Oil & Gas Exploration

We recently took at detailed look at Oil & Gas Exploration industry and its adoption of Internet of Everything principles.

It deserved a quick musing.

We took a close look at the use of Internet of Everything (IoE) principles by most of the S&P 1500 companies in oil and gas exploration & production sub-industry.

Initial findings:

·         The industry has clearly experienced significant collapse in net income since mid-2015; bankruptcies, layoffs and significant capital investment cuts

·         As industry slowly recovers, new methods to achieve results are taking center stage;  in other words, IoE solutions might reduce need to scale labor force  back up to previous levels

·         According Microsoft/Accenture surveys, 62% of industry executives said that they will invest more on digital disruption strategic initiatives

·         Recent IoE focus around wearable devices,  data analytics, drones, unmanned vehicles for safety and asset monitoring

o   Devon Energy (DVN) recently started using predictive analytics to analyze data from thousands of wells to determine the best candidates for ‘re-fracking’

o   ConocoPhillips (COP) using drones to remotely inspect assets

o   Noble Energy (NBL) investing employee wearable’s incorporating advanced sensors to alert to potential hazards

Highlights from the study include:

Commitment to technologies providing real time visibility and monitoring of assets.

Devon Energy (DVN), Marathon Oil (MRO) making strides in 3D Data Visualization.

·         Marathon Oil’s “Visionarium”  – a collaborative, multi-discipline immersive environment set up for a maximum of 50 people that allows participants to view data on a 27’ x 8’ curved screen

·         Albeit a small example – but an example of what is to come – 3D Epix services created a 3D animation for Devon Energy’s plant at Alberta, Canada

Marathon oil invested in real time visualization

 Devon Energy 3D Animation

Rapid adoption of both drones and unmanned vehicles for remote observation … and possibly permanently reducing need for on-site employees.

Apache Corporation (APA) and ConocoPhillips (COP) are two – of a long list – with ambitions extract multiple uses of Drones and ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) to inspect sites from remote locations

·         Apache Corp. using drone to monitor flare stacks at a gas plant. Working in collaboration with Apache’s inspectors to search for telltale signs of damage, such as cracking and crumbling

·         ConocoPhillips one of the first exploration companies that commercialized drones.  In 2013, ConocoPhillips (COP) conducted the first drone flight in commercial airspace off the coast of Alaska

·         ConocoPhillips uses drones for predictive analytics at Darwin LNG project; in 2014, It launched several UAVs from a ship in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea as part of a test to see if they could conduct surveys of ice and marine life often required by environmental regulations.

Apache using drone services from Cyberhawk


ConocoPhillips first used commercialized drones in 2013


ConocoPhillips used drones in Darwin LNG project


Exploring  wearable’s value specifically for on-site employee safety

Marathon Oil (MRO), Noble Energy (NBL) innovating in this arena

·         At Marathon Oil refineries, employees wear a wireless device that tracks harmful gas exposure during a worker’s shift and allows managers to monitor the location and safety of staff members on shift.   The company teamed with Accenture to develop the “Accenture Life Safety Solution” —a wireless multi-gas detection.

·         Noble Energy developed a digital observation and corrective action tool that enables employees to capture and share potential hazards


Marathon teamed up with Accenture to develop employee wearables


Noble Energy developed digital observation tool

Clearly a competitive imperative:  Big Data Analytics for improved exploration capabilities.

Companies such as Devon Energy(DVN),  and ConocoPhillips (COP)  investing heavily in predictive analytics and big data to  analyze huge datasets acquired from different sites

·         Devon, one of the first oil and gas companies to adopt Hadoop/advanced analytics infrastructure, is entering into new realms:  such as monitoring speed and location of vehicle fleet, the need to evacuate workers in areas where hydrogen sulfide is present.  They also incorporate data from thousands of wells to determine the best candidates for re-fracking.

·         ConocoPhillips has also turned to more efficient data infrastructure (Hadoop):   interestingly, also using public cloud as a sandbox to experiment with emerging data use cases.


Davon extensively using Hadoop infrastructure


ConocoPhillips defers IT spend with Hadoop, cloud

Real-time data from drilling operations:  Potentially transformative and the race to win

Almost all  companies we cover in this industry are using automated sensor driven devices in one way or another to access real time drilling information. Following are just two examples: 

·         Marathon Oil used PI System to gather real-time sensor data from drilling operations, halving the time and cost to well completion – and rolled out the solution to sites across the U.S.

·         Southwestern Energy Co (SWN) combine information from multiple sources to manage the end-to-end find, develop, and production processes

Marathon using OSI Soft’s PI System



Southwestern Energy using WellView

Click the pdf here to download:  Oil&Gas Exploration Musing

Enjoy, Serge, Piercing View, @PiercingView

2017-10-04T18:58:40+00:00 10.28.2016|POV|