The Digital Transformation of Energy Production

In the drive to lower refinery CAPEX and OPEX, the petroleum industry is poised to open up the digital-transformation value of wireless machine-to-machine communication using 5G networking, with its faster transmission speeds, lower latency, greater bandwidth, and enhanced security. The industry aims to drive refinery efficiencies and lower costs; access to more data, including actionable data, can produce the desired results. In the vast and complex system of systems that surround an oil refinery, every element—from a core IT component to an individual valve in a pipeline Christmas tree, far out of human view—is a potential producer and consumer of information. 5G networking, as an important element of digital transformation, is arising as the connectivity of choice for this new conception, bringing in data from the refinery’s intelligent edge and putting that data wherever it is needed, in real time.

Much of the value 5G can bring will be realized through private networks that replace existing technologies and offer higher performance and security and standardization. However, in the capital-intensive oil and gas vertical, operational efficiencies are critical—and, equally important, risks to revenue streams cannot be tolerated. How can this data-driven segment make the transition successfully while reducing CAPEX and OPEX and protecting the value of critical capital equipment?

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