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01/20/16

“Controlling the World’s Oil Supply”

Automation World Magazine

Whether drilling further out or maintaining a sprawling set of wells, exploration companies are realizing they need a more central plan of control. Remote operations are not only more feasible, but vital.

The old standard of just drilling your way to profits is quickly fading away in the oil and gas industry, where everything is changing. The growth of shale explorations—with numerous wells in a basin, horizontal drilling with heavy reliance on instrumentation, and fields further out in the middle of nowhere—has in itself changed the face of the industry. Plus, there is the fact that well sites deplete quickly and accurate monitoring is, therefore, vital.

Change is afoot in other aspects of the industry as well. Deep-sea operations are going deeper and further out to sea. Instrumentation and communication technologies continue to advance. Onsite contracting services have become the norm. And the price of oil continues to plunge. In late 2015, it had fallen to $35 a barrel, the lowest it’s been since 2008, and is expected to drop further. Energy cut the most jobs of any U.S. sector in 2015, laying off close to 94,000 workers.

All of this and more leads to the need for more centralized control for oil and gas—exploration companies using technical advances to pool expertise in central, more human-friendly environments and decrease “windshield time” around their operations...

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