Digital oilfield technology demonstrated

Digital oilfields are becoming more and more important to ensure the utmost efficiency in the production phase as companies look to cut costs as oil prices continue to drop worldwide.


Rockwell Automation digital oil field capabilities were shown at Automation Fair 2014 in Anaheim, as with this remote monitoring software applied to a Shell Ontario pump-dispensing application. Courtesy: CFE Media, Control Engineering, Mark T. HoskeAs oil prices plummet to lows not seen in more than five years, efficiency and low cost have become hot topics in the U.S. oil and gas industry. To further drive home these important concepts, the 2014 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), held in mid-November 2014­­, placed emphasis on integrated information, control, power, and safety solutions across the oil and gas value chain. Rockwell Automation, one of the featured participants at the conference, promoted solutions to optimize production while enhancing business performance. The presentations are timely because as the price of oil falls, producers are looking to reduce costs and squeeze as much revenue as possible from resource plays. Digital oilfields are becoming more and more important to ensure the utmost efficiency in the production phase.

Thony Brito, regional sales manager at vMonitor, (now owned by Rockwell) said, "We're enabling the digital oilfield by providing end-to-end digital oilfield solutions to the oil and gas industry. We bridge the gap between oilfield service and automation companies by designing affordable, fully integrated systems that capture and send data from the remote asset site to the office, offering compatibility and seamless integration with third-party systems and customers' existing data infrastructures."

vMonitor demonstrated wellhead, pipeline, and remote tank-level monitoring in addition to artificial lift monitoring and analysis systems such as gas-lift well-monitoring. These reengineering capabilities for the automation industry are developed by advanced wireless communication solutions for the oil and gas industry and provide savings over conventional technology.

Services related to digital oilfields are going to be very important during 2015 as the price of oil is predicted to remain relatively low, which affects the U.S. shale and unconventional hydrocarbons resources because of the high costs of extraction. With oil prices below $60 per barrel, producer profitability is already below the break-even price point in many of the shale plays in the U.S. With increased efficiency provided by enhanced monitoring and wireless services at oilfields, companies could increase production and weather the storm until oil prices rebound.

- Eric R. Eissler, associate editor, Oil & Gas Engineering, CFE Media.

For more news on the oil and gas industry within Control Engineering and Plant Engineering see and

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