Automation to grow in oil and gas industry: report

Monday March 31, 2014
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
In the next two decades, it is expected that more than half of the global energy demand will be met from oil and gas supply. As end users continue to invest in oil and gas exploration and production, there is a pressing need for automation providers to evolve their solution offering to target key market challenges such as rapid deletion rates, increase in distributed assets, safety mandates, mobility, reliability, integrity and aging workforces.

Recent research from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of Global Automation and Control Systems (ACS) Market in the Upstream Oil and Gas (O&G) Industry, finds that the market earned revenues of $5.88 billion US in 2013 and estimates this to reach $10.45 billion US in 2020. Apart from traditional control and safety systems, market growth for ACS is fueled by the demand for integrated packaged solutions in large greenfield projects and advanced software tools and services in brownfield projects. The influx of wireless systems (Wi-Fi, Wi-MAX, 2G, 3G, 4G, Satellite) is further expected to drive growth in the communication systems segment as end users look to maximize productivity of their assets in the field.

“Limited visibility from field to enterprise — in conjunction with intricate operational processes for upstream oil and gas exploration — has resulted in end users looking for a trusted solutions partner that can collaborate data from individual systems, workflows, equipment and personnel onto a single platform,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation & Process Control senior research analyst Rahul Vijayaraghavan.

As intelligent fields (TIDO) start to gain wide-scale acceptance, the ability to integrate disparate systems from the field to a centralized location will allow end users to optimize production, standardize processes and facilitate streamlined replication across multiple sites, the report said.

“A number of companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of TIDO,” said Frost & Sullivan industry manager Muthuraman “Ram” Ramasamy. “However, not one of them have critically looked at defining the market space and driving out the uncertainties from the equation. As collaborative competition proceeds, further technological advancements and proliferation of such concepts in the market will shine more definition on this pertinent and transformative trend.”

From a geographical standpoint, regional hotspots in Brazil, West Africa, Australia, Poland, U.S. and Asia Pacific are expected to witness significant automation opportunities for offshore production owing to localization requirements, and the need for integrated packaged solutions.

"Subsea continues to be the next frontier of the oil and gas market," Ram added. "This market is currently being catered by a different class of solution providers: engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning (EPIC). The EPIC solution providers will continue to dominate the underwater factories of the future."

For more information on this research, visit: http://bit.ly/1hg98pB.

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