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Exploring Digital Operations Platforms for Oil and Gas

How Digital Transformations Through Innovative Platforms Can Open New Avenues for the O&G Industry

Chris Ely
Chris Ely

Feb 03, 2022

In the post-pandemic era, oil and gas (O&G) companies must find ways to reinvent themselves to stay competitive. Digital operations platforms (DOPs) are emerging as key technology enablers for O&G businesses. The next generation DOPs can help the oil and gas industry integrate the latest digital innovations into their day-to-day operations. It leads to optimized production, streamlined processes, and better customer experiences.

Drivers of Digital Operations Platform for Oil and Gas

Digital operations platforms provide more scalability and flexibility than traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Monolithic ERP systems are time-consuming to implement and difficult to maintain and update. DOPs are designed with agile methodologies and incorporate the latest digital tools to transform the whole oil and gas operations pipeline.

The following technologies are driving DOP adoption:

Cloud computing provides flexible compute power and storage capacity. Modern O&G companies need real-time data integration and advanced analytics to make better, faster decisions. The cloud can cost-effectively handle the large volume of data generated in real-time environments. The cloud works as the backbone for todays operations platforms.

Internet of Things (IoT), like internet-connected sensors, is playing a significant role in transforming drilling rigs, inventory management, and product transportation. As part of a digital operations platform, IoT-collected data provides O&G companies with the necessary information and insights to manage the operations pipeline better.

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are helping the upstream oil and gas industry process and interpret data for risk management and cost analysis. AI/ML-based analysis tools are fast becoming a necessity for next-generation digital operations platforms.

Robotics can automate repetitive and dangerous tasks like underwater drilling or welding. Robots reduce operational costs and increase productivity while ensuring the safety of human workers. Digital operations platforms work like central hubs for controlling and monitoring these robot fleets.

Virtual reality (VR) provides digital twins or simulations to understand the performance of oilfields, refineries, and other operational units. Also, VR can help with terrain analysis and training new employees. Augmented reality (AR) helps create real-time feedback through smart glasses and smart equipment for humans working in the field. DOPs integrate VR/AR tools to make them easier to use.

Preparing and Sustaining Digital Transformation Through the Right Platform

Successful digital transformation is more than technology; it is a process. It requires the combination of the right objectives, skill sets, and platforms. The following roadmap can help O&G companies in their digital transformation journey:

Identify Business Priorities

Before diving into any tool or platform, O&G companies need a clear understanding of the business and operational issues they are trying to address. Organizations have to evaluate various areas of operations and logistics like exploration, construction, drilling, inventory management, shipping, warehousing, and customer support to find the stumbling blocks. They have to figure out what combination of technologies like cloud computing, IoT, AI/ML, robotics, and VR/AR will resolve the issues.

Build the Digital Foundation

Acquiring digital talent is a necessary step to building a solid digital foundation. Oil and gas companies can hire or train new talent. The updated talent pool can help organizations with IT infrastructure, data management, and advanced analytics. Companies can go further and build strategic partnerships with digital service providers to accelerate their digital transformation.

Implement Digital Operations Platform

An efficient digital operations platform works as a core software for all business processes. It can adapt to the objectives of the organization. It provides the flexibility and scalability necessary to integrate new processes as business requirements change. O&G companies can implement a digital operations platform through incremental steps. Trying to take advantage of all capabilities of a new platform might be overwhelming. A continuous improvement philosophy and incremental actions can help companies improve the supply-chain pipeline without disrupting legacy systems and processes.

Stay Agile and Learn from Mistakes

Collaboration between cross-functional teams through a shared digital operations platform encourages an agile culture where teams learn from mistakes. It breaks down silos. O&G companies can leverage the shared knowledge to improve the daily operations of their business.

Final Thoughts

Digital operations platforms harness the power of the latest technologies to help O&G companies run their business more efficiently. A DOP system simplifies supply chain management. However, DOP implementation requires careful evaluation and introspection to find the right business solutions. 

Need help with your digital operations? Wellsite™ connects remote drilling and completion operations and provides real-time data, analytics, and tools to help you make better decisions faster. Contact us today to learn more.



Chris Ely

Chris has a successful track record of leading teams in the oilfield services industry for more than 22 years. He worked for Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Nabors before joining Wellsite in 2016. Chris holds a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Sam Houston State University.

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