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Technology Trends That Are Reshaping the Oil and Gas Industry




Ever since we have entered the so-called “digital age,” the business world started the transformation, the final reaches of which are even now, three decades after, hard to foresee. The changes are so tectonic and comprehensive that no industries have been left unaffected. Even the behemoths that can trace their roots way back into the 19th century, like the Oil and Gas industry, had to jump the bandwagon to stay competitive.

But, just how the old O&G industry was able to tap into the contemporary digital and sustainable trends that are ruling the business playing field? Let’s try to find out.


Moving towards Cloud-first strategy

It is not that big of a secret that, much like other important business sectors, the O&G industry is playing up its cloud game. The benefits are simply too great to ignore. What’s interesting, though, is that the O&G companies are going past the menial bookkeeping and productivity apps and pushing the critical areas like sub-surface and production systems into the embrace of off-site processing. This technological shift is allowing more comprehensive analytics and tighter management so we can expect to see the full replacement of the legacy systems by cloud-powered infrastructure in the next couple of years.


Internet of Things taking over the industry

So, the cloud-processing will inevitably take over the management of the O&G facilities in the following years. But, how exactly will off-site servers run the on-site extraction and processing infrastructure? The answer is rather simple – the oilfield facilities will have to start utilizing the potential of the IoT (Internet of Things) technology to a greater extent. If you want to peek into the future of the O&G industry, imagine the automated processes, self-sustainable IoT tools able to communicate with each other and pass the relevant information to the cloud, and finally, the AI-powered overlord monitoring everything from the cloud.


Steps towards sustainability and greater efficiency

Although the O&G industry was never considered a particularly sustainable industry, the global trends are breaching the fences of this century-old giant. The efforts, at the moment, are still modest but they are more than noticeable. For instance, the major O&G companies are gradually replacing legacy tools with up-to-date butterfly valves and other equipment essentials that are making the production processes far more streamlined, efficient, and, as a result, less untenable. The other interesting developments can be observed in the form of greater reliance on clean energy, refinement of production processes, and higher interest in social responsibility topics.


The rise of waste oil recycling

Many people within the O&G industry are looking at the rise of waste oil recycling as a disruptive force. However, the train has long since left the station and, at this point, there is no going back. According to recent estimations, the waste oil market is projected to reach $13,806.2 Mn USD by the end of 2026. These figures are too big to be ignored even by the industry leaders. So, instead of surpassing this booming market, we can safely assume that the O&G companies will try to tap into development. Branching out to waste oil recycling will definitely help the sustainability aims of the oil industry and prevent its possible market decline.


The development of technology-driven business models

The O&G companies have been for decades now operating on decades-long business models based on unlimited production, pumping up as much value to the shareholders as possible. With the rise of renewable resources on the horizon and the economic recession ahead of us, these old practices will have to change. One of the most sensible solutions would be a transition from exclusively selling "products" to selling tech-based services like advisory and analytics. This fresh outlook creates the opportunity for new joint-ventures with tech giants outside the industry. After this overhaul, the O&G industry may never look the same.

We hope these few enveloping trends have given you some general idea about the storm brewing on the O&G horizon. The roots of the industry may be ancient, but the legacy of the Digital Revolution has found a way to breach this old fortress as well. Where is this development heading? The only way to know for sure is to wait and see. Still, one thing's for sure – this brave new world won't be lacking any of the excitement.