Predictive analytics: Know what’s coming down the pipe in the oil and gas industry

Social Media Manager, Internet of Things, IBM

The oil industry is facing a particularly challenging time as crude oil prices sit at their lowest point in 12 years, leaving businesses in a state of flux. But this economic downturn is not without its silver lining—even now technology is providing unprecedented opportunities as organizations use predictive analytics and digital methods such as 3D asset visualization to extract untapped value from legacy oil fields. Other companies are using algorithm-driven capabilities to inform their discovery efforts.

But no matter the driving strategy, data has the wheel. One IBM study suggests a turn toward data-driven operation models in the upstream portions of the oil and gas ecosystem, which hints at a few significant changes in the coming year. Among them:

  • Predictive analytics will have an increasing part to play in scenario planning. Real-time monitoring and sensor integration will yield actionable insights from data.
  • More field assets will be managed digitally, which will optimize a return on assets, increase asset availability, flexibility and reliability.
  • Information management will be increasingly integrated with operational management.

However, digital integration affects more than just the upstream portions of the market. For their own part, midstream innovators are applying predictive analytics and enhancing pipeline integrity, allowing them to identify efficiency gaps and areas at high risk for failure by gathering data for modeling from multiple areas.

Similarly, downstream, early adapter Gasmart, a major gas station operator based in Tijuana, found a way to cost-effectively manage, maintain and track its assets by using predictive maintenance and the IBM Maximo Asset Management enterprise asset management (EAM) solution to uncover new answers in existing analytics. Benefited by real-time visibility into the management of its assets, Gasmart saved nearly 30 percent on maintenance costs throughout the entire company; in the area of filters, for example, Gasmart uncovered a previously unseen opportunity that helped cut costs from $10,000 to $3,000 each month.

To learn more, dive into the Gasmart story with chief operating officer Jean Phillip Mercier, and discover how Gasmart used predictive analytics to enhance its control over maintenance activities while cutting prices at the pump. Then, if you’re curious about how modern technologies could help your business extract new value from existing analytics, begin your journey with the help of the IBM Centre of Excellence, located in Stavanger, Norway, which aims to provide tailored solutions and pioneering technologies to companies in the oil and gas industry.