It’s been a tough time for the oil and gas industry as volatile markets, rising costs, declining productivity and a shrinking skilled workforce take their toll on business. The concept of a Digital Oil Field promises a way out, but how can this be achieved? In this latest lesson from the Tait Radio Academy, we discuss the benefits of Unified Critical Communications for the Oil and Gas industry.
The below text is a summary of the Tait Radio Academy lesson. For the full course, click here
Oil and gas companies are looking to integrate their business operations using advances in communications technology to improve productivity, control costs, increase reliability, security and worker safety.
But no single technology can fully service this integration, when companies must consider cost, coverage, spectrum availability, bandwidth, latency, ease of deployment, and flexibility.
The Next Step: Technological Convergence
The solution lies in unifying multiple technologies: an integrated mix of different communications technologies, ranging from VSAT satellite, LTE broadband, WiFi, cellular, to digital LMR, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
By unifying their critical communications, they stand to gain:
- Greater coverage and communications resilience throughout the entire range of their operations
- More efficient operations through a greater use of advanced telemetry, sensor networks, remote monitoring and control of equipment
- Increased end-user productivity through multi-device team communications
- Improved worker safety and security with emergency communications across diverse bearer networks
- Huge cost reductions in areas such as exploration, field development, and production operations
- Find additional reserves and potential sources of income either by extending the lifetime of ‘brown fields’ (which previously would have reached the end of their economic life) or by undertaking more complex projects to access reserves in difficult environments.
Automate and Optimize with Industrial IoT Capabilities
The future goal is to develop a Digital Oilfield using Industrial IoT to integrate, automate, and optimize upstream operations. This involves utilizing machine-to-machine communications among millions of wirelessly connected smart elements such as sensors, measuring devices, and actuators embedded in drills or wellheads which exchange data in real time.
Specialized applications send the combined and integrated sensor data to servers for storage, retrieval, processing and analysis. Field data is processed continuously in real time, with smart applications automating decision-making, performing predictive analyses, reacting to alarms, and monitoring and controlling production process – with or without human intervention.
Bringing the Oilfield to the Operator
Field telecommunications are critical to the success of Digital Oilfield services. In the near future, extraction companies will be rethinking the plethora of single-function bearers and applications that many exploration and extraction companies currently operate.
Rather, the future for the Digital Oilfield is to deliver business efficiencies, by bringing the field to the operator rather than the operator to the field. Underlying any Digital Oilfield is an integrated communications system that is reliable, resilient, cost-effective, robust, and secure.
Tait Radio Academy
Want to know more? For the full lesson, head over to the Introduction to Unified Critical Communications course on the Tait Radio Academy, where you can learn about the benefits of Unified Critical Communications for your industry!
The Tait Radio Academy is a free training resource, providing foundational education on a wide range of critical communications topics. From basic radio awareness to Industrial Control Systems, there is a range of material for people in both technical and non-technical roles.
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