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Drilling down: How Big Data analytics is driving big changes in the oil and gas industry

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CIOs have lots of responsibilities thrust upon them, but their primary directive is the long-term survival and success of the company. Thus, as the modern business landscape continues to morph into something faster and more challenging, their role within the organization is becoming all the more essential. One thing CIOs have learned through knowledge and experience is that technology will separate the winners from the losers in the coming years. And this rings true for no sector more than the oil and gas industry. Let’s take a look at the why below.

Where does Big Data analytics figure in all this?

Despite being a relatively small sector when it comes to employment, the oil and gas industry is among the leading consumers of IT for business operations and R&D. But it begs the question: what could oil and gas possibly want with IT?

Well, for starters, it provides the sector with a chance to harness the full power of Big Data solutions. Big Data analytics can not only help oil and gas companies utilize the current data in better, more efficient ways, but it can also help decrease the costs in an environmentally and economically sound manner.

What impact does big data have on the industry?

The landscape of the oil and gas industry has been forever changed thanks to the impact of Big Data analytics. From new well delivery to oil storage, geology interpretation to the crude oil processing, plant and supply chain maintenance, crude oil piping to operation, Big Data analytics has touched upon different aspects of the industry. But to change the performance of the company on a significant level, analytics needs to be integrated within the day-to-day business operations.

IBM

This becomes possible when organizations decide upon a holistic Big Data strategy – one that maximizes operational activity and helps achieve the target revenue. The plan also needs to consider the possible scope for predictive overhauling and preventive maintenance tasks without any undue pressure or overload of the equipment.

Improving sales

Every business has a sales target, and so do oil and gas companies. Big Data formulates a cohesive plan to achieve the necessary target. Plus, it comes up with ideas or information on how to operate the process plant simultaneously so that no opportunity of breakdown remains.

All the data collected from different sensors as well as the logic controllers gets processed. This is how it is possible to measure pressure, temperature, vibration, and others for every second, and then map them as per the threshold value. This helps in figuring out if there is any chance of a sudden breakdown and helps keep the mechanism as a whole working at the optimum level. The outcome? Equipment tends to perform safely at all times while improving both sales revenue as the production targets are achieved more proficiently.

Change in focus

Through the power of Big Data analytics, oil and gas companies are able to focus more on real-time and agile processes instead of regular monitoring processes. This gives them the ability to produce tactical insights that help to considerably improve the performance of the business, while, at the same time, avoiding any sort of problems.

Impact of cloud computing

According to a forecast by the Oil and Gas Council in the UK, cloud computing holds numerous benefits for the oil and gas industry. Hybrid versions of cloud computing systems combine Infrastructure as a Service and Software as a Service, decreasing the overall expenses related to IT and improving the handling of the business.

However, there is some hesitation on the part of several gas and oil business when it comes to adopting cloud technology, and it mainly stems from factors like control, data security, and access. If something happens to the collected data, the industry would have no way of measuring the production of oil and could be at a loss to manage mission critical aspects of their business. Thus, there are some concerns about shifting the entire oil and gas sector to the cloud in its entirety at one go. However, these fears are unfounded because cloud computing has become a lot more secure, reliable, and advanced. With the standards of almost every enterprise increasing globally, cloud computing may offer the competitive edge needed by gas and oil companies to optimize their production.

Detection of hydrocarbon deposits

A major utilization of Big Data in the oil and gas industry is for 3D seismic data generation and analysis. When huge volumes of data get processed, it helps form a clearer picture of where deposits of gas and oil might be found. The end result is reduced expenses for the company, and therefore, the consumer as well. Since these deposits are now getting harder to detect, the accumulated data is going to surge in value. Companies are able to make better decisions regarding well location through a thorough analysis of the geometry and then a comparison of the results with neighboring wells.

Practical applications of Big Data in the industry

Due to the changing nature of the variables in the oil and gas industry, collection and analysis of large chunks of data relating to operations and geography is capable of changing the way wells are spaced, drilling is done, and wells are completed. It affects not just the measurement of data but even the predictive analysis. When sensors get installed on oil and gas mining and production equipment, they offer up a constant stream of data capable of signifying if equipment failure is taking place or not. This means equipment can be changed before it fails, thereby lowering the operational risks.

At first glance, Big Data does not seem be to have any sort of connection to the oil and gas industry. However, the changing face of this sector has made it possible to utilize Big Data analytics for improving the efficiency level of organizations.

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