Migrate to digital oilfield, Huawei urges petro-chems

Chinese solutions giant paints picture of M2M future for energy sector at global summit

Tags: Cloud computingHuawei Technologies Company
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Migrate to digital oilfield, Huawei urges petro-chems Huawei's portfolio in the area stretches from back-office to the oil field itself
By  Stephen McBride Published  August 19, 2015

Huawei's Enterprise unit has been trying to persuade the oil and gas sector that its very survival will hinge upon adoption of the digital oilfield.

ITP.net joined the Chinese company at its Global Energy Industry Summit 2015, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where it has been showcasing its solutions in the field of energy sector ICT.

Huawei's portfolio in the area stretches from back-office to the oil field itself and encompasses technology solutions such as unified communications, big data, LTE networks, enterprise mobility, cloud, machine-to-machine and high-performance computing.

"It is time now for enterprise mobility," declared Mohammed Al Dhamen, chairman, IEEE Saudi Arabia Section, Huawei, and former head of ICT projects for Saudi Aramco.

"Right now if you want to get a reading from one of your wells, you have to send someone to do it manually, and they have to travel in pairs; they cannot travel alone for security reasons... Enterprise mobility is the need of the hour."

Al Dhamen cited a survey of mobility specialists in which 89% of respondents stated the belief that enterprise mobility solutions could "revolutionise" the oil and gas sector.

Jerry Ji, president, Energy Industry, Huawei Enterprise, catalogued a number of solutions deployed in regions as diverse as the GCC, Norway and China, from unified communications to BYOD. Some employed the use of sensors in pipelines and other infrastructure that relayed information in real time to decision-makers.

"The Europeans call it Industry 4.0; the Americans call it the Fourth Industrial Revolution; in China, we call it Made in China 2025," Ji said.

Instead of other more common terms, like SCADA, M2M and IoT, Ji characterised the merging of software and machinery as IT-OT [information technology-operational technology] convergence and said that he expected the Internet of Things to be managing 100bn connections by 2025.

Dr Hasem Nasr, senior advisor, Digital Oilfield, Kuwait Oil Company, is considered, across the sector, a leading specialist in the digital oilfield. Nasr warned of an average cost of almost $42 per barrel in production costs, in an industry where oil prices are hovering close to that level.

"We are almost at the point where the entire industry is losing money," he said. "How many wells in the world today are there [for which] we know daily production [figures]? Less than 10%. You should be shocked by [that] number."

In Nasr's parting comments he told delegates: "Go digital or perish."                     

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