Energy “Digital” Oil

Energy “Digital” Oil 1

Thanks to sensor networks, companies in the sector optimize the exploitation of their gas and oil fields. The key: billions of dollars in savings.

The world is not going to be deprived of oil and natural gas; it is easy to extract oil and gas. As energy companies drill deeper and deeper into ever more distant regions to exploit fields that are increasingly difficult to access, they rely on information technology to boost their production. , in this case, represent the new black gold. “This is a significant development,” said Paul Siegel, president of the Energy Technology Company of the Chevron group. “IT allows us to extract more barrels from our deposits. ”Oil companies use in situ sensor networks, high speed communications and data mining techniques to control and refine remote drilling operations. The objective is to use real-time data to make better decisions and anticipate possible problems. To qualify this phenomenon, the industry uses the global term of “digital oil field”, but the largest companies have patented their own versions. At Chevron, this is the “i-deposit”. BP speaks of “deposit of the future”, while Royal Dutch Shell preferred the term “intelligent deposits. The companies that are most successful at operating remotely and using data intelligently can expect big spinoffs. Chevron cites estimates from the oil industry showing production rates up 8% and profitability up 6% for a “fully optimized” digital oil field software.

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The world is not going to be deprived of oil and natural gas; it is easy to extract oil and gas. As energy companies drill deeper and deeper into ever more distant regions to exploit fields that are increasingly difficult to access, they rely on information technology to boost their production. , in this case, represent the new black gold. “This is a significant development,” said Paul Siegel, president of the Energy Technology Company of the Chevron group . “IT allows us to extract more barrels from our deposits. Oil companies use in situ sensor networks, high speed communications and data mining techniques to control and refine remote drilling operations. The objective is to use real-time data to make better decisions and anticipate possible problems. To qualify this phenomenon, the industry uses the global term of “digital oil field”, but the largest companies have patented their own versions. At Chevron, this is the “i-deposit”. BP speaks of “deposit of the future”, while Royal Dutch Shell preferred the term “intelligent deposits. The companies that are most successful at operating remotely and using data intelligently can expect big spinoffs. Chevron cites estimates from the oil industry showing production rates up 8% and profitability up 6% for a “fully optimized” digital oil field.

It’s a significant increase, says Paul Siegel. Despite the development of renewable energies, the International Energy Agency predicts that world demand for oil will still increase in 2035 due to the growing number of motorists. And, because extraction will then be more complicated, almost 20 trillion dollars [16 trillion euros] of investment will be required to meet these future needs. As part of its digital program, Chevron is currently deploying eight global “mission control” centers .Each of these centers is devoted to a specific objective, such as the use of real-time data to make collective decisions in drilling operations, or the management of wells or seismic imagery of reserves.

The objective is to improve the performance of more than forty extraction sites operated by the company. Chevron estimates these centers will save it $ 1 billion a year. The more complicated production becomes, the more essential real-time monitoring of operational security becomes essential, pointed out Stephen Ellis, oil services portfolio analyst at Morningstar. Today, for example, Chevron is severely criticized in Brazil for causing an oil spill in November, following a sudden increase in pressure on one of its wells. Halliburton and Schlumberger, and large IT vendors such as Microsoft and IBM, but not all of the issues have been resolved. It remains difficult to ensure reliable communications by optical fiber or satellite from the continental shelf of the Arctic.

Another limit lies in the speed of data transmission concerning temperature and pressure information reigning thousands of meters deep – even if for a few years sensors inserted in the drilling tubes have been able to transmit these data at the speed of 1 megabit per second, much faster than before. At Chevron, the only internal computer traffic is already more than 1.5 terabyte per day. The amount of data coming to us minute after minute is just incredible,” says Jerry Hubbard, president of Energetics, a global nonprofit consortium working to standardize data interchange formats across the energy industry. Even start-ups have started to exploit the digital oil field. “Much of the code written in older software platforms used today was designed there twenty years”, emphasizes Kirk Coburn, who created Surge, start-up accelerator software for energy based in Houston which has a department dedicated to digital oil. This technology has enormous potential for modernization.

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