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Digitalisation to make oil and gas exploration cheaper

Jan 21, 2018
4 min read
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Khalid Bin Hadi, senior executive vice president and head of Oil, Gas & Petrochemical, at Siemens Middle East speaks to Pipeline Magazine’s Nadia Saleem about the impact on the oil and gas industry through digitalisation

 

How important is digitalisation for Middle East oil and gas industry to drive efficiencies and sustainability?

Digitalisation is very important to oil and gas companies in the region, as it delivers tremendous benefits. Over the last ten years, Siemens has invested over US$8.5 billion to make digitalisation a core part of its own business transformation.

What role can digitalisation play in enhancing operations for oil and gas firms?

Siemens can provide customised solutions and services for the entire lifecycle of oil and gas companies’ operations. In the current oil price environment, driving CAPEX and OPEX down is keeping the industry awake at night. Customers need long-term solutions to maximise production from existing assets and develop new resources. Technological innovations and solutions for upstream, midstream and downstream applications, with modular solutions for both brownfield and greenfield projects, can significantly cut costs and substantially enhance quality and safety.

How efficient is investment in this direction amid volatile and low oil prices?

In a challenging oil price environment, the oil and gas industry players need to adjust to new realities. Innovative solutions and technologies are crucial to bolstering safety, increasing reliability, driving efficiency - and contributing to the Middle East’s energy development and socioeconomic growth. Oil and gas will remain the backbone of the global energy supply for decades to come. But to keep up demand and sustainable operations, adopting innovative technology is a must.

What tools/technology is Siemens working on to advance these efforts?

We are continuously developing new technologies and solutions to address our customers’ challenges. One exciting development in this area is ‘Marine Image Processing’. We know that a significant amount of the world’s gas reserves is located below the sea floor. Siemens has brought together image analysis technologies used in medicine, so they can be used to detect sources of oil and gas below the sea floor. The result is that the software can be better than the experts. This is new prototype software and it could soon make oil and gas exploration cheaper and more efficient. Considering that survey vessels can cost tens of thousands of euros per day to operate, using the new tool to search for oil and gas will not only be more efficient but will result in substantial savings. Another important digital potential for oil and gas companies is seamlessly integrating data to enhance operational efficiency and safety in offshore environments. We provide automated process analytics and software tools to collect and prepare data. This supports improved decision-making, helping reduce operational costs and expand the lifespan of equipment. These are only a few of the innovations that can be useful in the industry and we have many others.

What are the key challenges in regional oil and gas companies adopting digitalisation?

One of the main challenges, as companies adopt digitalisation and become more connected, is keeping their assets secure. At ADIPEC, Siemens will show its full portfolio of products and solutions aimed at keeping critical infrastructure safe from cyber security threats, taking customers on a journey which brings maturity to their cyber enterprise.

What role can ADIPEC play in informing and advancing this industrialisation shift?

ADIPEC is an important platform for regional and global oil and gas companies to discuss industry challenges as well as the opportunities presented by digitalisation. At ADIPEC, for example, Siemens will be demonstrating how digital technologies can address cost, efficiency and security challenges in the sector. With the right combination of solutions, services and products, companies can boost productivity and competitiveness and increase safety and reliability while cutting costs, even in an environment of low oil prices.

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