Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Technology Can Rejuvenate the Slumping Oil Industry


Even in crisis there is opportunity. Nothing more pertinent can be said about the current state of the global oil exploration and production industry. The crisis at hand is a unique opportunity for transformation.
 
The Crisis: A confluence of political, economic, technological and social factors is creating a perfect storm in the oil exploration and production industry. Even with recent increases in crude oil prices, the volatility remains. Analysts estimate that North American oil companies are losing nearly $2 billion a week at current prices. Their long-term debt has soared from $200 billion in 2010 to over $350 billion in 2015. By any measure, the top line and the bottom line of nearly every company across the value chain is under tremendous pressure. This calls for unprecedented interventions: political, economic, and, perhaps most promisingly, technological.
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From Smart to Intelligent (Artificially): A Journey Worth Taking


The Internet of Things (IoT) is here. Everybody knows this by now. Our estimates, recently updated, put the overall impact of IoT at 6% of the total global economy by the year 2020, with more than $370 billion in additional IoT revenues alone. What no one knows, however, is how this value is going to be realized and distributed, and where specifically it will come from. While there are many places where IoT can make a real impact, the asset-intensive industries are a prime candidate. O&G, with more than $700 billion in annual capital expenditures, is at the top of the list.
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Five Ways Technology and Data are Changing the Oil Patch


The oil and gas industry is operating under unprecedented pricing pressures. Recent drops in crude prices to below $30 a barrel for the first time in 12 years have prompted fears of bankruptcy among some companies. Fortunately, this pressure arrives at a time when companies can use digital, mobile, and advanced analytics to cut costs, maximize production and find new areas of growth. Used effectively, data reduces the need for layoffs and other drastic, firm-wide changes.
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Matching People to the New Oil Reality


To achieve business goals safely, and effectively extract reserves as quickly as possible, people, assets, oil and gas organisations and third-party contractors need to pull together. It is of course the people that are most important to achieving these aims, and it is the people that present maybe the biggest challenge. There has been rapid industry expansion and now, with the drop in oil prices, rapid contraction of employee numbers. Firstly there was a skills shortage, and now, with the pressing need to cut expenses in the face of dropping commodity prices, the industry cannot seem to offload its employees fast enough.
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