Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Energy - Oil & Gas and Utilities

#CiscoChat: Coming Out Ahead in Oil and Gas with Digital Technologies

Cisco_Chat_oil and gas_TWITTER

The oil and gas industry has been digitized since the 1960s – perhaps longer than any other sector. From digital computers to digital oilfields, the industry has evolved from a monitor and react model, to one of real-time and predictive decision making.

Now, change is coming to the industry. Some compare the scale of this change to what was seen in the Industrial Revolution, one of the most pivotal technological shifts in in history. In that transition, new processes and innovative techniques caused industries to change literally overnight.

Today, we are in the midst of a digital revolution. And once again, industries across the board are on the cusp of radical changes to how they operate and innovate.

During our next #CiscoChat on Tuesday, July 28, 9-10 a.m. PST, we’ll take a deeper look at how the oil and gas industry has embraced this digital revolution, why digital technologies are making companies more competitive, and what it means for the future of the industry.

Digital oil fields, with their sensors and industrial control systems, are a marvel to be proud of. Yet, oil and gas leaders increasingly recognize that this model is plagued with process silos that add expense and cripple agility.

The oil and gas companies that see opportunity are integrating IT, industrial controls, and business processes end to end. They’re breaking silos. They’re defying bandwidth constraints by bringing computing to the data deluge being generated in remote locations.

They’re making sure everything is secure end to end, from board room to well head. They’re using digital technologies to communicate better, keep people safer, and collaborate more effectively.

They’re getting immediate data and better information to make better decisions, faster. And they’re looking toward tomorrow, bridging the talent gap and setting the foundation for an even more amazing digital future.

“How is all this possible?” you ask. This #CiscoChat is where you’ll find the answers.

During our #CiscoChat, @EnergyCisco will be joined by Nicolaas Smit, director of Cisco’s Energy Industry Global Industries Center of Expertise, along with Luis Gamboa, oil and gas market development lead at Rockwell Automation, and Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst of ZK Research. Our panelists will answer questions and provide insight into how an oil and gas firm can transform to be a digital integrated organization through the Internet of Everything. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Bit Stew shows off Analytics for Utilities with MIx Director at Cisco Live

We caught up with Andrew Miller, Sr. Sales Engineer from Bit Stew Systems at Cisco Live this year. Bit Stew is a Cisco partner that focuses on the analytics space with a platform that they call ‘Software Defined Operations for the Industrial Internet’. Their solution works with Cisco IOx on a number of Cisco platforms. The demonstration in this video shows just a small part of what they do, but does showcase analytics at the edge (Fog Computing) in a practical way with, in this case, an electrical utility customer.

Bit Stew’s Mix Core platform automates data ingestion, applies machine intelligence to learn patterns in the data, allowing industrial companies to discover actionable insights that optimize operational performance. MIx Director™ (formerly Grid Director™) is powered by the MIx Core platform, and is the application that industrial enterprises rely on for a contextual and real-time view of their operations, assets and customers.

In the Video, Andrew talks about the “Fog Computing” aspects of the MIx Director solution. With this solution running in cisco Grid routers at the edge of the network, a lot of the filtering of data can be done locally, without back-hauling to the data center or elsewhere. So long as everything is ticking along nicely, there’s no need to burden central resources or comms networks with unnecessary traffic. But if something untoward should happen, then operators will get alerts and see in real time what’s happening. Service crews or emergency services can be dispatched and potential disasters minimized. Well, don’t let me steal too much of Andrews thunder. Watch the video to see what happens next!

You can find out more about Bit Stew and some of their key people by reading these other blogs:

There’s a great “point of View” document that talks about the business benefits of the partnership here: Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thermal Imaging Analysis – easy as PI with OSIsoft at Cisco Live

I caught up with Danilo Ribeiro, Strategic Alliance Program Manager from OSIsoft, at Cisco Live recently, and shot a video of the OSIsoft demonstration he was showing. In the video, Danilo talks about Fog Computing and thermal imaging analytics at the edge using the OSIsoft PI System and Cisco IOx.

The PI System is used by many, if not most, industrial companies to capture real-time data and events and manage an historian, interfacing to critical ERP, BI, process monitoring and office systems.

Danilo’s demonstration shows a thermal imaging camera detecting a gas ‘flare’ from the field (in the demo it’s a heat source mounted above the booth in this case to show the real-time data capture). The OSIsoft system is able to detect the anomaly and alert remote operators rapidly so that corrective action can be taken.

