In the past few years, falling oil prices have rocked the oil and gas industry. Oil and gas companies have had to get creative to remain profitable. Investing in new technology has shown promise for improving profitability and lowering costs. Using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, companies can leverage data to increase efficiency, raise security standards, and better their bottom line.
Here are five ways IoT technology is fueling the future of the oil and gas industry.
Finding Real Value
The reality is that the IoT lets you gather information from just about everything. Many oil and gas companies already use sensors to aggregate data from equipment and personnel. The real challenge comes in finding value in the information haystack. Data is only valuable if it’s used to accomplish business objectives. Currently, only one percent of information gathered from sensors is made available to decision makers. Important insights must be relayed up the chain of command in order to make a difference in daily operations. Data points are nothing more than numbers in a spreadsheet if they’re not turned into actionable insight.
Make Remote Sites Less Remote
When employees are stationed at remote drilling sites, access to real-time communication is paramount to worker safety. Connected workers are easier to keep safe. Use IoT technology to quickly respond to situations and remotely diagnose problems. Mobile conferencing with a reliable connection allows for immediate communication, bringing workers together from remote areas to collaborate.
Better communication also means fewer people in the field. Having workers stationed at drilling sites is notoriously dangerous and expensive. Use this technology to create a safer work environment with less downtime and better problem solving.
A Better Network
Keep your network as safe as your employees. IoT technology allows for stronger encryption and firewalls that keep networks secure. Require network authentication and authorization to access sensitive information. In addition to greater security, the IoT can provide a more streamlined network. Interconnect business, security, phone, video and Internet to reduce the cost of complicated IT infrastructure. With this streamlined system, you can monitor all equipment in real time.
Do More With Your Data
Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags give ample analytics to oil and gas companies. Tag equipment, vehicles and containers with RFID sensors to track these assets on site. Use sensor information to keep people aware of their surroundings. RFID tags can also include a panic button to alert workers of hazards like extreme temperatures or dangerous gas levels. By remotely accessing current information, you can monitor your facility to ensure optimal efficiency and maximum profit. You can also use this information to better predict and mitigate downtime.
Adapting to the Future
With the countless benefits of increased connectivity, more and more IoT devices are in development. The number of these devices is growing at a 70 percent annual growth rate. And with the cost of oil under 50 dollars a barrel, oil and gas companies can use this technology to remain profitable. One study suggests that by embracing IoT technology, a $50 billion oil and gas company could experience an 11 percent increase in annual profit. Implementing these new technologies will help oil and gas companies stay competitive in the future.
IoT Is Fueling Change
IoT technology has many applications, but it brings specific benefits to the harsh, remote environments of oil and gas. Keep your workers safe, your network secure and your company profitable by embracing the future of IoT.