The world isn’t running out of oil and natural gas. It is running out of easy oil and gas. And as energy companies drill deeper and hunt in more remote regions and difficult deposits, they’re banking on information technology to boost production.
Data, in this case, really is the new oil. Information technology is enabling our industry to get more barrels of each asset.
Oil companies are using distributed sensors, high-speed communications, and data-mining techniques to monitor and fine-tune remote drilling operations. The aim is to use real-time data to make better decisions and predict glitches.
The companies began to employ such technologies more than a decade ago, partly to help its aging workforce multitask remotely. But the technologies have gained speed along with the underlying trends: cheaper computing and communications technology, and a proliferation of sensors and analytical software. The industry term is the “digital oil field.