In the oil and gas industry, efficiency has, and always will be at the forefront of what asset owners and operators focus on. However, this always has to be done in a way that does not increase risk, which based on events over the past few years has not always been the case.
One of the ways that the industry is looking at efficiency is via digital transformation, which is a term that has been used for a few years which encompasses a number of digital technologies that are now available.
Therefore, as an innovative software company, we wanted to see how companies have been tackling this and so we did a global survey on digital change and the results were interesting as to the adoption of digital transformation.
How oil and gas organizations are changing digitally
Results show the main driving factor behind digital change was internal process efficiencies (48%) as might be expected, but these were followed by increased competitive pressure (31%) and accelerating innovation (29%). While the internal process efficiencies response was not a surprise since this is always going to be there, the competitive pressure and innovation were, and the conclusion that I make is that the need to survive in the current climate is driving this throughout the company.
Regarding the investments being made, the biggest one was in big data and analytics. Another was the ability to use different techniques both from an operational real-time optimization of production and staff through to decision support for the board. One example of this is how machines and intelligent data can be utilized to improve the quality of predictive asset maintenance to ensure that the equipment being used as efficiently as possible.
The known challenges preventing digital change
However, when change happens, there are always issues to consider and the most important barrier was “Aversion to Change” and “Security Threats/Concerns.” Given recent cyber and security attacks in other industries, the fact is that a lot of people have this on their list that keeps them awake each night. But this has not been the main issue that has concerned the CEO of oil and gas companies, as we have all seen in the last few years the price of oil has dropped dramatically and this, unfortunately, has meant that some companies have had to reduce their employment levels accordingly.
When the price of oil was high, it hid inefficiencies, but now they have been exposed and digital technologies exist to support their business transformation. So, now is the time to spend the time checking out which technologies will benefit them and make them more competitive.
Expert-to-expert advice for increasing efficiency by embracing digital technology
No one knows how long the oil price will remain at its current level, but one thing is certain, more focus on greater efficiencies is needed–but with a careful eye on risk and compliance. Those companies that do this will survive, the others will be living dangerously.
For asset owners and operators needing greater efficiency to cut costs without raising risk (human/environmental) or compromising uptime or compliance, it takes the right enterprise software but also the knowledge and expertise from industry experts. Get that advice here by reading the Driving upstream efficiency in a changing world of oil and gas eBook.
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