Oil and gas industries are turning towards cloud-based software solutions and Internet of Things (IoT) remote devices to gain competitive advantages across the globe, because of this, industry professionals are saying that IoT is unlocking new career opportunities for software engineers and will continue to play a vital role in oil and gas projects across the globe.
“It is essential for engineers to be able to predict future hydrocarbon reservoir behaviours with accuracy and provide solutions that are cost-efficient and practical,” voiced Huw Rothwell, Managing Director of Petroplan North America. “Being able to identify these key messages and act accordingly will not only save project costs but also reduce the potential danger.”
In the oil and gas industry, vast amounts of data are constantly being communicated on areas such as pump or drilling performance, machine-to-machine connectivity, and well pressure status. The introduction of IoT into this sector will allow data to flow seamlessly from fields to boardrooms, enabling better decision making.
IoT is enhancing productivity too. Rothwell notes that 24/7 sensors are being installed in some rigs to keep track of assets’ health in complex deep-water operations. These sensors are put in place to minimise the risk of employees being injured and are programmed to report any toxic gasses, or changes to pressure, temperature and flow.
“Software engineers can also program mobile devices to send ‘help’ messages in the case of a problem,” Rothwell explained. “Additionally, spills can now be quantified by monitoring. The analytics, as well as the images taken from the monitors, can specify when the spill happened and identify the loss. It is essential to review the efficiency of the work on a rig but also be able to audit any issues before they become dangerous.”
Therefore, there is a growing need for industry workers to have knowledge of these and similar IoT devices.
“As a leading oil, gas and energy recruitment company, we notice that more and more businesses are searching for specialists who can operate software systems and make sure that the system is always running,” he said.
“[Oil and gas companies] are looking for operators who are able to properly examine data in such way that it produces beneficial and actionable information. Engineers should be capable of assimilating data that may come in different formats, units, and even sizes.”
Aside from this, the upstream oil and gas sector loses billions of dollars every year due to non-productive time (NPT). IoT could be used to help combat NPT events by using real-time data to predict breakdowns and schedule preventative maintenance. Huge amounts of reservoir data could also be integrated with real-time field data to plan well placement and flow rates, hopefully leading to accident prevention and faster processing times. It will be interesting to see how IoT will further change the industry, in the years and decades to come.