The oil and gas industry has long led the way in adoption of cutting-edge technology. Oil and gas companies own some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world and use them for a range of tasks, including geological research for the exploration and production process, pipeline efficiency, improving costs, and data processing.
Although oil and gas companies are collecting and analyzing huge amounts of information, not all this information is used efficiently. Cloud computing can help oil and gas companies make better use of the data they are collecting.
The cloud for oil and gas is essentially a means to corral and control a wide range of massively disparate resources. These include technologies, processes, and systems. Thanks to the cloud for oil and gas, the industry has been able to tame the operational chaos for which it used to be notorious. This has also helped to reduce its costs.
Here are some of the main ways the cloud for oil and gas is helping the oil and gas industry to be both more efficient and more sustainable.
A lot of the sustainability issues traditionally associated with oil and gas actually relate to the extraction process. The cloud for oil and gas has made this massively more efficient.
For example, oil and gas companies can now leverage cloud technology to find the most promising locations for deposits. This means that they waste fewer resources on unsuccessful explorations.
As a bonus, the move to computing power rather than on-site explorations means a shift to electricity in place of fossil fuels. Electricity can be (and increasingly is) generated from clean sources such as renewables. This helps to lower the industry’s carbon footprint even more.
The oil and gas industry can be very capricious, with unpredictable boom and bust cycles. Using the cloud for oil and gas makes these cycles less of an issue. Oil and gas companies can simply scale up during peak times and scale down again during low periods.
Not only does this help to reduce the industry’s costs, but it also helps with sustainability. Oil and gas companies no longer have to stockpile equipment for peak times and leave it unused the rest of the time. Instead, they can use existing resources as they need them. When they don’t, those resources can be used by somebody else.
Traditionally, the oil and gas sector has been infamously slow-moving. The main reason for this is that it largely operated in silos. Prior to the cloud for oil and gas, this was practically unavoidable.
The nature of the oil and gas sector means that its operations are generally spread across the world. Furthermore, some of its operations are in places that, even now, have extremely limited communications infrastructure. This led to long, complex, and, hence, slow chains of communication that significantly hampered the decision-making process.
Now, however, the cloud for oil and gas has largely resolved this issue. Employees can upload data to the cloud. If necessary, they can use a mobile internet connection. The cloud can then be used both for data analysis and collaboration.
Realistically, the oil and gas sector is highly unlikely ever to become the world’s most agile industry or even a serious contender for the title. Thanks to the cloud for oil and gas, however, it has become a lot more agile than it used to be. That results in much more streamlined operations and, hence, improved sustainability.
A more direct way of putting this would be lower downtime. The oil and gas sector has long had issues with reliability. The two main pain points have been equipment failures and security concerns.
Using the cloud for oil and gas allows companies to undertake continuous monitoring of their operations. This enables them to spot and act on early-warning signs and hence minimize disruption. Furthermore, over time, it can give businesses the data they need to identify specific, recurring pain points and address them in advance (when possible).
Like so many other industries, the oil and gas sector is aiming to offload mundane tasks to automation. For practical purposes, this means leveraging artificial intelligence and related technologies such as the Internet of Things. The cloud is the ideal platform for developing and deploying these digital innovations.
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