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Smarter chemical and petroleum

Fuel new innovation for oil and gas with analytics and cloud

The challenges facing the chemical and petroleum industry are legion. Price and supply volatility, environmental concerns, global regulatory obligations and new technologies for extraction and resource discovery all combine to make the sector difficult to navigate. But demand remains strong. The Energy Information Administration projects total world consumption of energy to grow by 56 percent by 2040.1

Bits in the ground. IT in the cloud.

What’s happening in your oilfields—right now? Information from fields and drilling platforms has to be accessible in as near real-time as possible so your experts can collaborate, analyze and make decisions. But the geographic spread of a typical operation—from oil rigs in the deep sea to large and complex refineries in developing countries—makes transmission of information difficult without a robust IT infrastructure.

Cloud computing can change the way your chemical and petroleum company manages IT, as well as how it collaborates and protects vital applications and information. You can scale computing resources up or down to meet changing needs without service interruptions. The ideal cloud computing solution even takes your high-cost workloads and moves them to low-cost environments that can be configured dynamically and provisioned on demand.

Big projects. Bigger overruns.

Source: IBM Institute for Business Value 2014 study, “Finding common ground in oil and gas"

Drilling for data: analytics and exploration

Between a quarter and a third of the total value generated each year by all the activities of a typical exploration and production company is contributed by data2. While the average rig holds more than 40,000 sensors, only a small percentage of that data they capture is actually used. On top of this, analytics are often limited to numerical data, and don’t include textual, acoustic, visual and other such unstructured input. In many cases, chemical and petroleum companies are only using a fraction of the data they collect because they lack the infrastructure to store or analyze it.

A big data platform for oil and gas allows you to pull large volumes of data from a wide variety of sources. Drawing on the natural-language processing ability of IBM Watson, content analysis can help make unstructured content accessible and ready for analysis. Big data and analytics solutions let you search and visualize information from both internal and external sources.

Mobilizing the oil and gas workforce

Mobile devices are for more than talk and texts. Mobile systems can spot when a worker has moved beyond a safe distance from a designated area. These mobile systems make it possible for supervisors to deliver targeted alarms to individual workers—vital in an industry where installations may cover an area the size of a small city. And mobile tools can boost the efficiency of your maintenance operations, ensuring shutdowns are kept as short as possible while maintaining the highest safety standards.

Smart maintenance and asset management for oil and gas, enabled by mobile devices, is designed to get help you the most out of those shutdowns. Digital capture eliminates double handling of data—notations followed by data entry. And mobile-based social business tools allow users to interact with blogs, wikis and messaging services wherever they are. The combination of social computing and mobile has huge potential to drive productivity, efficiency and safety improvements across a chemical and petroleum operation.

Weak links: cyber security for oil and gas

According to US government research, the energy sector was the target of more than half of reported cyber-attacks in 20133. Yet oil and gas companies continue to rely on outdated policies and guidance. IT, OT, networking and physical security still act as silos, exposing weaknesses to potential attackers.

From combatting system sabotage to avoiding sensitive data theft, a holistic, comprehensive security strategy is more than good business sense: it’s a global imperative. Companies need an industry-wide Security Operations Center perspective, because all critical infrastructure organizations share the same array of threats.

The risky and costly process of resource exploration and production, coupled with the declining profit margins of refining and bringing products to market, drive the need for smarter solutions in the chemical and petroleum industry. Find out how IBM can help.

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Meet the experts

  • Mark Martin Mark Martin
    Smarter Planet Executive - WW Chemical & Petroleum

  • Neil Carpenter Neil Carpenter
    Worldwide Software Leader, Chemicals & Petroleum

  • Ole Eyvind Evensen Ole Eyvind Evensen
    WW Oil and Gas - Upstream Business Development Executive

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