Automation Innovations for Arctic Oil and Gas Producers

by | Jun 18, 2019 | Industrial IoT, Industry, Oil & Gas


As we approach the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, it is around-the-clock daylight for oil and gas producers in Alaska’s Arctic region. This situation flips to months of darkness around the winter solstice. These conditions and others pose challenges for these producers.

In an Alaska Business magazine article, New Methods of Tackling Old Problems, Emerson’s Chris Amstutz joins other suppliers in describing how advancing automation technology can help address these challenges.

Chris notes:

“New small- to mid-cap operators are more proactive in their usage of new technology and their desire to try new ways of tackling the [Arctic] region’s challenges… The more entrenched players are also adopting new technologies, but they’re forced to deal with aging facilities and infrastructure and the cost structures associated with older assets.”

He describes an example of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based sensors and cloud-based applications improve performance.

“Cloud-based remote asset monitoring gets resources where it’s safer and easier to work… For example, monitoring of inner and outer annulus pressure on wells with wireless pressure gauges is being used to eliminate manual readings and keep personnel out of harsh environments and out of danger from potential energy release.”

Opportunities for improvement extend below the surface too.

“On the subsurface side, Emerson has been a pioneer in using fit-for-purpose artificial intelligence engines to identify subsurface features from terabytes of seismic data, classify facies using seismic waveforms, predict geologic facies from well log and core data, fill in missing well data, predict key performance indicators from a diversity of subsurface data, and incorporate measured subsurface uncertainties into production forecasting and optimization workflows… These new AI engines can accelerate the time to higher quality results critical to exploration and drilling activities in the Arctic.

Emerson’s Big Loop architecture bridges exploration and production objectives by synchronizing the static and dynamic reservoir models. This workflow incorporates subsurface uncertainties from many different sources, propagating many possible subsurface models [scenarios] constrained by the production history…”

Chris shares some of the key technologies in the Plantweb digital ecosystem.

“The key pillars of this approach are the IoT, pervasive sensing, secure cloud computing, data analytics, AI, and machine learning…”

Read the article for more of Chris and other suppliers’ perspectives on the application of these technologies to drive improved business performance in the challenging Arctic region.

Visit the Oil & Gas industry section on for more on the technologies and solutions from the reservoir to production, through transmission and gas processing. You can also connect and interact with other oil & gas industry experts in the Oil & Gas group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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