In the previous article we looked at the changing workforce and the impact of Gen Z.
50% of producers will double down on oilfield operations automation according to a recent prediction by International Data Corporation (IDC), a global IT research and consulting firm. IDC further predicts a doubling of productivity as a result. To achieve greatest results, automation providers must work together to deliver integrated automation solutions that can be maintained in a streamlined fashion. Producers will gravitate toward those vendors that can deliver full function automation systems that are pre-integrated and cause minimal disruption to operations during installation.
Automation systems have come a long way from the simple starters and pump off controllers that focused on one aspect of production operations. Sensors for equipment and operating conditions such as pressure, temperature and fluid level are now routinely used to gain insight into each well and associated tanks. Controllers for pumps, valves and other equipment are used together for operational efficiency.
The value of this wide range of collection and control technologies depends largely on how it is installed, maintained, queried and controlled. To optimize this value, we see producers increasingly interested in drive systems with the following attributes:
- Pre-integration. Systems that come ready to install and pre-configured for the environment typically take less time to get up and running and involve fewer technicians. Pre-integration helps ensure that there are no surprises.
- Open system. Because there are many different controllers and sensors already in the oilfield, producers need their drive systems to be capable of integrating with these devices.
- Collaborative maintenance. When systems need repair, producers need speed. Producers are frustrated with multiple levels of problem identification associated with multiple devices from multiple vendors. Integration and collaboration reduces the complexity of diagnosis. By insisting on an integrated, collaborative approach producers can reduce the impact of downtime for repair time.
We see drive systems expanding to connect with other well and field equipment, giving producers greater control over their entire operation, reducing costs and increasing insight.