The global flow computers in oil and gas market size was valued at USD 571.6 million in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 982.23 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period (2022–2030). The measurement of liquid and gas supplies is done using flow computer equipment in the oil and gas industry. Flow computers calculate the precise flow of liquid or gas moving through the pipelines using inputs from flow meters, temperature transmitters, and pressure transmitters. With the aid of the interfaced devices, it determines the precise amount of flow and logs data, significant events, and alarms. In order to inspect, manage, and account for the data, it is then transferred to external computers or workstations. Due to the high cost of oil and gas resources, precise measurement is required. As a result, the oil and gas industries need flow computers at various locations for accurate flow computing and reliable flow measurement, monitoring, and control.
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Rising Demand for Reliable Flow and High-Tech Computing Systems
Modern production well pad designs incorporate numerous wells, each of which has the potential to produce oil, natural gas, and water. Compared to traditional oil and gas production site designs, which had one or two wells per pad. More and more sites are performing everything at the good pad, as opposed to the past practice of performing wellhead and facility controls in separate locations. Concentrating measurement and control in one place is necessary for economics in the modern oil and gas field. Demand for flow computers, which are backed by sophisticated control algorithms and have the capacity to give real-time and historical data to numerous users, has increased as a result of the concentration at the wellhead. The need for high-tech flow computers will rise as more users learn how better data analysis and the requirements to collect, store, process, and transmit data can give them a competitive advantage and increase productivity.
Constant Evolving Flow Computers' Data Computational Capacity
Many players in the oil and gas sector are interested in developing a robust, single platform with integrated measurement and controls, edge computing, advanced connectivity, and intrinsic cybersecurity. This element has led to an increase in the flow of computer processing capability. Additionally, flow computers' processor and RAM capabilities are expected to increase significantly over the next few years, outperforming the PLC and current legacy flow computers in computation power. The measurement history and configuration data are stored in a measurement application's large amount of non-volatile memory. Automation and measurement consolidation require orders of magnitude more non-volatile memory and computational power than was previously possible with legacy flow computers and PLCs to reap business and productivity benefits.
Reduced Investment in Infrastructure Due to Dynamic Changes in Oil and Gas Prices
The most crucial energy source for economic activities, oil, and gas, are the most traded commodities in the world. The long-term trend in oil and gas prices is influenced by several variables, along with frequent oil-related incidents and rising speculative activity in financialized products derived from crude oil. In addition, the oil market has become more unstable, price fluctuations in fuel and oil have increased, and several factors influence the price fluctuations of crude oil. While the short-term fluctuations of crude oil are influenced by financial and economic factors, like the business cycle and financial market speculation, which worsen the instability of the oil markets, the long-term trend of oil prices is primarily determined by oil supply and demand.
Growing Modifications in the Software
Flow computer manufacturers plan to modify software and firmware version numbers to make it easier to identify the calculation portion. Multiphase flowmeter manufacturers used PVT (pressure, volume, temperature) tables to convert actual to standard conditions. These tables were created in another program and uploaded to flow. Emerson's embedded PVT engine in the multiphase flowmeter's flow computer has two equations of state and two property libraries. The flow computer's PVT engine provides accurate and seamless calculations as flow conditions change. The May 2021 cyber-attack on Colonial Pipeline shows how oilfield security is deteriorating. The company took some systems offline to contain the cyberattack, which temporarily halted pipeline operations and affected some IT systems. Disclosure of billing information affected the company's centralized "flow computer," which monitors fuel distribution and ticket users. Low-cost memory chips with fast data processing may help flow computers perform more complex operations.
The global flow computers in oil and gas market are segmented by offering.
Based on the offering, the global flow computers in oil and gas market are bifurcated into hardware and software.
The hardware segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow steadily during the forecast period. An electronic flow computer's primary duty is to monitor, calculate, and record the flow rate of a liquid or gas as it passes through a meter in a segmented section of the pipeline using industry-standard algorithms. These meters might be orifice, linear, ultrasonic, or Coriolis meters, among others. Technological developments that improved processes have changed over the years. The sector saw significant advancements in physical property databases, calculation processes, adoption of cutting-edge processing techniques, and revision of measurement standards. Since the real-time measurement of petroleum-based fluids was first made possible by flow computers, the related industry has created better convergence techniques. This was explicitly done to adjust the observed density to the base density.
A differential pressure transmitter, static pressure transducer, and temperature probe might be needed for an orifice measurement application. The electronic flow computer saves previous data in its memory hourly or daily. The allied dataset includes supply voltage, ambient temperature, average flowing pressure, average flowing temperature, and uncorrected and corrected volume readings. To perform precise calculations or to power the communication devices at set times, flow computers are currently set up to power on periodically.
