The oil and gas industry is more competitive than ever before. Profit margins are being squeezed, which is why monitoring expensive assets has become more important than ever. In order to compete, the big players in the industry are developing pipelines that are safer, more efficient and easy to maintain. And they’re doing so by using the data provided by various Internet of Things technologies. There are several real-world uses of IoT in the oil and gas industry — and here are three of the most exciting.

Pipeline Monitoring

The equipment used to ship oil&gas over land is  hugely expensive. Slight damage or the smallest of miscalculations have the potential to bring an entire operation to halt. When a pipeline is out of action, up to $300,000 a day can be lost. The best way for companies to protect both their operations and their expensive equipment is through wireless smart  monitoring.

IoT can be utilized to monitor several key points along expansive pipelines at the same time. The data delivered is hugely accurate, and because this technology is used to deliver it, the cost to the business is minimal. The data acquired by these systems can be used to make oil and gas suppliers more profitable — by identifying areas for improvement, pinpointing inefficiencies and reporting potential problems before they bring operations to halt.

Oil giant Shell is already using smart monitoring to great effect. The latest systems were used to monitor pipeline performance in Nigeria. Reductions in personnel, transport and and wastage costs saved the company more than $1 million. The company’s oil&gas piping in the country became easier to manage when the IoT solution was implemented — and therefore more profitable.

Equipment Maintenance

These smart, always-on systems continually monitor huge pipelines on an automated basis. Where        problems occur, these systems can alter volumes, rate of flow and many other operational factors to prevent catastrophic damage. Leaks cost oil and gas firms  millions every year, but the latest systems pinpoint them with incredible accuracy. And because issues are identified early, they often cost less to repair.

Along with the latest machine-to-machine technology, the Internet of Things has helped companies Petronas with issues such as vessel tracking and piping maintenance.

Optimizing Operations

This type of monitoring is always on — collating data as and when it is produced. This data can be extrapolated and contextualized in an effort to make operations more efficient. This helps with issues such as personnel planning and the maintenance chain. Sophisticated sensors along huge stretches of pipeline relay data through a wireless connection. This can help engineers to prevent ruptures and leakages of a oil&gas pipeline.

The oil and gas industry is blazing a trail for this technology. Their systems have become so efficient and effective, companies have been able to slash maintenance costs. One thing is clear: this method of managing massive piping networks is here to stay.

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