Managing Risk in the Oil & Gas Industry

The Oil & Gas industry has been hit with several high-profile incidents in the last few years, resulting in additional pressure to operate in an environment of controlled risk. Several new initiatives have been launched to achieve this target such as – building digital oil fields, implementing situational awareness and making real-time intelligence available at all levels of the organization. A common thread that links all these different initiatives is the ability to process events in real time. This ability helps manage risk from start to finish, starting with oil & gas exploration, then extraction, refining, transportation and, finally, retail marketing of the finished product.

Real-time event processing technology combines data from multiple sources, streaming or at rest, to identify relationships, abstractions and patterns that are not easily identifiable or obvious to a human mind. A key requirement for the success of real-time event processing is to process data at high speed (high throughput) with low processing time (low latency). Built-in connectors are shipped with the system that can connect to existing SCADA systems, operational data stores, smart devices, specialized applications, etc. The data from these systems is then processed based on the defined rules. As an example, to trigger an alert for a leak in a pipeline, rules are defined to check the change inflow rate and the change in pressure. By correlating all this data, meaningful inferences can be drawn that will trigger an alert to fix the leak before it becomes an issue.

There are several other use cases where real-time event processing can be deployed in a similar fashion. Here are a few examples – managing risk by reviewing geological, structural and seismic information before investing in a drilling site, monitoring temperature / pressure in an oil & gas field, predictive maintenance of equipment before they result in any workplace safety incidents or production losses, monitoring refinery operations including environmental regulations and tracking barrels during transportation.

If you are interested in knowing more about real-time event processing, you can click here to learn about our Apama product offering. If you would like to discuss use cases for real-time event processing, please leave a comment below or contact me directly.

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