Edge Computing: A New Era of Operation Efficiency

Edge Computing:  A New Era of Operation Efficiency

Due to the nature of uncertainty in the oil and gas industry, it is necessary for operators to find solutions to increase production and improve operational efficiency at low costs. This is besides the new urgent need for decarbonizing the industry in order to overcome climate change. At the time of digital transformation, one of the latest new technologies that can play a key role in this regard is edge computing.

The Core Definition

According to Accenture, Edge Computing is an emerging computing paradigm that refers to a range of networks and devices at or near the user. Accenture explained that Edge is about processing data closer to where it is being generated enabling processing at greater speeds and volumes especially in remote areas, leading to greater action-led results in real-time. This enables companies to improve the way they operate and control assets.

Edge Computing has three possible components. The first component is edge devices which can collect and process data like the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors or local edge servers to end-users. The second component is the network edge which does not necessarily exist, but when it is involved, it has to be operated at high speeds with low latency. 5G is the best network working with edge computing. The third one is the on-premises infrastructure in order to manage local systems and connect to the network.

Edge Computing Empowers Oil & Gas

The oil and gas industry generates huge amounts of data, but the challenge is how to attain useful insights from this data that could increase operational efficiency. Also, this data needs to be processed through a low-latency system in order to take decisions in real time. According to STL Partners, just one oil rig can produce over a terabyte of data per day which is the equivalent of 130,000 digital photos. However, less than 1% of this data is analyzed to get useful insights.

Additionally, it may not be accessed in real time because it is sent to remote data centers. Thus, Edge Computing is vital for the oil and gas industry in solving this issue. Edge computing enabled operators to collect data from a wide variety of oil and gas
environments of exploration and production like deep wellbores, oil rigs in remote areas, and the intense temperatures of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Technically, edge computing can save bandwidth, which is expensive when uploading and downloading data to and from the cloud. As mentioned above, it reduces latency as the data is analyzed locally instead of sent or received from the cloud. It also allows data processing when the internet or the cloud connection is damaged. At the operational level, STL Partners said that “edge improves the use of condition monitoring and predictive maintenance which can reduce a huge amount of costs, and time in addition to supporting workers’ safety.”

As per decarbonization, Edge Computing plays an important role in this field. It can support “data collection, consolidation, and analysis to improve operationally and hydrogen production efficiencies,” the Schinder Electric blog stated. The Netrality noted that “5G enhances edge computing in the oil and gas industry. It provides real-time tracking of worksite safety conditions in mines, activity monitoring to increase human productivity within oil rigs, tracks the condition of equipment to improve maintenance, uses artificial intelligence to improve operational efficiency, and protects worker health and safety.”


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