‘Oil and gas industry must digitise to keep up with times’

Business Sunday 09/December/2018 19:03 PM
By: Times News Service
‘Oil and gas industry must digitise to keep up with times’

Muscat: Oman’s oil and gas industry must digitise to keep up with the times and get the most out of the natural resources it has access to, one of the country’s top officials within the Ministry of Oil and Gas said.
Speaking at a CEO panel during the closing ceremony of the second Oil and Gas Conference organised by Opal, the Omani Society for Petroleum Services, Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, highlighted at the conference the impact of technological advancements and digitisation in the oil and gas industry, with a need for all levels of management to re-educate themselves with the technological wave that is taking over the industry.
With companies such as Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) currently working on 380 digitalisation projects, the challenge for the oil and gas sector is to re-skill the leadership to understand all the data collected in order to learn and grow from it.
Reviewing the volatile nature of the industry and several geopolitical implications on oil prices, Al Aufi stated that despite the turbulence, Oman has recovered its budget deficit by 36 per cent. He also stressed on the importance of building resilience in organisations and how businesses should strengthen themselves enough to not be severely affected by the fluctuating oil prices and lose out on opportunities for growth.
In addition, Al Aufi remarked that while the fluctuating oil prices could bring another tough year in terms of employment opportunities, this gave organisations a better opportunity to increase their resilience and strengthen their business core. The takeaway of the panel was to concentrate on the business vision and activities despite the uncertainty in oil prices and continue to plan to grow and succeed.
The second Opal Oil and Gas Conference saw a number of industry experts, analysts and exhibitors come together over three days to showcase their innovations and discuss the challenges, opportunities and rising trends pertaining to the oil and gas industry, and according to the World Economic Forum, $1.6 trillion in value could be unlocked if digital transformation is adopted more efficiently in the industry.
Speaking further on this, Steve Kelly of OXY Oman highlighted a study commissioned by them and Opal that will analyse data collected to understand the views and opinions of what is needed by the industry in terms of digital competencies.
In addition to Al Aufi, the panel consisted of Raoul Restucci, managing director, PDO; Kelly, president and general manager, OXY Oman; John Malcolm, executive managing director, OOCEP; Lorenzo Casati, managing director, Eni Oman BV; and Walter Simpson, managing director, CC Energy Development S.A.L.