Next Frontier for Digital Technologies in Oil & Gas Industry
Rakesh Roy

Digital Technologies are the new frontiers for the entire ecosystem of Oil & Gas Industry to transform the work process, business & operational process, real-time access and decision-making procedure. Though the pace of Digital Technology adoption is quite slow in the oil & gas industry, it is imperative to understand how the disruption of digital technologies in oil gas can enable organisation to keep afloat in competitiveness and growth. The article enlightens the current & next trends of digital technology that can impact the entire oil & gas industry in the coming years.

Over the past several years, the global oil & gas industry has been passed through rough & choppy waters due to price slump, high and growing rig counts, mega-capital-expenditure projects, and plentiful capital to support investment, etc.

A recent price rebound has increased optimism slightly, and efforts are under way to contain costs by reducing headcount, postponing projects, and cutting spending. Still, in the face of uncer tain long-term forecasts, it is time to explore more drastic strategies to boost efficiency.

In response to recent technological advancements, oil executives should consider digital technologies with the potential to transform operations and create additional profits from existing capacity. Here are few next frontiers for digital technology that can unleash new hydrocarbon resources and delivered operational efficiencies across the value chain.

Artificial Intelligence: Next Productivity Revolution in Oil & Gas
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been used by various oil & gas companies to achieve operational and business performance. Pattern recognition, natural language processing, and image analysis and recognition are the most common use cases in AI to help oil & gas industry in aiding the decision -making process. While Oil & Gas industry is highly labourintensive, technologies like Ar tificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can automating task that benefits of reducing human error and increasing efficiency. AI-powered bots and drones help to map & access the potential of reservoirs presenting in extreme environments or high-risk regions.

AI & MI can optimise production through algorithm to collect data from numerous sensors and other devices to give a real-time update thus providing the optimum operating environment. Impor tant data from the reser voir equipment and integration of various aspects surrounding the facility including information on geology, reser voir engineering, production techniques can be used to feed the AI systems that can improve the functioning of reservoirs.

Big Data and Data Analytics: Am Emerging Trend in Oil & Gas
The concept of 'Big Data', defined as increasing volume, variety and velocity of data, is familiar to the oil and gas industry. The industry generates a huge quantity of data, whether it is 3D seismic surveys, drilling data, production data or the monitoring of production facilities (pressures, flow rates, temperatures etc).

While generation, collection and storage of data has continually increased, this has brought with it problems with managing and analysing such vast quantities of information. Analysis of such data has been a major area of focus and innovation within the oil and gas industry with a view to potential improvements in exploration and production efficiency and safety.

Big Data refers to the new technologies in handling and processing these massive datasets. These datasets are recorded in different varieties and generated in large volume in various operations of upstream and downstream oil and gas industry.

Cloud Computing: The Next Big Investment in Oil & Gas

Most upstream oil and gas companies are now moving to cloud-based platforms where they can host their business applications related to areas like sub -surface, land and production systems. Any new workload and innovation projects are mostly being taken up in the cloud, where IT is enabling infrastructure management, data interfacing with on-premise legacy systems and security management.

While oilfields are connected to each other in a same area, the flow of data is increased to accumulate in data storage. Cloud storage offers highly scalable storage to meet the needs of even the most connected oilfields. Cloud computing offers data storage as a ser vice, tailored to those companies that want to take advantage of data but do not have the expertise, the capital, or the need for on-premise servers.

The cloud also supports oilfield intelligence by ensuring they have access to the latest data anytime, anywhere. This supports mobility and AI initiatives in the oilfield and delivers insights for quicker and more informed decision making on the go.

Blockchain: Transforming Data & Information Sharing Process in Oil & Gas

The oil & gas industry is a multi-stakeholder industry involving E & P, EPC, Shipping & Logistics, and Refining. etc. So multiple stakeholders, vendors will also have to par ticipate in the business process of buying, selling, etc. Blockchain will allow the passing of title among the stakeholders without going through the massive paperwork of bills of transaction.

In the Oil & Gas industry, with its global reach, complexity, and complex regulations - simplifying and improving the paperwork and processes of global product movement is a business imperative. Here. Blockchain technology is coming into the picture for the value proposition.

Block chain, an improved ledger platform, also helps digitalisation of transactions among stakeholders more secure, transparent manner. Additional benefits would include lower overhead costs, reduced cash cycle times, and fewer cost intermediates.

IoT and Digital Twins to Monitor Assets Conditions & Evolution of Work in Oil & Gas

As routine tasks become automated, the ways oil and gas companies are managing their physical assets are rapidly evolving. Technology such as the IoT and digital twins will enhance companies' ability to monitor asset conditions and predict problems and future behavior. A change in business models can also be expected, as companies will inevitably need to develop new ecosystems, operating models, skill sets and culture to suppor t the evolution. Within the oil and gas industry, IoT devices and sensors can provide real time data on machinery, pipes, storage, transpor tation and employee safety. The applications for IoT in the oil and gas industry, as with other digital technologies, centre on improvements in efficiency and safety.

Robotics: Automate Exploration and Production in Oil & Gas

Recent technological advancements are enabling operators to deploy robots in terrestrial, aerial and underwater configurations to carry out tasks that may be too risky to be under taken by field personnel. Other applications include remotely-operated aerial drones, automated underwater vehicles, robotic drills and much more. Downtime on an oil rig or other drilling site is expensive - robots are helping solve this problem to boost productivity. The robot is capable of inspecting offshore sites, and is equipped with visual and thermal cameras, microphones and gas detection sensors that allow it to generate a 3D map of its surroundings to carry out inspections and operations more efficiently.

Moreover, aging infrastructure is necessitating regular inspection of these assets, and autonomous drones are being used due to their sheer number and issues related to accessibility.