Can you remember life without your smart phone? Do you remember the days when you had to get behind a desk, log in and dial up to access the wealth of information on the internet?
During those days it seemed like a far cry from the need to conduct research using books, journals and encyclopaedias.
However, access today to the plethora of information and smart technologies no longer requires a hard wire, merely a small hand-held phone.
I am still amazed that we can now take control of our lighting or heating from remote rural locations to ensure our house is warm and lit for our return home. In fact, in some cases, these technologies are smart enough to turn on and off when it recognises the house is empty or occupied.
Unfortunately, even in the age of oilfield Big Data, there is still a predominant requirement to include a hard wire to access the downhole data being recorded, which brings complexity and cost into an already tight mature basin.
A number of industry technologies are currently trying to break the chains of these hard connections and deliver innovations to access data much more easily. Indeed, within Oil & Gas UK’s Business Outlook for 2018, Deirdre Michie takes time to highlight the vital role of technology innovation for increasing recovery, which is so critical to the region.
Take Tendeka’s PulseEight technology as an example. This system permits access to a range of downhole data using a unique wireless communication methodology. It has been proven to remove complexity while providing the required data in a range of challenging environments.
In a similar way to the home heating technology spoken of earlier, the tools can also recognise key downhole conditions and react to them instantly if required, altering flow for improving well productivity.
This “smart” aspect means that a range of wellbore events can be intelligently managed without the need for engineering analysis in the office, no doubt a delight for anyone regularly called to look at data at 2am in the morning.
Testing is currently ongoing with a North Sea operator and supported by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) which seeks to demonstrate the PulseEight system can help maintain production uninterrupted beyond current capabilities.
It is estimated that this application alone can save the industry more than £5million per well in lost production, and is exactly the sort of innovative technology adoption needed to increase the basin’s recovery and help prolong the life of the industry locally and internationally.
It’s encouraging to see that, as with the adoption of the smart phone, the oil and gas industry is embracing these wireless communication innovations to further improve the data analytics and well responses.
Furthermore, the industry continues to demonstrate its adaptability, resilience and need for ongoing innovation and collaboration as it regains strength once again. It would also be nice to think that we could look back on these days in the same positive way we look back at the start of the smart phone era.