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Moderate investment in big data, despite potential for operational efficiencies

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Oilfield Technology,

Only one in five oil and gas companies see themselves as highly digitalised today. However, close to half of senior oil and gas professionals1 (45%) already see solid or high potential for big data and analytics to transform the operating efficiency of the industry in 2016, according to research by DNV GL. The research among over 900 senior oil and professionals reveals that despite its obvious potential, only 36% plan on investing in big data and analytics in 2016.The IT related technology which most respondents expected to have significant or high investment is cyber security attack/prevention (44%), followed by automation/remote operation (43%).

Nada Ahmed, Senior Engineer at DNV GL – Oil & Gas commented:

“Early adopters are emerging, but many in the industry are still at early stages of maturity in data analytics and data-based decision making. The industry is in something of a ‘Catch 22’ situation; close to half of seniors in our industry see solid or high potential for big data and analytics to transform the industry’s operating efficiency in 2016. However, investment seems to be lagging just when we need it most. Our in-depth interviews point to cost constraints and uncertainty about the cost-saving potential of digital technologies as the key reasons.”

“As for other areas of innovation, collaboration could prove essential to bridge this digital gap and ensure experience transfer in the conservation of data, efficiency drivers and ways to ultimately leverage the opportunities big data represent for the industry,” adds Ahmed.

DNV GL has identified key opportunities to reduce costs by optimising day-to-day operations:2

  • Condition monitoring for improved maintenance and inspection regimes, dictated by specific, industry, historical and real time data. By replacing planned maintenance with preventive maintenance, driven by early warnings from sensor data, downtime can be significantly reduced.
  • Instant information from wells can provide timely decisions on underperforming wells and other potential issues that, if not dealt with promptly, could lead to enormous costs.
  • Detecting anomalies while drilling and during operation can also lead to more effective decisions for cost savings.
  • Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO of DNV GL – Oil & Gas, said:

    “Our customers say that a number of challenges need to be addressed to capitalise on the opportunities within Big Data; robust strategies to capture, manage and utilise critical data, access to reliable, trustworthy data, and stringent security to minimise security breaches. We are working with the industry to help it manage the risks and leverage the opportunities associated with digitalisation.

    “Cyber attacks on in the oil and gas industry have grown in stature and sophistication in recent years, making them more difficult to detect and defend against, and costing companies increasing sums of money to recover from,” adds Tørstad.

    Adapted from a press release by Louise Mulhall

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