•   Jason Simons
  •   Jan 28, 2020

Technology Trends in the Oil and Gas Industry

Technology is revolutionizing the oil and gas industry, creating new opportunities for companies to prosper by utilizing drones, IoT devices, AI and more.  

The oil and gas industry is a high-dollar field and one that is not new to deploying technology to help manage geographically or environmentally challenging situations. Artificial intelligence, remote monitoring, robotics, and virtual reality have been utilized for decades to create more consistent and secure operations for these entities. With the rise of advanced applications of these technical components, the oil and gas industry is set to gain significant benefits from the creation of new and innovative uses of technical knowledge.

Electronic Monitoring

One key way that organizations are benefiting from recent advances in technology is through the ability to remotely monitor difficult locations. This extension of human capabilities could provide a multi-billion-dollar impact on the oil and gas industry in the coming years, helping improve efficiency and safety for offshore equipment while also improving the lifespan of expensive machinery. Understanding how weather patterns are impacting the expected lifecycle of machinery is one way that remote monitoring is being deployed today to provide advance knowledge of any potential security or maintenance issues that need to be immediately addressed.

Serious Advances in Employee Health & Safety

Wearables, or IoT (Internet of Things) connected devices are a significant trend throughout the world, but nowhere as they quite as important as in the oil and gas industry. Putting humans in the line of fire — so to speak — in dangerous situations has been something this industry has struggled with for decades. Recent advances in connected wearables provide options such as headsets, augmented and virtual reality devices that provide options for inspection before placing a human in harm’s way. Digital twin technology — the ability to create a virtual twin of physical locations — is being more widely deployed to simulate real-world rig environments, including variables such as weather and emergency conditions. This information is then used to train staff members on how to respond to challenging situations, increasing the possibility that they will survive and adequately manage a real-world problem.

Bringing Robots on Board

Even with the addition of wearables, there are still locations that are either too remote or too dangerous for individuals to interact with the environment. In this instance, robots such as autonomous drones are able to move more fluidly within the space, making assessments about security or the viability of particular locations. As robotics become more affordable and the labor market continues to contract, this option is much more appealing to the oil and gas industry than ever before. Robots are often able to significantly reduce the amount of time — and overall costs — required for this type of survey compared to a human worker.

AI-Fueled Organizations

Marrying old-fashioned intuition and business know-how with artificial intelligence creates stellar opportunities for organizations in the oil and gas industry. These advances allow leaders to more accurately predict the failure of particular facilities and objects, creating a more robust pipeline of information in human-machine interaction. Reducing the possibility of downtime can dramatically impact the profitability of these entities, and leveraging AI can shift a multi-day loss of time to a few minutes of proactive maintenance. Plus, AI-driven solutions are able to recognize patterns in a broader scale, analyzing images and language to make recommendations for action.

Harnessing the advanced information technology solutions for 2020 and beyond requires a deep understanding of trends and a firm understanding of the possible in terms of technology. Working with the IT experts at ICS helps ensure that your entity has the tools and technology available to quickly take advantage of future opportunities. Contact the ICS team in Houston at (281) 962-3058, San Antonio at (210) 305-4087 or Austin at (512) 253-4135 to schedule your free initial consultation. You’ll find that organizations of all sizes are able to boost their competitive advantage and prepare for future advances in technology with professional IT support and services from ICS.