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Oil and gas operations made safer, more efficient, and more secure

The oil and gas industry is going through challenging times. Clearly the reduced price of oil is top of mind, and organizations are therefore accelerating their move towards digital business to address major business concerns such as profitability, market share, cost controls as well as safety and security. Here is a guest blog from our Global IoE Solutions Lead for oil and gas, Serhii Konovalov that addresses many key areas of concern for our clients:


Serhii Konovalov, Global IoE Solutions Lead for oil and gas

When our energy customers discuss business issues, two areas of concern often come up. Across the board, physical and cyber security are top-of-mind. They are also concerned that worker productivity levels should be higher.

Together with Schneider Electric, we have developed a Smart Connected Pipeline solution, which addresses both of these areas of concern. This solution helps to make pipelines more efficient and safer, and can reduce costs from losses and leaks. It will be of interest to oil and gas customers looking to implement green field (new) installations, or brown field (established) installations where they are looking to upgrade existing pipeline infrastructure.

This new solution addresses the broad pipeline infrastructure, including the control center and converged telecommunications systems. Schneider Electric is particularly versed in pipeline control systems and leak detection systems. They’ve combined their strength in operational technologies with Cisco’s experience in IT networking, security, and enterprise infrastructure. Together we’ve developed a solution tailored for the pipeline industry that:

  • Provides pipeline automation across a unified end-to-end network providing improved visualization in real-time, reducing accidents and detecting leaks faster
  • Can be implemented faster and delivers earlier return on investment because it is pre-engineered and validated.
  • Works with third-party intrusion (TPI) prevention and leak-detection systems (LDS)
  • Offers real-time control room visibility and response to out-of-line situations

Who’s using Connected Pipelines today?

A major integrated European oil and gas company that operates in around eighty-five countries around the world is using the solution to address some critical concerns.

The first concern was the risk of leaks: they wanted to detect and manage leaks better along the pipeline.

The second concern was security: they wanted to implement new physical security services along the pipeline itself, reducing theft and lowering losses. They also wanted to optimize the maintenance downtime to improve product throughput.

They had a mature infrastructure, about twenty years old, and wanted a more agile, responsive, and up-to-date digital solution. Read More »

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Cisco’s Solution Framework for the Digital Journey

Every country, city, industry, and business is becoming digital in order to leverage the unprecedented opportunities possible from rapidly expanding connectivity around the globe.

Digitization requires customers to rethink their business, operations, and technology strategies. Cisco’s research, along with countless business experts, forecasts that 40% of today’s leading businesses will be displaced by competitors disrupting the market with new approaches— digitization is an imperative for business survival.

I am excited about today’s announcement of Cisco’s Digital Solutions for Industries. This showcases our unique approach to help customers capture the promise of digitization.

Tony Shakib news conference

Digital transformation necessitates a combining of business and IT strategy that connects everything, embraces analytics, and takes a holistic approach to data security that spans technology and operations. According to the 2014 Digital Transformation report by the Altimeter Group, 88% of companies report undergoing a digital transformation — however, only 25% have mapped the digital customer journey and have a clear understanding of new or under-performing digital touchpoints. Read More »

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#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 »

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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 »

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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

And, as always, tell us what you think.

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