The world of oil and gas has undergone a significant rebalancing in recent decades, and while the interaction between sources, infrastructure, investment and demand hasn’t always been easy to predict, one thing is for sure: we are on the path to a low-carbon future. As our growing population looks set to increase by another 1.5 billion by the end of the century, and the existing population has ever-increasing needs when it comes to standards of living, it’s accepted that we need an energy portfolio that can provide for this.
Ultimately, we’re aiming for a future where there is reliable, ample, affordable and cleaner energy for the world - but there are various views on how the oil and gas industry should adapt so that we can get there.
In order for the industry to meet the world’s growing energy needs, the general consensus is that the successful oil and gas companies of the future will be smarter – both in terms of the technology they use, and the way in which they portray their image and engagement when it comes to fulfilling their role in society.
They must contribute positively to the future
In order to work towards a sustainable future, oil and gas companies must be actively committed to delivering technology which reduces the GHG footprint of hydrocarbons, as well as keeping communities informed on the actions that they are taking. Similarly, this can also be applied to climate change as a whole, where organisations should endeavour to have healthy and productive conversations with the public.
Digital technologies should be embraced
Tools such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), robotics, big data, and analytics should all be utilised and embraced by oil and gas organisations who want to be at the forefront of the industry. Oil and gas companies have the potential to be at the centre of the next industrial revolution, if they embrace innovation and rekindle their passion for technology – the industry was once at the leading edge of the technological innovation, when it created 3D seismic and horizontal drilling, and introduced supercomputers to manage its reservoirs.
The fact is that there are huge amounts of data generated from with the oil and gas industry every day; a single drilling rig or gas plant can produce terabytes of data every day, and in utilising this and adapting the technologies that are available within the 4.0 space, there is a huge opportunity for organisations to transform the industry.
A competitive advantage is key
To strengthen the role of oil and gas companies in the future, energy companies should strive to build and use a competitive advantage. Maximising areas of advantage and differentiation will be essential – and while technology is a differentiator, it is not the only one.
If oil and gas companies can rekindle their passion for technological innovation and advancements, and continue to develop lower carbon, cleaner oil and gas products, and technology, then they will be in a strong position to adapt to future changes within the industry and find success within transformation.