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A view from the Oil and Gas IoT Summit in Lisbon

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February 8th 2019

At the end of last month I spent a few days in the vibrant city of Lisbon to attend an equally vibrant event, the Oil and Gas IoT Summit. The summit brought together a very focused group of people from operators, EPCs, regulators and tech providers like us, to discuss how the IIoT could usher in a renewed era of growth and efficiency, in an industry that’s been defined by commodity prices in recent years.

Data was obviously at the centre of every conversation. One of the most prominent themes was the focus on building data lakes in the cloud before doing anything with the data. And if I was to summarize sentiment on how to integrate data analytics it would be: think big, start small, scale fast. This was a recurrent pattern across the different technologies and forums, from IIoT and digital twins to robotics. The exception was a debate around IIoT infrastructure. Some vendors spoke of ‘big bang’ style approaches, and paying upfront for IIoT infrastructure as a recommendation. This was not echoed by the operators, who are mostly still looking for Proof of Concept before proceeding to larger scale deployment.

I really enjoyed the keynote from Hege Kverneland, CTO of National Oilwell Varco. Among many other interesting points, it was good to hear her make the case for adding physics-based knowledge to big data, to drive competitive advantage and move from time-based thru usage to condition-based maintenance. Nicely aligned with the theme of the summit, Mrs. Kverneland pointed out that NOV Services has seen more growth in the big data and analytics part of the business than any other service area, which is significant as all other areas have either declined or remained static since 2014.

Another stand out presentation for me was from David Hartell, Senior Development Manager from Premier Oil. David focused on his own experience with digital twins for offshore oil and gas development. He highlighted the multitude of digital twins that are out there and how they can and should be integrated to create a really value-adding network. He focused on the production performance aspects of digital twins which has a scope for subsurface, subsea and floating assets. It was great to see an example of an independent oil and gas company leading the way with emerging tech implementation.

When it comes to other technology providers, the guys from Arundo have a really interesting value proposition. They presented their platform for data analytics, and are building models of small assets like pumps, valves etc. with less than three months’ worth of data, augmenting it with baseline data. Definitely one to watch!

And of course Akselos was a big part of the proceedings too. I presented a couple of case studies to demonstrate the impact our IIoT powered technology is having in the oil and gas industry. I talked through examples that showed how adding a data driven, physics-based digital twin to a data analysis platform increases the accuracy of predictive analytics from around 30% to 90% by adding structure to the data. There was a lot of interest for Field Life Extension both on the upstream (FPSO and large platforms) and downstream sides for pressure vessels in refining.

I think one of the important takeaways for people in the room, was that Akselos’ technology is the only engineering simulation technology that’s compatible with the IIoT and the digital oilfield – thanks to its speed.

Unsurprisingly, most companies in the room had IIoT strategies, and although some of these are in the early stages, there was unbridled commitment from everyone in the room.

My thanks to the team at Intrinsic Communications for pulling off such a forward thinking event. They put a lot of thought into how people could get the most out of their time there. There was a good mix of presentations, case studies and crucially, pre-arranged meetings to make sure that people got to connect – really important if we’re going to work together to move the dial on IIoT integration.

I look forward to hearing how IIoT strategies have moved forward at next year’s event!

By Andrew Young, VP of project engineering and services

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