Tech Overlook

Transforming the oil and gas downstream sector with data


The oil and gas industry is familiar with risk. It is an industry where the market, crude prices, budget overruns and profitability are at the mercy of complex geopolitical forces. The demand for sustainable production, carbon emission reduction and renewable energy is redefining how companies go to market.

The asset-intensive nature of the industry has also created challenges around safety, asset performance, asset lifecycle and maintenance, forcing companies to defer investments to the future while being aware of some of the risks associated with those decisions. However, this trade-off can come at a high price. Older assets cannot keep up with years of wear and tear. They are more prone to malfunction and possible accidents. And, the distributed and hazardous nature of industry facilities and water systems create unique vulnerabilities, making them targets for cyber and terrorist attacks. The impact to energy consumers, operations and the environment can be significant.

Investments in the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the key to reinvigorating outdated assets and fueling new opportunities in the oil and gas downstream sector—including refineries and petrochemical operations—as companies face more and more demand on their resources.

Data—and the insights we can derive from data—is what will power the industry to new levels of predictability and transformation. Data is what will allow the industry to accelerate innovation and increase operational efficiencies. And, data is what will provide new, value-added services from existing capacity, unlocking new value for customers.

This is why the new digital platform we have developed with Nalco Champion, an ECOLAB company, and Accenture is so exciting.

Nalco Champion launches Refined Knowledge powered by ECOLAB3D

Nalco Champion’s Refined Knowledge powered by ECOLAB3D leverages Microsoft’s secure Azure cloud platform to give downstream oil and gas customers real-time monitoring and critical insights they need to transform everything from assets to facilities to production plants to supply chains, and beyond.

This real-time monitoring means maintenance can be predictive, not reactive. For very large, complex downstream energy operations, this kind of insight at this kind of scale is game-changing. It means increased sustainability and profitability. It means companies can provide tremendous cost savings across their organization around things like water and energy.

In fact, Nalco Champion is predicting that the new platform will be able to deliver cost reductions of around 10 percent for many customers. That’s a potential $3 million in savings for a single installation. Truly remarkable.

Strong partnerships for a strong future

We have enjoyed a long history of collaboration with ECOLAB and its subsidiary companies, as well as Accenture, to enable energy and water solutions. Our work with these partners has been impactful.

With ECOLAB and Nalco Water, we are transforming how industries—including the oil and gas downstream sector and manufacturing facilities—process and save water in their operations with tools like the Water Risk Monetizer and by using Microsoft’s Azure cloud and machine learning capabilities to improve production processes through data.

For many, many years, we have been collaborating with Accenture to help energy companies transform, grow and adapt in an increasingly digital world. One of our more impactful projects together was to support Rio Tinto, one of the world’s pioneers in mining automation, with a major digital transformation. Rio Tinto formed a strategic partnership with Accenture to move its huge SAP estate to Microsoft Azure. Now, the company is able to empower its 55,000 employees with highly secure, mobile access to business information through Microsoft 365 Enterprise. With these cloud advances, Rio Tinto is moving faster, saving money, improving decisions, and better engaging employees.

Data-driven intelligence is key to accelerating industry transformation. Together with our partners, including Nalco Champion and Accenture, we are focused on making it easier for companies to get the most from their data with the right foundation of digital solutions as we continue to ensure that our world is powered for a more sustainable future.

For more information about the Refined Knowledge platform, go here.

Twitter: @Caglayan_Arkan

LinkedIn: Çağlayan Arkan

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