Digitalisation takes hold of oil and gas industry

Nov 12, 2019
2 min read
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Industry experts struggled to select their respective favorite example of how digitalisation has benefited their operations, highlighting the headway the Fourth Industrial Revolution has already made.

At ADIPEC’s Global Business Leaders Session titled ‘Digital transformation is broader than just technology and requires strong strategic partnerships, access to specialist skillsets, agile teaming and a fail fast culture’ panelists shared insight on on how the digital agenda is radically reshaping the oil and gas industry.

“We’ve figured out that we need to drive cost out of production and the path has to be digitalisation and automation - there’s no turning back from the journey that we’re on,” said Mark A. McCollum President and CEO, Weatherford. “But we also have to figure out how we can attach our ecosystem with our client’s ecosystem,” he added, highlighting how different companies’ applications of digitalisation has raised the need for standardisation in the industry.

Meanwhile, Alan Nelson, CTO, ADNOC said there are two digital transformations underway. “The industry as a whole is going through a transformation and then digital is going through its own transformation,” he said, adding that ADNOC  started its digital journey by looking at advanced drilling and production, which have now both become cornerstones.

“They’ve become fundamentally important and we continue to work on advancing it,” he added. 

“We have models of efficiency and those are only as good as the data that goes into it.

It’s not only about increasing the production in wells - we should not have to change models but have models that can evolve and be intuitive,” he said.

Mike Train, President Emerson and Chairman, Emerson Automation Solutions meanwhile said that while the company’s focus is on automation, digitalization is all about people.

“There is a social element that we have to work through… people’s jobs have to change,” he said.

Peter Terwiesch, President, Industrial Automation Business, Member of the Group Executive Committee, ABB gave an example of how simple technology has allowed better analysis of assets.

“We’re using handheld devices for gas and pipeline leakage but putting them on cars or drones, we can do mapping, wind data, leakage data - it’s solving a lot of the problems. The integration of digitalisation is unique but each element is not rocket science,” he said.

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