The economic downturn has affected many international oil & gas companies around the globe, but, since last fall, there were more and more signs that the market is on the rise again. In the light of positive news and as players in this industry, we see the learning about the latest trends of the oil & gas sector as a must.
A significant opportunity to explore some useful knowledge and innovative strategies came up with the Offshore Technology Days in Stavanger, on 16-17 October 2019.
Norwegian Continental Shelf: OTD and ONS
When it comes to the oil & gas industry conferences in Europe, we can say that there are two major not-to-miss events. And those are the Offshore Technology Days (OTD) and the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS), both of them targetting companies exploring the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).
The ONS provides the place to meet for international suppliers, operating companies and decision-makers in the global energy market. This event takes place every second year in Stavanger, Norway, after being held for the first time in 1974.
On the other hand, Offshore Technology Days Expo is a more recent exposition for mostly Norwegian companies in the oil & gas industry. Since its start in 2011, and until today, it is perceived as the best outlet for learning more about developments and activities within the NCS market. The event is held annually in Norway, either in Stavanger or in Bergen.
This year’s expo counted almost 400 exhibitors, which makes it the largest edition since the oil downturn. Most companies that registered were Norwegian, but we also spotted experts and professionals from other European countries and the USA.
Shy looks into software solutions for the offshore industry
Same as in previous years, the summary of the OTD event was anchored on sharing skills, knowledge, and increasing network alliances for better business performance.
With this in view, the focus remained mainly on hardware and HSEQ equipment, while only a few companies took the challenge of building software for safer and more efficient offshore activities. Even fewer managed to integrate VR into their solutions.
Nevertheless, based on the market’s signals and our own notes of the OTD exhibition, we estimate that in approximate 2 years remote operation of offshore machinery will become the norm.
This will, for sure, open the path for more VR-based operations and, along with it, the demand for VR training is likely to increase too.
Digitalization to help OTD companies meet their biggest challenges?
After the 2015 downturn, many projects in the industry were put on hold. Big and small players alike were afraid of investing more resources due to fear of losing their money.
But nowadays, with more exploring and exploiting to be done in the Northern Sea and with the oil price going up again, there is also an increasing need for innovative approaches to some old problems. And any advancement in the hardware and software industry for offshore will help bring to life even more projects, in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.
If the year before the ONS focused on how innovation can boost the oil & energy industry, the 2019 OTD expo’s main theme was digitalization.
As expected and seen at the conference too, companies began to key into digitalization since it is one sure channel to bring innovative ideas into reality. While the correct use of data analytics will help to make informed and trusted integrity decisions, it is still a matter of discussion on how businesses can transition smoothly to digital interaction and, eventually, fully digitized equipment.
One issue affecting offshore exploration and platforms worldwide, for example, comes from the harsh environmental conditions – and that is corrosion. For it, having a digitized drivetrain, for example, could help in reducing the occurrence of early structure failures and costly downtime.
But the main challenge, as in other daring endeavors, is in finding the right path from vision to execution. In this context, is simulation going to have a great say on digitalization? If yes, how will businesses make good use of VR, which is proven to be of help to other industries already? That still remains to be seen.
PaleBlue meets the offshore oil & gas challenges with VR
We at PaleBlue believe in continuous innovation to surmount several market limitations. For a business to thrive in the modern-day world, looking for alternative ways of solving a problem is a must.
In such a demanding and always-looking-for-better industry that the oil & gas one is, you must always get a thorough understanding of the issues that arise. To that, we say you must add other challenges, like climate-related ones, proper spare resources management, etc. But, same as with math problems, there is more than one way of solving it.
At PaleBlue, we looked ahead into some of the oil & gas industry’s needs. And we came with more than just a single fix.
Most already know some of the risks that come from a poor HSEQ awareness or of how costly a subsea and diving training and operations can get. We are well aware of it all. One solution we have is a VR Full Team Training simulator that is proven to help you reduce costs and optimize more than just one process in your offshore projects.
One other path we went on was to partner up with GeoPlayground to build a better web-based geological system. This will help oil & gas geoscientists better analyze their data and ease their decision-making process.
Looking forward, the oil & gas industry has many challenges, and many more will emerge. However, those will just be new obstacles that we, at PaleBlue, will get to tackle in innovative ways. Just like with math problems.
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