We are all aware of the 2022 ransomware attack on US Colonial Pipeline. Hugely damaging it led President Biden to declare a State of Emergency as several gas supplies ran dry. Whilst splashed across the global media it was one of 35 major incidents recorded over the last five years by S&P Global Platts Oil Security Sentinel.
Such attacks are extremely concerning for an industry that relies so heavily on huge volumes of daily generated real-time data, analytics, and a cohesive and connected IT ecosystem to remain one-step ahead of the competition.
Big Data assets related to oil and gas reservoir simulation, drilling and production system controls, personnel safety measures, and malformations in tankers and pipelines, are fundamental to improving how a company operates when it comes to oil and gas exploration and their production efficiencies.
Along with security, the challenge for the industry is that despite the benefits modern data presents the huge volumes and variety generated are not easily accessed or disseminated.
Systemic historical and cultural workplace issues often mean it is stored in silos, across different departments, in incompatible proprietary formats, or captured as an afterthought leaving it inconsistent and incomplete. In turn, this leads to engineers spending considerable time trying to analyse it with valuable data which can affect decision-making and strategy lost.
Against this landscape, what is the solution? In this article, we examine the benefits that modern cloud services can bring for those within Energy, Oil, and Gas.
New Horizons – the potential of cloud migration for the Energy, Oil and Gas industry
As with other organisations, cloud storage offers huge potential to those operating within Energy, Oil, and Gas, by removing vast amounts of data from in-house servers. In so doing it provides the following advantages which help harness the power and efficiencies of the data collected:
Improve Cost Efficiencies: Energy, oil and gas organisations must manage, assess, and analyse huge volumes and varieties of data, which can be expensive to store on-premises or on their own infrastructure. This will become more demanding as they adopt IoT technologies and generate more data sets to analyse. Storing data on the cloud provides the flexibility of increasing or decreasing Cloud usage, as required, which can help address initial CAPEX requirements.
Enhance Security: Those organisations within the energy, oil and gas industry adhere to multiple compliance regulations including those from EPA, OPEC, and FERC. In addition, they may have invested heavily in bespoke critical systems to prevent security gaps from cyber threats, and these may become obsolete, vulnerable, or more challenging to update.
Cloud migration provides enhanced security as chosen Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud spend millions/billions on their security posture. It is important to note that while CSPs are responsible for the security of the cloud, organisations are accountable for their infrastructure security within it.
Streamline Processes and Improve Collaboration: For any organisation, data is of no value if it is not shared when applicable across departments in a timely and coordinated fashion. Cloud services can enable effective cross-functional collaboration, enhance decision making, and improve efficiencies regarding data ownership by eliminating silos and ensuring better access to data and services.
Access to Future Technologies (ML/AI/IoT): As organisations adopt the latest big data, IoT, AI and machine learning technologies, they’ll need to accelerate their ability to innovate and maintain a competitive edge. The World Economic Forum estimates that operations optimisation could unlock as much as $275billion in value with 90% coming from optimizing drilling and production and from leveraging the data from end-to-end connected assets to feed advanced analytics algorithms.
Data is of no use if it is vulnerable to ever-increasing and sophisticated security threats, or if it is not properly stored, shared, analysed, and applied. In an industry which depends so heavily on data from far-reaching processes and assets to remain compliant, innovative, and successful it is critical that organisations do all they can to maximise and unlock its potential.
If you are considering your next step, Brightsolid Cloud Migrations or Cloud Professional Services can help assess your unique requirements and put together the best plan for your organisation.