For the past few months I have been working on the Palladian Energy Podcast, planning episodes and talking to guests, along with my co-host Callum O’Reilly. The theme of the first series of the podcast is digitalisation in the oil and gas sector and it’s proving a rich seam to mine.
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We have covered the growing importance of collaborating on data and digital services, and we’ve shone light on some inherent vulnerabilities in hydrocarbons infrastructure (both IT and OT) and how to address these pressure points with digital solutions. Guests have spoken about industry-critical trends, they have offered insight on implementing a digital strategy and, crucially, on how to embrace change.
Upcoming episodes will tackle the shortcomings of digitalisation in the energy sector, mastering remote monitoring and management, the emergence of new cyber threat groups, the establishment of OT/ICS-focused security operation centres, and the important relationship between digitalisation and sustainability.
So where are you making digital investments this year? Where will your CIOs spend their budget? Among the top spend categories in a recent study of UK businesses and their IT budgets, were: increasing cybersecurity protections, increasing operational efficiency and transforming existing business processes.1 Further down the list came: meeting compliance requirements, monetising company data and new product development. The top three planned investments in terms of product purchases were: cyber and information security, business intelligence/data analytics, and cloud platforms. Hiring more tech staff is a priority across the board.
In this issue of World Pipelines, William McLean, Director of OMNI Integrity, writes about helping the sector utilise data to manage and plan pipeline integrity programmes (p. 20). The article describes the build-out of an integrity management product and demonstrates how the capabilities of software continue to grow, to encompass data capture, integration, analysis, management and storage. There is a strong argument for collaborating with a digital partner here, as the industry moves towards its netzero, safety and compliance goals.
Starting on p. 8, Ovarro contributes a piece on using remote telemetry units (RTUs) to optimise performance and reduce failures. Read the article to learn more about real-time control and monitoring systems, and for an interesting case study on the second line of the China-Russia pipeline (where remote equipment must work in temperatures ranging from -40°C to +70°C). Ovarro writes that “RTUs already function as ‘mini PCs in the field’ and, going forward, the systems will help harness the power of the Industrial Internet of Things by making older assets smart”.
That brings me back to the podcast, because I sense it is making me smarter, with every episode! You can find all episodes of the Palladian Energy Podcast here.