[Blog] RTUs for Oil and Gas Pipelines: Future Trends

In this article, the final post in the RTUs for oil and gas pipelines series, Matthew Hawkridge, chief technology officer, explains his predictions for the future of Remote Telemetry Units (RTUs) in the oil and gas industries. 

RTUs have come a long way in the last few years and as pipeline operators face continued pressure to maintain efficiency, safety and deliver shareholder value, their use looks set to increase. Continued innovation will help drive this change; it is already possible to deploy RTUs on most equipment, whatever its size or age. Inbuilt redundancy and resilience are also helping to avoid system failures. At the same time, improvements in processing power and throughput are helping RTUs keep up with increasing demand for data. 

Looking to the future RTUs, which are already ‘mini PCs in the field’, will help harness the power of IIoT by making older assets ‘smart’. Edge computing will come into the mix at some stage, although increased processing power of RTUs means they are already part of a distributed network, processed at the ‘edge’ of the network. 

The benefit of this is low latency by computing the data where it is generated — essential for real-time monitoring. In addition, this edge capability provides linear scalability, which will be essential to support the increased deployment of communication devices that reduce pressure on the central network infrastructure. 

With geographically spread assets and multiple process that all generate massive amounts of data, key to ensuring these improvements help business performance is being able to capture and interpret it in real-time. The latest, ruggedised RTU technology focuses specifically on that, helping pipeline operators meet their investor and customer commitments. 

Want to learn more? For more information on how Ovarro technologies can be used to monitor and control other critical oil and gas assets, click here.

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