Oil, Gas & Natural Resources companies are the lifeline for all the other industries and individuals. They provide the fuel and raw materials necessary for ensuring that we continue to live the the life as we know it. Without these companies and their output, almost all of the other industries will come to a stand-still.
These companies operate under immense pressure due to complexity of their operations, volatility of the market, and the political landscapes both global and local. There are Regulators and Watchdogs tracking their operations. In addition, the machinery used in the exploration and production generally cost huge amount of money and thus it becomes vital that they operate for a longer duration to ensure that the cost could be recovered over that lifespan. The need to replace such machinery early puts undue financial burden and also impacts the production timelines which has to be avoided at all costs. Thus, any improvement to the lifespan of the machinery or its serviceability would be a huge win for such organizations.
The solutions that were previously considered either extremely difficult to achieve or were not commercially viable can now be implemented with ease using some of the latest and emerging technologies. Such technologies include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotics Process Automation (RPA) & Internet of Things (IOT). The ease and availability of these technologies has provided them with the opportunity to leverage them in management of their operations more effectively.
Similarly, Blockchain has also made the news with the rise of cryptocurrency market and has written quite a few success stories. The non-traditional approach of Blockchain towards solution’s made the industry realize that there is potential of utilizing the same in the Enterprises. This lead to formation of various consortium evaluating and implementing Blockchain. Currently, apart from crypto-currency market, blockchain is supporting many successful supplychain networks and is being considered as an alternative to paper currency by way of CBDC. Every large enterprise is currently experimenting with, evaluating and implementing (or complementing existing solutions with) Blockchain in one way or the other.
One of the most discussed combination of such emerging technologies is the use of IoT and Blockchain together.
A simple usecase would be the use of IoT to receive and record the sensor data; and utilizing the transparency, immutability and smart contracts of Blockchain to improve product life, regulate repairs and overhaul. The machinery and parts suppliers, repair and overhauling companies, regulators, insurance companies and the organization itself could form their own Blockchain Network.
IoT devices are getting more and more common in heavy machinery and production engineering. The data received from such devices can be used to trigger smart contracts in the network ensuring that all the actors in the network are at all times aware of the information and can act proactively or reactively. E.g, Carbon Emission readings from IoT sensors are recorded on the blockchain ledger. The blockchain ledger is shared and kept locally by all the participants on the network.
This would mean that:
- The Repair and Overhauling Organization can understand from the readings that they may have to conduct necessary repairs, and thus plan human and machine resources.
- The Parts supplier can use the same ledger/information, to ensure that they keep sufficient stock of the part that may be requested.
- The regulator can keep watch to ensure that repairs are conducted timely and the emissions can thus be controlled.
- The Organizations can use this information for requesting the repairs, and recording the same on Blockchain too. This gives regulator and Insurance company peace of mind, as necessary actions have been taken.
Incidents in Exploration and production costs human lives and financial burden, so every incident averted is a big win.
There is a huge potential in use of IoT and Blockchain together but there is need for Enterprises who would take the lead, anchor such solutions, and get others on the network to reap its benefits for years to come. Any organization taking lead would definitely have the edge over others from the sector.