The Executive Chairman of Radial Circle Technical Services Limited, Ranti Omole spoke with journalists during the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE), Nigeria Annual International Conference (NAICE) that companies are migrating to digitization for effectiveness.
On the issue of cyber threat being a major issue of digitization, Omole said the world being a global village, is also a global threat for cyber-attacks.
He agreed that oil price can never go up again because of continuous threat of surplus in the market and new frontiers coming up in Africa.
Following recent discoveries of alternative energy, Nigeria should look forward to gas, as other oil producing countries are looking towards that direction channeling their resources to gas.
What can you say about the call for digitization of the oil industry?
Some of the oil service companies will be moving towards digitization. Basically, it is moving from inefficiency to the most effective and to a smarter way of doing things and once you migrate to smart way of doing things, you become more efficient, you reduce your cost and there will be solutions.
Today, a lot of companies are looking at that, and for those of us that have massive pipelines, old assets in the swamps, and in shallow waters, it is a tool that we will have to migrate to. That will be the most effective way to monitor your pipelines, mounting your unmount platforms and remote assets.
From what people said today, the cost of the census has gone down, cost of the bandwidth, which basically is what you need to bring your remote information, from the field to the processing centers. Since most of the enabling cost has gone down, there is improvement now in the 4G, 5G LT solutions that can be used across the field. Once you can start interfacing those censuses, the 4GLT, you can get your meter in the field and you can process them much more timely. So, it is the future, it is the way and we don’t have a choice than to actually adopt it.
Is the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) involved in data activities?
There are lots of PETAN members involved in data processing, data management, instrumentation, surveillance and telemetry. We are actually in the forefront in different ways, deploying to our clients. As a forefront association, we will continue to spend time, and resources and involved in digitization, in moving the nation forward.
What challenges do you think Nigerian oil firms are facing in terms of digitization?
It is mostly in articulating the road map, and getting the right contractors, to be able to give them the required support in abundance.
The President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) said Cyber-attack is a threat to the oil industry, how is it a threat to Nigeria?
It is a global threat and the world is a global village, no country, no organization is spared from that. Whatever you hear globally is going to happen here or has been happening here. The reason is because we are part of the global village, we assess site all over the world, and people all over the world also assess sites in Nigeria. So, oil companies need to start looking at how we build fire walls, how we assess securities into our various networks.
We have situations when information is lost; you have heard big banks outside the country loosing information.
The Managing Director of SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari said that oil price will never go up, but rather it will be coming down, what is your take about this, is it just a speculation, or his own view that oil price will never go up but come down. Is this not a threat to fossil fuel?
You have heard about the shale oil. Initially the cost of production was very high and the means of processing it was crude. We also learnt that at various areas where the explorations were done in crude manners. But today, there are more efficient and low-cost methods, different ways of doing directional drilling, remote drillings and different ways of fracking. Invariably, there are increasingly various access to production.
When you have that, it means there will be continuous threat of surplus crude in the market, while new frontiers are coming up in Africa. For instance, in Africa, we have Benin, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, and Namibia among others are all coming up. There is competing alternative energy from gas. There are gas firms around Africa, so it going to be a continuous challenge, hence we may not return to the good old days of $100 or $120 per barrel, because there is increasing competition. There is clean energy, hydro and wind farm, they are all competing.
Recent innovations like the electric cars are trying to come. It is for us to start looking at how we maximize what we have. There are even countries like Kuwait and the United Arab Emirate, that are now looking at ways to quickly deplete their crude oil, take the revenues accrued and invest in the gas sector and to other long-term sustainable assets, because they foresee a time when crude oil will run out. There will be alternative energy consumption and better ways to invest their resources.