Edi­tor’s let­ter

Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion is not a far-fetched fan­tasy—it is, or it should be, a daily re­al­ity for the oil and gas in­dus­try

Oil & Gas Middle East - - CONTENTS -

Carla Sertin shares her thoughts on the in­dus­try.

It is easy to get swept up in the hype sur­round­ing dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion. Me­dia head­lines are a sea of buzz­words: in­ter­net of things, blockchain, au­toma­tion, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, drones… and so on. In fact, many of those words are re­peated in this is­sue of Oil & Gas Mid­dle East.

But tech­nol­ogy is ul­ti­mately the means to an end. When a com­pany ex­ec­u­tive an­nounces an in­vest­ment into au­toma­tion tech­nol­ogy, they are re­ally an­nounc­ing an in­vest­ment into ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity us­ing that tech­nol­ogy.

Op­ti­mi­sa­tion is a shared goal across the in­dus­try—de­spite ris­ing oil prices, en­ergy com­pa­nies re­main fo­cused on keep­ing costs low and pro­duc­tiv­ity high.

Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion can be an ex­tremely ef­fec­tive tool for op­ti­mis­ing op­er­a­tions, as at­ten­dees of the Abu Dhabi In­ter­na­tional Pe­tro­leum Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­fer­ence (ADIPEC) 2018 are sure to see at the event, with dig­i­tal in­no­va­tions on dis­play from ex­hibitors that range from small star­tups to en­ergy su­per­ma­jors and their ser­vices providers.

As one of the land­mark oil and gas events of the year, ADIPEC is gen­er­ally a good time to re­flect on in­dus­try trends and mar­ket move­ments. Last year, dur­ing ADIPEC, Brent crude prices hung around the $61 per bar­rel mark. As of writ­ing, Brent sits at $75 per bar­rel, af­ter a bull run that peaked in early Oc­to­ber at a four-year high of $86 per bar­rel.

In­dus­try ac­tiv­ity has bled across the value chain, as key play­ers move to­wards full­stream op­er­a­tions—most no­tably com­pa­nies like Saudi Aramco, which launched en­gi­neer­ing stud­ies with To­tal to build a giant petro­chem­i­cal com­plex in Jubail, and signed 15 Mous worth $34bn at the Fu- ture In­vest­ment Ini­tia­tive Fo­rum, many of which in­volved down­stream and lo­cal­i­sa­tion projects.

Lo­cal­i­sa­tion ini­tia­tives like the In-king­dom To­tal Value Added pro­gram (IKTVA) are push­ing in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies to re­struc­ture their sup­ply chains and move man­u­fac­tur­ing to the King­dom.

Our cover in­ter­view for this month (p20) sits at the cross­roads of th­ese de­vel­op­ments—lorenzo Si­monelli is the chair­man and CEO of dig­i­tal-fo­cused full­stream oil and gas com­pany Baker Hughes, a GE Com­pany (BHGE). He talks about the po­ten­tial that trans­for­ma­tion, not only of the dig­i­tal va­ri­ety, holds for the re­gion, and how BHGE has po­si­tioned it­self in the mar­ket in the year since it was formed.

And what a year it has been for the up­stream sec­tor, marked by projects to ex­pand and re­de­velop op­er­a­tions for oil and gas com­pa­nies, ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy and a chang­ing mar­ket. In this is­sue, we speak to in­dus­try lead­ers who will be at ADIPEC this year, to catch up on their work in the past year and to see what is in store for them at ADIPEC and in the year ahead.

For any­one head­ing into ADIPEC this year, pre­pare for a look at the fu­ture of the in­dus­try.


Carla Sertin

Edi­tor, Oil & Gas Mid­dle East [email protected]

We talk to lead­ing com­pa­nies at ADIPEC 2018 (p26) in our pre­view of the land­mark event.

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