Have you ever driven past a gas field or oil refinery at night, and seen the blazing orange fires raging atop the gas flare stacks? What a waste, eh? How much money must be going up in smoke? How much CO2 is the oil and gas sector needlessly spewing into the atmosphere? It makes you want to pipe that gas to your own house and cut your monthly heating bills, if nothing else. Surely there must be some way to collect that gas, saving precious resources and the environment at the same time.
Solving the Problem
Perhaps this decades-old problem can be solved—with the help of the IoT (Internet of Things). In a recent article, From Measurement to Management: How IoT and Cloud-Based Data is Changing the Oil and Gas Industry, Adam Chapman, Global Director of Marketing at Fluenta, lists in detail the waste and damaging effects of gas flaring, and then shows how the IoT can transform the status quo through remote assest management.
“IoT applications can not only support measurement, but enable businesses to manage more effectively in hostile and hazardous locations,” he said. “For the oil and gas industry, IoT connectivity will enable organisations to control risk more effectively, and support the necessary transition from measurement to management of greenhouse gasses as the industry addresses the problem of emissions.”
There is a big opportunity here. Chapman says that the total amount of gas flared every year is roughly equal to 30% of the gas consumed in the European Union—over 150 billion cubic meters. In Africa, where much of the flaring takes place, it adds up to about 1/2 of the total energy use for the continent. Capitalizing on this missed opportunity can be done through proper asset management. “When applied effectively, remote asset management through connected infrastructure will revolutionise oil and gas operations,” says Chapman.
Gathering real-time data using the IoT can cut manpower costs of offshore platforms, provide input for continuous emission monitoring systems, and help centralize Big Data repositories for company-wide comparitive analysis, Chapman explains. “It is cloud technology and the ubiquity of internet connectivity that fundamentally brings significant change to remote asset management.”
Offshore platforms and other remote industrial assets call for specialized cloud technology. Skkynet provides not only the real-time data required by an industrial asset management system, but it also ensures secure connectivity and robust performance that is fully compatible with cellular and satellite technology commonly used in these kinds of applications.
Chapman says, “The combination of accurate, real-time information on remote assets and cloud technology can have a significant positive impact on moving an oil and gas operation from a monitoring approach to a management approach.”