While 2016 was known as the year of “tough decisions” for oil and gas, 2017 is being called the “year of recovery”. The role that technology will play in 2017 is an important one. In 2017 a major trend in oil and gas is a focus on technologies that reduce costs while increasing productivity and safety with existing assets.
Rigzone reports that in 2017 companies will focus on smart technology investments and asset performance management (APM) technologies. These two technologies will be used to help engineers, operators and executives to develop intelligent asset strategies that directly correspond with key business drivers.
While the oil and gas industry have been using sensors for some time, in 2017 there is a shift in integrating sensor data with existing EAM systems. Because of market unpredictability, oil and gas companies have been hesitant to purchase new assets, but rather are investing in better technology systems to optimize existing assets. Integrating sensor data with EAM systems will enable data to be collected on the health of any asset at any given time.
Cloud-based infrastructure and mobility are also an emerging as a mainstream oil and gas technology trend in 2017. Cloud and mobility allow for the automation and optimization of processes with the added benefit of analytics to improve overall operations.
Using drones to help with safety inspections for hard-to-reach equipment and assets will see increased use in 2017. Furthermore the use of drones to inspect remote and difficult to reach on-land assets or offshore rigs. There is also the potential for the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for topographical mapping and scanning of pipelines for damage.
Augmented reality applications is another emerging technology tool in 2017. Augmented reality technology delivered by wearable or mobile devices allow for remote over the shoulder guidance of engineers by specialists in another location, thousands of miles away.
These oil and gas technology trends are all directed towards reducing costs while increasing productivity and safety. Smart technology such as sensors combined with mobile devices in the field automate previously manual processes and drive efficiency and better safety by enabling quick reporting and inspection turnaround time. Using drones and augmented reality in the field enhance worker safety and contribute to an incident-free workplace.
In 2017, expect to see more synergy between technology systems that were previously operating as silos. Feeding data from mobile device performing inspections and safety audits, sensor data, and drones into APM and EAM technologies with the potential to integrate into larger ERP systems will maximize operational, reporting and productivity goals.