Across the oil & gas industry, addressing issues like unplanned downtime and emergency repairs sits high atop management’s to-do list. And rightfully so, given that these sorts of problems can significantly disrupt the delivery of petroleum products and services and cost many thousands of dollars on a daily basis. Fortunately, industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technology has evolved to the point where it can help companies address these issues. However, the potential benefits of IoT do not stop there. A myriad of use cases exist that may not always be top-of-mind for operators but can still have a considerable positive impact on the bottom line. One example I’d like to highlight is the ability to quickly and accurately diagnose the root cause of equipment failure.

While it may be easy to overlook, it’s impossible to understate the importance of proper diagnosis in upstream operations. From specialized equipment like electric submersible pumps (ESPs), to mission-critical assets like diesel generators, the ability to pinpoint error root causes is the critical next step to gaining operational value from error code alerts and warnings of upcoming failures. An IoT solution can add context to those error codes by incorporating external information, equipment specifications, and historical servicing documentation. Connecting disparate data sources provides extra context that allows the solution to zero in on the source of the issue, as well as identify the right parts and repair procedures to resolve the problem quickly and accurately. Recently, I had the pleasure of discussing this topic, along with other ways IoT can enhance production, in-depth for an article in E&P. For further insights on the potential overall benefits of IoT for oil & gas operators, the full article is available here.