In the past few years, we’ve seen more and more companies in the natural gas industry adopting different IT technologies in a bid to boost safety and production efficiency. And, most of these technologies are smarter and more efficient.
Besides, with the adoption of various IT technologies, companies in this industry have managed to monitor their available supplies and inventories, in addition to reducing operational costs, and improving safety at the worksite. In this post, we shall discuss the top IT technologies used in the natural gas industry, and see how they have benefited the industry.
Let’s delve in!
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence is one of the most notable technologies used in the natural gas industry. Typically, AI comprises machines that learn how to solve problems and perform a certain task. In the natural gas industry, artificial intelligence helps to monitor machines, survey production facilities, as well as forecast and improve safety.
It’s no surprise to realize that natural gas companies have started to rely on AI technology for their daily operational activities. With AI technology, there has been a notable improvement in communication, as well as task allocation. Besides, most companies have now started to use artificial intelligence to operate devices and machinery. Statistics show that more companies in the industry will start being reliant on Artificial Intelligence.
Internet of Things & Electronic Monitoring
Also known as IoT, the Internet of Things has become a popular technology in the natural gas industry. Typically, IoT is an extension of internet connectivity with several hardware devices. With IoT, companies in the natural gas industry can use sensors to interact and communicate through the internet. Besides, the Internet of Things has made it possible for companies to access real-time data on production, transportation, gas pipes, storage, and machinery. Besides, companies now easily monitor the safety of their employees—thanks to IoT.
By leveraging the power of IoT and Electronic Monitoring, natural gas companies can easily monitor and maintain offshore platforms via predictive maintenance—meaning companies can easily detect any machinery breakdown before it happens. As a result, companies can start to project improved productivity, with reduced downtime, as well as a notable improvement on the bottom line. Besides, this technology has done away with the need for physical inspections, which are unsafe in offshore environments.
This is another emerging technology, which has proved to be very beneficial in the natural gas industry. Drone technology has significantly improved inspection and monitoring of dangerous or inaccessible natural gas facilities.
By using drones, engineers can conduct visual inspections of these facilities remotely, and get high-quality images in real-time. Besides, drone technology has made it possible for engineers to monitor multiple facilities within a short time. This has cut down the time that engineers used to spend doing in-person inspections.
Besides, drones can identify any genuine or potential issues and direct technicians to the precise location to deal with the problem. This has improved efficiency since it has become easier for technicians to focus on facilities that require immediate attention. Besides, drones have made it possible for engineers to inspect flares remotely. Flares are dangerous and difficult to reach. Besides, any kind of physical inspection requires production to shut down before it can start. However, with drone technology, inspections can be done at any time, without the need of shutting down production. Besides, drones have helped companies in the natural gas industry to save money, conduct inspections safely.
Big data analytics
Big data analytics is a familiar concept in the natural gas industry. Over the years, this industry has seen an increased volume, velocity, and data. This industry produces a massive quantity of data, which can be production data, drilling data, 3D seismic surveys, or when monitoring production facilities (flow rates, temperatures, and pressures, among other things).
However, the ability to produce, collect and store large volumes of data has brought a big challenge in analyzing and managing such large volumes of information. Furthermore, data analysis has been a big area of focus in the natural gas industry, with a view to possible improvements in production and exploration safety and efficiency.
As a result, most businesses in this industry rely on big data analytics to make better decisions. Any company that wants to stay in this industry must leverage the power of big data analytics.
We can all agree that the natural gas industry is steadily adopting different IT technologies, as well as cloud-based gas software by Trellis Energy. And the benefits of this move is increased efficiency, improved performance, enhanced safety, and cost savings. Besides, if companies in this industry are willing to invest in these technologies, they will reap maximum benefits in the coming few years. However, as powerful and beneficial as these technologies are, the industry shouldn’t lose human input. Technology does fail, and if companies become more reliant on it, the impact of a failure would be massive.