Like oil, data is an extremely valuable resource that creates immense opportunities for growth and increased profitability. For oil and gas companies, the challenge is to efficiently collect, analyze, and visualize masses of data from highly diverse and distributed sources to create operational insight and business value—all while improving return on investment.
The digital oilfield offers a promising solution that can help operators integrate, interpret, and act on production-related information in real time to optimize their field operations. But to realize that potential, companies need to invest in the right combination of digital technologies and equipment to support every phase of the asset life cycle—exploration, development, and production.
What Are Digital Oilfields?
Digital oilfields integrate technology, information, people, and processes to maximize asset performance and value across the oil and gas production life cycle. The purpose of digital or smart oilfield solutions is straightforward: to optimize production, improve operational efficiency, and increase productivity through integrated workflows.
Hundreds of technologies, systems, and measurements are used in any oilfield. The difference with smart digital oilfields is that all the data and processes related to asset operations are connected. That includes fast-loop processes for equipment monitoring and leak detection, medium-loop processes for lift optimization, and slow-loop processes for reservoir optimization.
At the center of digital oilfield solutions is a vast amount of data, which must be collected, analyzed, and visualized from sources such as 3-D seismic surveys, well logs, and production and safety systems. That requires devices with built-in, interconnected intelligence, as well as a supporting network and cloud infrastructure that provides maximum control, flexibility, and visibility.
Benefits of Intelligent Oilfield Solutions
Through predictive analytics, deep learning models, and other data analytics methods, digital oilfields enable oil and gas companies to:
- Optimize production. Using scalable edge compute at their wells and production facilities, companies gain enhanced asset insights that enable optimal operations, production, and recovery.
- Operate more efficiently. Real-time controls, distributed analytics, automated workflows, and more can help companies lower their field operations costs, improve asset performance and reliability, and eliminate unplanned maintenance.
- Collaborate across teams. By integrating data across teams and disciplines, from automation engineers to data scientists, digital oilfields enable better collaboration and communication that lead to faster, more informed decision-making.
- Enhance health and safety. Through remote operations, fewer site visits, and data-based safety processes, digital oilfields can help companies produce in the safest possible way.
- Improve environmental compliance. More-efficient field operations, deeper sensor intelligence, and AI-based predictions can help oil and gas companies meet or exceed environmental requirements.
The purpose of digital or smart oilfield solutions is straightforward: to optimize production, improve operational efficiency, and increase productivity through integrated workflows.
The Future of Digital Oilfields
Intel is driving the future of digital oilfields with our technologies, services, and ecosystem leadership. We offer solutions designed to make implementations simpler, more effective, and more economical across the entire production life cycle.
- Exploration: With Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory, operators can take advantage of high-performance parallel processing to find new reserves with less delay.
- Development: Intel® Scalable System Framework (Intel® SSF) for high performance computing combines highly scalable processing, powerful workstations, and modernized software code to help companies run more-precise reservoir simulations, shorten compute times, and ensure maximum capital efficiency.
- Production: From remote asset monitoring to recovery optimizations, Intel® architecture-based IoT solutions and services are designed to accelerate production. Intel® IoT Gateway Technology and other digital oilfield solutions provide real-time controls and analytics at the edge, enabling outstanding oil recovery and investment returns.
Standardize Across Oilfields
By standardizing around a reference architecture, oil and gas companies can transition from customized, proprietary components to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions. Integrating on the new generation of standardized, interoperable Intel® architecture-based industrial PCs enables systems integration and data analytics to improve operational efficiency.