An Introduction to the Digital Oilfield
This is a quick discussion of Oil & Gas and the Digital Oilfield, and OspreyData’s Production Unified Monitoring Solutions. We also have a white paper available on this topic, request it at the link below.
Unless you have been hiding down a wellbore, it almost assured that you have heard the phrase “digital oilfield.” Additionally, the Oil & Gas industry has called the process of implementing a digital oilfield a “digital transformation,” or its shorter form “digitization.” While there are many definitions and nuances about digital oilfields and digital transformation; for our discussion, we use the popular definition:
Digital oilfield is a concept that combines business process management with digital technologies to automate workflows for maximizing productivity, reducing costs and minimizing the overall risks associated with Oil & Gas operations.
The digital oilfield is driving the adoption of various technologies that combine the collection of diverse forms of operational data with extensive field knowledge to create new data-driven decisions. These new technologies and applications are key to unlocking the greater efficiencies promised by digital oilfields.
Unfortunately, there are still significant challenges for operators to tackle to reap the benefits of this new class of applications:
- If decisions are only as good as the data, how do you create quality data?
- Capturing and unifying field and engineering experiences
- Securing buy-in from various groups of stakeholders
In the 2017 International Energy Agency’s “Digitization: A New Era in Energy?”, they estimate digital data-driven technologies could reduce production costs between 10% and 20% while increasing recoverable Oil & Gas by 5% globally.
For many operators, the goals of digitization are well understood, and most in the industry agree that new data-driven analytics and the powerful applications they drive will improve productivity and decision making, lower health safety and environmental risks all while driving more efficient production. However, questions still remain on how an organization approaches its digital transformation efforts. The remainder of this paper will discuss some of the drivers for digital transformations, steps, and effects of digital transformation and OspreyData’s recommendations on what aids organizations in transition, based on what we have seen in the field.
Much of this transformation is based on enabling technologies. We can’t lose sight of the implications for business processes and organizational cultures. Oil & Gas operators are at a new intersection of people and technology. The workforce demographics are shifting and the expectations of the evolving workforce are exposing the shortcomings of today’s solutions.