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Oil and gas control rooms are bracing themselves for important changes in the industry

AdobeStock 504371563The transition to renewable energy is accelerating globally, forcing oil & gas companies to reduce costs or even review their business models. (Image Source: Barco)

Dealing with change is always hard, but control room managers can already make important technology choices to make transitions much smoother.

The oil and gas industry is going through unprecedented fluctuations. The transition to renewable energy is accelerating globally, forcing oil & gas companies to reduce costs or even review their business models.

At the same time, the industry is challenged to accelerate digital transformation to reduce operating costs, offer better customer service, and maintain flexibility. Digital technologies are expected to play an important role in making energy systems around the world more connected, intelligent, efficient, reliable and sustainable.

Coping with change

As control room operations need to be adapted to the reigning market conditions, an important question arises: which technologies are needed to smoothen the transition? Barco sees three important trends.

1. Technology to transition smoothly

Control rooms are transforming more and more into fully networked environments. Visual information can be sent to operators and other users wherever they are connected. By using standard networks instead of traditional AV equipment, control rooms can scale and adapt almost without limits.

Organisational changes also often force control room operators to transition from one control system to another. Networked visualisation solutions, like Barco’s Transform N CMS, make this much easier and even enable operators to work with different systems at the same time. 

2. Technology to view ergonomically

Today’s control room operators need to handle a variety of data sources and sensor types. The challenge for control room integrators is then to provide an intuitive and ergonomic way for operators to view and interact with this multitude of sources.

Operator workspace solutions like Barco’s OpSpace enable operators to visualise all critical sources in a single pixel space and easily control them with a single keyboard and mouse. Granular access control (based on users and roles) ensures that operators see only the data that is relevant to their job.

Additionally, to provide a full situational overview for a group of operators and foster their collaboration, a large video wall can make the difference. TruePix, Barco’s latest LED video wall, is an excellent choice for this, including some unique features to tackle operator eye fatigue. 

3. Technology to scale securely

Whatever the future brings, the workspace and common operational picture in the control room will become more complex. At the same time, that information might also need to be shared securely across an increasing number of global sites and experts.

Networked visualisation allows control room content to be sent anywhere in a secure way. With a workspace solution like OpSpace, operators can securely access and mix OT and other content sources across multiple security domains and physical locations, integrating the data only at the presentation layer. 

Barco makes the modernisation process much smoother. With more than 30 years of experience in control rooms, Barco helps to view better, share faster, resolve quicker.

To know more discover Barco's control room solutions for utilities or get in touch with an expert.