Oil industry is going through enormous change. Global oil prices have fallen sharply since June 2014 leading to significant revenue drops for oil & gas companies across globe which in turn cut or put on hold billions of dollars of projects. Companies are trying to be innovative in many areas to recover from this deepest downtown of last three decades. With technology advancement, industry is generating massive amounts of data in different domains like 3D & 4D seismic, reservoir modelling, drilling etc. This massive amount of digital and physical data present in structured and unstructured databases require massive infrastructures along with technical IT competencies to manage, analyze to make optimize decision making for successful drilling. How oil & gas companies can lower their data management & IT infrastructure costs while enhancing their computing powers for performance optimization by sharing information and resource on an extended environment without compromising security of data to become more robust in these challenging low oil prices environments?
This transition from above 100$ oil price to under 50$ opens up new opportunities for oil & gas companies to revise their IT services & data management models but also poses number of challenges to address. Currently most companies are struggling to reduce their data management & IT cost without compromising on quality of data. This demand of reducing the IT costs has opens up doors to innovative cloud data management technologies. Cloud offers improved utilization of resources, reduced maintenance and infrastructure costs and increased flexibility for maximum performance to meet challenging era of low oil prices. With such technology advancement like Internet of Things (IOT), 4D seismic, Permanent Reservoir Monitoring (PRM) techniques etc. amount of data is also rapidly increasing online which increases potential security threats. Famous attack was on Saudi Aramco in 2012 which wiped out contents of between 30,000 and 55,000 workstations. Together with efficient data processing and management, security is one of the prime concerns in the oil and gas domain.
Over the past few decades the availability of computational and storage resources has been transformed from a server-based approach to scalable, agile and on-demand services. The concept of service-oriented-computing is strengthened by the fundamental changes brought by the virtualization in computational infrastructures. The designs of Cloud computing overarching these changes and as a result we have seen a tremendous growth in Cloud enable resources. Together with many advantages there are some serious concerns that hinder the Cloud adoption model. These concerns are mainly related to security and privacy in multi-tenant environment provided by the Cloud platforms.
In order to leverage the strengths offered by cloud computing and scientific high-performance computing, oil & gas companies can work with cloud platform providers like Google to address security and privacy challenges. Cloud infrastructures can help to provide cost-effective, secure and scalable management of both applications and massive datasets. This will enable E&P companies to leverage high-performance computing, remote visualization and data processing to boost productivity and increase innovation in their organizations. Seismic data processing & interpretation, reservoir monitoring automation in planning & drilling operations can be few areas where such applications are possible.
In order to get benefits of such latest trends of digital transformation, data analytics, machine learning and cloud computing, we need new approach towards knowledge sharing and trust. This transformation can only be happen with new mindset and willingness to adopt new technologies which will help companies to boost productivity while minimizing risk and increasing profits. Companies that enable their employees to share knowledge using latest trends embedded in the big data will gain the maximum advantage.
In conclusion, there are massive opportunities available for oil industry to get benefits of digital transformation. Are we ready to get benefits of these reliable, highly efficient technologies?