Tech Updates

Digitalization and Automation of Oil and Gas Industry with Private 5G

Oil and natural gas are major industries in the energy market and play an influential role in the global economy as the world’s primary fuel source. The world is taking a necessary shift towards renewable sources of energy, but the demand for Oil & Gas isn’t subdued, in India, only the oil demand is projected to rise by 8.2% to (5.15 million barrels per day) as the economy rebounds. The processes involved in producing and distributing oil and gas are highly complex, capital-intensive, and require state-of-the-art technology.

Companies in the oil and gas field are usually divided into these three sectors:

  • Upstream: Oil Exploration & Production Onshore or Offshore.
  • Midstream: Storage & Transportation of Oil & Gas using pipeline, trucks, ships, etc.
  • Downstream: Refining of crude oil (or purifying raw natural gas), post-production, selling, and distribution.
3 Segments Of Oil & Gas Industry

Industries strive to disrupt markets with innovations, digitalization has proven to be a key driver in enhancing a company’s bottom line. The oil & gas industry for years has faced challenges such as falling prices, geopolitical uncertainties, and greater demands for climate action. The main vector of development in the Oil & Gas industry is now directed toward the accelerated “digitization” of Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream segments by reduction of the direct participation of people in tasks, as well as the reduction of “human factors” and the likelihood of errors in the adoption of management processes. PwC’s “2020 Digital Operations study for energy: Oil and gas” report found that the main barriers to the implementation of changes provided by digitalization are due to limited knowledge sharing (77%), insufficient digital training (74%), and lack of digital talent (72%).

Digitization of the Oil & Gas industry for the Upstream, Midstream, or Downstream segments needs the adoption of emerging technologies like AI/ML, Big Data, AR/VR, Drone, Robotics, Autonomous Guided Vehicle, Massive IoT Connectivity, Video Analytics, etc. that needs real-time, high bandwidth, low latency, ultra-reliable connectivity solution in indoor, outdoor
with mobility over a large area.
Existing connectivity solutions like WIFI or Ethernet are not suitable for emerging, real-time, mission-critical, low latency applications like Augmented and Virtual Reality, Robotics, Autonomous Guided Vehicles, AI/ML, Drone, etc. needed in Industry 4.0. WIFI or Ethernet is not suitable for outdoor, seamless mobility, security, ultra-low latency (2ms to 20 ms), and reliability needed for mission-critical applications or those applications needing to be “always on”.

Today, the move toward a more digitalized and connected model can alleviate some of the challenges the industry faces. Offering more digitalized solutions within these sectors such as predictive maintenance, real-time data-based control system, video analytics, and automation system can significantly reduce accidents and unplanned downtime, thereby improving a company’s bottom line. Failure to proper implementation of such tools could lead to more time spent on manual process inspection and delayed operations.

Digitization can fix the major issues faced by the 3 segments of the Oil & Gas Industry, therefore accelerating the process. Let’s have a look into the areas which can be benefitted in brief:

As per Mondor Intelligence, the top 8 Tech priorities for the Oil & Gas sector are Automated Production, Predictive Maintenance, Automated Exploration, Operations Optimization, Automated Inspection, Supply chain Optimization, Environmental Risk Detection, and Asset Management.

Undoubtedly, the traditional connectivity needs to change and private 5G connectivity along with Edge Compute within the site will propel the digitization of the Oil & Gas Industry using emerging technologies like IoT, AI/ML, Robotics, AGVs, and Drones.

Private 5G with Edge Compute provides a clear advantage over traditional 4G/WIFI with Cloud for enhanced, real-time experiences with emerging technologies.

  1. Higher Speed
  2. Low Latency
  3. Enhanced Connectivity

Private 5G with Edge will enable:

  • Cost-effective Seismic Data Collection and Real-time processing.
  • Continuous Monitoring & Analysis leading to Real-time Optimization/Risk Detection.
  • Real-time communication with Workers, IoT devices for Safety.
  • Automated exploration and production using Robotics, and Drone.
  • Remote Operations using AR/VR.
  • Automated inspection and preventive maintenance.

Niral Networks has a one-stop solution for the challenges faced by the Oil & Gas Industry. We have a NiralOS 5G Software which is installed in the Enterprise Server or Appliance based on the use case. It interfaces to the 5G radio in the South Bound using standard 3GPP Specification and connects to the MEC applications in the Northbound using IP Protocol. NiralOS Controller provides a kubernetes-based cloud-agnostic Edge infrastructure to provision and manages third-party Edge Applications within the Enterprise.

