M2M Applications In The Oil And Gas Industry
The worldwide market for wireless M2M applications in the oil & gas industry are dominated by global industrial automation and engineering companies including ABB, Emerson, Honeywell, Invensys, Schneider Electric and Siemens. These companies are all major SCADA vendors delivering solutions for remote automation and control to all segments of the oil & gas industry. There is an on-going consolidation trend where the larger industry groups acquire smaller specialised companies. Schneider Electric has for instance in just a few years made several acquisitions of companies specialising in wireless M2M solutions for oil & gas applications including Serck Controls, Control Microsystems and Trio Datacom. Furthermore, in June 2012, ABB acquired wireless technology specialist Tropos Networks. The company will serve as ABB's global center of excellence for wireless networking products and systems. Pason Systems, Zedi, Digi International, CSE Semaphore and Eurotech are international providers of M2M solutions. While their geographical footprints are not as extensive as the global industrial and engineering companies, these companies are more specialized and have a more focused offering of wireless M2M solutions for the oil & gas industry. American Innovations, Elecsys, FreeWave, ISA, vMonitor, Avidwireless and Mesh Systems are providers of solutions for remote control, monitoring and automation based on wireless technology such as cellular and satellite. These companies may have some international operations, but their home markets are their most important markets. This group of companies is also often specialized on a specific market vertical of the oil & gas industry, such as end-to-end solutions for pipeline or well monitoring. SkyWave, Hughes Network Systems and AV SatCom are communication service providers that also market products and solutions for remote data gathering and monitoring. Wireless M2M solutions can help oil & gas companies to increase operational effectiveness and the companies that fare best are likely going to be those that master advanced technology. There will also be a strong focus on environmental safety in the coming years with new regulations and requirements which can be more effectively complied with using wireless M2M technology. Remote automation, control and monitoring are also key ingredients in order to make it cost effective to extract, transport and distribute emerging oil & gas products including LNG and unconventional resources such as shale gas.
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