The process industries have been ahead of the curve on digitization, having high-value assets digitized and sending signals back for the past 30 years. Now, however, the ability to digitize and track so many more assets due to lower costs for sensor technology is allowing operators to push more and more processing out into the field. This, in turn, is creating new opportunities for better economies of scale and uncovering new ways to create stakeholder value.

The pressure brought on by low commodity prices is actually accelerating, not slowing down, the move to the connected enterprise. That may seem surprising, as many assume with low commodity prices comes severe IT budget cuts, and certainly many companies are tightening their belts across the board. But acceleration is coming as the digital economy is the only way companies can sustain the cuts they have already made and assure they can reduce their cost base when commodity prices rebound, which will eventually happen.

The oil industry has been hit hard this year and companies are struggling to keep afloat financially. With the price of a barrel of oil selling for almost half of what it was in 2014, consumers are rejoicing, while companies are experiencing diminishing profit margins. Oil companies are feeling the impact of these lower margins – according to MIT Technology Review, the energy analysis firm Platts found that the U.S. rig count decreased by over half since May 2014. But the good news is that even while the number of active rigs dropped at alarming rates, data analytics offers hope.  

Today’s energy and mining companies face an almost certain future: Wearable technology very soon will become an integral part of day-to-day operations. As I’m writing this article, energy and mining companies all around the world use legacy systems which often fail to prevent accidents or create a safe workplace environment.

Less than a decade ago if you said “insurance companies are going to place a device in your vehicle which will provide them actionable data on which to base your future insurance rates ” you’d tell me that technology is invasive and will never happen. Now in Europe that standard is commonplace. In America, companies like Progressive are implementing it. 

When Canada began seriously considering adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the management of many junior exploration companies feared the loss of their exploration and evaluation (E&E) assets on the statement of financial position; many stakeholders relied on this figure as an indicator of a company’s value. Then, IFRS 6, Exploration for and Evaluation of Mineral Resources, was introduced in December 2004, allowing for the capitalization of E&E costs, allaying companies’ fears. But now we’re well into 2015, and many juniors are struggling in a lagging economy. These companies now face tough decisions on their E&E assets and risk incurring impairment charges – the impact of which is accentuated by their prior choice to capitalize their E&E expenditures.

A ccording to the World Corrosion Organization, the global cost of corrosion is estimated to be $2.2 trillion. Corrosion is defined by the degradation of a substrate due to its interaction with the environment.  

In the mining and energy industry, a company’s assets will get exposed to very harsh conditions and without a plan in place, it can quickly become a very costly situation. It’s well known that it only costs a fraction of the investment to maintain an asset opposed to replacing it, but it’s not always implemented out in the field.  A common solution for tackling this corrosion challenge is using a coating or lining system to protect the substrate from these corrosive elements.  

In the early 1900s, there were only a few choices to consider when looking at these types of applications. Over the years, the various options proliferated and now there are thousands of choices to choose from.  To help with this process, we have narrowed it down to few basic criteria that will help a company make the right choice. 

On June 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers issued a much-anticipated rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) for purposes of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). 

This rule is important for all domestic industries, including mining and energy, because it delineates, going forward, which waters are subject to regulation by EPA and the Corps. In particular, whether operators will be required to obtain permits from EPA, the Corps and/or states with delegated CWA-authority to discharge pollutants into, or to divert or otherwise engage in fill activities (including construction activities), with respect to a particular body of water. 

The rule is the culmination of the agencies’ efforts to narrow and clarify their jurisdiction in the light of two Supreme Court decisions (SWANCC and Rapanos) that overturned the agencies’ prior assertion of jurisdiction over certain non-navigable bodies of water. 

Rare earth elements are used in wide abundance today, in everything from communication to defense technologies. First discovered over 200 years ago, they have since gained in global prominence and are now among the most highly sought-after minerals. Their rise has come at an environmental cost, however, and today’s rare earth mining industry is facing a serious need for new and improved extraction technologies. To learn more about their history and current status, read on.

What’s In A Name?

The rare earth elements are not actually rare insofar as they lack abundance here on Planet Earth. Rather, the term “rare” stems from the fact that they aren’t usually found in the concentrated abundance that makes that makes mining easy and economically viable. Their presence in complex oxides, called “earths” at the time of their discovery in the late 18th century, earned them the rest of their name.

Libya is reputed to hold the ninth-largest proven oil reserves in the world – approximately 38 percent of Africa’s total proven crude reserves – making it a key player in the global energy market. Since 2011, however, the country and its energy sector have been in turmoil and there are currently two rival governments struggling for control over Libyan territory and resources. In this article, we highlight the five major legal risks currently facing companies operating in the territory, or indeed outside when handling Libyan crude exports.

Disputed sovereignty 

Most fundamentally, the Libyan civil war has raised important questions of sovereignty over Libyan territory and resources; who actually owns Libya’s hydrocarbons and who can legally contract for their processing and export.

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