Azure in the oil and gas industry: Technology and career options

June 28 2021

As an IT professional in Houston, I have had opportunities in the past to apply Azure technology to oil and gas projects at a large midstream company. As one of the largest such firms,  the company was setting up SCADA equipment and IoT to monitor end-to-end operations at a refinery, all the way from pulling petroleum from the ground to shipping it to gas stations. Azure helped to connect SCADA and IoT devices to monitor pipelines. If you've ever seen a big control room in a movie, that's essentially what we were hooking up.

What sort of Azure services do energy companies commonly use?

IoT capabilities are one of the most common cloud opportunities, given the amount of industrial technology involved. Energy companies commonly use Azure Data Lake, Machine Learning, and High Performance Computing. These technologies help with analyzing large datasets of seismic data. Additionally, AI Analytics has an important role to play.

An oil and gas company may have hundreds of sensors in the ground for a project, connected with a shipping container serving as a mini data center.  Data from the sensors is sent to satellites to be analyzed elsewhere. Seismic devices create mini-earthquakes with explosives to generate seismic data. When I was there, the company had several of these shipping-container-size data center projects deployed all over the world.

The regulatory environment

About Jeff Christman

Jeff Christman is a Navy Veteran with over 20 years of experience in the IT field. Specializing in cloud migrations, he has worked for companies such as Raytheon, AT&T, and NASA. Currently, he is a Sr. Cloud Security Consultant at a large consulting firm. In addition to his daytime job, he also has published content and courses for Pluralsight.com, Techsnips.io, and Adamtheautomator.com. 

In his off time, he loves fantasy football, everything tech, and embarrassing his teenage daughters.

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