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Two-thirds of oil companies see benefits of digitalization

Two-thirds of oil companies see benefits of digitalization
More upstream companies will invest in big data, analytics, robotics, and the Internet of Things

Riyadh - Mubasher: A new survey by Microsoft and Accenture showed that digital technologies can benefit oil and gas upstream companies in faster and better decision-making, as well as shorter production time.

As per the Accenture and Microsoft 2017 Upstream Oil and Gas Digital Trends Survey, when asked to identify the top ways digital benefits their companies, 30% said faster and better decision-making, faster time to produce oil and gas, came in second place with 19%, and reduced risk enabled by real-time decision support was the third most important with 12%.

The global survey showed the upstream areas most expected to benefit today from digital are production with 28%, geological and geophysical 27%, and drilling and completion with 19%.

Almost two-thirds of more than 300 professionals surveyed, or 62% perceive business value from digital technologies, with 27% totalling it at $50 million to $100 million or more for their companies.

However, 14% of upstream respondents don’t know how much monetary value digital is delivering, 20% don’t measure it, and 4% believe digital is adding no value to their businesses, the survey showed.

Most of the respondents expect their companies to realize value from digital technologies and 73% said most of their oil and gas fields will become fully automated using these technologies in three to five years.

On the other hand, 39% of respondents said the greatest risk from a lack of digital investment is becoming uncompetitive; more than double the next group at 19% who cited the inability to transition to a new energy landscape.

Surprisingly, despite the rise of connected devices on oilfields further exposing upstream companies to cyber security risks, the fear of increased cyberattacks came in at a distant third with only 18%.

“Upstream oil and gas companies are evolving from only using digital technologies in siloes to using these digital technologies and the related new ways of working to transform entire business areas,”

Accenture’s managing director for global energy, digital and technology Rich Holsman said “Our survey respondents see big data and analytics, cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), mobility, high-performance computing (HPC) and cyber security as having the greatest potential to transform their businesses. In the next three to five years, 70% plan to spend more or significantly more on digital technologies, and the next wave includes HPC, wearables, robotics, artificial intelligence and blockchain.”