Berg Charts M2M Growth in Oil & Gas

By Paula Bernier November 21, 2012

The installed base of wireless M2M devices in the oil and gas industry is expected to reach 0.43 million by 2016.

Machine-to-machine communications is poised to see significant gains in the next few years within the oil and gas industry, according to a new report Berg Insight. The analyst firm reports that there were 164,000 cellular- and satellite-connected devices being used for oil and gas applications worldwide at the end of 2011, and that number should reach 435,000 by 2016.

As Berg Insight notes, oil and gas operations commonly exist in remote and inaccessible facilities where wireless communication may be the only viable option for transferring data.  And wireless M2M, remote automation, control and monitoring make it more cost effective to extract, transport and distribute emerging oil and gas products including LNG and unconventional resources such as shale gas and heavy oil, says Johan Svanberg, senior analyst at Berg Insight.

“Demand for improved operational efficiency and new governmental regulations will push the adoption of wireless M2M in the industry,” added Svanberg.

Oil and gas applications in North America account for nearly half of the M2M devices now in use. Among the key providers of M2M solutions to the oil and gas vertical, according to Berg Insight, are ABB, Honeywell, Pason Systems, Schneider Electric and Zedi.

Other companies with a focus on this vertical, the firm says, include Hughes Network and SkyWave.

Machine-to-machine communication enables equipment anywhere in the world to provide data on its own status, relay other information and be remotely controlled. The M2M opportunity applies to everything from ATM machines to heart monitors.

In fact, telephone companies have been talking about the promise of M2M for more than a decade.

Early on the telcos used the word telemetry to describe this concept. The application the telcos liked to reference in those days was vending – that is, allowing owners of candy and soda pop machines to monitor their boxes remotely to stay abreast of when refills or other maintenance were required. But today, M2M has been applied to a wide variety of applications and verticals, including by Global 500 companies including General Electric, General Motors and Xerox.

The Yankee Group says the mobile and connected devices market is currently worth $436 billion globally, and is expected to be worth $847 billion by 2016.

Edited by Braden Becker

Executive Editor, TMC

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