Oil Tech

The Scandinavian countries have taken the lead with respect to making the world oil-free. In 2005, the Swedish government announced a plan to completely end their country's dependence on oil by 2020. Similarly, Denmark – a country where 80% of the energy requirements are met through oil – has spelt out its plans to make the country oil-free by 2050. Elsewhere, the targets are pretty modest with most parts of the world expected to go oil free only by 2100.

The world's dependence on oil might not come down a great deal in our lifetimes, but it is important to look at bettering in while it lasts. While a naïve reader may feel that technology deployed in drilling and mining oil have not evolved a great deal over the past several decades, there certainly have been great strides taken over the past few decades. More so, today's innovations also owe a great deal to the technologies primarily built for the urban consumer landscape. Here are a few instances where modern urban technology has influenced the oil and gas industry.

IP Networking

Gas exploration requires small teams dispatched to remote locations of the world from where it is difficult to communicate and collaborate. IP networking technologies like SIP trunking and Unified communications have, for long, been used by the corporate workforce to reduce communication costs through routing of voice calls over the internet. Now, this technology is regularly used by oil exploration teams that use it to collaborate with their colleagues back in the headquarters during the exploration process. This is reported to have reduced operational risks while improving their productivity as well.

Digital Oil Field

If you are from the technology industry, you may have heard of the cloud technology where all the necessary data is stored and retrieved from a remote computer in real time. Consumer services like Gmail and Dropbox are examples of cloud based services. Cloud has also inspired a new age oil exploration process called the digital oil field. With this technology, the exploration team can make use of a web-based visualization tool to monitor and control the data on wellhead conditions, mechanical systems and pipelines. With real time controls, the digital oil fields demonstrate the power of an urban technology like cloud on oil and gas exploration.

Big Data For Oil

Big data is the use of technology to track patterns and trends from massive amount of data to make useful decisions. This is a commonly used technology in industries like retail and ecommerce. Of late, oil exploration too has come under the radar of big data. For instance, IBM now offers a big data platform for oil companies to help them study oil drilled from several wells to come up with ways to optimize extraction, improve reservoir performance and reduce production losses.

Technologies deployed in the urban landscape and in the oil exploration fields have been more or less independent of each other for a long time. However, of late, there have been quite a few consumer technologies that are common in the urban landscape to have made their way into the oil exploration industry. While these technologies cannot help us reduce our dependence on oil, the fact remains that they make exploration more efficient and this, if in a small way, helps us make non-renewable energy exploration a little greener than before.

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