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Blog · 07 Dec 2021

The energy sector’s data challenge

Given the scale of today’s energy challenges, how can the energy industry find new ways to unlock valuable and unused data and drive more cost out of operations?

Director, natural resources and utilities

Today, the energy industry works against enormous technical challenges to maintain safe and profitable operations.

They also face familiar cost, performance and efficiency imperatives as well as the unprecedented social, political and regulatory demands for sustainability. All these factors combine to create a fairly volatile market.

The possibilities of untapped data

Can big data transform the efficiency of oil and gas exploration and extraction? Like so many other businesses, energy companies need to explore ways to access their growing volumes of untapped data to unlock their transformational potential.

Consider how easy it is to collect data compared to the amount which is actually used. An oil rig for example generates a huge amount of data daily from tens of thousands of sensors, but much, if not most, of that data goes unused. Data which is not analysed and turned into actionable information represents lost opportunities to improve service, reduce waste and boost profitability throughout the supply chain. Given the scale of today’s energy challenge, if harnessed properly, this information could have major benefits for companies operating in the energy production and distribution industry, as well as for their customers and suppliers.

So, what’s preventing organisations in the energy industry from harnessing this valuable data?

The energy sector’s data processing challenges

Energy companies’ offshore and onshore operations are being set up in increasingly challenging and remote geographical locations. This means the connectivity hurdles they face are virtually unmatched. In the first half of 2019, 50% of all the newly discovered reserves were situated in deep water. In reality, this means many new platforms are being established in places where cable or microwave connections are either impossible or too expensive to install, or where the level of on-site computing required to analyse large volumes of data cannot be maintained.

Anyone who’s ever managed an industrial process or road traffic network will be familiar with the concept of a bottleneck. In the energy industry’s case, the problem is a data bottleneck caused by insufficient broadband capacity to send large quantities of data to a processing centre with sufficient computing power.

Next generation connectivity

Fortunately, the ability to deliver real-time access to data without huge IT and network infrastructure costs and lengthy deployment times is now attainable with fast, high-throughput satellite communications. With SES, we deliver high-capacity end-to-end data services that are proven, robust and critically built on dedicated bandwidth. We also offer global reach powered by SES’s proven and reliable geostationary (GEO) satellites, plus O3b MEO and O3b mPOWER middle earth orbit (MEO) constellations.

This next-generation connectivity offers low latency performance links across even the most remote locations and is providing the opportunity for the energy industry to turn previously untapped data across operations into business enhancing action.

If you’d like to find out how our satellite-enabled connectivity can transform your operations, regardless of where they are, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.