Industry insiders and rank-and-file consumers understand that the oil and gas industry is slowly emerging from a tumultuous recent history. With the incremental return of economic health in the West, and a “thawing” of market factors after a prolonged period of low prices for crude and other products, the energy sector continues to look toward a sustainable recovery and a reasonable expectation of expansion. For Obsidian and a few other well-positioned Canadian outfits, 2018 arrives with great optimism about the trajectory of energy.
Noting that oil and gas are still in recovery mode after an especially deep dive in prices and demand, the team over at Linkovate believes that 2018 may mark the turnaround year for the sector if the major players act on the urgency of the moment. “After a period when it’s been difficult to make strategic decisions and plan for the future, oil and gas corporations must catch up and focus on the expected demand increases from emerging economies such as Latin America and, most pressingly, China.” Envisioning the long-term growth of big players like Obsidian, the professionals at Linkovate suggest five areas for targeted growth and innovation in 2018 and beyond.
Believe it or not, the age of robotics has arrived for the energy sector. Analysists contend, “Robotics are likely to become more commonplace in the industry, handling complex and repetitive tasks such as connecting pipes and replacing broken machinery, which in turn will reduce labor requirements.” For outfits like Obsidian that are already in growth mode with exploration and drilling, robotics may provide additional efficiencies and revenue, intensifying an already vigorous growth trajectory.
In the arena of geology, technology may further strengthen the position of players like Obsidian. Seismic technologies also offer significant promise to oil and natural gas providers. These technologies, designed to help “oil and gas researchers to map and interpret potential hydrocarbon reserves,” may also offer companies 4D resolution images of reservoirs, showing how reservoirs are changing over time. Similar seismic technologies will provide companies with an enhanced means of mapping water and gas injections. If you know what you’re drilling for, you have the potential to lower costs and enhance output. Producers and consumers both work under this scenario.
In the area of mobility, energy companies are continuing to look for ways to cull complex data to stay ahead of oil demand. A mobile performance-powered approach allows companies like Obsidian to manage data which sets the stage for the oil and gas mobility market growth. Imagine using “big data” to accurately navigate the interplay between production and demand. That possibility is now becoming reality through mobility software and technologies. Tapping into the resources provided by key research institutions like the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Alberta and the like, also provides key energy provides with excellent information about production and demand as they move into the growth cycle anticipated in 2018. What can be gleaned from past demand and production trends? Public institutions that continue to partner with energy constituencies offer a lot of insight into these sorts of queries.
2018’s growth potential may be fueled by the efficiencies provided by Cloud Computing. “Oil and gas companies need immediate access to real-time information from oil fields and drilling platforms,” contends the team at Linkovate, adding, “this way, workers can collaborate and analyze the data to make informed, quick-production decisions.” Secure cloud computing allows Obsidian technicians, for example, to connect with partners and specialists in real-time, monitoring everything from weather, drilling conditions, instrument performance, and the like. “This is a technology that is already on the market,” according to Linkovate, “although oil and gas corporations are still getting used to implementing it.” “That is why they are collaborating with technology providers like Microsoft, Rolta, or ABB.”
Companies like Obsidian know that employee injuries in the field can create production losses, cost increases, and a host of other personnel and logistical troubles. Inasmuch, innovations in wearables may improve employee health and increase corporate revenue streams in 2018 and following years. Smart helmets and suits, providing augmented reality features for users, may also be deployed, allowing the technicians in the field to handle hazardous situations in a manner that mitigates the potential of serious injury. While there is certainly some initial cost involved in deploying these sorts of technologies, the long-term savings on health-related issues and lost hours on the job more than offset the initial costs.
Stars in the energy market, like Obsidian, are poised to strengthen their favorable position in 2018 and beyond. With advances in robotics, seismic technologies, mobility, cloud computing, and wearables ready for deployment, a soft energy sector should experience robust growth in the upcoming year. As always, there’s no way to predict market forces like demand, production, and competition. That said, a little short-term investment risk for energy companies could position them for long-term health.