Is the digital oilfield the future of the industry?

Digital data is helping improve the efficiency of physical operations at the oilfield.

Advancing technology has led to a digital revolution. Across the business spectrum, organizations are becoming increasingly reliant on digital technology. Traditional practices are being phased out and digital solutions designed to improve overall operations are being embraced in virtually every industry. The oil and gas sector is no different.

Recently, this blog discussed the increasing usage of cloud computing in the oil and gas industry. The use of this innovative technology has improved data processing, communications and increased overall productivity across the sector. This is just a sample of the digitization trend, which many believe is ushering in a new era for the industry.

This projection is backed by a growing number of patents pertaining to oilfield technology innovation. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of patents filed in the classes relating to the oil exploration and extractive industries jumped from 700 to nearly 1400. The digital oilfield has become the latest buzzword in the industry, and many organizations are looking for ways to implement new technology into their processes as a means of reducing cost and increasing production.

A recent article in The Energy Collective described this process and detailed the benefits of a digital oilfield.

"A digital oilfield is an environment where all the real-time data from the oilfield is constantly fed and monitored by computers located at remote monitoring stations that is then used to optimize the production of oil, wrote Anand Srinivasan, the article's author. "This is basically an umbrella term that is used to refer to all kinds of computerized networking and processes that help in creating a sophisticated monitoring and controlling system for oil wells."

The advantages of a digital oilfield are virtually endless. With new technology, efficiency is greatly improved. Rather than relying on manual entry of data and delayed analytics, information can be processed and acted upon in an instant, which allows producers to make necessary operational adjustments in real-time. Advancements in mobility and cloud computing have enhanced the benefits of digital oilfields because workers can access and distribute data from any location. 

Implementing new solutins is especially crucial in today's market because demand is increasing and the workforce is shrinking, as Srinivasan elaborated on in his piece.

"Oil consumption is expected to breach the 100 million barrels per day barrier by 2015," he wrote. "To give you a perspective, this number was less than 80 million barrels per day two decades back. This rising consumption level causes a strain on the capital expenditure as well as on human labor. While capital expenditure may be justified on the basis of the increasing revenues that the oil drilling companies stand to make, human labor is a finite resource. According to some estimates, the labor shortage for oil drilling is expected to reach as much as 1 million by 2015."

We are well into the information age and the innovative spirit that has helped define the U.S. business market remains as strong as ever. Companies across a plethora of industries will continue to find new ways to improve operations, and many of those strategic changes will be the result of new technology. In the oil and gas industry, this showcases the importance of obtaining the best oilfield equipment that can both keep up with a changing market and allow producers to capitalize on oilfield digitization. 

The hydraulic jet pump can be a particularly valuable solution, because it offers high levels of power and versatility. This pump is effective in vertical, horizontal and deviated wells, and it can even be successfully deployed at sites where there are issues with well casing that would prohibit the use of other artificial lift solutions.