Ac­cen­ture says this mix of tech­nolo­gies has the high­est yield for up­stream com­pa­nies

Ac­cen­ture says dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion should be strate­gic, and find­ing the right mix of tech­nolo­gies could help oil and gas com­pa­nies un­lock an ad­di­tional $6bn in mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion

Oil & Gas Middle East - - FRONT PAGE -

As work­ers carry out com­plex – and some­times dan­ger­ous – main­te­nance work at oil and gas fa­cil­i­ties, wear­able ra­dio-fre­quency iden­ti­fi­ca­tion (RFID) tags and per­va­sive wire­less net­works track their lo­ca­tions, bio­met­rics, and en­vi­ron­ment. This is In­dus­try X.0 at work, where tech­nolo­gies come to­gether to dig­i­tally trans­form busi­nesses into smart, con­nected, learn­ing and liv­ing en­ti­ties. With ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) and real-time data an­a­lyt­ics, man­agers are able to re­spond im­me­di­ately to de­vel­op­ing si­t­u­a­tions, an­tic­i­pate the need for backup, re­as­sign teams that com­plete their tasks early, and even pre­vent ac­ci­dents by iden­ti­fy­ing em­ployee fa­tigue.

Be­yond mil­lions in sav­ings from re­duced down­time, the sys­tem­atic com­bi­na­tion of wire­less, wear­ables, cloud, an­a­lyt­ics and mo­bile tech­nolo­gies dra­mat­i­cally im­proves worker col­lab­o­ra­tion, pro­duc­tiv­ity and safety. It also leads to im­proved agility and in­no­va­tion, and ex­panded rev­enue streams for or­gan­i­sa­tions. Ac­cord­ing to Ac­cen­ture’s Com­bine and Con­quer study, the oil and gas in­dus­try stands to gain more than most, some $6bn in mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion, by hit­ting the right mix of tech­nolo­gies.

Yet, de­spite the suc­cess of pi­lot pro­grammes, there is a need for oil and gas play­ers in the Mid­dle East to ag­gres­sively push be­yond strat­egy to ex­e­cu­tion, and scale pi­lots so that ben­e­fits flow to all parts of the com­pany.

Over­com­ing re­gional and sec­toral chal­lenges

With weaker oil prices, lower de­mand, and de­layed cap­i­tal in­vest­ment, oil and gas com­pa­nies in the Mid­dle East are un­der pres­sure to boost pro­duc­tiv­ity through digi­ti­sa­tion. How­ever, in­vest­ment con­tin­ues to be un­even – in the re­fin­ing sec­tor, for ex­am­ple, a re­cent Ac­cen­ture sur­vey found that only 19% of com­pa­nies are mak­ing dig­i­tal an in­vest­ment pri­or­ity.

A key chal­lenge for the Mid­dle East is de­vel­op­ing an or­gan­i­sa­tional cul­ture where fail­ure is part of the in­no­va­tion process. The dig­i­tal age de­mands agility and for com­pa­nies to be will­ing to move rapidly through failed at­tempts while steer­ing projects to suc­cess. There needs to be a will­ing­ness to in­vest in dig­i­tal tal­ent and tech­nol­ogy to move for­ward on the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion jour­ney. Al­ready, a num­ber of com­pa­nies have recog­nised the im­por­tance of hav­ing a chief dig­i­tal of­fi­cer to over­see their dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, and the ad­van­tage of new tech­nolo­gies.

How­ever, to re­alise the full value of dig­i­tal, it is not enough for com­pa­nies to merely in­cor­po­rate In­dus­try 4.0’s op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies. They must lever­age the com­bi­na­tion of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies that will give them a de­ci­sive edge. In­dus­try X.0 pushes be­yond point solutions and, in­stead, presents a roadmap for dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. By us­ing the right mix of tech­nolo­gies, and in the right com­bi­na­tions, com­pa­nies not only cre­ate smart prod­ucts and con­nected ser­vices, but also rein­vent their op­er­at­ing mod­els, pro­duc­tion and value chains, lead­ing to new lev­els of ef­fi­ciency, new sources of growth, and new cus­tomer and worker ex­pe­ri­ences.

Our study of 900 com­pa­nies in the world’s 21 largest in­dus­trial coun­tries found that five dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies in par­tic­u­lar—au­ton­o­mous ro­bots, mo­bile com­put­ing, au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles, 3D print­ing and ma­chine learn­ing—can help com­pa­nies achieve ad­di­tional mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion

of just over $6 bil­lion.

