This article appeared in Upstream Intelligence. NB Business Solutions principal and co-founder Jeff Baker was a key contributor.
The upstream industry is at a critical juncture. Downward pressures on oil prices are leading to investment cuts and growing concerns. But the current environment can provide a perfect breeding ground for innovation.
The digital oilfield (DOF) has a clear potential to revolutionize the oil industry. By automating processes, new technologies can increase operational efficiency and reduce environmental, health and safety risks.
When low oil prices are eroding margins, the digital oilfield promises substantial savings.
Analytics has already been successfully implemented in exploration, for example in seismic analysis and drilling.
Hence, the most interesting new opportunities are likely to arise in production optimization and maintenance, especially in the prevention of unplanned downtime.
The present study provides the outcomes of a series of in-depth interviews conducted with leading personalities of the industry, with the goal of exploring the potential of digitalization.