IoT Digital Transformation Part 7: Oil and Gas

IoT Digital Transformation Part 7: Oil and Gas
The economic downturns in Oil and Gas are reminiscent of the economic turmoil in Financial Services about a decade ago.

This is Part 7 of the IoT DX series. Part 1 focused on the impact of IoT DX for the customer experience. Part 2 focused on how IoT DX is transforming field service. Part 3, elucidated how IoT is transforming the Insurance industry. Part 4 showed several examples of IoT transformation in Financial Services. Part 5 focused on the adoption of IoT DX in Healthcare. The scope of Part 6 was Utilities. The focus of this blog is Oil and Gas.

As we saw in the previous posts on IoT DX, Digital Transformation is having a tremendous impact on all industries. Oil and Gas Exploration and Production companies are no exception! The recent unpredictable oscillations in pricing, regulations, and technological challenges continue to shake up the Oil and Gas industry, presenting a unique combination of challenges:

  • Commodity price volatility.
  • Increasingly regulated response to climate change concerns.
  • Capturing transformational value from new digital technology.
  • Legacies and aging infrastructure.
  • Aging population and inability to attract new talent.

To this last point, in a recent survey of Millennials by PWC, when asked if there is a sector in which they do not wish to work, Oil and Gas ranked first! Combined with the erosion of knowledge and experience from its retiring population, this is a serious challenge for an industry that needs young, fresh, innovative ideas to stay afloat.

The economic downturns in Oil and Gas are reminiscent of the economic turmoil in Financial Services about a decade ago. It is interesting that FS companies started to invest in process improvement and automation technologies and solutions – precisely because of the downturn. A similar opportunity exists now for Oil Exploration and Production companies (E & P), especially with connected devices or IoT. As elucidated in “Your Best Customer: The Well”, some operational work automation areas that can be promising include:

  • Well Operations and Maintenance: the end-to-end digital prescriptive maintenance (beyond predictive: involving technical resources to maintain the well).
  • Coordination and Consistency across Oil Fields: There are often waste and inconsistencies in Well operations across different oil fields or even Wells within the same Oil Field.
  • Operation Technology (Oil Field and Wells) and Information Technology: OT focuses on Wells and other assets or devices that need to be sensed, monitored, and controlled in real-time.

In fact, similar to customers, different Oil Wells, Offshore Oil Rigs, Oil Vessels, Oil Pipelines, etc. need to be treated differently due to their unique characteristics, context, and locations. With IoT connectivity enormous amount of data is being generated. However, this data is not leveraged, analyzed, or acted upon. For instance, one study showed only 1% of sensor data from 30,000 sensor points was made available to decision makers. In fact, even if the data from sensors is made available, it needs to be made actionable: next-best-actions for the Oil “customer” (Well or otherwise), in the context of end-to-end digitized processes and dynamic cases. Wells, Rigs, Vessels, Pipes, etc. are all “talking” – expressing sentiments; but we don’t always hear these sentiments or, more importantly, act upon them through intelligent and automated processes. Providing responsive service, including preventive and predictive service, requires working outside of and across functional organizational boundaries. Oil companies are often hesitant to adopt process-based work, fearing significant organizational disruption.

Here again, Pega’s Digital Transformation platform provides robust solutions addressing precisely the value proposition for connected Oil and Gas, even as the industry continuous to face the aforementioned challenges. It is detailed in the Well whitepaper and summarized here:

  • Create and automate role based, standard processes and dynamic cases: The objective is to integrate and coordinate the actions of engineering and operations to seamlessly execute the entire Well customer service process.
  • Instantiate the dynamic case for Well service: The objective is to ensure process executors remain focused on the business outcome: Well customer service.
  • Create and monitor the Well customer service dashboards: The objective is to create visibility to understand status of Wells and facilitate focus on the most value adding activities today.

IoT DX with Pega can make Oil and Gas cool again!

Part 8 will focus on the IoT Digital Transformation in the Public Sector.