Chevron uses data, drones and AR to transform energy output

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By Elisabeth Kindig

In episode 7 of Tech Lightning Rounds, Beth Kindig interviews energy experts to discuss the transformation of the energy industry catalyzed by technology, including data, IoT, drones, and augmented reality. Interviews are held in “lightning round” format, which are rapid interviews with tech experts for immediate depth on each topic

Chevron is one of the world’s largest oil companies, recently ranking nineteenth in the Fortune 500 list of top US companies and was sixteenth on the Fortune 500 global list of corporations worldwide. In order to maintain a competitive advantage, Chevron uses technology in a variety of ways – especially data, which is generated from sensors, helps move fluids safely and effectively, and helps to monitor equipment. Michelle Pflueger, General Manager of Digital Innovation and Acceleration at Chevron, describes in detail how the company uses advanced process control to create $240 million of value in 2018. As Michelle explains, advanced process control is similar to adaptive cruise control in a vehicle, allows safer and more reliable operations in a plant, like the Gorgon project in Australia, which is a liquified natural gas project that moves energy across the ocean on boats. Chevron also collects a lot of information from wells, such as in the San Joaquin Valley, with sensors that relay information on pressures, temperatures, acoustics and sounds. One of the biggest benefits to collecting this level of data and information is to catch anomalies, which has saved up to $40 million due to the accurate monitoring of machines.

Michelle and Beth also discuss how Chevron is sending drones into a tank to collect data to send to people outside of the tank, which eases the operations. She also discusses how Chevron is using the HoloLens Virtual Reality headsets to work across virtual teams.

Don’t miss this exciting interview from a Fortune 500 energy company on how two of the world’s biggest industries, energy and technology, are converging for reduced costs, enhanced throughput and an increase in production.

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