The first months of 2019 have been jam-packed with industry conferences around the globe. From the International Petroleum Week (IP Week 2019) held in London and the FT Commodities Summit in Lausanne, to CERA Week in Houston, to the Australasian Oil & Gas Conference (AOG 2019) in Perth, Australia.

Of the many industry gatherings, we saw an increased focus on climate change and the energy transition. After a turbulent few years, the industry is now at a crossroads, contemplating the possible future directions, how the workforce needs to adapt and what role technology and digital can play in these future directions.

During the events, some of the world’s largest oil companies shared visions of growing their business in a decarbonized world. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Citizen-centricity. The oil and gas industry has a challenging mission ahead to help achieve a balanced economic and environmental future – across the industry and for society as a whole. Many events referenced the importance of the social connection and position of the industry. The citizens of the future are at the fulcrum of this transformation, given they are increasingly impacting our license to invest, employ, serve and evolve. The combination of disruptions including – but not limited to – Artificial Intelligence (AI)blockchain, urbanization and the gig economy, ask all to reshape the way we work, rest and play. The constant, combinatorial nature of such disruptions requires a significant shift across the industry. And while there is time, the complexity and pace of these changes means our purpose matters more than ever and there is no time to waste.
  • Energy Transition. Breakeven values are no longer enough and a shift to a mix of gas, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and renewables has been a common theme. In order to meet the global energy demand, all energy sources will be required – we have to balance our economic and environmental future. This energy transition will be the delicate balance of energy provision, environmental use and investment returns. And, the balancing junction will be customers’ willingness to pay; innovation and education are likely critical to underly this propensity. While it is a long-term challenge to sustainably deliver the world’s energy needs with compelling returns, it is a wise and profitable one within the wider societal goals.
  • Human+Worker. It’s been fantastic to see colleagues showcase our latest demos in truly innovative and inspiring settings. We showcased digital solutions including our predictive maintenance and the connected worker, designed to lower plant operating costs and reduce maintenance issues. The solutions combine artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, a real-time operational dashboard for early insights into plant performance, and remote mobile capabilities. For the workforce, such solutions offer the opportunity to address some of the industry’s prime concerns such as attracting new talent and upskill existing workers. So while we are excelling by the technical solutions it is in the hands of the workforce that they come to life.

This all means the oil and gas industry must act now to stay ahead of the transformation required to avoid being left behind. Placing our citizens at the center of this strategic shift will help guide the changes needed, while at the same time help earn their trust to sustain and grow in an increasingly complex business landscape.


Andrew Smart

Senior Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Energy Lead, Europe

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