Drone technology and outcrop modeling are already changing. The way fieldwork is conducted and providing a useful new learning resource for geoscientists.
Some other emerging digital technologies that are having and can still have an impact. On the way, we add the oil and gas industry are associated with 3D virtual modeling and drone technology.
Monitoring and Inspection
In the case of drone technology, this might have huge benefits in terms of monitoring and inspection of both inaccessible and/or dangerous oil and gas facilities. With top quality images fed back in real-time to drone operators.
Within a matter of hours instead of potentially days. This sort of drone inspection can then identify genuine issues and problems and direct teams as well as to affect them immediately, improving efficiency by focussing on those facilities that need immediate attention. Another example is that the inspection/maintenance of flares offshore. Difficult to succeed in and dangerous. This sort of physical inspection can require production shut down. Before it can happen, but with drone technology.
Images of Rock Outcrops
In another application, drones can capture amazing images of rock outcrops. Which, when combined with other technologies like mobile mapping (helicopter) as well as laser scanning (LiDAR) data. Often georeferenced and processed to get virtual outcrop models which may act as a really useful classroom learning aid.
A step further where an accurate. With information on the thickness and width of sedimentary features to make a strong, interactive. Learning resources that will be wont to supplement more traditional classroom and field-based training courses.
It is clear that the oil and gas industry is starting as well as to move towards a future of increasing digitization. Those companies who shy away from such technology will likely fall further and further behind the innovators over the next decade or so.