Increasing investments for wireless systems to fuel digital oilfield adoption

Global economies and infrastructure development heavily rely on products based on petroleum, driving intensive exploration and production activities and rendering a positive impact over digital oilfield market trends. This is supported by major technology development such as data analytics, sensing, connectivity and automation that have led to an increasing digitalization of oil and gas operations worldwide.

Digital oilfield is a concept which combines the business process management with various digital technologies that automate workflow for reducing costs, lowering the total risks that are related to the oil and gas operations and maximizing the overall productivity. It essentially aims to enhance the sector by converging the operational technology with information technology, particularly in an environment that can lower oil prices.

It has been projected that global digital oilfield industry size will reach over $39 billion in valuation by 2025, with considerable deployment across both onshore and offshore activities. The digitalization of oil fields will witness major business transformation due to burgeoning use of Internet of Things (IoT) across the industry.

The advanced technology will accelerate business operations and ensure a faster production delivery, prompting the growth in digital oilfield adoption. It is estimated that the global impact that the IoT technologies shall render will be valued at $2.7 trillion to 14.4 trillion in terms of value by the year 2025, as it will bring both unparalleled opportunities and new risks for businesses.

Oil producers have been investing in futuristic tech as they have begun deploying drones to be able to keep a check of the higher floating rigs. These firms have also been aiming to use mini submarines by replacing divers. For instance, BP aimed to roll out magnetic crawlers following the completion of thunder horse platform. Magnetic crawlers are capable of moving across pipelines, rigs and platforms by utilizing high definition and ultrasonic test devices as well as cameras.

British oil major BP had inked deals a few years ago for deploying digital oilfield for its oil and gas operations. The company had estimated that the technology will help increase its global production by 100,000 bbls/d up to 2017, as well as support the addition of about one billion barrels of reserves.

It has conducted studies at the global production sites to maximize productivity and is deploying sensors at every well of the U.S. shale plays. BP also collaborated with technology providers in Silicon Valley to enhance the software solution development for its digital oilfield.

Increasing deployment of wireless technology

Critical infrastructure and component for field communication in connected digital oilfields can experience significant improvement with lesser capital through modern wireless technology. Deployment of wireless systems can prove to be a prime factor contributing to the growth of digital oilfield market. Several companies have created investment budget for newer projects in line with the use of wireless technology across oilfields.

Telecommunication firms have begun providing wireless networks specifically for oil operations to help improve the communication. For instance, INET had announced it will expand its network in a partnership with Nokia by deploying wireless technology in the Permian Basin along with other oil and gas regions.

The network shall be 5G-ready and will cover about 130,000 square miles of the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford in Southern Texas, Bakken region in North Dakota and the Scoop oil play in Oklahoma. Similar efforts to ensure high-quality networks for onshore and offshore operations will fuel digital oilfield market forecast.

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