achieving this. The same goes for studying consumer habits. All of this can be used to properly tailor your business model and ensure that it’s aligned with the rest of the industry requirements. For you, as a business, each of these changes increases either profitability or the cost-effectiveness of your processes, even if it doesn’t directly improve the performance of your hardware.
5. Reducing the human cost
Human labor is a major factor in the oil and gas industry. The problem lies in the fact that these are highly paid jobs that are always in demand, which makes the job market quite troublesome for companies. By being able to entrust at least a part of this workload to present-day technology, the efficiency would be drastically increased. However, this doesn’t mean that the human workforce in the industry will become unnecessary or obsolete. Real, human operators will always be indispensable.
6. Setting up infrastructure
Through more efficient calibration, determining the ideal position for the facility is now more reliable than it ever was. Other than this, with the advancements in construction equipment, it is now possible to achieve a significant reduction in the construction cost. This is especially important due to the fact that a major part of this construction is below the surface. Later on, when you have to decommission the facility, you also have an easier job of doing so. An easier job is always a more frugal project, as well. All in all, these improvements seem to be growing at a substantial pace.
All of these savings allow for companies to make savings where it’s most important. This allows you to keep the oil prices somewhat lower, which, in turn, creates a substantial boost to one’s market share and total market value. In this scenario, however, what’s good for the major company is also good for the market, which means greater safety, greater cost-efficiency and stronger oil industry, overall.