2. Improve measurement
Improving efficiency entails having greater visibility into operations. Having real-time insights into granular aspects of operations at every phase of the production process is critical to making the best decisions and maximising value quickly.
To achieve this, oil and gas companies need to more easily analyse their data. The process of gaining comprehensive insights can be more difficult in oil and gas than in other industries due to the difficulties associated with placing sensors in remote or rugged locations. However, it’s from these sources that some of the greatest opportunities for improvement can be found.
There are several elements that can help to improve the visibility and measurability of processes. Firstly, there’s the need for standardisation in measurement methods. By assigning a carbon value to every single energy product, operators can make relative and historical comparisons to identify opportunities to reduce waste in current processes. Secondly, there’s the need to capture data from disparate assets and bring the information together as reliable and meaningful insights. For example, Sensia, our joint venture with Schlumberger, offers this type of integrated insight through its ConnectedProduction IoT platform. Thirdly, data science capabilities and algorithms can be applied to the data in order to predict where there may be opportunities for greater efficiency in future.
These technologies and approaches can contribute to better calculations and decision-making frameworks around energy consumption, not just in today’s energy usage, but also to look ahead to what their energy needs will be over the course of days, weeks and months.
3. Building towards a net-zero business model
While ‘doing better’ with current assets clearly presents an opportunity for improved green performance, it must be matched with an ambition to reinvent operations to set in motion a more sustainable, less carbon-intensive future business model.
This transition is twofold. On one hand, it involes accelerating the move towards more diverse energy sources,. On the other, it requires investment in innovation to shift towards cleaner operating models. The components of such models are wide-ranging, comprising the use of efficient and circular infrastructures, inventive solutions for fugitive emissions and unavoidable carbon products, leaner supply chain operations and more resourceful approaches to asset utilisation and ownership.
As companies may lack expertise in all these varied aspects, the role of partnerships takes on vital importance.
Why partnering is key
To realise the full value of digital tools, there must be an innovative and collaborative environment. It is not enough for companies to simply spend more on technology, instead they must find real business cases where carbon emissions can be reduced – this is where partnerships become valuable.
Our goal at Rockwell Automation, throughout our long experience in the oil and gas industry, has been to support producers at every step of the value chain. With a wide diversity of knowledge and capabilities required to assist end-to-end and identify cases where sustainability can support business outcomes, we have made it a strategic priority to assemble an extensive partner and solutions ecosystem for our oil and gas customers to tap into.
Through our work with Sensia, combined with our own sector-specific service offerings, we can bring the necessary set of expertise that help producers to optimise systems, improve process efficiency and maximise the productivity of assets. We also help customers to get ahead in terms of defining a future vision for their organisation, and then helping to invent and assemble the business models that will be resilient to ongoing market turbulence and regulatory requirements.
By taking control of their environment, producers can reap the opportunities to reconcile process efficiency with more sustainable practices today, and be ready to compete in the market of tomorrow.
If you would like to know more about these ideas, please get in touch via email or LinkedIn and I’d be happy to elaborate.