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Bringing Oil and Gas to the Edge – TechNative

Data is collected constantly, whether it comes from online shopping transactions or Internet of Things (IoT) devices in industrial settings.

Fortunately, every industry around the world can take advantage of this trend, and many already are. In the oil and gas sector, continuous data communication is now a must-have to maintain a complete view of operations. However, the industry is still missing out on a vital opportunity that accompanies its data: operations at the edge.

The energy sector is undergoing a huge change as the clean energy transition rolls out across the globe. Efforts within the oil and gas industry to decarbonize value chains and operations will require data and high-powered AI solutions that run on edge computing. It’s time for companies to take advantage of their data and bring oil and gas operations to the edge. This is the only way to increase efficiency and reduce latency industry-wide.

Saying good-bye to the cloud

Organizations that rely on edge computing can keep data at the edge of their infrastructure, alleviating issues associated with a lack of bandwidth when large packets of information send data through a global network. This saves time, as edge computing enables data processing without latency, unlike the slow process of offloading to cloud data centers.

Edge computing is also designed for resource efficiency; shifting operations to the edge allows for a digital-first paradigm. This lets organizations monitor operational networks while processing data locally and cutting down on energy usage. The increase in data efficiency and resilience brought by this change has even been accompanied by new technology, like drones that rely on edge computing, by some energy leaders.

Cutting IT infrastructure costs

Reducing costs is an essential task for many businesses as the industry faces difficult geopolitical situations and unstable commodity prices. By bringing data processing closer to where data is made, like on the drilling platform or out in the field, integrated edge computing solutions save organizations both time and money. With lowered network bandwidth and reduced data center costs, companies can instead put resources where they’re needed most.

Unplanned downtime is a huge drain for oil and gas companies; costing up to $25 million for a single day of downtime. It’s clear that reducing the processing demands placed on IT infrastructure with edge computing and preventing shutdowns has major payoffs.

Energy leaders who take the steps to invest in the right edge computing solutions empower their organizations with added agility, resiliency, and efficiency. This applies to all businesses in power generation, from oil and gas to renewables like solar and wind.

Applying new edge computing solutions

There’s no mystery behind the recent rise of edge deployments. However, leaders should be thoughtful about how they execute the transition to edge computing. When planning this change, it’s important to rely on solutions that offer resilient power and connectivity to prevent downtime. Edge sites should be separated from environmental risks such as water and dust and fitted with cooling infrastructure for temperature and humidity control. They should include dependable power sources, like Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems that guarantee consistent power distribution for equipment, as local edge IT installations in offshore sites can have subpar utility power quality.

Another important element of a successful edge site is a system for monitoring infrastructure assets, with edge resources equipped to aid continuous remote monitoring and autonomous operation. This is crucial, as monitoring systems can detect and correct issues before they occur, which ensures business continuity even in the harshest environments.

By bringing oil and gas operations to the edge, energy leaders will experience improved operational efficiency and increased profitability in turn. Taking advantage of edge computing opens the door for efficient, green performance that empowers employees and brings always-on capabilities.

About the Author

Eli Daccach is Global Business Development Leader for Secure Power – Industrial Segments at Schneider Electric. He has been with the company since 2011, working in Canada for the Industrial Automation business unit, in various roles such as automation specialist, applications engineer and team leader for motion offers, before moving to the US and joining the Energy Management business unit as a Strategic Marketing Manager for Industrial Edge Computing and Data Centers.

Eli holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Marketing.

Featured image: ©Photocreo Bednarek

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