I recently attended a cool IoT event in Calgary Alberta that was presented for the Oil & Gas (O&G) industry by the Energy Conference Network. Calgary is the headquarters location for many exploration, production and distribution companies involved in extracting bitumen and shale gas in Canada. We attended to validate how well the use cases we’re building around DataV apply across a variety of industries and it turns out they do.
In the case of O&G, predictive failure and asset utilization really stand out. In the days of $100 oil, exploration companies and their services ecosystem had few financial incentives to leverage device data for more efficient operations. The business motion was all about how fast you could extract the resource. But now as the price of oil has plunged and is maybe at a “new normal”, people are getting smart about IoT and thinking about leveraging technology investments.
One trend that really excited me was the migration from older mechanical to new “smart” AC rigs, which are much more amenable to automation. We heard one drilling provider talk about how the onsite skills are moving from mechanical engineer to software engineer. One might have been forgiven for thinking that rigs were low-tech but they are not; they’re sensor equipped all the way from the top of the rig, where torque is generated, down the drill string to the cutter head.
The applications of IoT are endless, from increased supply chain efficiency (think delivering pipe casings to a remote site) to the nearly instant feedback for vibration data analysis. People are thinking hard about the benefits of IoT here; there are many small projects being launched to test viability and learn skills. We came away with many ideas and look forward to helping O&G industry customers to achieve new efficiencies.