Jack Gregg with tech company Honeywell shows me around a sort of new car showroom for companies shopping for “smart” oilfield gear. The energy industry is increasingly investing in ways to make oil production easier and cheaper. Companies are using cloud technologies and mobile devices. The time-consuming work of driving out to a field to check on equipment can now be done from afar.
Honeywell builds high-definition, touch-screen control boards to help make that possible.
“We can actually control processes from inside an office building downtown, and the actual process could be hundreds of miles away in a remote location,” Gregg said.
When your business is subject to the whims of boom-and-bust cycles the way the oil industry is, making money with less effort is very appealing. With that in mind, oil companies are using technology to cut costs while still turning a profit in the downturn.
“This is about reshaping the industry,” said Muqsit Ashraf, energy strategy consultant with the firm Accenture. He points out tech advances can keep workers safe.
But technology changes will also affect the workforce itself.
“The profile of the employees will change,” he…