Technology Opportunities in Oilfield Operations

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Oilfield jobs entail long shifts, dangerous tasks, night duty, and tedious work. Companies pay high salaries to attract and retain workers in this industry. For each of the stages of the drilling lifecycle, opportunities exist for oilfield production technologies to reduce labor, improve safety, trim costs, and increase profitability.

The Exploration Stage

During oilfield exploration, companies look for oil deposits under the earth’s surface. Geologists conduct seismic surveys of the terrain and drill exploratory wells. To reduce risk, geologists use extensive data to create common risk segment maps. These maps indicate with color codes the areas with the most promising geological features.

The Appraisal Stage

After companies find oil, they conduct an appraisal of the area to determine if drilling in the field will be profitable. More oil wells are dug, and additional seismic surveys are conducted. Computer reservoir models combine thousands of data points into three-dimensional representations of the potential oilfield.

The Development Stage

During the development stage, engineers design the oil wells and the facilities needed to process the oil. This task requires coordination among different engineering specialties. Computer simulations model how oil well designs will interact with the site’s geology and aid in maximizing oil flow. Companies also need to consider the impact of designs on surrounding communities and the environment.

The Production Stage

Production consists of extracting hydrocarbons from the ground, processing it and transporting it to refineries. Operations run 24 hours a day. Continual monitoring of oil well productivity and product quality requires handling lots of data. Technology also automatically adjusts operating conditions if safety issues arise. Companies also track financial data as they sell the product.

The oil drilling industry benefits from technology that reduces costs through data collection, simulations, production monitoring, and process automation. Profitable companies invest wisely in technology throughout the oilfield lifecycle.