Some tsunamis are just too great and sweep away everything in their path. Some happen to sweep down a specific streetÂ and take out an unlucky few. Others, although fierce, may just offer a unique opportunity to navigate their stormy waters and emerge stronger once they eventually pass.
As a result of the seismic shifts in the global energy markets, the North American oil and gas industry has seen some incredible challenges come its way in a very short space of time. Uncertainty, as a result of political maneuvering, led to tumbling energy prices and a subsequent tsunami, which has relentlessly rolled through the oil patch. The fallout has been substantial. Organizations, both large and small and from all corners of the energy industry, have been forced, like never before, to findÂ ways of staying afloat and, if successful in that, they look to create entirely new models that will enable them, after time, to thrive once again.
For many, efficiency has become the aspiration. During a period of booming energy prices, the dominant legacy players in our industry had little incentive to push for in-house innovation or invite and experiment with new, third party technologies that required anÂ unwelcome intrusion to a production cycle. At $100/barrel, the idea of testing an unproven system with potential to increase production by 10%, the possibility of minor malfunctions, and the potential to disrupt core production is not one that, for most, went very far very fast.
At $40/barrel, that 10% production increase might just mean the company keeps its lights on.
Maximization of existing resources, minimization of downtime, streamlining of
costs, and pre-empting issues before they even occur has become a consuming ambition for proactive oil producers, and many are looking at technology to offer them answers.
In our business, we see very real possibilities to achieve these aspirations and change the business model for oil extraction altogether using the power of Big Data and connected devices, which is also known as the Industrial Internet of Things.