The extractive industries are, by their very nature, pretty high tech. yes for some reasons, they often seem to be left behind in discussions of how technology is changing industries.
Just as any other industry however this one has seen some pretty big changes, and most, if not all of them, were driven by technology. Some of the changes are ongoing, some are already complete and others maybe won’t be affecting the industry for a little while yet.
We’re here to talk about 5 of the biggest ways technology is affecting the extractive industries.
Wireless drill steering is set to sweep the oil drilling industries. As reported in the New York Times last year, the company Pioneer Natural Resources is very much living up its name, as it pioneers new drilling methods, including remote monitoring for drill sites.
The typical rig that was only drilling 9 wells a year is, with their software, now drilling up to 16 – and shaving 25% of the operating costs.
The extraction industry, across oil mining and natural gas, is a relatively high risk working environment – especially at the business end of extracting these resources. It’s therefore slightly surprising that the industries have not really embraced robotics to a major extent.
Neither in their deployment nor their research have the extraction industries led the way in the past, but this is finally begging to turn around. National Oilwell Inc, as just one example, has now full automated the risky job of connecting drill pipes on drilling rigs.
Drones are another area where automation and technology can save considerable amounts of time and labor. They are increasingly to be found amongst expedition teams where their ability to quickly scout landscapes with greater detail and far better precision than satellite imagery is really shaking things up.
They can also be employed on equipment checks, such on rigs and remote drilling platforms, providing quick and easy eyes on access for engineers who can be remotely placed and checking on several platforms all at the same time.
Maybe not necessarily at the business end of extracting oil and gas as the technologies above are, but none the less the extractions industries are increasingly turning to AI to assist in efforts to streamline their business.
As profit margins shrink, it will be the industry that adapts most successfully to this that will thrive – and AI can give the edge. Whether it is automating processes or monitoring production to find inefficiencies, the ability of AI to continually repeat, and hone, tasks means it is a superb tool in the fight to streamline operations and maximize profits.
So we’ve discussed how drones can capture far more information far more quickly than has been possible before. We’ve also looked at how AI can de deployed to gather data for streamlining and smooth operation.
But where does all that information go?
Into the Cloud. As the extraction industries become more and more technologically advanced, as they begin to harvest and use vast amounts of data they will need to migrate their IT platforms into the cloud. This will also have the benefit of connecting field workers to company data instantly, anywhere in the world – vastly improving working and decision speeds at every point of the extraction process.
Jen Starr is part of the community team at Next Day PC. Jen enjoys staying on top of the latest tech trends and sharing how new tech can positively impact people’s lives.