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Internet of things (IoT)

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Digital Transformation

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which enables these things to connect and exchange data, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, resulting in efficiency improvements, economic benefits and reduced human exertions. [1]

IoT may be considered an extension of SCADA, the main differences being:

  • IoT is based on mainstream computer architectures and operating systems
  • IoT systems have more computing power, enabling more functionality
  • IoT systems are often integrated with enterprise systems, big data analytics, and machine learning capabilities

IoT in Oil & Gas

IoT for Downhole Equipment

Potential uses for IoT technology in downhole tools include but are not limited to: geolocalization, entrance/exit tracking, Temperature and pressure sensors, humidity sensors to detect breaches in watertight seals, and thickness sensors to measure tool wear and tear. IoT connected sensors allow for faster and more accurate determination of the condition of downhole tools for condition based maintenance (CBM) and reduced non-productive time (NPT). Coupled with machine learning algorithms the CBM program can maximize the time between scheduled repairs and replacements and minimize downtime and its associated costs. [2]

IoT Artificial Lift Systems

William G. Elmer demonstrated that IoT can be used to interface with and manage artificial lift systems and improve the operations of rod pump controllers, well head compressors, and lift system temperature regulators. [3]

The Industrial Internet Consortium

A liaison relationship was established in 2018 between SPE and the Industrial Internet Consortium.

The IIC's main deliverables of use to the O&G industry include:


  1. Wikipedia. 2018. Internet of things (20 June 2018 revision). (accessed 20 June 2018).
  2. Temer, Elais, Moving Toward Smart Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance of Downhole Tools Using the Industrial Internet of Things IIoT
  3. Elmer, William G., Artificial Lift Applications for the Internet of Things.