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Christian Morales

Lead Internet Marketer at IoE Corp
Published - 02/27/2023   |   Reading time - 09 min 07 sec

The Oil and Gas (O&G) industry is feeling the pressure of the environmental pledge to reduce the carbon footprint set by the UN's SDGs more than ever. When green energy incentives increase, as is public awareness, the oil and gas industry must find ways to meet goals and expectations.

While fossil fuels are still the main driver of industries and societies, all eyes are set on these companies to decrease their CO2 emissions and safety precautions. To this end, embedded systems help to optimize industries' overall performance, looking at specifics for O&G:

  • Drilling optimization and automation
  • Optimizing production
  • Smart maintenance
  • Enhanced field operations
  • Digitally enabled logistics

The potential interconnected embedded technology provides to O&G is paramount. Applying this advanced connectivity could generate $250 billion of value for the industry's upstream operations by 2030. Despite these high revenue gains, digital transformation remains an "if" and "can."

In the following lines, learn how to accelerate your digital adoption by implementing optimized embedded tech empowered with artificial intelligence (AI). First, understand the challenges, current solutions, and how to move into groundbreaking technology. Leave behind the if and can and move into deployment and results, be an industry leader, and pioneer O&G's digital transformation.

Industry 4.0 in Oil and Gas

The days when digital adoption was an option are long gone. Companies wanting to continue to be at the forefront of their market must undertake the transition to connecting the physical and the digital. Research and use cases provide hard evidence confirming the benefits of embedded tech optimization. The connectivity of devices, sensors, machines, and wearables are huge data collectors and deliverables.

Problems arise when trying to manage the data as issues come forth as the following:

  • Cost-effective data management
  • Data ownership and security
  • Real-time data
  • Data-to-information refinement

Cost-effective data management

In a highly competitive and pressurized (CO2 emissions) O&G global market, finding the best options to harness data management is fundamental. Industry 4.0 is data-driven; therefore, those companies capable of managing their data cost-effectively have a head start. A 2017 Cisco white paper indicates that:

Delivery is the first issue an oil platform stumbles upon with this amount of data management. We must remember that most of the data generated are case-sensitive, so the assurance of it reaching decision-makers on time is vital. Typical options to deliver offshore oil platform data reside in satellite connections sending data to cloud service providers.

Data delivery speeds of satellite connections range from 64Kbps to 2Mbps; one day's data can take over ten days to reach a central repository. Data generation will not decrease; on the contrary, it will only continue to increase. Therefore, raw data must stay on-premises to be processed, analyzed, and delivered in real-time. To this end, edge computing is becoming increasingly clear as the best option for cost-effective O&G data management.

Data ownership and security

Today, data is gold; thus the importance of data ownership is vital for O&G companies. Sending on-premises data to centralized locations thousands of kilometers away is terrible for cost-effectiveness. During the traveling process, certain risks and vulnerabilities come into play. Third-party services can use this data at will, potentially killing the advantage an oil and gas company could have over others.

Looking at security, digital data is under constant attack. A perfect example is the 2021 Colonial Pipeline hack, which stopped operations for days. Regardless of the benefits, these potential attacks coming from the connectivity of O&G companies will always make decision-makers have second thoughts. Then there's also the risk of data input from malfunctioning devices, bringing terrible consequences. Malfunctions can come from simple devices breaking down or bad actors accessing them and deliberately introducing incorrect data.

Both cases are understandable drawbacks for O&G's leaders to think twice about actioning digital transformation. To give O&G stakeholders a clear vision where data security and privacy are assured, data has to be kept on-premises and decentralization infrastructure blockchain-secured implemented.

Real-time data

In the same way, cost-effective data management is bound to the movement of on-premises data generation, ensuring real-time data moves through the same path. Real-time data is an economic asset as it helps to reduce costs and optimizes O&G maintenance, supply chain, and pricing. Even more important is the benefit real-time data provides to the security of oil platforms, gas pipelines, and transportation.

Embedded artificial intelligence is, for example, used to predict changes in the wear and tear of machinery via historical data analysis. Still, it becomes worthless if this data isn't delivered in real-time. To make it more clear, predictive maintenance via embedded AI sends alerts of near pipeline leakage. Allowing time for addressing the fix with very low chances of casualties due to side-effects of the procedure.

Using the same use case, if this information comes too late, the consequences of gas leakage and all its collateral damage become an immense reputation and economic loss. Oil and gas companies cannot afford these risks hovering around their oil rigs, transportation trucks, and gas and oil containers. The only possible alternative to real-time data assurance is keeping data on-premises.

