Creating a Smarter Oil and Gas Industry, Part 3: Field Enablement and Remote Sensors

AQ11149The Canadian Oil and Gas industry spans a vast geography, from remote operations in the high arctic to offshore platforms in the Atlantic coast. As discussed in part two of this series, the Canadian Oil and Gas industry faces significant challenges. The resources we need for production are in places that require hours of travel, but today’s Digital Oilfield collaboration environment is restricted to physical rooms and fixed locations.

This restricts the value of collaboration to only those who have access to the “rooms.”  Significant productivity gains exist when we can provide collaboration beyond the field and head office.  By enabling the remote field worker with collaboration beyond the field office, we are enabling the field engineer or maintenance person and increasing their productivity. I call this Field Enablement.

The reality of the coming labour shortage means Canadian Oil and Gas companies will have to do more with less people, and look for alternative ways to connect the limited expertise available to field operations to meet growth demands of shareholders and the industry.  Even the Digital Oilfield can’t create remote welders, pipe fitters or construction workers, but it can increase the productivity of the engineers, geo-scientists supervisor’s and support resources which are integral to meeting the growth demands in the next decade.

This will require a re-think of the current Digital Oilfield, which so far has focused on fixed facilities, both field and head office, with proprietary applications and emphasis on data flow from field to office. Going forward, that focus with change. Field Enablement will focus on taking the expert to the field without leaving the office. Imagine that.

New innovations from Cisco will re-shape the Digital Oilfield. By seamlessly integrating our mobility, voice, collaboration, and security technologies into single porthole field workers will have the ability to connect with any expert. Going forward, decisions that need to be made in the field will happen in real-time without borders. Cisco will enable true field-to-office collaboration. Any device, any data, any application, anywhere. By connecting the unconnected, Cisco will be critical in enabling the Oil and Gas industry to connect the field to the office in a completely new way.

In addition to mobile collaboration, remote sensor technology is fast becoming a cost-effective solution.

Consider task automation.  The industry is looking for ways to do more with less. The fact is, they have to because the industry will not be able to replace the knowledge lost in the next 10 years as workers retire.

So the question isn’t how can we optimize a specific workflow or process, but rather how can we eliminate the need for people to perform many of the daily tasks currently done by travelling to remote locations to free them up to perform higher value activities. This will be done by enabling remote monitoring, and in the near future, remote intervention.  A new study by Berg Insight indicates the O&G industry will be transformed by a wave of M2M technology in the next 2-4 years:

“The installed base of active oil and gas M2M devices is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21.5% from 164,000 units to 435,000 units by 2016.  The installed base of cellular and satellite based M2M devices in 2016 are forecasted to be 275,000 units. On-shore well field equipment monitoring and in-land pipeline monitoring will be the top two applications for wireless M2M in the oil and gas industry.”

Watch for the final part of this series coming soon, where I will summarize the Digital Oilfield and look ahead to my next series. Until then, please leave a comment below.

About Brad Bechtold

As Director of Cisco Canada's Oil and Gas vertical business, Brad Bechtold is responsible for developing and leading Cisco's go to market strategy for Oil and Gas. In his role Brad is working with industry partners, education institutions, and Oil and Gas organizations to align Cisco's technology solutions to the critical challenges facing the industry today. With more then 25 years in Oil and Gas experience Brad Bechtold brings industry relevant knowledge to Cisco Canada's Industry Transformation Team. Prior to joining Cisco, Brad spent 18 years with Halliburton. A global leader in the energy services sector. During his tenure with Halliburton, Brad spent 13 years in a global capacity. As Director for Halliburton's GeoGraphix product line, Brad was responsible for global Operations, R&D, Sales and Marketing. Brad spent 4 years as Director for Mergers and Acquisitions for the Landmark Graphics business unit, resulting is several strategic acquisitions. Brad brings more then a decade of sales and management leadership in the Canadian oil and Gas industry including Regional General Manager for Halliburton's Landmark Graphics business unit. Brad Bechtold resides In Calgary Alberta and holds a Diploma in Business Management for the SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary. À titre de directeur des affaires du marché vertical du secteur pétrolier et gazier de Cisco Canada, M. Bechtold est responsable de l'élaboration et de la gestion de la stratégie de mise en marché à l'intention des entreprises du secteur pétrolier et gazier. Dans ce rôle, il travaille avec des partenaires de l'industrie, des établissements d'enseignement et des entreprises gazières et pétrolières pour faire en sorte que les solutions technologiques de Cisco relèvent les défis auxquels est confronté le secteur aujourd'hui. Possédant plus de 25 années d'expérience du secteur pétrolier et gazier, M. Bechtold vient enrichir l'équipe responsable de la transformation industrielle de Cisco Canada grâce à ses connaissances pertinentes du secteur. Avant d'entrer au service de Cisco, M. Bechtold a travaillé pendant 18 ans chez Halliburton, leader mondial du secteur des services énergétique. Durant sa carrière au sein de cette société, il a passé 13 années à jouer un rôle sur la scène internationale. En tant que directeur de la gamme de produits GeoGraphix d'Halliburton, il était responsable des activités mondiales, de la recherche et du développement et de la mercatique. M. Bechtold a également joué le rôle de directeur des fusions et acquisitions de l'unité commerciale Landmark Graphics pendant quatre années durant lesquelles il a réalisé plusieurs acquisitions stratégiques. Il possède plus d'une décennie d'expérience de leadership en vente et en gestion dans le secteur pétrolier et gazier canadien, y compris à titre de directeur général régional de Landmark Graphics. M. Bechtold vit à Calgary, Alberta et est titulaire d'un diplôme en gestion des affaires de la SAIT Polytechnic de Calgary.
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