ON World

Oil & Gas Booming with the Help of Wireless Sensor Network

San Diego, CA July 11, 2012— Wireless Sensor Networking (WSN) has emerged as a key technology for accelerating oil and gas exploration and advancing the latest extraction techniques, according to a recently published report by ON World, a global technology research firm.

North America may be on its way to becoming energy independent, largely due to shale oil and gas fields, horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and advancements with sensor and wireless technologies. In addition to using wide area wireless networks to manage pipelines and production from remote locations, oil and gas companies are also turning to wireless sensor networks (WSN) for faster and more flexible sensing and control solutions.

"Oil and gas represents some of the most inhospitable environments with intense and challenging communications requirements," says Mareca Hatler, ON World's research director. "As early adopters, oil and gas companies have demonstrated that WSN solves critical monitoring and control solutions in the most difficult locations."

A few of the oil and gas applications that are currently benefiting from WSN technologies include the following:

Wellhead Automation
Assisted by WSN technology, oil and gas companies have been drilling nearly twice as many wells as a few years ago and 90% of these are energy producing wells. Wireless sensors are also enabling a new generation of equipment health monitoring systems that can be deployed in harsh and remote locations such as offshore rigs in the North Sea. Standards based wireless mesh systems (e.g. Emerson, GE, Honeywell and Yokogawa) are gaining traction along with long range wireless sensor systems by pioneers such as Accutech (Schneider), Luna Innovations (Ferguson Beauregard), OleumTech and vMonitor.

Seismic Surveys
Within the next few years there could be millions of seismic sensors installed around the world, largely due to advances with sensor technologies such as MEMS (e.g. HP/Shell and Lumedyne) as well as wireless communications. The latest wireless seismic surveying systems by HP, Sercel, INOVA and Wireless Seismic simplify and expand the possibilities of conducting surveys deeper underground and in remote regions that were previously impossible.

Pipelines & Corrosion Monitoring
Wireless flow, pressure, level, temperature and valve position monitoring are used to streamline pipeline operation and storage while increasing safety and regulatory compliance. In addition, wireless sensing solutions are targeted at the billions of dollars per year that is spent managing pipeline corrosion. While corrosion is a growing problem for the aging pipeline infrastructure it can also lead to leaks, emissions and even deadly explosions in production facilities and refineries. Omnimetrix, Permasense and Rohrback Cosasco Systems each have unique wireless corrosion monitoring offerings.

ON World recently completed a survey with 216 industrial automation professionals in collaboration with the International Society of Automation (ISA), HART Communication Foundation (HCF) and the Wireless Industrial Networking Alliance (WINA). Over half of the respondents are involved with oil and gas and 81% of the oil and gas respondents are planning WSN applications within the next 18 months. In addition, 8% of the oil and gas companies have deployed over 1,000 wireless field devices.

ON World's report, "Oil & Gas Wireless Sensor Networks," covers the global market for wireless sensor networking in oil and gas exploration, pipelines, refining and petrochemicals. It includes 5-year forecasts by geography, by target market, by application, and by technology (e.g. 802.15.4, ZigBee, WiFi, and point-to-point/multipoint wireless) as well as the survey results, an extensive technology evaluation, and a competitive analysis of 70 companies.

More information and a free executive summary is available from: http://www.onworld.com/oilandgas

About ON World:
ON World provides global business intelligence on smart technology markets. Our research reports and information services are sold to Fortune 1000 companies, startups and investors worldwide. http://www.onworld.com

Media contact:
Mary Purvis
e: purvis at onworld.com
ph: 858-259-2397