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The volatility of oil and gas requires constant innovation to stay competitive and profitable. By embracing and implementing technological advancements, O&G companies can reach new levels of optimization and lower costs across operations. 

Part of the rapidly-advancing technology available to the oil and gas industry is tech that increases connectivity. In this post, we’ll cover why connective technology is becoming more advanced, what types of technology are available, and how improved connectivity is changing O&G for the better. 

Why Connectivity Capabilities Have Changed 

The abilities of the technology we use at work and home have improved significantly over the past few years. These tech advancements are largely driven forward by Industry 4.0. As Zach Holmquist, CPO at Hitched writes in Industry 4.0: Why It Matters for Industrial Markets

“Industry 4.0 is the current industrial revolution spurred on by the advancements in technology. Similar to how steam power was the driver behind the first industrial revolution, or how the assembly line and electricity caused the second, the ability to connect the physical to the digital world has created new possibilities in the way we work and live.”

While the advancements of Industry 4.0 technology have improved many aspects of the oil and gas industry, this post focuses on the increased connectivity and the capabilities that follow. 

Every day there is an increasing number of connections between people, the physical world, machines, and other data sources. Connecting and making sense of data is a key factor in creating augmented value from Industry 4.0 technology. For the industrial markets, this means that you will have the ability to connect new sources and get more information than ever before.

As many of the technologies that help increase connectivity are becoming more reliable and affordable, connectivity is changing the way oil and gas companies operate. 

Improved or New Connectivity

According to a recent McKinsey study, 40% of onshore sites are “covered by outdated technology that experiences significant reliability and bandwidth issues”—which means that there is some improvement to be had when it comes to connectivity. The introduction of Industry 4.0 capabilities to existing and new connective technology creates opportunities to improve operations and lower costs. Some of the possible connective technologies include: 

  • RFID 
  • GPS Tracking Units
  • Sensors (volume, weight, flow, tank level, etc.)
  • LPWAN2
  • Motion Detection
  • 5G
  • Fiber
  • And many more 

Where Connectivity Can Improve Operations 

How exactly does adding connectivity enhance operations, boost performance, and create value? There are a few ways connectivities improves oil and gas: 

More Visibility 

By bringing connectivity to your job site, asset management, and other areas, you create a better understanding of your operations. When you have visibility into your operations, whether that is asset locations, real-time data through sensors, improved vendor management, or any other connection, you are giving yourself the opportunity to:

  • Understand where processes can be optimized
  • Spot mistakes, potential problems, spend leakage, etc. 
  • Create accountability across departments and vendors
  • Make the best possible decisions based on increased data and understanding
  • Better analysis at a specific site and across your organization
  • Pivot and solve problems faster 

For example, the ability to track and communicate where assets and equipment are at all times through a platform connects humans to equipment in a way that was not available before. This connection improves decision making, helps solve problems quickly, and keeps your site on track. 

Automation 

Connectivity makes automation possible. McKinsey explains that “automation involves using automatic or semi-automatic machines instead of individuals to drill, inspect, and maintain equipment in high-risk operating environments offshore or on sites of drilling and production.” Through advanced connectivity, automation can cut down on human errors, reduce risk, increase safety, and improve productivity. 

A.I. 

Through increased connectivity, O&G companies can create A.I. systems to prevent problems, predict maintenance, and cut costs. For example, increased connections give machines the ability to communicate when it needs maintenance, or even better, predict and prevent maintenance before it is needed. Maintenance typically accounts for between 10 and 15 percent of total production costs, and with better monitoring and support, you can reduce costs and shutdowns while increasing production volume. 

The Bottom Line 

Utilizing new and improved technology that makes advanced connections brings visibility and optimization to your company. Through the power of Industry 4.0 technology, the oil and gas industry can boost overall performance and stay competitive in an ever-fluctuating market.

Ready to get better connections and visibility into your job site, rentals, and vendor management? We'd love to show you what Hitched can do for your company!

Industry 4.0 + Oil and Gas

In the Technology Solution Revolution: What It Means for Oil and Gas ebook, Hitched experts breakdown the why, what, and how of Industry 4.0 and its impact on oil and gas companies.

Download the Ebook

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