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September 22, 2015
How is digital transforming the oil and gas landscape?
By: Richard Holsman

The drop in crude prices has encouraged oil and gas companies to tap digital technologies to increase production, improve margins and drive cost reduction. But how can companies get the most out of these technologies? What are the areas that show the promise of a high return on investment?  At Accenture we have looked at how companies are successfully using digital technologies and models to address the choke points in the oil and gas value chain and to drive efficiencies across the industry landscape.

In large capital projects, for instance, delivering projects on time and on budget is a key challenge. Using cloud, mobility, analytics and Big Data, leading companies are creating digital platforms to manage project plans, as well as engineering data and documents and provide critical information to contractors and employees where ever they are.  Also, companies are using the Internet of Things and track and trace technologies to monitor and manage the complex schedules. 

Digital is fundamentally changing the corporate functions as well—in finance, HR, supply chain, marketing and procurement. IT is embracing cloud for higher agility and reduced costs. Finance is embracing analytics to look for hidden sources of value, and so is HR for recruiting and retention. Digital has made it possible for oil and gas companies to set up advanced remote operating centers, allowing integration of operations technology data and information technology data.

To maximize oilfield production in new and existing fields, companies are using digital tools to aggregate data from multiple sources and apply analytics to identify optimization opportunities. Wearable technology and industrial mobile devices are helping them collaborate better and respond more quickly. 3D printing is helping to create safer tools and spare parts for aging assets on offshore platforms. Virtual or digital representation of assets created with the help of 3D scanning technology has enhanced maintenance of upstream and downstream assets. And predictive analytics and automation are being used to increase throughput throughout the value chain.

And then there is the new digitally enabled field worker who can be omnipresent, and is often complemented by the next generation of field worker, drones and smart robots. These next-generation field workers can safely carry out hazardous tasks such as inspect pipelines and flare stacks.

Digital is impacting the oil and gas industry in many small and some very large ways. Watch this video to hear more.

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