New Joint Venture Provides Automation Solutions to the Oil and Gas Industry

Rockwell Automation and Schlumberger partner up to modernize oilfield production.

The oilfields of the future will be automated, and a new joint venture aims to facilitate that development.

Rockwell Automation and Schlumberger, an oilfield technology company, have created a new joint venture called Sensia, which the partners claim will be “the first fully integrated provider of measurement solutions, domain expertise, and automation to the oil and gas industry,” according to the news release.

Sensia will offer scalable, cloud-enabled process automation, including information and process safety solutions, to oilfield operators. The new joint venture aims to help customers achieve efficiencies through the implementation of data-driven intelligent automation to their processes, including intelligent systems and fully engineered life-cycle management automation. The company will combine Rockwell’s automation and analytics technology with Schlumberger’s oilfield expertise and tools.

“Oilfield operators strive to maximize the value of their investments by safely reducing the time from drilling to production, optimizing output of conventional and unconventional wells, and extending well life,” said Blake Moret, Chairman and CEO, Rockwell Automation.

But there is currently no single provider who offers end-to-end solutions and technologies to address that need, Moret noted—a need that is only becoming more urgent as oil companies try to produce more oil and gas with fewer workers, tighter margins and falling oil prices. Oil producers are digging deeper wells more quickly and cheaply, but is behind the curve when it comes to digital connectivity. This results in equipment that functions in isolation—what Allan Rentcome, Rockwell’s Director of Global Technology-Systems Solutions, calls calls “dumb iron.” Rentcome will helm the new venture as its Chief Executive Officer.

Halliburton on future trends in oil and gas.

Sensia was created to connect different oilfield assets and integrate them into one secure technology platform, reducing the need for manual processes.

“Sensia will provide complete lifecycle and process automation solutions from well to terminal, including industry-leading oilfield technology and expertise,” said Moret.

Sensia will operate as an independent entity, while Rockwell Automation will own 53 per cent and Schlumberger will own the remaining 47 per cent of the joint venture. The partners expect Sensia to generate an annual revenue of $400 million, employing approximately 1,000 workers that will serve customers in more than 80 countries.

“The most successful companies combine automated equipment and digital software with the best people,” said Rentcome—and oil and gas production are no exception. The oil rigs of the future will no doubt use technologies such as the ones Sensia provides to maintain their competitive edge.

Read more about the growth of automation in the oil and gas industry at Honeywell Technology to Automate China’s Largest Petrochem Project.