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Oil and gas automation (a.k.a. oilfield automation) in the oil and gas industry refers to a growing number of processes, many involving digital technologies, that can help energy producers better compete in competitive global markets. While some industry areas are riper for automation than others, top candidates include oilfield automation, drilling, production operations and process control, logistics and supply chain, safety and retail operations.
Automation often utilizes sensors based on the Internet of Things (IoT); predictive and self-learning systems to increase productivity; and expert systems/use of artificial intelligence (AI) to fill in gaps brought on by a skilled labor shortage.
Oil and gas automation promises producers a multitude of business benefits, so it’s not surprising the interest is surging, particularly as digital technology makes it possible to reduce costs and develop a connected enterprise. Upstream producers working in remote areas benefit from automation by using drones and submersibles to help monitor inspection processes. Automating manual portions of the drilling process, like pipe handling, can reduce safety risks. Measurements of pressure and flows of oil and gas can be improved through automation and can benefit upstream, midstream and downstream producers. Meanwhile, modernizing internal IT processes with automation helps all energy operations to simplify production and boost yields.