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ADIPEC discusses digital technology and offshore oil and gas recovery

Published by , Assistant Editor
Oilfield Technology,

Companies involved in the offshore oil and gas sector should use the COVID-19 pandemic, as a springboard to create stronger, more sustainable businesses, using digital technologies to do more with less and make the industry more exciting to the next generation of talent.

Participating in an online ADIPEC Energy Dialogue Webinar, Philip Whittaker, Partner and Director, Oil and Gas, at the Boston Consulting Group, said the coronavirus has prompted offshore oil and gas businesses to ask how they can extract greater margins and use technological differentiation to create more stable, less cyclical businesses from their exposure to exploration and production.

Discussing the latest developments and impacts around the offshore verticals in the oil and gas industry, Whittaker said offshore companies have had to rapidly adapt to the changed work environment created by the coronavirus. Projects have been shut in, crews withdrawn from offshore platforms and work limited to core production operations. But he added, digital technology could speed up the sector's recovery.

"At BCG, we are having a lot of conversations around, first, responding to the crisis quickly and, secondly, being really ambitious and using the events of the last few weeks as a springboard to create a stronger, really sustainable offshore business in the mid-term," Whittaker said.

"A great example is one of our clients, working in North Sea operations, which has had to demobilise about 40% of its traditional crew from their platforms but due to the application of wearable technology, digitised remote viewing and remote work planning, they are still able to liquidate 90% of the plant maintenance and integrity activity they have planned.

"So it really starts to drive us towards the use of technology to do more with less, which has to be good for everyone."

However, Whittaker said, the wider adoption of digital technology across the offshore value chain, would create a recruitment challenge for offshore businesses. "At the moment the sector faces two very distinct talent crisis. The first is the demographic crisis of attracting younger people into what they see as a sunset industry. And the second is around the type of talent required.

"Beyond geoscientists, beyond traditional engineers, we need to attract the data scientists, the digital scientists, those who are leading the digital revolution and to be frank they are very, very mobile. We have to make offshore exciting for them but at the moment what we offer them is a cyclical and insecure environment, so that is going to be a tough job."

The ADIPEC Energy Dialogue is a series of weekly online thought leadership events created by dmg events, organisers of the annual Abu Dhabi International Exhibition and Conference. Featuring key stakeholders and decision-makers in the oil and gas industry, the dialogues focus on how the industry is evolving and transforming in response to the rapidly changing energy market.

ADIPEC 2020 is projected to attract more than 155 000 energy professionals from 67 countries; including senior decision-makers and energy industry thought leaders, over 2200 exhibiting companies and 23 national exhibiting pavilions as oil and gas companies convene to share views and best practices to address the long-term impact of the triple challenge of lower oil prices, weaker demand and over supply.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC); and supported by the UAE Ministry of Energy & Industry, the Abu Dhabi Chamber, and the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, ADIPEC is scheduled to take place from 9 – 11 November at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

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Offshore news Digital oilfield news Oil & gas news