The ac­tual com­bi­na­tion that de­liv­ers growth and value varies across in­dus­tries. Data from the 65 oil and gas com­pa­nies in our sur­vey shows that for this in­dus­try, sig­nif­i­cant top line value can be un­locked by com­bin­ing dig­i­tal twin (8%), au­ton­o­mous ro­bots (8%), AI (12%), big data (27%) and aug­mented re­al­ity (28%).

For re­gional play­ers, strate­gic in­vest­ment based on this com­bi­na­tion will ac­cel­er­ate their trans­for­ma­tion, im­prov­ing per­for­mance in terms of safety, op­er­a­tions, cost and abil­ity to quickly de­velop new as­sets.

Trans­for­ma­tive dig­i­tal strate­gies

Oil and gas com­pa­nies need to lever­age the tech­nolo­gies that will al­low them to trans­form their core, en­able the next gen­er­a­tion of tal­ent and en­gage ef­fec­tively with part­ners.

Trans­form the core: Up­stream com­pa­nies can gain im­por­tant ef­fi­cien­cies from digi­tis­ing and in­te­grat­ing their en­gi­neer­ing, pro­duc­tion and sup­port sys­tems. Dig­i­tal twin tech­nolo­gies, which pro­vide a dig­i­tal replica of phys­i­cal as­sets, and con­nected work­ers are core el­e­ments of this ini­tia­tive. With dig­i­tal twin tech­nolo­gies, pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies can op­ti­mise ef­fi­ciency vir­tu­ally with­out risk­ing phys­i­cal as­sets, train work­ers with­out putting them in harm’s way, and move to a pre­dic­tive main­te­nance model, re­duc­ing un­planned down­time and cost. With wear­able tech­nol­ogy, work­ers have con­stant ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion, whether from a data­base or ‘live’ from an ex­pert across the world, and re­ceives im­me­di­ate warn­ings in po­ten­tially haz­ardous si­t­u­a­tions. When man, ma­chine and in­tel­li­gence are com­bined ef­fec­tively, the re­sult is end-to-end op­ti­mi­sa­tion across the en­tire value chain, from reser­voir to mar­ket.

Source and en­able the next gen­er­a­tion of tal­ent: Smart plants re­quire a smart work­force. There is an ur­gent need to pre­pare both cur­rent and fu­ture work­forces for a work­place where man and ma­chine work along­side each other. As such, they will need to be skilled in key dig­i­tal ar­eas in­clud­ing AI, ma­chine learn­ing, and de­sign think­ing. Al­ready, oil ma­jors in the re­gion are work­ing both in­ter­nally and with uni­ver­si­ties and gov­ern­ments to­wards this goal, train­ing tal­ent for the en­ergy in­dus­try. But while progress is be­ing made, it is not be­ing made fast enough, given the re­gion’s rapidly ag­ing work­force and the com­pe­ti­tion from more ‘eye-catch­ing’ in­dus­tries.

Re-ar­chi­tect the new ecosys­tem: As dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy ad­vances ex­po­nen­tially, com­pa­nies must share their knowl­edge to ac­cess the full range of ben­e­fits it of­fers, from re­duced costs to ac­cel­er­ated in­no­va­tion. In the last fis­cal year alone, Ac­cen­ture has in­vested $1.7bn in ac­quir­ing dig­i­tal and cloud-re­lated busi­nesses with ex­pe­ri­ence in AI, 3D vi­su­al­i­sa­tion and cy­ber­se­cu­rity. This is in ad­di­tion to a net­work of in­no­va­tion cen­tres around the globe that gen­er­ate ideas and in­sights for our clients. In the dig­i­tal age, ecosys­tem or­ches­tra­tion, open and co-in­no­va­tion, and tech­nol­ogy in­cu­ba­tion are key.

While dig­i­tal is a vi­tal en­abler, piece­meal in­vest­ments will not de­liver re­sults. It is time to make a com­mit­ment to dig­i­tal, and to build smart, con­nected, liv­ing and learn­ing en­ti­ties that de­liver on safety, pro­duc­tiv­ity, in­no­va­tion and fi­nan­cial per­for­mance.

Only when pi­lots are scaled up and strate­gies ex­e­cuted will the re­gion’s com­pa­nies take their place on the global stage.

The oil and gas sec­tor could gain $6bn in mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion from digi­ti­sa­tion

Mah­moud Aboubeih, tech­nol­ogy con­sult­ing se­nior man­ager, Ac­cen­ture Mid­dle East & Tur­key

Paul Carthy, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and re­sources in­dus­try lead, Ac­cen­ture Mid­dle East & Tur­key

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