The oil & gas industry relies significantly on information and communication technology to meet its business goals. It is necessary to connect and integrate business processes, organizations, and geographies to manage future oil and gas scenarios and effective production of existing reserves. Connected oilfield can be defined as the integration of operations, which uses information technology to manage and control equipment, move functions and personnel onshore, and manage processes remotely. Integrated operations help facilitate interactions that deliver business value while simultaneously reducing health, business, environmental, and safety risks. The intelligent network facilitates seamless integration of information, data, and work processes. It creates a virtual environment where effective collaboration and communication can be established between experts of the industry, regardless of the physical location of the concerned person. The benefit of introducing integrated operations in the oil & gas industry was examined by the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) on the data obtained by reservoir, surface, and downhole facilities. The result showed improvement in hydrocarbon recovery of about 1% to 7%; drilling cost reduction of about 5% to 15%; production acceleration of about 1% to 6%; and progression in operational efficiency of 3% to 25%.
The global connected oilfield market is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period due to the increase in exploration & drilling activities across the globe. Rise in production of crude oil, high crude oil demand, and growth in well completion are the factors expected to drive the connected oilfield market in the next few years. Furthermore, increase in demand for oil and gas in emerging economies of Asia Pacific such as India and Thailand is anticipated to boost the connected oilfield market in these countries. According to a research conducted by Oxford Economics, adoption of integrated systems in the oil & gas industry can help increase the global GDP by 0.8%, which is around US$ 816 Mn, by 2025.
Implementation of oilfield services and Internet of Things in connected oilfields can develop a synergy between organizations. This is estimated to reduce the communication gap among workers, lower operation costs, and enhance producibility. Adoption of connected oilfield is projected to augment instant transmission of real time data, helping O&G companies negate time-zone differences and overcome geographical barriers, further strengthening industrial outlook. Increasing production efficiency, ease in finding location of hydrocarbons, and faster decision making are the factors likely to augment the connected oilfield market during the forecast period.
In terms of geography, the connected oilfield market in North America held significant share in 2016. It is anticipated to register strong growth during the forecast period. As U.S. witnesses significant increment in the number of rig count which resulted in the completion among global players to reduce the cost of production of oil & gas. Discovery of largest hydrocarbon reserves in Permian Basin is expected to augment the application of Internet of Things, thus propelling the connected oilfield market during the forecast period. The connected oilfield market in Europe and Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness growth owing to the decrease in the amount of drilling activities due to government sanctions. The market in Latin America is estimated to register prominent growth owing to its dependence on the oil & gas industry. This is projected to further boost the connected oilfield market in the near future.
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Key players operating in the connected oilfield market are CISCO, Cognizant, TELUS Communications Company, and Redline Communications. Companies that adopted connected oilfield are Halliburton, Weatherford, Royal Dutch Shell, National Oilwell Varco, and Schlumberger Limited. For instance, in 2015, Shell reported a saving of US$ 5 Bn by integration of its 50 assets across the globe. In 2016, Shell Nigeria reported saving of more than US$ 1 Mn through integrated networks serving the entire oilfield.