HomeEnergyWireless IoT devices in the oil and gas industry reach 1.3mn in 2018: Study

Wireless IoT devices in the oil and gas industry reach 1.3mn in 2018: Study

The installed base of wireless internet of things devices in the global oil and gas industry reached 1.3 million in 2018, according to a new research report from Swedish machine-to-machine/IoT analyst firm Berg Insight.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8%, this number is expected to reach 1.9 million units by 2023.

The research firm said that the most common applications for wireless solutions in the oil and gas industry are remote monitoring of tanks and industrial equipment in the midstream and downstream sectors.

Berg Insight expects that shipments in the upstream sector will grow faster, although from a much smaller base, as cellular communications become an increasingly viable alternative to proprietary radio due to improved 4G LTE coverage in North America.
 
The Swedish firm highlighted that major automation vendors such as Emerson, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Yokogawa, Honeywell and ABB are investing heavily in the development of software platforms to support use cases surrounding predictive analytics and digital twins. Recent developments further include Rockwell Automation’s joint venture agreement with the major oilfield service company Schlumberger to create Sensia, an integrated automation solution provider in the oil and gas industry, Berg Insights said.

On the communications side, several initiatives have been launched to promote the adoption of cellular technologies in the utilities industry, primarily in the U.S., Berg Insight noted. In early 2019,  cellular device providers, including Sierra Wireless, Cisco, MultiTech Systems, GE and Encore Networks together with spectrum licensees and utilities formed the Utility Broadband Alliance (UBBA) to advance the development of private LTE networks for critical infrastructure industries.
 
Solutions for remote monitoring of assets such as wellheads, storage tanks and pipeline infrastructure are offered by major industrial automation vendors, as well as a large number of specialised providers.

“Key consolidators in the market for remote monitoring solutions are the private-equity held companies Quorum Software and DataOnline that have acquired six and three businesses respectively between 2015–2019,” said Fredrik Stalbrand, IoT analyst for, Berg Insight.

“Several players continue to have inorganic growth as a key strategy, so further M&As can be expected among IIoT solution providers targeting the oil and gas industry in 2019–2020,” Stalbrand added.

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