Over the past few years, big data have gained immense prominence as a distinguishing point in today’s complex, intricate, hostile and competitive business environment. Every industry is using big data so that they can streamline and reshape their businesses and can enhance their growth and profit. Big Data in Energy industry is no exception, the industry uses big data so that they can reduce costs, optimize investments and minimize risks. Minimizing costs with big data is a popular application in this industry. The companies who are into energy sector are keeping their prime focus on improving maintenance and equipment monitoring. Optimizing investment decisions with big data are helping the companies in various aspects including better internal resource allocation and assisting or supporting investors. Companies are applying big data to improve public security and safety by providing better monitoring and oversight.
“The energy industry has recently started to adopt the survival analysis concept from the medical field,” says Francisco Sanchez, president of Houston Energy Data Science. In medicine and healthcare industry, survival analysis usually used to calculate survival rates for patients based on their health conditions, treatment procedure and several other matters. Now, the energy sector has also started to apply this concept to field equipment.
Oil and gas companies are using survival analysis to predict the required maintenance for field equipment like compressors via monitoring and modelling. In earlier, it used to take three days to repair damage from equipment failure for an oil well offline. But with the help of proactive action enabled by big data, now the total repairing time is a single day. Reducing time is really valuable in this competitive market. A day’s production at a small site is near about 1,000 barrels of oil which means per day a company can earn a revenue of $30,000. So, big data helps these companies to overcome their losses.
Expansion in energy sector using Big Data
In the past, utilities have relied on various on-site software tools and data centres. But as the volume of data is increasing day by day which is compelling the utilities to consider other fruitful solutions. As cloud-based services are much efficient, companies are adopting these services in managing their data. For an example, recently, US utility Exelon is using its cloud-based Predix platform in order to analyse data from its entire generation fleet. And by using this, the company is able to reduce its operation and maintenance costs by 20%.
In 2012 December, as per the report by market analyst GTM Research, utility spending on data analytics is set to reach $3.8bn by 2020, with US utilities expected to spend as much as $100 per home on grid operations and consumer analytics in the period.
British Petroleum, a UK-based energy company is investing on high-quality data because they faced several challenges and penalties due to their Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. In order to prevent this type of disaster with better information, the company is now giving priority to big data.
By using data analytics, the company provides operational support for its oil sites. The information is now fed into various dashboards at the production site and also at the corporate offices.
Improves production: With the help of big data, British Petroleum(BP) builds various models and analytics which will improve the efficiency of its refineries.
Partnership and talents:
British Petroleum uses big data to evaluate its employees’ potential and to build a new partnership.
Along with big data, machine learning is also getting popularity in the energy sector. DeepMind Technologies, an artificial intelligence developer which is owned by Google, is now communicating with National Grid so that it will help in balancing energy supply and demand in Britain with the help of artificial intelligence. DeepMind’s algorithms have already helped Google’s data centres in minimizing energy consumption by 15%.