Due to the oil and gas industry applications, measurement devices may frequently operate in hostile environments. Additionally, these unfavorable circumstances can wear down a device over time, necessitating routine testing to guarantee that it continues to meet the performance requirements for custody transfer applications. Accordingly, numerous flow computer manufacturers have created sophisticated techniques for verifying device functionality. One example is the software for mismeasurement management (MMM) that uses virtual flow computing (VFC). To mathematically model the system and predict and match actual measurement data, VFC uses live data. The software uses the VFC model with various data, such as logs, historical data trending, and alarms, to calculate the mismeasurement when a fault condition arises, such as a prolonged loss of pressure measurements. A report containing the recalculated figures is then produced.
By region, the global flow computers in oil and gas market are segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America Dominates the Global Market
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North America is the most significant shareholder in the global flow computers in oil and gas market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period. North America is one of the world's major oil and gas producers. More than 2.6 million miles of pipeline transport millions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of billions of tons of petroleum annually. The need for gas metering stations due to the size of the network of pipelines increases the demand for flow metering devices like ultrasonic, orifice, and other flow meters. The new flow computers introduced in the area suit the standard SCADA procedures. For instance, SCADA and other field devices can be integrated with Emerson Electric's FB1000 and FB2000 flow computers for oil and gas to speed deployment and reduce time spent in the field. As a result of the rise in oil and gas production and the use of flow-measuring equipment subject to mandates and regulations, the market for flow computers is anticipated to grow during the forecast period.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9%, generating USD 153.13 million during the forecast period. Several well-known flow computer manufacturers, including Schneider Electric SE, ABB Ltd., Krohne Ltd., etc., are based in Europe. The flow computer market has seen growth opportunities thanks to significant flow computer vendors and increasing gas and oil production. BP estimates that the region's daily oil and gas production increased from 1,470,000 barrels in 2017 to 1,531,000 in 2019. Additionally, the area had 31 offshore and 71 onshore oil rigs as of November 2020. Russia and the United Kingdom are two of the crucial oil-producing nations in the area. Solutions for flow measurement, like flow computers and flow meters, are becoming more and more necessary as the oil and gas industry expands—one of the area's biggest LNG and natural gas importers.
The European Union became the world's top importer of fossil fuels in 2019, with 233 million metric tons of oil equivalent in natural gas and LNG imports from 27 EU member states and 473 million metric tons in oil and oil products. An emphasis on energy efficiency in the oil and gas industry has led to the adoption of flow computers. The European Union (EU) focuses on rewriting the rules to align with the climate change goals of reaching zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In order to meet the demand coming from the oil and gas industry in the region, the vendors in the region are investing heavily in the innovation of their product line.
The Asia-Pacific region's oil and gas sector is expanding quickly. Compared to other regions, the region has one of the fastest growth rates for emerging technologies. Businesses are moving into the area to provide automation tailored to the oil and gas industry. The region's oil and gas companies are implementing flow measurement tools supporting computing power. For instance, an oil and gas company in China employed thermal flow meters from Magnetrol to monitor a nitrogen tank with a flammable liquid containment device. The addition of the flow meter reduced the overall cost of ownership thanks to field-verifiable calibration. There is a need for oil and gas pipeline leak detection because there have been numerous oil and gas pipe leakages in the area. In order to manage the growth in facilities, the government's investments in the region's oil and gas industry are also opening opportunities for the flow computer market. Additionally, the investments are promoting automation in the oil and gas sector.
The market for flow computers is expected to be driven by the growing automation in Latin America. The Mexican government predicts that by 2027, Mexico will rank among the top ten nations in the Economic Complexity Index, solidifying its position as an industry leader in Industry 4.0 and advancing automation in sectors like oil and gas. Companies operating in Mexico partner with major vendors for automation, specifically in the oil and gas sector. For instance, ABB and Yinson collaborated on an offshore oil and gas project in Mexico in July 2020. For the Marlim 2 oil field, ABB provided electrical, control, and telecommunication solutions to power floating production, storage, and offloading vessels. Such investments promote the utilization of flow measurement tools like flow computers. The relationship between American and Latin American oil and gas companies contributes to the market's expansion. For instance, the Mexican government declared in February 2021 that it would send natural gas to Texas, which was experiencing extremely cold temperatures. Such alliances promote foreign oil and gas and flow measurement investments in the nation.
The oil and gas industry in the Middle East and Africa is one of the major businesses in the region where significant investments have been made. In addition, the region's demand for flow computers is anticipated to increase due to technological advancements like the Internet of Things and government initiatives to automate processes. The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) projects that investments in energy projects in the Middle East region will be worth USD 1 trillion by 2023 despite concerns about global oversupply. Over the anticipated period, this will probably help the market in the area grow. Due to the growing government investments in cutting-edge technologies, countries like Saudi Arabia are anticipated to be among the market's major players in the Middle East. Therefore, Industry 4.0 will be crucial to developing the nation's oil and gas industry.