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Petroleum sector braces for robotics as adoption hits $277.8bn


Oil and gas industry is set to speed up the adoption of robotics in upstream, midstream, and downstream activities with the aim of driving efficiency and productivity in the face of uncertainties.

A report released on ‘Robotics in Oil & Gas’ by a global think-tank, GlobalData, said the sector is seriously gearing up for use of robots to address its complex challenges, especially as the global robotics industry moves from yearly growth rate of 16 per cent from $98.2 billion in 2018 to $277.8 billion in 2025.

Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, Ravindra Puranik, said: “Recent technological advancements are enabling operators to deploy robots in terrestrial, aerial and underwater configurations to carry out tasks that may be too risky to be undertaken by field personnel. Moreover, ageing infrastructure is necessitating regular inspection of these assets, and autonomous drones are being used due to their sheer number and issues related to accessibility. ”

According to the report, challenges facing exploration and production of hydrocarbons, as well as processing and packaging of the commodities are forcing technology giants to design solutions that could address industry potential.

Although Nigeria’s national oil firm is missing, the report listed Oil and Gas companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Gazprom, Repsol, Equinor, Total, Saudi Aramco, Sinopec, and ADNOC, as having considerable exposure to the robotics theme.

It however noted that cost and reliability are critical barriers to the adoption of the innovation in the sector.

“To overcome this concern, robotics technology providers and oilfield service providers are devising new business models, such as Robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) to drive the deployment of these technologies in field operations and reduce uncertainty over the total cost of ownership of robots,” Puranik stated.

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