Edge Computing

Effective data management

 Digitization is transforming the mid-sized oil and gas sector in the Asia-Pacific region

Today, the oil and gas sector is being rethought with fundamental shifts in demand and new technologies. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) 1, the growth in demand for electricity in Southeast Asia has been one of the fastest in the world. Since 2000, energy demand in Southeast Asia has increased by 80%, and from now until 2040, demand is expected to grow by another 60%.

To meet this demand, operators have focused on improving operational efficiency through data collection and analysis. From pipeline monitoring to equipment health measurement, the oil and gas industry has turned to digitization for better visibility, efficient asset management and better predictive maintenance to optimize costs.

Most of the time, many midsize oil and gas companies look to use operational data to reduce risk and improve the safety of people and the environment, increasing efficiency.

This can include getting near real-time data from an oil pipeline, pumping station or shipping terminal to better understand what is happening in the field. It can be done remotely, thousand of miles away.

Traditionally, mid-tier applications in the oil and gas business have been associated, for example, with industrial SCADA systems for metering control and leak detection.

However, in recent years, new technologies have become more prevalent in digitization efforts. According to Accenture, up to 10 different technologies such as analytics, robotics, industrial Internet of things (IIoT) and cloud computing have the potential to disrupt the oil and gas industry. For example, transmission and pump analysis provides insight into system performance and can provide advice on timely maintenance.

Asset performance management, website security with video analytics and performance analytics are new areas being explored today as companies look to digitally improve their operations and processes.

Effective data management requires a reliable, leading-edge computing platform

To implement these new technologies, companies are turning to Edge Computing, a hardware-like distributed computing model to collect, analyze and deliver data securely and reliably. After all, the data is as good as it is available. By 2022, 75 percent of data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud, according to research firm Gartner.

Of course, not all systems are the same. Many high-end computing systems aren't robust enough to handle a wide range of applications that can change over time. Installing such systems with a limited set of functions carries the risk of moving to systems that quickly become out of date and unsuitable for new tasks.

A bad foundation for a digitization project is hard to get rid of. Unsurprisingly, around 70% of digitization projects failed to meet their stated goals in 2019.

For many mid-level players in the oil and gas industry, the challenge of cutting-edge computing is acquiring the hardware needed to achieve digitization and the ability to easily manage the applications that run them.

Simple, independent and secure

In other words, it must be simple, independent and secure.

Simple in the sense that it is easy to maintain and future-proof in terms of handling software updates and patches. This is important when managing multiple sites remotely, such as transport and terminal operations.

Installation must be self-contained, in the sense that the peripheral architecture must be robust and robust enough to operate outdoors. Does it offer “zero touch” technology to track and manage remote assets when no onsite staff is available?

Finally, it also needs to be protected, especially in an era where cyber threats are prevalent in any business sector. When machines and equipment are connected in the field, it's even more important to protect the data they deliver. Real-time decisions depend on the availability of accurate data.

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