‘Technology deployment will check poor forecast’
Executive Operations Director, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Effiong Okon, has said the right adoption of contemporary technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, and mobile technology will not only drive planning and forecast in the Nigerian oil industry but also address associated risks.
Okon said this at the just-concluded, 43rd Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition, in Lagos, themed: Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Mobile Technology: Changing the Future of the Energy Industry.
In a presentation titled, “Transforming Big Data and Technology to Business Value: Challenges and Strategic Options during a panel session,” Okon said leveraging Cloud computing and big data, for instance, promotes accurate forecast of oil production for planning, which in turn drives operational excellence (production optimisation and asset performance).
The use of predictive and data-driven maintenance for production and cost efficiency, according to him, has helped reduce mean time to repair (MTTR) and increase the meantime before failure (MTBF) in the industry.
For drilling, operators can get predictive analysis through smart drilling; guarantee early identification of drilling anomalies, hazards to well control problems; develop more enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques, and real-time data through logging while drilling (LWD), and measurement while drilling (MWD), he said.
He added that in the area of exploration and appraisal, technology had made it possible to obtain big data from sensors attached to equipment used during exploration/appraisal activities (seismic, wells), which will further help improve subsurface mapping and new well delivery performance through micro-seismic 3D imaging.
Narrating the Seplat experience, Okon said the company has continued to make conscious efforts to drive operations using contemporary technologies, with the right investments through measurable and justifiable value accruable to the company.
“It also applies to oil/gas transportation while connecting pipelines, sensors, leak detection, alarms and emergency shutdowns; using drone technology for pipeline surveillance.
“Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionising midstream pipeline operations through supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)-based applications.”
In the area of refining, Okon noted that operators can now analyse economic indicators and weather patterns for forecasting demand, pricing, and resource allocation while optimising integrated refineries and leveraging machine learning for predictive analysis and self-diagnosis by refineries.
ChamsAccess Limited has said its diversification and expansion into software has impacted significantly on its bottom-line, as profit after tax increased from N33 million in 2017 to N166 million in 2018.
Reviewing its performance during the company’s 2018 yearly general meeting, the Managing Director, Dumebi Obodo, said the decision to drop some of the products that are not relevant to the current economic realities with more focus on those in line with government economic policies have yielded results.
According to him, ChamsAccess profit after tax stood at N195 million, higher than N41million achieved in the corresponding period in 2017 while turnover also rose from N758 million to N1.352 billion during the period under review.
“Part of what we are trying to do is market diversification. In light of this, it became imperative due to the transition from a service-driven technology company to a pure hardware trading company.
“We took a step in this direction with the creation of an innovation hub, a think-tank for the development of solutions to add value in pursuance to our core value.
He continued: “We did a proper analysis of where we are coming from, what are the income lines and products, based on our portfolio and what are the income lines we see a lot of value in line with the economic environment and the policies of the federal government.
“So we needed to make some hard decisions to drop some of the products we felt were not relevant to the economic direction and environment of our business and concentrated efforts towards those in line with what government is trying to achieve like financial inclusion. We provided devices and solutions for financial inclusion.
“We try to build products that will help the banks and other corporate organisations block leakages to better optimise their processes to improve efficiency. We believe that in the nearest future, that is the policy direction of the country and as such, it was important to focus on those areas to maximise profit.”
ChamsAccess Chairman, Dr Evans Woherem, assured shareholders that the board and management would continue to monitor the business environment and make necessary adjustments to sustain the positive growth momentum into the future.
“In line with the company’s strategic imperatives, it was paramount that we diversify into new markets and transit from a predominant hardware company to software which is more sustainable. The new solutions are making inroads into the market gradually,” he added.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.