The Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC for short) has drawn to a close for 2018. This year, Accenture has been more involved than ever, as the Strategic Digitalisation Partner. We joined more than 100,000 energy ministers, global CEO’s and leading decision makers to discuss the latest in the oil and gas industry.

Here are five takeaways related to the challenges facing the industry to date, and how the power of digitalisation can help oil and gas leaders drive the digital revolution.

  1. AI’s true value can only be unlocked when humans and machines work in complementary ways. At its heart, digital technology offers the industry, the opportunity to increase predictability, productivity and efficiency at all stages of the upstream value chain. In so doing, it offers increased safety of our operations and profitability of our businesses. These overarching benefits come from developing the right balance of "Human and Machine" across the critical processes and decision points across the entire value chain.

  2. From continued digital improvements to digital transformation. Enthusiasm for digital technology is growing among oil and gas companies. While many companies already tackles pain points and unmet needs through different sets of digital improvements, it is important to understand when the time for change has come. During ADIPEC, several oil and gas executives discussed their organisations’ digital adaptation journey. Few are implementing or preparing for end-to-end digital transformations that help them reinvent entire business operations models within their organisation. These companies recognise the opportunity to rethink larger existing processes to be more relevant, safe and efficient in an increasingly digital world.

  3. Successful digitalisation requires collaboration between industry leaders, communities and policy-makers. Major stakeholders—including coordinated regulatory efforts to maximize the value of digitalisation for society and across industries—must engage in focused collaboration and determined action to realise the benefits digital can bring. Applying integrated digital platforms enhances collaboration among ecosystem partners, helping to fast-track innovation, reduce costs and provide operational transparency. Companies need to learn to work with start-ups who are thriving on building new innovations and this will require new business processes to support a broader set of players.

  4. Creating a culture of equality and inclusiveness unlocks human potential: When oil and gas organisations bring together people of different genders, races, cultures and perspectives, it leads to a company becoming smarter, more creative, more innovative and more relevant. Diversity requires companies to be proactive in seeking out a variety of talent, specifically women. Companies that invest in networking and mentorship programmes aimed at women find that employees are happier, and retention improves.

  5. It is critical to address rising cyber and infrastructure vulnerabilities of oil and gas assets. With evolving threats and increased interconnectivity, cyber security has moved up a gear in the c-level management agenda. Safeguarding oil and gas infrastructure requires the adoption and implementation of evolving company cultures, understanding the importance of continued workforce re-education and encouragement of progressive mind and skillsets.

Throughout ADIPEC 2018 the message was clear: digital technologies that have been so transformative in other industries will also help oil and gas companies—but only if they’re taken seriously and adopted at scale.


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Andrew Smart

Senior Managing Director – Global Industry Lead

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