Cracking the code: 2017 digital refining survey
New digital technologies are currently not a top investment priority for refiners. However, operational cost reduction will drive an increase in digital spending.
After years of investing in core digital automation and control technologies, refiners have shifted investment priorities to other areas such as maintenance. However, as technology costs decline and mobile and internet of things (IoT) solutions become more viable, refiners must move beyond simply piloting new digital technologies into deployment at scale to see the benefits of digital.
A digital enablement plan, with a digital vision embedded in the business strategy, will allow refiners not only to realize a reduction in operating costs via accelerated and broader operational efficiencies, but also to achieve the fundamental transformation in their business that these technologies can bring.
Explore the five key trends
Trend 1: Digital technologies are disrupting investment
19% recognize digital as a top 3 priority. This is set to change. 57% said that their current level of investment was more or significantly more than 12 months ago.
Trend 2: Analytics #1 for performance, then security
Analytics/big data is viewed as the number one digital technology that will impact performance. It will be deployed with increased regard to cybersecurity.
Trend 3: National oil companies the most digitally mature
Most refiners (89%) consider themselves still digitally immature. National Oil Companies, however, ranked significantly higher, with 1 in 5 indicating digital maturity.
Trend 4: Digital becomes a ‘must have’
As competition grows, refiners are looking to the benefits of digital technology, acknowledging that it will enable them to adapt and re-implement more quickly.
Trend 5: Realizing benefits of digital is unclear
Refiners see clear benefits from digital but need strategies to follow them through. This indicates that creating value from digital remains a challenge.
About the survey
This Accenture Digital Refining Research was conducted in March 2017 by PennEnergy Research in partnership with the Oil & Gas Journal on behalf of Accenture in collaboration with Solomon Associates. The research surveyed over 200 refining oil and gas professionals including engineers, mid-level and executive management, business unit heads and staff and project managers.