Computer vision is positioned to play a big role in the future of oilfield automation but to get there, the programming technology will need a solid way to access video data from the field.
This dependency has driven two startups to form a new partnership: Infrastructure Networks (INET) and Osprey Informatics announced this week that they will team up to commercialize an emerging computer vision platform. The software, developed by Calgary-based Osprey, will be supplied to the US market by Houston-based INET which operates a 50,000-sq.-mile wireless communication network.
The Osprey platform relies on internet-connected field cameras and machine learning to issue automated alerts to field operations staff if there is an off-hour intruder at a wellsite or if there is a leak. INET was formed to address the growing demand for moving data from well locations and production facilities into a producer’s enterprise network where it can be used for analytics and machine-learning initiatives.
“Osprey’s proven solutions will help our customers reduce the need for travel to remote sites, enable management by exception, and enhance safety and environmental compliance,” said Scott Crist, the CEO of INET in a press statement.
INET received funding in 2013 from the Denver-based Altira Group, a venture capital fund with close ties to several large shale producers, including Apache Corp., Devon Energy, and Pioneer Natural Resources. In September, Apollo Global Management, also with deep ties to the upstream sector, made an equity investment in INET for an undisclosed sum.
“INET’s spectrum coverage of nearly 90% of energy assets in the US gives us confidence that we can quickly expand in the key basins across North America,” said Rob Logan, the CEO of Osprey in the same press release.
Last year, Shell led a $2.8 million investment round in Osprey which reports that 30 oil and gas producers are using its platform.
The two firms noted that they are chasing the same customer base, and believe the partnership will provide operating companies with a more complete technology solution for monitoring field assets remotely.