Aspen Technology, Inc. announced the results of a recent survey of over 400 energy industry managers and executives about the impact of analytics and big data on the energy business in the next 24 months.
The data confirmed that improving reliability is the key objective for upstream and downstream companies as well as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms that serve them.
To achieve greater asset availability and utilisation, organisations are undertaking digital transformation initiatives that use advanced analytics and machine learning to drive significant increases in asset reliability and performance. Survey respondents indicate clear and compelling interest in the potential of analytics to drive operational excellence.
Forty percent of companies believe that digitalisation can save 16%, or more of operating expenses (OPEX). The potential to achieve high returns on assets with a relentless focus on operational excellence, a holistic asset optimisation strategy and a pragmatic execution roadmap is attractive to an industry at the threshold of business and technology disruption.
According to other key findings, analytics adoption is growing rapidly, with 51% of upstream/midstream firms and 40% of downstream companies currently using or testing data analytics. Maximising uptime is the top benefit seen from analytics, 72% of respondents agree, followed by equipment monitoring (68%), reduced maintenance costs (68%); automated operations (62%); expanded remote operations (61%); flow assurance/safety (60%), and reduced capital expenses, or CAPEX (58%).
However, getting started with advanced analytics is a challenge. Lack of expertise is cited as the top barrier to adopting data analytics, with over a third of respondents reporting no data scientist personnel in the organisation. Almost half – 49% of EPCs and 45% of upstream/midstream companies – say lack of in-house expertise is their top barrier to realising the benefits of analytics.
John Hague, senior vice president and general manager, AspenTech APM Business Unit, said: “Digitalisation is not new – oil and gas companies have been capturing production, equipment and other data for over 35 years. What is new are the performance improvements made possible by advanced analytics enabled by machine learning in combination with rich process knowledge and the application of these transformative technologies to asset optimisation – without employing an army of data scientists. This is how digital transformation achieves results today.”