Preparing for Digital Transformation in Oil and Gas

the Right Way

A global survey conducted by Accenture claims that more than 40% of oil and gas industry specialists believe that digital solutions can help with the optimization of costs in these related industries. This is needed to balance the investments and profits accumulated from given businesses. Digital innovations could ultimately help optimize many essential aspects of the whole industry, including recruitment processes, employee potentials, business tactics, and cost-efficiencies.
There are also other studies and surveys claiming that the proper, savvy employment of certain digital capacities could help lower a company's standard related expenses by over 20% and bring many other essential benefits.

Right now, everyone that’s “in the know” is prepared for digital transformations in oil and gas to take place as soon and as thoroughly as possible in their own production capacities. This means making many employees’ lives easier, excluding tons of errors caused by human inattentiveness, and reaching a new level of management efficiency.
The Main Challenges
Growing digital security demands

Any business connected to the web or working through any other connection protocols immediately becomes vulnerable to cyber attacks of all sorts. Data is a valuable asset,so cybercriminals are fast to invade any corporate systems they can through all possible flaws and “potholes” they can find.

Leaking any data, especially personal user or corporate data, may result in grave consequences. A company’s reputation can be seriously undermined, and the whole business can easily be shut down due to The Privacy Act violation.

To take a real-world example, ransomware hackers managed to steal business files from the Colonial Pipeline Co. hardware last May (2021). And guess what, the company eventually completely shut down the whole pipeline network - one of the most extensive networks globally. This situation alone should point out the grave importance of sturdy cybersecurity.

Individual automation tactics

The industrial digital transformation is expected to provide companies with high-performance, unlimited connection capabilities that help centralize all the production capacities (employees, work objects, interconnected devices, etc.).

Why is taking on this strategy such a challenge at the moment? Because of the immaturity of the concept’s implementations - a company needs to first implement an interconnected system, accumulate and mine the required data, and only then compose a reasonable strategy. However, the outcome is worth the effort.
A study conducted by the World Economic Forum claims that automation could help companies save 20% of total costs on employee management in all business aspects as well as on drilling and work completion and about 25% on tech examination and maintenance.
Shortage of skills in the labor market
Recruiters, HRs, and chief information officers confess to clearly seeing a significant lack of skills among potential employees and recruits. While about 60% of companies surveyed by Accenture claim to be ready to turn to third-party services providers in order to properly go through the digitalization of oil and gas, there is still a great lack of cybersecurity, corporate architecture, AI, business, and big data analytics specialists out there.
IoT development skills shortage | Oriented Soft
The ultimate benefits of strategic collaboration with external software development oil and gas providers lie in expanding one’s business margins to acquire long-term access to savvy specialists, innovative technologies, and uncharted market areas.

All this comes down to a couple of basic stages in order to achieve successful digital transformation and contribute to this trend market-wise at the same time. First, you must take care of properly introducing new powers and capabilities to running workflows. This depends on another essential effort - setting new baseline standards (digital standards). Then, a common effort should be put towards developing the talent for efficiently running digitized systems.

Thus, successful digital transformation is in your pocket if you have the baseline, integrated digital powers according to it, and run it with the help of qualified staff.
Looking at Digital Benefits in the Oil and Gas Industry in Practice
Digital transformation focused on the oil and gas industries manifests in a multitude of practical use cases, like:

  • Analytical predictions;
  • Performance optimization;
  • More efficient recovery of oil;
  • Forecasts of regular production;
  • Workflow automation;
  • Predictive maintenance;
  • Boosted oil and gas extraction (efficient analytics help acquire up to 5% more gas and oil);
  • A thorough analysis of non-standards aspects and assets;
  • Higher level of data assets protection;
  • Centralization of operations in one home location;
  • Logistics analyses that help avoid nature-harming potential leakages and hazardous situations.

Thorough industrial digitalization falls in line with some relevant goals for gas and oil businesses out there, like saving resources that are being lost in the process of undermanaged extraction, storage, and processing operations. 

This, along with higher overall performance and efficiency of technologies, results in ultimately reduced costs and reduced carbon dioxide harm created by regular oil and gas processing. 

Already, establishments can significantly reduce the hardware downtime - for instance, the offshore oil and gas services provider MODEC achieved hardware downtime reduction by having AI manage its floating production fleet and in-depth analytics in processing and storing all the inside data. This stimulated the company to assemble a full-on management system with advanced capacities.
Oil and gas digitalization use cases | Oriented Soft
Tech Solutions with the Most Potential and Profitability Rates
When it comes to the major digital trends in the oil and gas industry, the most relevant point of attention is cybersecurity, which helps both generate and better preserve major digital investments. Once we reach the proper level of cybersecurity marketwide, AI, Big Data, and other technologies highlighted below will take the lead as the industry-boosting technologies of the future.
Digital trends in the oil and gas industry | Oriented Soft
The Internet of Things

From complex facility management and security control to maintenance of assets and worker safety nuances, IoT oil and gas use cases can cover many essential areas of production as well. And all this can be carried out most transparently and under close control via interconnected hardware and software systems such as:

  • Asset Maintenance
  • Hazard Management and Worker Safety
  • Facility Management
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Security and Access Control

RFID sensors are handy devices to locate, track, and monitor equipment pieces and products alike. They can help easily detect and timely mend leakage sources, corrosion hubs, and other possible damages and risks that can undermine both the workers’ lives and the surrounding environment. On top of that, the same sensor will conveniently read all the pressure, oil flow, and product delivery data for you to watch the state of your production with utter caution.

Apart from RFID, there are also GPS solutions that can be most beneficially employed to optimize your supply chain management, prevent product delivery delays, and provide even more control of all related processes.
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AI and ML

All the data that you “mine” with the help of an established interconnected system must be efficiently processed and employed. In this aspect, the AI and ML technologies help better manage security and worker safety, boost quality assurance, and lower maintenance expenses in and out. Essentially, AI also allows autonomously handling numerous operations (like data interpretations) through machine learning principles. 

You can analyze and improve major KPIs (key performance indicators) in drilling routines through proper AI algorithms. E.g., drag and torque readings can be conveniently visualized and used to boost decision-making efficiency. You can use the powers of AI to better define potential dangers (saving both lives and expenses in the process), boost QA for specific projects, adjust security assets, and much more.

Data analytics and Big Data

In-depth accumulation and analysis of data enable businesses to forecast and avoid many potential failures and critical situations with important hardware solutions and pieces of equipment.
More profits can be achieved by combining and juxtaposing production data and real-time monitoring of drilling readings. In particular, according to Bain and Company, you can boost oil and gas production by 6-8%via the employment of data analytics.
There are many ways you can put data analytics to use to make your workflows more versatile, close to error-free, and ultimately smoother. The overall production efficiency is automatically achieved by reducing the stress and load of manual tasks on workers in both drilling areas and offices.
Bottom Line
We can say for sure that integrating advanced technology and gradually transforming your traditional oil and gas facility into a digitized powerhouse is a very relevant, business-boosting effort. For this, you should elaborate on your digital strategy, properly evaluate the accumulated data, and integrate the most fitting software solutions for oil and gas in order to reap the maximum benefit.

Start with the Internet of Things capabilities. There are already plenty of IoT providers out there to help you achieve some outstanding interconnectivity in any number of facilities throughout any location.

The ultimate result of your digital transformation depends on the quality of services your selected software and hardware vendor provides. Only savvy, experienced professionals should be allowed to implement such things, so tread carefully. If you do find a reliable vendor and digitize the right way, though, you will be truly witnessing a new era of productivity, profitability, and business growth.
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