In the video Danilo talks about how the demonstration simulates a flare monitoring system. This is the kind of monitoring that happened in oil and gas fields like the one in operation at PETRONAS Penapisan Melake, Malaysia. PETRONAS has evolved into a fully integrated multinational oil and gas company. PETRONAS’ refining capacity, at 323,300 bpd (2012) is over half of the 2012 total refining capacity in Malaysia. PETRONAS CARIGALI is the upstream arm of Malaysia’s state-owned, fully integrated oil and gas company. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Modernizing the Grid: Utilities and Data Analytics

The electric utilities sector is facing some challenging times as it struggles with a regulatory model designed for an earlier era. As increased renewable integrations into the grid intensify, electric utilities will need to take steps to accommodate the variable output of distributed generation and develop new insights and technologies that will shape the future of the grid. In fact, my colleague Rick Geiger recently authored a blog with his thoughts on what the future of the grid looks like.

The electric utilities business model is being disrupted and the days of the regulated monopoly appears ripe for change. So, how exactly can electric utilities work to modernize the grid? The answer is by addressing current customer requirement trends taking place in the industry through the collection and analysis of pertinent data. These utility industry megatrends include:

  • Changing customer expectations resulting from the digitization of services allowing anytime, anywhere personalized services.
  • Rise of social networks and the ability to quickly form communities of interest and communicate instantaneously with a billion people globally via text, video and/or voice.
  • Pervasive connectivity and computing that is unlocking a sea of change in productivity gains for businesses, disrupting existing businesses and creating new opportunities for agile firms.
  • Expansion of energy markets for distributed energy resources are enabling greater adoption and increased transactions.
  • Financial innovation that is enabling a wide range of customers to amortize initial capital costs of DER to align with benefit cash flows and make a stronger value proposition.
  • Energy technology advancements for power system and distributed energy technologies are accelerating at exponential rates while also leveraging breakthroughs on business models and system performance.

These trends are disrupting utilities’ ability to effectively manage the grid as customers become more involved in the way energy consumption evolves. As we look at the integration of renewable services or renewable generation from wind, solar, biogas and others, the grid is now becoming a two-way system.  Take solar panel installations on rooftops. You now have customers generating electricity and sending it back into the grid – it’s not just coming from the generating plant anymore. In order to stabilize the grid, we need to collect data and be able to make decisions that impact the outcomes seen.

In order for utilities to successfully meet these customer requirements, they must create an intelligent energy network platform that is:

  • Observable – enabling full determination of grid state – deep situational awareness.
  • Intelligent – enabling ability to gain situational intelligence to support operational decisions.
  • Automated – ability to rapidly adapt to changing conditions with minimal human involvement.
  • Transactive – dynamically balancing diverse resources and distributed market participation.

If you consider blackouts that have happened in the past, having an automated grid with the ability to collect and react to data may have helped with those cascading power outages. That is the problem modern-day utilities are solving. Electric utilities are changing their mindset about using data analytics to meet customer requirements and in my opinion, data analytics will be one of the best ways of effectively managing the grid. Harvesting reams of data opens up new, great opportunities for both utilities and ratepayers, which in the end reduces the cost of managing the grid and gives utilities real-time capabilities to deal with issues that may impact grid performance. One of the market entrants in the utilities sector taking this approach is Bit Stew. Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Cisco Secure Ops demonstrated at Cisco Live 2015

As I mentioned in my last blog: “Cisco Live Hosts Enhanced Cisco Collaborative Operations Solution Demonstration“, Cisco Live excited many delegates this year, and one of the highlights was indeed the World of Solutions. I talked about how the industrial section of the ‘Cisco Campus’ not only showed off lots of new advances, but, for the first time, the small but important process industries (including Oil and Gas) booth opened up showing the services-based solutions Secure Ops and Collaborative Operations. Now let’s talk about Secure Ops.

In the video, I interview Cisco and Partner representatives to discuss the Secure Ops Solution from Cisco: What it is, what the business need is, and how Cisco is helping customers get better better business outcomes – especially when it comes to cybersecurity! Having the Secure Ops solution can increase availability of systems and critical infrastructure, reducing downtime in, for example, the oil and gas industry, or or any industry that relies on critical infrastructure such as process manufacturing, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals or other industrial automation environments.

Cisco Secure Ops delivers a standardized, comprehensive and integrated approach to security. It is supported by automation suppliers such as Yokogawa and Rockwell and technology providers such as McAfee and Symantec and provides a framework for a wide range of partners to participate. It’s currently installed at customers such as Royal Dutch Shell.

Rob Arlic of Cisco is joined by Galina Antova at Cisco Live. Rob talks about what Secure Ops is, how it helps provide not only cybersecurity protection, but also demonstrable regulation compliance. It therefore provide companies with higher availability and better Operational Excellence.

Galina talks about what’s new. Added capabilities include going deeper than just the IP network to gain more profound visibility into operations. Then gaining a view of what’s normal/abnormal in those other networks which can be assessed. Managing all that is key, and included.

Rob concludes by summing up: “It’s all about up-time and availability. If there are security vulnerabilities, (making sure) those are addressed proactively, proactively and preemptively”.

To learn more go to www.cisco.com/go/oilandgas.

And, as always, tell us what you think.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,