Technological advancements and digitalization has covered through every other industry we see today. These are reshaping the way some of the highly established industries function with every new thing emerging in the market. The oil and gas industry is also gradually moving towards digitalization, yet is slower in embracing the change. One may correlate to with the other effects of digitalization that the industry is trying to deal with.
A fall in prices of the end commodities due to digital technologies being used, have left an effect to the oil and gas industry, in the level of capital expenditure that they could make on innovations. Thereby, making investments far riskier than it used to be. The industry is slowly trying to come in terms with it. At the same time finds burdened to be clung to the patterns of age-old processes within its operational model.
The energy industries have been dealing with a lot of data analytics since ages and so possess a huge data on oil reserves across a geographical spread. These act as the biggest assets to discover and decipher potential oil reserves and the best periods to drill and complete projects on wells. Digital technologies have been found to be intertwined in the value chain of the oil & gas sector. In spite of other aspects like cloud computing, robotics, 3D-scanning technology to artificial intelligence being considered, the role of digitalization and investing to harness the same remains crucial.
Although we have technologies which would help capture these data, it is seen that a lot of companies fail to fully utilize the potential, of a data that could be put to a good use. Hence, despite a price decline, it holds very true that the companies which are willing to invest on innovations hold a great value, according to Deloitte executive John England. For the oil & gas sector one of the technologies that helps gather data is through Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). The sensing technology is used in a multitude of areas including perimeter security, pipeline monitoring, well efficiency and other downhole operations, such as seismic data acquisition.
For oil & gas operators, acquiring & analyzing data real-time has been a challenge with data spread out across off-line collection centers and oil fields. And often interpretation of these data is done through a variety of software. One could see it as a key reason to find the advancement in digitalization happen more in one operation compared to the other. Industries with pipeline operation projects have seen to take a faster adaptation to DAS with reliable fixed networks, while downhole operation projects still cling to the older methods. Data in downhole operations are often analyzed off-site. However, this is slowly showing a shift too.
As oil & gas companies move seeking a greater digital efficiency, technological intervention should be aimed to be consistent across all areas of operations. An industry that is known to have a vast global network, having intelligent insights from a real-time data & analysis is vital for the success of the same.