Oil major OMV Petrom and telecom player Vodafone Romania have completed the first national trial for using the standardized NarrowBand-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology in the oil and gas sector.

The technology was tested on equipment located in the proximity of producing wells, in isolated areas, without cable internet access and without GSM coverage.

“More efficient costs, permanent and real-time monitoring and control of the activity in full security, lower impact on environment are only several of these benefits for businesses,” said Valeriu Nistor, director enterprise business unit, Vodafone Romania.

The trials were conducted both in lab conditions, as well as on the field, and they successfully tested the connectivity of specialized equipment used in the oil and gas industry to OMV Petrom central datacentre through an over-the-air commercial network.

Peter Zeilinger, member of OMV Petrom Board responsible for Upstream, said the company implemented automation technologies at 4,200 wells out of over 8,100 active wells.

“We continue automation and digitalization of wells and facilities: by 2020 over 70 percent of our wells will be automated and able to be monitored remotely”, said Zeilinger.

The NB-IoT specification was completed as a global standard by 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) in June 2016 and Vodafone Group was the first in the world to launch NB-IoT in January 2017, in Spain.