IBM has won a place on a global research project to develop an integrated environmental monitoring system to help oil and gas companies minimise the environmental impact of their operations.
IBM developers and a team from its Oil and Gas Centre of Excellence in Norway are collaborating with Statoil, Kongsberg Group and Det Norske Veritas (DNV) on developing the solution. The system will apply streaming analytics to measure, process and analyse live physical, biological and chemical data generated by sensors and cameras attached around an offshore installation. The system will be able to predict and prevent issues before they occur.
Oil and gas companies use different environmental monitoring methods, but there are currently no integrated solutions that enable physical, biological and chemical data to be measured during actual operations. The idea is that by integrating environmental monitoring into day-to-day operations it will be possible for oil and gas companies to more rapidly respond to anticipated conditions, such as shutting down production at an installation, or ceasing construction activity during environmentally sensitive periods.
According to Statoil, environmental monitoring is essential for the company to achieve its target of zero harmful discharges. The three-year research project will demonstrate whether Statoil succeeds in taking environmental monitoring from being a separate task to become an integrated part of daily production – ‘a quantum leap for offshore environmental monitoring’.
Well, it’s obviously a good thing to try to minimise the environmental damage from offshore drilling. Much better if we didn’t drill offshore at all, though.
I’m a little bemused by Statoil’s target of ‘zero harmful discharges’. How does that work for an oil company?