Niral Networks has a comprehensive private 5G & Edge Infrastructure platform that can accelerate the digitization of Oil & Gas Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream by providing the low latency, high bandwidth, and reliable connectivity needed by emerging technologies like AI/ML, AR/VR, Drone, Robotics, IoT, etc. A dedicated Private 5G Network is set up on each site.

Niral Networks Product Information:

A private and secured 5G network along with AR/VR, Drone, Robotics, and AI/ML Edge Applications can be set up across the entire Oil & Gas site with a combination of 5G small and macro radio cells.

5G networks along with Edge Applications would provide automation and remote operations due to improved coverage, lower latency, seamless mobility, and higher reliability at every stage of its business operations, resulting in the consistent and efficient operation of Automation equipment while providing safer working conditions. Data analysis of the equipment and sensor
would prevent casualties and do preventive maintenance to increase productivity.

Seismic exploration technologies to detect oil and gas reserves have been the method of choice for most oil companies. Increasing seismic exploration while decreasing well drilling has become a new measure widely used in the industry. In the oil and gas industry, 5G technologies are changing the operation modes of seismic data collection. A dedicated private 5G network with high bandwidth, wide connectivity, and low latency and a local Edge cloud can help achieve high-speed backhaul of seismic data, reducing the manual cabling workload and significantly improving the efficiency of seismic data collection, its analysis using AI/ML/Big Data and reduce the manual labor-intensive work.

Key benefits of Niral Network’s Private 5G:

CommercialSocietalTechnology
Portable that can be quickly deployed or removed.Made in India and a flag-bearer for ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT in the ICT space.Private 5G provides reliability and low latency for real-time
applications.
Affordable – built using commodity hardware and open standards and softwareUseful for rural connectivity, disaster management, public safety, and defense.Edge Compute feature in the Edge Gateway enables ultra latency or high bandwidth
applications to run reliably.
Useful for the digital transformation of different market segments and
Industry 4.0.
Useful for affordable connectivity in Precision Agriculture, Smart City, Utility SectorNiral 5G acts as a bridge for the connectivity of subscribers in disaster sites with multiple mobile operators.
Openness enables the solution to be deployed in any country.Open, Non-proprietary
solution makes it easier for third parties to integrate applications.
Does not require a dedicated
frequency spectrum

Niral private 5G & Edge platform can be used as a stepping stone for any oil and gas company technology infrastructure, including edge/cloud computing, big data analytics, robot, and drone inspection, and augmented and virtual reality. Additionally, it can also be used for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Artificial Intelligence use cases. Evidently, 5G has an amazing untapped potential that could completely revolutionize the oil and gas sector, thereby enabling industry players to optimize their performance and get in position until the demand gets back its natural stature. 5G doesn’t define the industrial process, instead, it acts as an enabler of new
use cases and operating models. To begin with, 5G networks offer immense opportunity to replicate the confusing and wired system of various controllers, switches, sensors, and actuators. With a wider 5G adoption, there will be several opportunities to integrate it as an integral part of the evolution of industrial automation as production lines, machines, and processes are improved and redesigned.

Niral 5G & Edge Deployment in Oil & Gas Industry:

An overlook of how 5G can benefit the Oil & Gas Industry:

Use CaseBenefits
Automated Exploration – Usage of AI/ML, Robotics, and Edge computing for automation of Data Collection and faster processing of
the data.
Increased productivity
& reduced well drilling
Autonomous Drilling, Ventilation & Robotics – AR/VR controlled remote operation reduces exposure of humans to highly sensitive areas.Increase in productivity, OPEX savings.
Drone & Video inspection – After-blast inspection, Aerial Survey of the Oil & Gas sites for safeguarding human safety during risky and hazardous operations.Prevents casualties, and reduces inactive periods and inactivity costs.
Device Monitoring – Real-time monitoring of all assets, Automated inspection, and Leakage Detection.Enable preventive maintenance, increase productivity and reduce maintenance costs.

The Oil & Gas industry continues to face multiple complex challenges, from uncertainty across the geopolitical landscape to the disruption of the digital economy, resulting in increased pressure as productivity in operation needs to improve. To capitalize on the digital revolution, Oil & Gas companies need to drive radical change. Private 5G + Edge can be the catalyst for this transformation.