Transition to Industry 4.0: How far have we come and what's next?
The spreading of such technologies as IoT, remote sensing, data combination, and more in Oil and Gas is known as the 4th Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. How are O&G projects’ automation going; what's new in upstream, midstream, and downstream projects; what challenges should companies be ready to face and how to avoid the common mistakes by investing in innovations?
Oil & Gas Technology: During the last decade we all have seen how automation became the must-have update for the companies in Oil and Gas. Looking back, what exactly was the starting point for these transformations and what processes are we witnessing now?
Kristina Sabirova: Well, specific features like operations in widespread, remote locations and the huge consequences of safety issues make the O&G market a perfect field for the implementation of automation technologies. 2017 has seen huge investments into automation and digitalisation: Statoil company unveiled a 1 billion Kroner digitalisation initiative, BP invested $20 million in the A.I. company Beyond Limits, and GE is ready to integrate their digitalisation platform in a $6 billion revenue stream by 2020 (itproportal.com) . But this strong growth has its particular reasons.
The June 2014 oil price collapsed and caused a major contraction in spending by Oil and Gas companies. On top of that, industry is under pressure from new regulations and the developing alternative energy segment. The companies in this sector are looking for the ways to cut costs by maximizing operational efficiency. Automation is an effective tool for this as it reduces costs from man-power, transport, logistics, and warehousing. It also cuts down the number of activities undertaken through a greater understanding of the current situation, options for intervention, decision-making, and confident predictions of outcomes.
According to the IEA (International Energy Agency) the widespread use of existing digital technologies could decrease production costs by between 10% and 20%.
OGT: So are these industry transformations based more on economical or technical issues?
Read the full interview at Oil and Gas Technology website