Wait, did you read that right? Many today are unaware about digital oil fields. If you need to put it simply, a Digital Oil Field (DOF) may mean focusing more on the objectives of the petroleum business of your oil company rather than just focusing on the IT infrastructure. DOF is not exactly a new concept and has been known by a number of other names including iField or Field of the Future. However, companies haven’t really caught on with this digitalization trend that is offered by a DOF. In spite of this fact, a DOF promises a myriad range of advantages and benefits for oil and gas companies.
Understanding the advantages
Oil companies need to use the data analysis offered by its IT infrastructure in a proper way to increase ROI, drive in more productivity and improve operational safety. Whether it is protecting the environment or maintaining a competitive edge, digital oil fields help companies stay ahead. Furthermore, digital oil fields help gather information to support E&P business decisions. Here are some of the benefits oil companies can get by using a digital oil field.
This is the age of communication. You do not need to be physically present for communication to take place. Today, the concept of easy oil is drawing to a close and companies need to increasingly look forward to the concept of a digital oil field to increase productivity and maximize profits. Safer, well managed operations mean more work in less time translating to better profit ratio. Most of the information can be delivered in real time, helping managers make on-the-spot decisions and minimizing the various hassles faced by laborers. Remember, DOFs use wireless networking and high speed communications as a routine affair because there is lower latency and higher bandwidth unlike the traditional satellite very-small-aperture terminal (VSAT) technology.
Organize the data
With a digital oil field, you can have a torrent of E&P data sent to you. You will need to funnel and orchestrate this data into something that makes sense. Quite frankly, this requires an agile information management approach that one can get with digital oil field adoption. You need immediate benefits as business stakeholders would probably not want to wait years for benefits to materialize. Controlling the data stream is thus essential to a successful DOF deployment.
The right framework
Digital oil field adoption can mean better and increased ROI as it can leverage existing information technology and data. A successful DOF adoption can mean less implementation costs as well and can create additional value on legacy systems in addition to IT investments. Decision-making gets easier thanks to the decision support framework available that makes operational decisions easier.
Improve production and efficiency and reduce costs
Not only do you have better productivity and increased ROI, oil and gas companies can boost their net present value as well by increasing production asset management and reducing cycle time.
As DOF adoption means enhanced collaboration and knowledge sharing, you can expect to reduce cycle time and harness all expertise needed from a workforce to increase efficiency and get work done on time, all the time!
One of the major challenges any oil and gas company faces when they want to try out newer technologies is the increased deployment time. You need to invest money and the returns can only be expected to flow in after a considerable amount of time.
As a business, you surely are looking at returns as soon as possible, especially when you know it can be done. A successful DOF adoption and deployment can be done in just a few weeks rather than a few months. Remember, data quality will improve with time, thanks to visibility and process feedback. This will mean enabling incremental value creation.
So, why don’t companies use it much?
Of course, there are challenges to a successful DOF deployment. The reason is simple – oil and gas companies are wary of investing in something new. True, oil exploration isn’t as easy as it used to be earlier; as fields are hard to find and often, deepwater oil exploration or oil exploration in remote places adds to the problems. While a reliable IT infrastructure can help and possibly improve efficiency, a DOF helps one strategize better and increase operational efficiency by separating the wheat from the chaff (in terms of separating useful data from useless information).