Oil and gas sector looks to digital technologies to save costs

89 per cent of oil and gas companies are ramping up investment in digital technologies

A new report by EY says 89 per cent of oil and gas companies are ramping up investment in digital technologies as they seek to double down on their cost-saving ambitions.

The report, New technology can lead the way, but do you know where you’re headed?, which was released Thursday, said the greatest strategic challenge one-third (32 per cent) of executives cite is which types of technologies to focus on.

Lance Mortlock
Lance Mortlock

“Canadian oil and gas companies are trying to keep pace with U.S. counterparts as reduced regulatory burden spurs capital spending and production south of the border,” said Lance Mortlock, EY Canada Oil & Gas Leader, in a statement.

“In this competitive environment, companies must focus on areas of the business that are in their control, increasing investments in technology to continue improving operational efficiency to build a competitive advantage.”

The report also found that 42 per cent of executives said finding efficiencies remains the primary motivation for investment in digital for 42% of executives.

EY said its  AI in oil and gas: Extracting collective value by humanizing data report outlines how the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) within the Canadian sector can help companies leverage data to improve areas such as truck maintenance planning and execution, well data analysis, material replenishment planning and optimization, safety and root cause analysis, hire to retire and more.

It said survey results show companies at large haven’t recognized the full potential of these technologies as only 52 per cent of executives say they’re currently investing in AI and ML.

“AI and ML solutions have the potential to come to the fore, addressing age-old problems around cost, speed, quality and capability,” said Mortlock. “But adoption rates are still low as companies contend with the need for highly skilled programmers and data scientists – professions that have not traditionally been prioritized in a sector that’s long been ruled by human operators.

“Leaders will need to work hard to quickly realign businesses to fully leverage the power of new technologies while developing the organizational capabilities of existing talent in order to immediately drive business value.”

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business


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