Technology is changing very rapidly, and every company is trying their level best to adapt to the changes. It really doesn’t matter what sector they come from. Whether it is Energy, Finance, Pharma or FMCG, every company wants to incorporate top technology trends and innovations into their businesses.
In this article, I will talk specifically about the industry I come from, oil and gas.
In recent years two major events have changed the energy sector drastically. The first one is COVID – 19, and the second is the Russia-Ukraine war.
The virus decimated much of the oil and gas industry. Demand for crude oil plunged because transportation came to a grinding halt.
Similarly, with the Russia-Ukraine war, we saw a sudden spike in crude oil prices.
Both of these events had an adverse effect on the energy sector.
But it’s not all bad news. These two events forced oil and gas companies to rethink their strategies and make smart investments in innovative technologies to stay ahead of the curve.
For example, I worked for BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited); the company made investments in information and communication and other digital solutions to boost profitability and efficiencies to create a more robust operation.
Following are 11 top technology trends and innovations that oil and gas companies are investing in.
1. AI and Machine Learning
AI market will grow to a $200 billion industry by 2025. For example, with AI, customers are able to accelerate the pay zone identification process, significantly reducing the total time spent by 80% while increasing accuracy by 5%.
Machine Learning is a subset of AI, and it is deployed in all kinds of industries. Some of the AI jobs include data scientists, automation specialists, content curators etc.
2. Big Data and Analytics
When it comes to undertaking massive drilling projects, big data and analytics help energy companies make the right decision. These projects require a lot of investment and heavy machinery; hence they can’t afford to make decisions based on their feelings or gut emotions.
More and more energy companies are collecting data and analyzing it to determine the most cost-effective ways to go ahead with a big project.
3. Robotics and Drones
Robotic Process Automation is a technology that automates jobs. It automates business processes such as interpreting applications, processing transactions, dealing with data, replying to emails etc.
Robotics provides operational efficiencies to oil and gas companies. This trend is only going to grow in the next 5 years.
All the repetitive work that people do will be replaced by Robotics. Not just in the energy sector but in other sectors too.
4. Edge Computing and Quantum Computing
For those who don’t know, edge computing is designed to bypass the latency issues caused by cloud computing and get data to a data centre for processing.
Similarly, quantum computing technology is used by the banking industry to manage credit risk for high-frequency trading and fraud detection. Quantum computers are much faster than regular computers.
Hence both these technologies are used by oil and gas companies to increase their productivity.
Internet of things or IoT is the future because all the devices, home appliances, and cars are connected to and exchange data over the internet.
Businesses have much to gain from IoT now and in the near future. This technology enables predictive maintenance, improves customer service, speeds up medical care etc.
The energy sector is optimizing its business with connected devices collecting data at the source to ensure efficient operations.
6. Cloud Computing
I hope you already know about Cloud computing. The entire energy sector is leveraging the power of the cloud infrastructure to increase data accessibility and availability in their networks.
Moreover, cloud computing is also very secure and cost-effective for companies.
Major players like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are already dominating the market.
7. Virtual and Augmented Reality
In the coming years, virtual reality and augmented reality are going to become integral parts of our lives.
In 2019, around 15 million AR and VR devices were sold. Right now, these technologies are mainly used in the gaming industry, but in future, they will play an important role in entertainment, training, education, marketing etc.
The business world is progressively coming to terms with the various opportunities Virtual reality provides. For those in the hospitality industry, virtual reality has particular appeal, because it can digitally transport potential customers to a hotel or travel destination. So, if you’re looking to create a better virtual reality for your business, then you must get in touch with VR 360.
To some extent, the oil and gas industry is also using VR and AR for training purposes.
Blockchains are consensus-driven; therefore, no one can take control of the data or change it. With blockchain technology, you don’t need a trusted third party to oversee or validate transactions. This makes blockchain very secure.
Several industries, including mine, are implementing blockchain into their businesses. What makes this technology very attractive is its simplicity and safety.
9. 5G Networks
Earlier, we talked about technologies like IoT, Cloud Computing, Blockchain etc. But all of this can’t exist without high-speed internet. Therefore in this digital age, speed matters most.
This is the reason more and more oil & gas companies are investing in 5G networks that provide unlimited speed and connectivity.
In fact, by 2024, 5G networks will cover 40% of the world.
10. Cyber Security
I don’t think I need to emphasise the importance of cyber security. Cyber security is not new. But it is very rapidly changing because cyber warfare has become a weapon of choice for the enemy. Not just Rogue nations but also individuals are using cyber warfare to disrupt secured networks of governmental organizations and private businesses.
To defend against hackers, every company needs solid cyber security in place for their data and networks.
11. Collaboration Tools
Oil and Gas Companies in India have operations spread across the world. They are operating everywhere, from the Gulf of Mexico to Siberia, from the Middle East to the Far East.
Therefore these companies are investing in collaboration tools that ensure their management and employees are working in synergy. No matter what happens, they should stay on the same page.
Companies are incorporating various new technologies and innovations into their businesses to stay ahead of their competitors and dominate the market.
In this article, I mentioned 11 such trends and innovations.