Discover 5 innovative technologies in the O&G market

  • 19/03/2020
  • 10 minutes

The application of innovative technologies in the O&G (Oil & Gas) market is being used by the main players in the industry. Being naturally more conservative and, at times, refractory to the use of newer tools. Today, the conjuncture is more open to the adoption of digital resources.

This is what José Pedro Almeida, president of Lila Online, a data refinery, a category of company focused on collecting and transforming data for strategic use, tells us. He is our guest to expose the current state of the technology applied to Offshore operations and in other contexts in maritime trade. Check out what he has to say.

Innovative technologies in the O&G (Oil & Gas) market

The very entry of companies like Lila Online is proof that the O&G (Oil & Gas) industry is changing. In part, this entry can be credited to a gradual change in the mindset of decision-makers. On the other hand, it is also due to the new government policies to encourage Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I), which we will talk about later.

Anyway, according to José Pedro Almeida “digitization and industry 4.0 are entering the O&G (Oil & Gas) market with everything with full force and, in my point of view, although the industry is still conservative, I like to see this trend of openness to new technologies and possibilities”.

He points to the main technologies that are changing the face of the industry and that should change paradigms for the next 5 years. Take a look!

1. Dynamic Positioning System

A Dynamic Positioning System is like a GPS anchor. It serves to keep the ship that relieves the platforms that are not connected to flow ducts — Shuttle Tanker — fixed in one position. Without this resource, it would be at the mercy of the strength of the tides and winds, therefore, exposed to the risk of loss of control and, thus, having its position altered.

DP is generally used on research vessels and drilling vessels sailing in the deepest parts of the ocean, where winds and waves tend to change continuously.

In situations like this, it can be a troublesome for a ship’s crew to place anchors. Therefore, a ship enabled with this technology can anticipate changes in wind and waves, changing or maintaining its course and/or position safely.

2. Digital Twin

“Digital Twin, on the other hand, simulates the performance conditions of similar equipment. It creates a controlled environment, in which it is possible to conduct stress and climatic conditions tests, among other factors. In this way, it is extremely useful because it reduces the uncertainty in operations when they migrate to the real environment”, reports José Pedro Almeida.

It is one of the most popular technologies in the context of Digital Transformation, being widely used in the automotive industries and to monitor the life cycle of products. It is developed through Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and within the concept of Internet of Things (IoT), by which machines and equipment are integrated online.


Another innovation that has made production and transportation in the O&G (Oil & Gas) industry more agile is the so-called FPSO — Floating Production Storage & Offloading Vessel. It consists of a ship, adapted to perform the functions of a platform.

Therefore, an FPSO also has the capacity to treat and store oil. At this point, it is clear how much technological evolution has benefited the industry and ships of this type.

4. 3D printing

Also worth mentioning is the application of 3D printing as a resource to reduce risk in operations. “Several mechanisms use this to reduce weight, for example”, says José Pedro Almeida.

A good example of the use of this technology comes from Shell, which already employs it on a large scale to manufacture highly complex equipment. This is what the multinational company did in the Stones project, in which a new synthetic foam was tested in FPSO operations.

5. Robotics and Nanorobotics

One of the innovative technologies in the O&G (Oil & Gas) market is the application of robotics and nanorobotics. Regarding this segment, the president of Lila Online highlights the capabilities of robots in operations: “they — the robots — are able to transmit data to map the characteristics of a well, for example. In this case, it is possible that for a well to have 200 sensors with data emission 24 hours a day and 7 days a week”.

The impacts on the market and on offshore operations

“The technologies bring more certainty about the processes. Working with Oil involves a lot of investment and the response time when a problem arises is very short. The technology brings more agility and, thus, more security in Offshore operations. This opens up more possibilities to respond to daily challenges”, says Almeida.

Almeida adds: “in the next 5 years, routines will be easier and professionals in the field will have a better quality of life”.

The panorama of the Brazilian industry

There is no technological development when there is no incentive for research and development. In this sense, an important advance is being celebrated by professionals in the O&G (Oil & Gas) industry. This is the new set of rules of the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) in order to reduce the bureaucracy in the sector.

One of these improvements is the dispensation of oil companies to prove that a partner company in RD&I is national based on technology. With the new regulation, it is enough that the company is Brazilian.

Another advance, according to José Pedro Almeida, is “the ANP RD&I clause, whereby all oil operators have to spend 1% of production revenue on Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) projects. Thus, a large fund will be formed to streamline projects aimed at technological development”.

Challenges and expectations for the coming years

It should also be considered that the partnership between technological startups and the O&G (Oil & Gas) industry is extremely recent and needs more attention, given the possibilities. Therefore, José Pedro Almeida understands that the first step to be taken is to map all the processes for the eventual creation of smart contracts, as they are known.

He concludes: “the advantage of the smart contract is that it no longer needs human presence to be operated. The contractual relationship is written in code and, using the “blockchain”, and the relationship between operator and concessionaire is now automated, operated and encrypted in a secure virtual environment common among the interested parties.

And he continues: “I believe that Brazil has the potential to be one of the top 5 oil producers in the world and innovative technologies will help us get there faster than we imagined — we are moving towards that!”.

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