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June 10-12, 2025
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Oil and Gas Operations Automation - The Future of Energy - Global Energy Show

The Future of Energy: Oil and Gas Operations Automation

Oil and gas companies are going through a digital transformation with new technology trends like machine learning, robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and automated systems helping streamline manual processes. 

In our latest 5x5 series, Vicki Knott, CEO and Co-Founder of Crux OCM, sat down with Rachel Gregory, Digital Host at The Global Energy Show, to discuss automation innovation within oil and gas operations.

The Future of Control Room Automation from Crux OCM

How Crux OCM Helps Oil and Gas Companies Adopt Automation Processes

Rachel: Vicky, your organization, Crux OCM, is striving towards oil and gas automation. It is very forward-thinking and comes with many benefits for companies looking to adopt operational efficiency into their own organizations. So, what is the big sell of automation within the industry, and how is Crux OCM helping clients achieve this?

Vicki: We're working on automating how control room operators execute business processes, checklists, and rules of thumb for major energy infrastructure.

On a major pipeline, it might take three hours and hundreds to a thousand commands to get the asset up and running. We can decrease that to a single "on" button and then decrease the time to get those assets up to rate. So if you can increase the utilization of assets, then obviously, you're increasing the asset's efficiency or profitability. So more throughput without building more infrastructure, you are increasing the asset integrity by decreasing pressure cyclings.

You're levelling out how these assets operate, decreasing the human interaction with the asset. From human fatigue or a human factors incident perspective, you're decreasing the probability that people can mess things up. So that's really the problem here that we're working hard to solve.

How Automation Affects Job Roles in The Oil and Gas Industry

Rachel: With automation also comes the question of job roles. You've worked in control rooms before. So, you know the value of automating, but how do you also see this impacting job roles within the industry if companies were to adopt this?

Vicki: The goal of automation is to remove repetitive tasks and improve efficiency. A seasoned control room operator could probably start up that pipeline in their sleep, but then that leads to complacency, which could lead to safety risks and issues, right? So let's take away those really boring, monotonous tasks and leave those people who are very, very good at their jobs to figure out new ways to make more efficient operations.

How Crux OCM Helps Companies Reach Global Climate Targets

Rachel: How are your products helping energy companies with the push to reach global climate targets?

Vicki: Increasing the utilization of your existing assets is an efficiency play, and efficiency is green. Rather than building a new pipeline, if you can increase the utilization of your pipeline from 85% to 90%.That is a green initiative.

We have started rolling out a product line for power optimization on transmission pipelines, reducing the power required to move your product. Your oil products at max rate are, of course, also decreasing emissions.

The Future of Crux OCM 

Rachel: Do you see Crux OCM branching into other industries outside of the oil and gas sector?

Vicki: This is a bit of a mind bend for a few folks, but like, why can we run our lives on mobile technology, yet we can't run energy infrastructure on our phone? So, my goal is for us to get to the point where the operation of these major assets is so simple that we can actually operate them via tablets. I see control rooms becoming obsolete. That's absolutely where this industry, as well as other industries, such as utilities that are control room centric, need to go.

Solving the Energy Transition Gap 

Rachel: What do you think we are missing in the energy transition, and what needs to happen to solve this gap? 

Vicki: The global energy demand is continually increasing, yet investment in oil and gas projects is decreasing. There's a transition period here where we need to make sure we're getting the absolute most out of our existing assets to combat energy poverty and facilitate that transition because it isn't going to happen overnight. So I think we're missing an actual plan between where we are and where we're going.

Learn More About The Future of Automation in the Energy Industry

Companies that create workflow automation to remove tedious work, like Crux OCM, will become necessary for any dynamic global industry. 

Automating manual portions of internal processes, like the drilling process in oil and gas, is the digital technology transformation that needs to happen for companies to experience not only increased productivity but increased profitability and sustainability as well.

If you're interested in learning more about innovative technology from those actively changing the game in North America's energy industry, register for the next Global Energy Show today.

Oil and Gas Operations Automation - The Future of Energy - Global Energy Show

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