The energy services company Schlumberger is partnering with the Milwaukee firm Rockwell Automation to form a new company in Houston to sell equipment and services to advance digital technology and automation in the oilfield, the Rockwell Automation website reports.
The new company, called Sensia, aims to combine the automation and analytics technology of Rockwell with Schlumberger’s oilfield expertise and tools to help producers churn out more oil and gas with fewer workers, an increasing focus of an oil and gas industry looking to cut costs and stay profitable when oil prices fall. Schlumberger, which has one of its principal offices in Houston, is the world’s biggest energy services player.
The joint venture will specialize in sensor-measuring technology with intelligent automation, or IA, hence the Sensia name.
Oil companies are drilling deeper, faster and more cost effectively, but there’s still a lot to be desired when it comes to digital connectivity so all the equipment in the oilfield can communicate with each other and operate as more than just “dumb iron,” said Allan Rentcome, Rockwell’s director of global technology who will become the chief executive of Sensia.
“On the technology side, there’s a lot of disconnected assets and equipment in the field,” Rentcome said. “The most successful companies combine automated equipment and digital software with the best people.”
Sensia aims to offer technology and engineering services so drilling operations can run automated schedules and different pieces of equipment can communicate with each other, assessing the health of the tools. The company also will offer software, equipment and services to help companies assess the mountains of data from drilling and improve operations.
Sensia meshes with Schlumberger’s “rig of the future” technologies that allow more digital connectivity at the rig and deep below the surface, company officials said.
“This joint venture is the next step in our vision to offer our customers smart, connected devices with rich diagnostic capabilities, coupled with measurement, automation and analytics that improve oilfield operations,” said Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard.