We don’t get to choose which age we’re born into, but if we could, there’s a strong case for making it here and now. For anyone who wants to change things for the better, these times offer unprecedented opportunities.
Despite the challenges we face in the energy sector and the responsibility companies have to reinvent this industry at pace, the advances presented by digital technologies are now arriving, proven and ready to enable transformative gains. The scale of the reimagining of this industry’s models and methods make it the time to be alive and working in the world of energy.
E&P players are under increasing pressure to find more intelligent solutions that provide them with the insight and information they need to make smarter investment decisions and drive efficiency in real-time.
It’s incremental, but at the same time the advances are bringing us to the brink of a technological revolution in the energy sector – the uptake so far has been steady, but now there’s no going back.
The task that seemed so daunting only a few years ago – to extract value from existing assets while meeting net zero goals and making the transition to renewables – is now achievable, thanks to technological innovation.
We are seeing energy operators seize the opportunities and reap the benefits presented by technology. These applications increase digitization in the well delivery process, enabling improved communication between project members and full visibility of drilling and well operations data. From well intervention to abandonment and even rig scheduling, the gains are gradually becoming joined up.
And, when it comes to operators transitioning to renewable energy, innovative technology – software that streamlines processes, assesses every risk in-depth and supports well-informed investment decisions – is helping businesses make breakthroughs that will change the world.
Driving smarter, faster commercial decisions based on live data
Increasingly, operators are experiencing vastly improved critical decision making, enabled by technology that is supporting and informing their every move.
For example, one AGR Software client in the geothermal energy field – RED Drilling & Services GmbH (RED) – has been an early adopter of a probabilistic approach to estimating time, cost and assessing risks, switching from a deterministic assessment model.
Obtaining the data needed to make commercially viable decisions matters even more in geothermal well drilling because of the complex characteristics often encountered, which can add up to extra drilling days, more expensive equipment and as a result, higher costs.
Given the value of the heat is also lower than hydrocarbon, the sometimes unclear economic case makes it difficult to justify the investment for these projects. Accurate planning makes a big difference in these circumstances.
And so embracing smarter technology has been a game-changer, enabling RED – and many others within the geothermal field – to move faster and with greater confidence.
A ‘major competitive advantage’
Another development, in Germany, again on a geothermal project, tells us that the use of this probabilistic assessment technology will accelerate.
We have partnered with Deutsche ErdWärme, the largest private developer of geothermal power plants in Germany. It’s a company committed to standardizing, professionalizing and automating the whole cycle of geothermal extraction.
AGR Software plug-and-play platform, iQx™, has changed the well delivery process, by applying Monte Carlo planning methodology simulating thousands of scenarios and offering a scale from the most optimistic to most pessimistic outcomes. As a result, Deutsche ErdWärme is in a well-informed position to have complete visibility of all operation risks, costs and timescales.
The transparency that this kind of tool offers is key to gaining the trust of decision-makers and investors. It has enabled Deutsche ErdWärme to make smarter decisions quickly, learn and iterate at speed and seize opportunities within geothermal’s increasingly competitive space.
And as Deutsche ErdWärme’s Project Manager explained, technological breakthroughs like these offer a “major competitive advantage.”
The wheel does not need reinventing
The idea of applying new technologies and reinventing processes is all very well, but there is a fair question to be asked. How much disruption will it cause to operations in reality?
It’s important here that I make the point, based on our experience so far, that the wheel doesn’t need to be invented twice. Many of the new processes and technologies being used in geothermal today are proven, in the oil and gas arena. They are ready to be transferred – plug-and-play.
Look beyond our own horizons
While we are only at the beginning of understanding what can be achieved through technological innovation in the energy industry, we can look to other industries – whether automotive or financial – as a sign of what can be achieved in our own space.
Without doubt, these kinds of solutions hold the key to unlocking potential and radically improving energy exploration and production to achieve climate goals. And at the same time producing the return on investments already made.
The journey ahead is exciting, filled with possibilities and opportunities. What’s more, there’s never been a better time to embrace the change that is underway.
Øystein Andersen is VP at AGR Software. AGR Software delivers its bespoke iQx™ platform that helps energy companies digitize their well delivery process with immediate results. By believing that collaboration empowers knowledge sharing and creates improved decisions, the company is focusing on developing a plug-and-play data library that makes life easier for energy businesses. For further information please visit: https://agr-software.com/