IN ADDITION to my regular duties at the helm of InnovOil, much of my time is now spent looking at electric vehicles (EVs).
In general, much of the oil industry considers the EV to be somewhere between a mortal enemy and a far-off dream. In reality, however, adoption rates are rising – Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reported that during H1 2016 global sales were 285,000, up 57% on the same period last year – technology is improving, costs are falling and EVs are no longer vanity projects or vapourware.
The effects of the uptake on future oil demand are debatable. BNEF’s most bullish forecast sees up to 47% of new cars being electric by 2040, though it reckons 35% is more likely. In either scenario, oil demand for transport fuels is likely to fall – but that should not mean the technology is anathema to industry progress.
What is most clear is the extent to which new vehicles will be digitally connected, intelligent machines. Technologies already deployed by EV firms and the conventional transport sector show that – as we saw last month with autonomous ships– self-driving cars are already here.
Such advances will transform logistics, transport and shipping. Self-driving trucks promise to deliver goods and parts faster and more efficiently than ever before, while improvements in electric motors and batteries will have knock-on effects in how operators outfit vessels, ROVs and AUVs, influencing everything from DPS to UPS.
Indeed, in this issue, we take a brief look at research which has successfully managed to charge a drone wirelessly, while in flight. The industry should not fear these advances, but should ensure it adopts useful technology as fast as possible if it is to stay innovative and competitive.
Elsewhere, the industry’s approach to monitoring is becoming more digital and more intelligent. One start-up we spoke to this month, Synaptec, has developed a system that can monitor voltage, current temperature and more, across hundreds of sensors, using only a single fibre optic.
On the cover this month you will see LumaSense’s flare monitoring system, which offers a leap ahead in terms of traditional thermocouples. Ros Davidson also speaks with Arizona State University researchers who have monitored the effects of wastewater injection in the US via satellite, with dramatic results.
All this as well as new rigs from Aker Solutions, a riser system designed to aid HPHT jack-up developments, delivery of the first FLNG barge, and much more.
A reminder too to look out for InnovOil staff doing the rounds of ADIPEC this month, where we will be looking to hear about the latest innovations in the Middle East. Do say hello!
For now, we are pleased to present theNovember issue of InnovOil.