The State of IoT in the Oil and Gas Industry
Expanding IoT Adoption
The need for real-time decision making has driven edge-, rather than cloud-based, IoT solutions. “At the oil rig, a [blowout preventer] might be about to happen, and the operator needs to shear a pipe,” Malladi said. “If they’re sending data to a cloud environment and sending it back–damage will already have been done.”
Despite the financial benefits of deploying IoT in oil and gas to optimize production and equipment life spans, Malladi says adoption of edge-based technologies is still nascent. “Adoption and scaling up is slower for these companies—not because the technology doesn’t work for them, but because they’re in a highly secure and regulated environment, and then there’s always a dichotomy between the operator in the plant and them giving access to put a solution there and the decision-maker at the top wanting to optimize processes,” he said.
The key to moving forward, Malladi said, is to bring both parties to the table. “It’s not enough to have budget,” he said. “You need to involve the operator who’s actually seeing the pain point. Once everyone’s on the same page, it’s a lot easier to get moving,” he said.