The digital oilfield will improve the oil and gas industry’s attractiveness by converging operational technology with information technology.

FREMONT, CA: A latest thematic report discusses how the oil and gas sector is gearing up to enhance competitiveness and sustainability. Digital oilfield is a concept that couples business process management with digital technologies to automate workflows for boosting productivity, mitigating costs, and reducing the overall risks connected with oil and gas operations. The digital oilfield expects to enhance the oil and gas sector’s attractiveness by converging operational technology with information technology, particularly in a low oil price environment.

The adoption of digital oilfields has attained impetus due to innovations in technologies for sensing, automation, connectivity, and data analytics. A comprehensive deployment of digital oilfield can assist oil and gas firms to increase operational efficiency, collaboration, production optimization, data integration, decision support, and workflow automation. Besides, it can achieve productivity gains through enhanced reservoir understanding, remote monitoring of drilling and completion operations, and logistics and supply chain optimization.

Nevertheless, the lack of well-defined operations and workflows and the shortage of a digital-ready workforce is limiting the adoption of digitalization in the oil and gas sector. Dependence on legacy systems and remotely scattered oil and gas fields further complicate data-gathering from all producing assets. The oil and gas sector is not a stranger to this and is progressing towards digital maturity. A strategic roadmap could assist oil and gas firms to assess every operation and identify digital leaps to attain specific business objectives.

Given the hype around digital technologies, it might be seamless to imagine them as a ready fix for handling evolving business challenges. The industrial IoT, a part of the broad digital opportunity, is forecasted to add US$15 trillion of value to the global economy by 2030. But when the sector in question is undergoing a fundamental change because of shales, how can US midstream firms embrace a digital mindset and derive actual value from going digital for its legacy and new assets?

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