Conference shines light on evolving markets for IT/OT in upstream environments

Data Driven Oil & Gas brings together acolytes of emergent data orchestration paradigm

By Kevin Parker June 27, 2022
Courtesy: Reuters Events

Held mid-June in Houston, Data Driven Oil & Gas USA 2022 brought together a fascinating set of software, systems and services providers focused on supporting upstream players in their efforts to make the most of data, whether already in their grasp or almost in reach. Besides moving computing power to the operations edge, they look to move many types of data to the cloud to apply analytics.

“What’s needed are the right combination of technologies,” said Vincent Higgins, president, Oil & Gas Digitization, with mCloud, a provider of asset management solutions combining IoT, Cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI). “Data storage in the Cloud is unlimited. Computational capacity in the Cloud is vast.”

The AssetCare solution is provided as a service, with set-up in 30 to 60 days, a three-to-five year contract and a cost of about $500 a well, Higgins said.

Earlier in June, the company announced it had commenced onboarding its first AssetCare Digital Oilfield solutions at wellsites in the U.S. These oil wells represent the first customers expected to be onboarded in 2022. The company said it is on pace to connect at least 500 wellsites by end of year.

mCloud’s AssetCare Digital Oilfield is used to automate production management, continuously optimize wellsite performance and drive predictive maintenance. Integrated connected worker capabilities enable wellsite operators to eliminate unplanned downtime and correct methane emissions in hours instead of weeks or months.

Data Driven Oil & Gas USA 2022 brought together software, systems and services providers focused on helping upstream players make the most of data. Courtesy: Reuters Events

Data Driven Oil & Gas USA 2022 brought together software, systems and services providers focused on helping upstream players make the most of data. Courtesy: Reuters Events

Process mining applied

An execution management company known for its capabilities related to process mining, Celonis, with headquarters in Munich and New York, was earlier this month recognized as the category leader in the Everest Group Process Mining PEAK Matrix Assessment 2022 for the third year in a row. Celonis was also named a Star Performer based on the highest year-over-year improvement on the PEAK Matrix.

“A decade ago, the defining sentiment of business was that software is eating the world… going forward intelligent processes will run the world,” said Alex Rinke, co-CEO and co-founder of Celonis. “If we want our processes to be more intelligent, more sustainable, and operate at peak performance, then we must find and remove all the process inefficiencies that stand in the way. And today’s inflationary and supply chain realities only exacerbate the urgency for companies to prioritize process mining and execution management investments.”

At Data Driven Oil & Gas, Celonis said the company can continuously examine a process to gain an understanding of data flow, with the aim to supply a corrective or orchestrate a new process.

Murray Auchincloss, CFO of BP, said his company is focusing on downstream efficiency improvements after seeing good results in its upstream business. “We spent 5 years streamlining to one financial system inside the upstream, which enables us to now deep dive and eliminate inefficiencies.” he said.

“Wi-Fi will always be there, but if you’re trying to provide connectivity to an upstream facility or across an entire refinery, it’s much simpler to use cellular,” said Viren Parikh, director, business development, Ericsson. Courtesy: Reuters Events

“Wi-Fi will always be there, but if you’re trying to provide connectivity to an upstream facility or across an entire refinery, it’s much simpler to use cellular,” said Viren Parikh, director, business development, Ericsson. Courtesy: Reuters Events

Telecommunications part

“Wi-Fi will always be there, but if you’re trying to provide connectivity to an upstream facility or across an entire refinery, it’s much simpler to use cellular,” said Viren Parikh, director, business development, Ericsson, the Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company.

Some challenges related to Wi-Fi might include the need to provide as many as two to ten times as many nodes as would be the case with cellular.

“Above a certain number of devices cellular and private networks are a better answer,” Parikh said.

Ubiquitous digitalization will support efficiency, safety and decarbonization, Ericsson believes. Connectivity is important to the upstream in terms of drilling, production and field operations optimization, not to mention logistics and maintenance, Parikh said.

“At a reasonable price, we will tell you 24 times a day the state of your assets. That information will deliver benefits,” said Mike Orr, TEAM INTERNATIONAL. Courtesy: Reuters Events

“At a reasonable price, we will tell you 24 times a day the state of your assets. That information will deliver benefits,” said Mike Orr, TEAM INTERNATIONAL. Courtesy: Reuters Events

It’s a blizzard

Until recently, you might have thought it unlikely to come across a company named “Snowflake” at an oil & gas industry event. But the cloud data platform provider was sure enough resident and communicating with attendees at Digital Driven Oil & Gas.

According to Tech Target, Snowflake recently added more capabilities to its solution, including support for Apache Iceberg data lake tables. Snowflake expanded its Data Cloud with Unistore Hybrid Tables that enable organizations to optimize data for both analytics and transactional workloads.

The cloud data platform vendor introduced the new features on Tuesday at its Snowflake Summit 2022 conference.

Initially solely a cloud data warehouse, Snowflake in recent years has expanded into a cloud data platform that enables users to build applications to handle data lake workloads and unstructured data sources, said Tech Target. Iceberg is an increasingly popular data lake technology that is being supported by a growing number of data vendors.

SCADA and data

It was a pleasure, if not entirely surprising, to encounter a company, Digital Oil & Gas Solutions, at the show with a name that was so close to that of the show itself.

SCADA-Lite is a supervisory control-as-a-service solution that is Digital Oil & Gas Solutions answer for a seamless shift from the physical to the virtual. The Well Manager solution tracks assets for a few dollars a day with data available 24/7, said Mike Orr, TEAM INTERNATIONAL, who runs its oil and gas division.

“At a reasonable price, we will tell you 24 times a day the state of your assets and that information will deliver benefits,” Orr said. “If wells are being put into production, we offer a range of strategic options. Today, SCADA and extensive data capture makes sense economically for a much wider range of wells.”

In closing we’d like to mention just one more of the many suppliers at Digital Driven Oil & Gas USA 2022 deserving mention.

The company, data iku, has a data science orchestration platform that provides an interface for subject matter experts and data scientists to collaborate. Experts can visually communicate to the data experts their conception of the data model. That work can be more easily reviewed.

The continuing story of data driven decision making in the oil & gas industries is just getting started.


Author Bio: Senior contributing editor, CFE Media