While the oil and gas industry probably isn’t the first industry that comes to mind when you think of M2M applications, there is a large prevalence of M2M within various aspects of this market. Oil and gas is a very geographically diverse industry, creating the necessity for global connectivity of devices and data gathering. M2M applications help ease the collection and sharing of such data for improved operating efficiencies. For simplicity’s sake, we will break down these areas of M2M implementation into the following three use cases.
M2M applications are helping oil and gas companies explore new territories and discover the value in the raw materials that the land has to offer. All equipment used in the field during the exploration phase, whether it is stationary or mobile, is gathering data and transmitting that information to a centralized source in order to help make smarter decisions and automate tasks. In addition, there are many new and innovative M2M applications based on the seismic sensors that are used when exploring an oil field. These applications provide organizations with a more accurate picture of where natural oil and gas deposits are located within the Earth, improving excavation efficiency. M2M applications and connected sensors can also be used for monitoring tanks storing water and chemicals used in fracking, helping monitor for and ensure that appropriate environmental standards for water quality and safety are met. Finally fleet and asset tracking with M2M improves safety and operational efficiency of the many mobile assets deployed during exploration. Several countries have enacted regulatory requirements for lone worker safety and operators are utilizing personal tracking and emergency alert devices to ensure compliance.
Transport and Custody
Transport is the process of moving of the oil and gas from its natural place in the earth thru containers and pipelines to the destination refinery. M2M applications are used to monitor pressure levels within pipelines to ensure that the level of compression used to push the oil and gas through the pipeline is adequate. Even a few hours of downtime due to compressor failure is extremely costly. Implementing M2M monitoring on the compression process allows the operator to predict failures and problems, allowing companies to be preventative in their actions rather than reactive to a crisis.
In addition, many M2M applications are used for the custody and billing process associated with oil and gas. All smart meters have some sort of M2M device that monitors flow and sends data to the gas company in order to make sure the consumer is being charged the right amount.
Storage and Delivery
Of the three main areas utilizing M2M in the oil and gas industry, it is most prevalent in the storage and delivery sector. With its strong fleet tracking pedigree, M2M extends itself to being very important in the transportation of resources in the oil and gas industry. Many tanks, trucks and other vehicles used in the transportation of oil and gas resources are monitored and tracked through the use of M2M applications. Businesses can monitor the location of their resources, as well as plan accordingly in case of emergency or equipment failure. Companies utilize M2M applications to monitor the security of their product along transportation routes, as well as to monitor quantities to ensure revenue is not lost.
M2M applications, both those that run on satellite and cellular networks, play a large role in all aspects of the oil and gas industry. Without some of these applications, it would be impossible for companies and organizations to find the best places for exploration and excavation, predict and prevent potential crises, and track and transport their resource around the globe. This industry plays a large role in the global economy and we at KORE are proud to do our part to keep it running.
By Ken Connor, Business Development
Ken Connor joined KORE in 2012 and brings over 20 years of experience in electronics technology sales and business development, most recently having served as VP of Sales and Marketing at QUAKE Global a leading manufacturer of satellite modems. Ken is focused on expanding KORE’s penetration into Oil and Gas and Heavy Equipment verticals with both satellite and terrestrial services.