The future is already among us. Technology is developing faster than any other industry, with smart solutions to be utilized in any sector. New technology brings endless amounts of opportunities to optimize and automate processes, which maximizes the use of resources and outcomes.
This is also true for the oil industry. Technology based solutions are forecasted to increase total revenue in the oil industry by almost 50 percent in 2025, by digitizing and automating crucial processes and enabling remote monitoring of these processes. Therefore,t the options brought to the oil industry by IoT are undoubtedly beneficial. With elements such as remote monitoring, data collecting and asset tracking, the oil industry will gain valuable real-time information about operations. The benefits of this are many, but first and foremost is the possibility to make operations more efficient and safer for employees.
IoT and the Oil Industry: An Introduction
IoT is short for the Internet of Things, referring to a network of physical objects connected through software to the internet. This network consists of electronics, software, sensors and connectivity, to enable transferring of data, monitoring of production and processing of data.
This concept translates over to the oil industry, where an increased interest in and implementation of IoT solutions in the oil and gas sector can be detected.
IoT allows for remote monitoring of operations through connected systems, with the use of any smart device. This is of great help to workers, to access information to help understand the performance of the system and analyze necessary data.
The possibility of remote monitoring also extends to repairs and services. With the collected information from the systems, employees can actively monitor the operations performance and know when to schedule any repairs or maintenance.
Another reason that IoT and the oil industry go hand in hand is the possibility of data collecting. The system can store data, which can be analyzed and used to optimize any process. This also allows for asset tracking, where sensors can be used to monitor any asset and store all these tracking data online.
Solutions for the Oil Industry
There are specialized solutions to implement IoT in a simple and easy way. Telenor for instance provides an end-to-end concept, where everything spanning from concept and design to operation is being observed and supported by Telenor and partner networks.
This service constitutes two aspects: Connection and cloud. The connectivity services will enable your company to connect any devices and things to a network, which allows you to operate and monitor any connected device. The cloud is a tool, where you can collect and store data from all the connected devices, and use this data to analyze and optimize operations.
A combination of these two elements brings several opportunities to your company. Smart metering allows you to forecast production capability, which can save you money by scheduling efficiently.
Sensors can send real-time data to any device, enabling you to monitor and report without delay. This also allows alerts of any issues before they become crucial. The same sensors can also measure performance and break down the data of different parameters, gathering a thorough overview of any process and forecasting possible issues and potential solutions.
Benefits of Implementing IoT in the Oil Industry
Implementing IoT in the oil industry has countless benefits for the operations and monitoring of processes. Essentially, the concept of IoT has the potential to make everyday operations easier and more safe for employees.
One of the great benefits is the possibility of drilling management. It can enhance the rig operators to enable precise measurements and avoid mishaps or errors. IoT can also alarm employees about any occurring errors by using real-time data from sensors.
IoT also allows for pipeline monitoring. By monitoring all pipelines with real-time data, you can avoid any leakage, which otherwise causes significant damage financially and environmentally. Pipeline monitoring can monitor every single component, such as pipes, pumps and filters, to cut down on manual maintenance and reduce hazards.
Refinery monitoring is another great benefit of IoT. It can help monitor pipe pressure, flow rate and other performance elements to collect data accurately, even in areas with hard access for employees.
With IoT, you can easily track any cargo shipping to an easier collection of data and monitoring of any cargo ships in the world.
Environmental and Safety Improvements
IoT also allows for the advanced safety and health of all employees. With remote monitoring and remote access, employees can monitor equipment and operations. With the possibility of connecting sensors and imaging vision, anyone can receive detailed information about any situation. This can help reduce errors and decrease accidents and injuries among employees.
There is also an environmental aspect to the implementation of IoT. By improving management and the work on any site, carbon emissions can be reduced. IoT has already been proved to help reduce the environmental footprint by, for example, decreasing the number of leakages in pipelines.
With the implementation of IoT, you also support efficient planning and scheduling for any supply chain process. IoT allows you to, for example, use sensors to detect and monitor any incoming and outgoing barrels. With this data, operations and productions can run more smoothly by bringing more transparency to the supply chain.
Perspectives on IoT and the Oil Industry
There is no limit to where IoT can be implemented and usefully utilized in the production process. From extraction and production, processing and transport to refining, IoT includes solutions that can be implemented on all levels.
Take a look at gas pumps. Retail gas pumps can have digital equipment attached to them, allowing for data collection, which can be stored on a cloud platform.
With data from hundreds of sensors from retail stations, you would have the possibility to optimize the process. The data contains information about the equipment, inventory of fuel, rates of consumption, and other patterns related to consumers. This data can then be translated into enhancing performance, such as when to schedule maintenance, replenish supplies and much more.
Other interesting opportunities
IoT brings a long list of exciting opportunities for smart solutions in the oil industry. One example is sensor-based tank monitoring, which allows for real-time monitoring of a tank’s performance and inventory level.
With acoustic operations monitoring, you can install sensors to measure the oil composition and the flow rates. This data can be stored and analyzed to improve operations and reduce expensive equipment costs.
The list of opportunities is endless, and this list keeps growing with the development of new technologies and solutions. It can help predict maintenance, alert about errors, increase productivity, optimize production, manage inventory and save on costs, detect any leakages, allow monitoring of the whole process, remote monitoring, track shipping, and create more safety at the worksite.
With end-to-end solutions, your company is in good hands since every single step in the process of implementing IoT is being monitored by Telenor and partner networks. This ensures a thorough and productive implementation, where your company quickly will adapt to the new and enhanced options brought to you by IoT.
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.