This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author.
It does not necessarily reflect the views of Rigzone.
By 2050, the global population is expected to reach nearly 10 billion people, illustrating the need for safe, reliable, and affordable energy. In an increasingly complex energy market, the industry is facing new challenges transitioning to more renewable sources. This often requires innovative technologies for regulating, generating and storing energy. In order to meet demand, oil and gas companies need to focus on areas within their own business models where they can embrace innovation to increase efficiencies.
General Manager of
Energy & Natural Resources,
Industry Cloud, SAP
Simultaneously, the energy industry – along with many others – is suffering from a skilled labor shortage. This shallow talent pool has made it difficult for oil and gas companies to hire new team members with the technical skills required to work on new energy sources. Without skilled workers in these positions, it has now become essential for energy companies to rethink their operations and include the use of automation, predictive and self-learning systems, and digitally connected infrastructure. These technologies can dramatically increase productivity and efficiency, while also helping the industry maintain a high production output during this shortage.
Ultimately, best-in-class oil and gas companies are realizing that the future of the industry lies in automation. Modernizing internal processes with automation, along with better access to information about operations and maintenance, will help the industry streamline production and distribution and allow for a higher yield.
Where Can Automation Help?
Automation is extremely versatile, making it an ideal aid to daily operations. As such, there are several areas where it can make an immediate and lasting difference for oil and gas companies.
The energy industry has started the move toward digitization with more sensors collecting data from rigs around the world, but there are still areas oil and gas companies can improve within an increasingly diverse energy market. In the office, new processes and technologies now require improved collaboration between departments in order to achieve success. Going digital can enhance internal communication and simplify projects by allowing engineering teams – who may be working on 3D printing materials – to work more efficiently with the energy companies to better manage data and project requirements.
With a growing worldwide population, the demand for new energy offerings will increase as well – driving up costs for energy companies. By automating portions of daily operations both on the job site, and in the office, oil and gas companies can not only create efficiencies within their business, but will also mitigate the effects caused by a lack of skilled labor currently available in the market.
Peter is globally responsible for the SAP business with the Chemicals, Oil & Gas, Mill Products & Mining, and Utilities industries.