Edge computing offers energy leaders unparalleled improvements in operational responsiveness and efficiency and therefore increases profitability.
Data is constantly being collected every second of the day from every corner of the world. AI and analytics are helping turn big data into insights, and the oil and gas industry is catching up.
In order to have complete visibility into operations, the oil and gas industry now depends on 24/7 data communication. On top of that, an MIT study found that only 0.5% of all data is analyzed. While the amount of data generated by oil and gas rigs could be overwhelming, this increase provides new opportunities for energy leaders to modernize their IT infrastructure.
Cutting-edge IT solutions have become essential for oil and gas companies striving to decarbonize both operations and value chains as the industry navigates an energy transition.
This energy transition is slowly moving oil and gas companies into the power generation and distribution space, with big projects promising such as carbon capture and storage and green hydrogen.
In order to utilize the valuable data that enterprises accumulate upstream, midstream, or downstream, oil and gas operators need to move their operations to the edge to reduce latency, reduce data storage, reduce transmission costs, and increase efficiency. The remote location of operations coupled with a harsh operating environment and massive volume of data generated make the oil and gas industry an ideal location for using micro data centers for edge computing.
See also: Oil and gas cloud applications will explode by 2026
Transitioning operations from the cloud to the edge
Edge computing is a valuable solution because it alleviates bandwidth within the core network by storing data at the edge of the IT infrastructure. Rather than offloading to cloud data centers, edge computing enables data processing with minimal to zero latency, making it highly optimized for resource efficiency.
Moving operations to the edge serves as a key enabler of a digital-first paradigm. This approach allows organizations to not only monitor an operational network, but also store and process operational data locally. In addition to increasing data efficiency and resilience, edge computing is also being used to optimize new technologies within the oil and gas industry, such as drone inspection of power lines and pipelines. , which enables data-driven decision making to take actions that ultimately reduce operating costs.
Reduced IT infrastructure costs
Reducing operational costs has become a top priority for the oil and gas industry as it continues to face hurdles related to geopolitical conditions and commodity price volatility. By integrating state-of-the-art solutions, data processing is brought closer to where the data is inevitably produced, such as on the rig or in the field. Edge computing ensures cost savings by reducing network bandwidth and reducing data center costs.
Unplanned shutdowns are another challenge businesses face. According to an MIT Sloan study, a single day of downtime for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility can cost $25 million, with a typical medium-sized LNG facility shrinking about five times a year. However, edge computing can prevent these unplanned and costly downtimes by reducing the processing load on the central computing infrastructure by distributing it across multiple processing centers.
Factors to Consider with New Industrial Edge Computing Solutions
The benefits of edge computing have not gone unnoticed, which is why we are seeing an increase in deployments across all industries. However, the decision to move operations to the periphery requires some considerations before moving forward. In the early stages of edge planning, companies should include resilient power and connectivity resources to help reduce the risk of downtime.
It is critical that edge computing sites are designed with resilience. These factors to ensure resilience include environmental separation from hazards such as water or fire, cooling infrastructure to control temperature and humidity, and a reliable power source such as a UPS to provide backup power. to the equipment.
Additionally, the monitoring and maintenance of edge infrastructure assets should be prioritized to ensure business continuity. Edge resources must be equipped to support autonomous operation and continuous remote monitoring. This forces oil and gas companies to hire staff or outsource proactive monitoring and maintenance services to identify and correct certain problems before they occur.
Ultimately, edge computing offers energy leaders unparalleled improvements in operational responsiveness and efficiency and therefore increases profitability. Energy companies that take advantage of all that cutting-edge IT solutions have to offer will see increased sustainability, more efficient performance, and increased profitability while simultaneously empowering employees through connected technologies and capabilities.