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5 key takeaways about digitalization in Oil & Gas

The aftermath of the IIoT and Digital Solutions for Oil and Gas conference has revealed several key takeaways regarding digitalization in oil and gas. Among the main concerns of the industry were cross-industry collaboration, data standardization, cyber security and, most importantly, the simple fact that the digitalization pathway is still unclear.
In 2018 the conference was attended by the whole of the oil & gas value chain. The audience analysis has shown that the predominant groups were technology vendors (35%), upstream, midstream and downstream operators (24%) and EPCs and drilling contractors (16%). This leads to the conclusion that there is equal interest towards digitalization from all market players, and that their areas of interest congregate around similar issues.
The unclear digitalization pathway
Most oil & gas industry leaders agree on the importance and value potential of digitalization for their companies. However, the pathway to success and benefits is not clear, and companies are working on individual digitalization approaches, often through trial and error. In this industry, where large investments are at stake, errors can be critical for a company and can cause lack of confidence in leadership.

Cross-industry collaboration
In order to foster an innovative culture, seize digitalization opportunities and keep up with changes in the industry, oil & gas operators need to be more open to collaboration and data sharing with technology vendors. In turn, technology vendors need to work on customizing their solutions to meet oil & gas operators’ needs, as well as addressing data safety and reliability concerns.

Data standardization
Cross-industry collaboration should inevitably lead to industry-wide data standardization. There are various digitalization solutions from vendors that can be utilized by operators. However, the difference in data formats of these solutions can result in underutilized potential and inefficiencies for operators.

Cyber protection of physical assets was indicated as the most recurring concern amongst conference attendees. With the growing automation of industrial facilities, potential damage in case of cyber threat for operators increases. Additionally, with the implementation of automated decision-making, operators are starting to question data reliability and are working on data verification solutions. It is critical for operators to balance cybersecurity measures proportionally to digitization initiatives.

Digitalization momentum
Even though oil prices have recently seen a significant increase and market conditions have improved, oil and gas companies continue to foster digitalization initiatives to build up a competitive advantage and capitalize on accumulated knowledge.

In 2019, the IIoT and Digital Solutions for Oil & Gas conference is returning to Amsterdam’s Okura Hotel.  Theconference will discuss the above-mentioned issues and will include presentations from digitalization executives from Shell, OMV Petrom, BP, Equinor, Wintershall, Petronas and many more. You can find more information about this event here:
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