Data-to-information refinement

Closely related to real-time data is data-to-information refinement. Data generation is roughly 2TB and growing daily from an oil platform and adding more from the supply chain, logistics, market value, etc. Managing all this raw data into actionable information is a complex and costly process.

If we consider moving all the data to a centralized repository, i.e., a cloud service provider, the costs will continue to increase. The more data generated, the more you will pay for the data to be stored, processed, analyzed, and delivered. But if data can be refined on-premises, O&G companies can live up to the goals of sustainable computing by saving power and reducing CO2. In addition, it saves money, as there's no need to move the data at cost into expensive cloud providers' servers.

Embedded system solutions using AI and optimizing dataflows are game-changers for oil and gas companies looking into digital transformation. Cost-effective, sustainable, efficient, and safe data management comes from technological systems that provide data processing, storage, analysis, and delivery on-premises.

Embedded system solutions use cases in oil and gas

At the beginning of this article, we introduced various workflows where embedded technology provides benefits. Now we have an overview of how embedded systems optimization is gained by keeping data generation at the source. Let's look at some use cases in more detail.

Drilling optimization and automation

Oil and gas drilling exploration is costly to the economy and the environment, and if we add the uncertainty of the initial search, the problems increase. When drilling, large portions of land can disturb the natural habitat. The same happens using seismic techniques for oil exploration under the ocean floor. Land and marine ecosystems are at risk, as well as the workforce.

Every year workers are exposed to fatal dangers in oil and gas drilling. Injuries come in the hundreds, and fatalities, although considerably less, continue to occur year after year.

Year Fatalities Injuries Lifting Fires Explosions Musters Gas Releases Collisions Loss of Well Control Spills 1 ≥ 1 BBL
2021 2 164 259 117 4 79 44 3 4 14
2020 6 160 274 87 1 81 73 7 1 11

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement U.S. Department of the Interior - Offshore Incident Statistics

The use of embedded technology is paramount to optimize O&G drilling and introduce automation into complex processes. Embedded AI analysis on historical data increases the efficiency during the drilling process, e.g., during well fracking, water, chemicals, and sand quantities can be prescribed. Automation relieves the location of the workforce via remote or semi-automatic drilling in, for example, oil rigs.

Optimizing production

The whole process of an oil and gas corporation, from extraction to the customer, is highly optimized by deploying sensors with advanced embedded systems. Real-time AI analytics increases the efficiency throughout the production line:

Smart maintenance

There are three types of maintenance, reactive, preventive, and predictive. The first two were the most common until new technologies, i.e., embedded systems, surfaced for mainstream usage. For the oil and gas industry, reactive maintenance is hazardous as the consequences of machine failure bring catastrophic results.

Preventive maintenance is the most common as its procedure schedules timely checks and fixtures throughout. Preventative maintenance provides excellent benefits as the risk of failing equipment gets reduced. The downfall of preventive maintenance comes because there is still a risk of failure and reducing equipment life, as repairs can be done too early.

Predictive maintenance applies technology to learn beforehand about possible breakage. Embedded systems sense vibrations, temperature oscillations, and anomalies. AI's capacity to analyze historical data of equipment alerts of failures and can autonomously act on specific issues. As a result, predictive maintenance decreases maintenance budgets considerably and reduces shuthowns for unscheduled repairs.

In conclusion, enhanced field operations are ignited by technological advancements to actuate the whole oil and gas industry process. Workforce time on site is reduced as embedded system solutions automate maintenance, as drones and land or subsea robotics can conduct periodic surveillance and inspections on remote assets.

Digitally enabled logistics drastically improves end-to-end logistics communications, and the supply chain, e.g., receives transparent material tracking. This advantage is critical, as material delivery to remote offshore oil platforms can be costly if they don't reach the location on time or there's a lack or surplus of materials.

Optimizing O&G performance with Eden's embedded AI system

When considering deploying digital transformation into your O&G workflow, Internet of Everything Corporation (IoE Corp) offers EDEN. The embedded system solution provides a decentralized blockchain-secured knowledge based-AI to deploy into your workflow seamlessly. Currently, we are onboarding new partners via our Planet Partner Program.

Access Industry 4.0 ahead of the crowd and be the industry leader pioneering the fourth industrial revolution in oil and gas. IoE Corp is ready to set you on the right path to take advantage of this data-driven paradigm shift and manage your data cost-effectively, securely, privately, and sustainably. Apply to the Planet Partner Program.

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