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North America's Leading Energy Event
June 13-15, 2023
BMO Centre at Stampede Park - Calgary, Canada

How Will Your Energy Company Survive the Digital Era?

How Will Your Energy Company Survive the Digital Era?

If you think that the energy industry is protected from the rapid pace of adopting digital technologies, think again!

The energy industry of today is primed for a digital transformation, and this new decade will render the industry you know today completely unrecognizable. 

In order to succeed, energy companies will need to adopt new digital technologies in order to stay competitive, reduce costs, maximize their assets, and continue to improve the sustainability of their operations. 

The question is: do you want to thrive or survive in this new digital era?

The Digital Revolution 

There’s been a quiet digital revolution underway in the energy industry for some time, as many energy companies are starting to adopt big data, machine learning, and other digital technologies as part of their business strategy.

Driven by a desire to find cost-savings in the wake of declining oil prices and other economic pressures, the energy industry is quickly catching up with other sectors when it comes to digital transformation.

Here are some examples of leading digital trends in the energy industry.

Blockchain

Blockchain technology is a record-keeping technology where digital signatures are made at each step of a series of transactions. Since the data in the blockchain can’t be altered, it’s a useful tool for authenticating the final product and the process as a whole.

The large, intricate supply chain relationships in the energy industry often translate into vast resources being spent on business transactions that are inefficient, expensive, and vulnerable to manipulation.The Spanish energy giant Repsol is currently using blockchain technology to improve the certification process of its petrochemical products.

Internet of Things

Internet of things is a network of smart sensors and analysis tools that connect machines via data. Applications in the energy industry include pipeline and refinery monitoring where energy companies can cut down on the costs of doing make manual readings, reduce risks of hazards, and increase production efficiency. According to digital analysts, IoT could increase the value of oil and gas assets by 25%.

Companies like Haliburton and Chevron have partnered with Microsoft to analyze real-time data from IoT devices to streamline their operations.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Energy companies are some of the largest producers of data, but most of the data remain an untapped resource. Today, less than 10% of the data collected at energy companies is unused. Machine learning and AI let companies put those massive data sets into use and get a competitive advantage. 

Cenovus is an example of an energy company that has moved all its data and computer processing to cloud-based services. This digital shift allows the company to quicker and cheaper analyze data, for example for reservoir simulations and modeling greenhouse gas emissions.

BP is another energy company that has invested in AI to analyze seismic images and geological models to predict success when drilling wells.

The opportunities with digital technologies are endless. Now, it’s all a matter of identifying how digitalization can be part of your business strategy.

Digital Evolution in the Energy Industry

The energy industry has gotten a reputation for being slow to jump on the digitalization bandwagon, and according to Deloitte, the oil and gas industry only has a digital maturity rating of just under 5 out of 10. 

In some ways, though, the industry has been an early adopter of digital technology. Especially on the industrial side of the industry, automation has been used for some time, and the utility sector has been using digital technology for grid management and operations since the 1970s. 

What’s changing now is the pace of digitalization in the energy industry. Global investment in digital technology and software has grown by 20% annually since 2014 and shows no signs of slowing down. With this dizzying pace of digitalization, there is a risk of losing employees and companies that are not able to keep up.

This decade will be pivotal for digitalization, and companies that are not incorporating digital technologies at the core of their business strategies will trail behind their competitors.

What's Next in the Digital Era? 

In the coming years, the energy industry will be leaving analog tools behind in preparation for the demands of a digital era. While it can be challenging for employees in the energy sector to envision how they fit into the digital transformation of their business, it can also be an opportunity.

Beyond cutting costs and increasing the efficiency of production and operations, a number of factors will make digital technology the key to performance in the next decade. 

  • As governments set increasingly lofty goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the need for producing data and modeling to meet new regulations and government policy requirements will continue to grow. 
  • Consumers are increasingly demanding sustainable energy, and want to know where their energy comes from. Blockchain technology can be used to verify a company’s sustainability credentials, and AI and machine learning can be leveraged to fit into an energy grid with a mix of renewable and non-renewable energy sources.
  • To attract the best minds to the industry, energy companies will need to demonstrate that they’re keeping up with digital trends. Not only can digital tools such as virtual reality be used for training, but digital technology can also be used to improve safety. 

As with any industry, looking ahead will protect the sustainability of your business. That’s why new energy leaders view digitalization not just as critical for survival but as a chance to increase value. 

How to Get Ahead on Digitalization

If you think it’s challenging to stay on top of digital trends in the energy industry, you’re not alone!

At the Global Energy Show, you will get the opportunity to meet and hear from energy leaders about how digital transformation can be part of your strategy. The conference offers more than 170 expert speakers and 1,000 exhibiting companies to learn from. As North America’s leading energy event, it showcases the latest digital trends and the future of digitalization in the energy industry. 

Are you ready to join the digital era of the energy industry? Register for the Global Energy Show today!

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