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A weekly podcast on the impacts of digital technologies on the oil and gas sector

Oil, Gas, and Satellites Are A Match Made in Heaven

Oct 27, 2022

Dramatic changes in satellite technology are bringing out-of-this-world capabilities to the oil and gas industry. It’s a surprise that few seem to be taking advantage of it.

Spotting satellites used to be rare and a little magical, but not anymore. Last summer I found myself out in the wilderness far enough from a big human settlement to see the night sky in its full glory. In the space of just a few minutes, we picked out a handful of satellites on the move.

The result of all this expansion is that the satellite industry is somewhat over built, particularly the segment that supplies imagery. Indeed, there is an overhang of data already accumulated that has yet to be processed or consumed. One new business model even contemplates charging only for interpretation of selected images, rather than charging for taking the images, transmitting the images to earth, and storing the images (such services are now of so little value that they are effectively free).

The oil and gas industry is particularly well suited to take advantage of these new in-space data boxes.