Satellites are playing vital role in the oil & gas industry. Right from exploration of fossil fuel to production and transportation of crude oil, satellite services assist upstream, midstream, and downstream branches of the oil & gas industry. Operations in the oil & gas industry, whether they are onshore or offshore, are mostly carried out in remote locations. These locations are far from any infrastructural development, isolated, and with harsh environmental conditions. The difficulty and risk levels are high in offshore operations, due to uncertain and continuously changing conditions of winds and waves. Satellite services comprise communication services and remote-sensing services that can be utilized in the oil & gas industry.
With their innovative technology of high spatial resolution imaging, remote-sensing satellite services can help in the exploration of new hydrocarbon reserves. The high-resolution surface data obtained from satellite imagery exhibits different surface features of the area of interest. This, in turn, helps to design, manage, and execute geophysical exploration surveys required for the exploration of oil and gas deposits.
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In midstream oil & gas operations, remote sensing satellite services can be used for continuous monitoring and mapping of widespread, extensively long network of pipelines. Leakage or damage of crude oil pipelines can cause severe environmental pollution. This can be a major loss in terms of revenue to any oil & gas company. Thus, maintaining the safety and integrity of pipeline satellite services can save great amount of time and money involved in midstream oil & gas operations.
Communication satellite services are capable to provide broadband Internet, voice over IP (VoIP), real-time video, and reliable wireless communications in harsh offshore as well as onshore environments. Instant and crucial decision-making is a regular task in upstream oil & gas operations, wherein the communication between management, scientists, and onsite workforce plays a key role. Communication satellite services help in addressing health- and safety-related issues in such high-risk operations.
The ever-increasing demand for crude oil is a key driver for the satellite services market for the oil & gas industry. The era of easy oil is over. The rise in demand for this favored energy source is creating need for exploring new oil and gas deposits across the world. The new reserves of oil and gas are being discovered in deeper, offshore environments. The future of the oil & gas industry lies mostly in offshore environments. This presents growth opportunities for the satellite services market for the oil & gas industry.
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Though the oil & gas industry is currently suffering due to low oil prices, it is likely to recover in the next few years. On the other hand, increased use of renewable energy sources could be one of the major restraints for the industry. However, along with renewable energy sources, natural gas has emerged as one of the most favored fuels in recent times. Thus, the satellite service market for the oil & gas industry is likely to expand at a significant rate in the near future.
Major players operating in the satellite services market for the oil & gas industry are ESOA, Ground Control, DHI GRAS A/S., i-cubed, LLC. ESRI, Infosat Communications, Castor Networks, ND SatCom GmbH, Network Innovations, Datasat Communications, Orange Business Services, and Hughes Network Systems LLC.