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Oil and Gas Segments: Survival of the digitally fittest

Is it too simplistic to say that digital transformation can stabilise the Oil and Gas industry?

The oil and gas industry has faced a burdensome time over the last 18 months. The reason we choose the word burdensome as opposed to gruelling or troublesome, is simply because without the supply of fuel the world would fail to operate. And whilst every sector has been hit hard by the pandemic not all have such a domino effect on the economy and other industries. The process of getting from production to pump has been disrupted putting future supplies at risk, lowering returns on investments and a global disagreement between OPEC+ and its members.

The good news is that as the world begins to reopen the entire supply chain is kickstarting reaching end users who are once again on the move following lockdown restrictions. It’s this premise that sets the oil and gas industry apart from other sectors. There has already been a major shift with prices climbing however there is still uncertainty requiring long term strategies committed to increase production whilst battling against rising infection rates in certain parts of the world.

Oil and Gas Segments

At one end of the spectrum there is the upstream segment considered, high risk, highly regulated, political and very technology complex. Then there is the midstream sector thought to be lower in risk, dependant on upstream, with market prices affecting demand. And finally, downstream a profit margin driven business, with a global perspective, trying to get products to the end user.

All three segments are heavily interrelated trying to strike a balance between supply with demand. The biggest challenges affecting all segments are:

  1. Stabilising production versus demand
  2. Margin alignment along supply chain
  3. Innovative and sustainable energy disruption
  4. Pressure to reduce footprint and CO2 emissions
  5. Stringent regulations
  6. Political implications
  7. Sourcing expert resources
  8. Excess production and storage
  9. Litigation and contract discrepancy between service providers
  10. Reductions in operational cost

Taking all this into account it is no wonder the oil and gas industry is still lagging in adopting digital transformation compared to other industries. A highly complex engineering sector with old legacy systems, unscalable infrastructure, money invested in stalled projects and thousands of resources spanning across the globe.

Digital Strategy

By ignoring the technological opportunities which could be unleashed the oil and gas industry is missing out on creating products streamlined with digital components. The sector needs to embrace the digital era and instead accelerate their business plans to incorporate technology driven strategies.

Digital transformation is not exclusive and can be used to enhance processes, people and systems to gain greater efficiencies, reduce costs, improve customer relations and to acquire a larger portion of the market share.

The definition may seem wide and complicated but when broken down it simply requires automation of business processes and can literally be used to the benefit of any industry and company. Where it does become convoluted is that such decisions are made at the bequest of the executive team.

Technology mindset

Not all top-level management can translate the benefits especially when this requires an overhaul of expensive legacy systems which are most likely out of date needing a significant amount of maintenance to keep operations moving smoothly. Some are restricted by budget and others are complacent lacking in knowledge considering this to be a disruptive, unnecessary, and costly.

Whilst some of these reasons are perhaps valid especially in the current climate what sets the men from the boys is the mindset and capability to adjust to a new way of thinking. This means applying technology to the weakest areas of the business or completely overhauling infrastructure to enable the delivery of new systems.

Those in the oil and gas segments who have chosen to incorporate digital transformation to redefine how they manage their assets by applying data driven models to automate workflows and maximise resource productivity. Thus, increasing efficiencies and saving operational costs.

Sourcing Resources

At VERITAS we have developed a revolutionary inspection service system capable of connecting technical resources with client projects. By using disruptive technology inspectors can register with the system where they will be matched against their skills, price and location. This offers control over where, when and for how much they will work.

In terms of clients, they are provided with the option to select the best available resources to meet their specific project technical needs, location, timeframe and budget. Ultimately saving costs and ensuring projects are being delivered in accordance with safety and regulatory standards.

Our aim is to disrupt in-house, outsourcing and offshoring of resources to exceed levels previously provided from historic inspection agencies by embracing digital technology.


Industries, economies, consumers all rely on the output which oil and gas companies provide. Similarly, the relationships between the three segments means one cannot simply operate without the other. During the pandemic when demand was low every chink in the supply chain was required to tighten their operational expenditure whilst still being pressurised to reduce their footprint. This is a difficult enough task for the industry but at the company level this can only be achieved by adjusting mindset and incorporating technology.

From IoT sensors linked to systems, generating data sets to manage inventories and supply, to scaling back applying an agile in-house workforce preferring to use third party expertise the common denominator is technology. For an engineering complex industry which is very competitor driven this may require a large amount of change but it’s either do this willingly or be forced by the competition. Applying digital strategies works better when the corporation is in control and therefore developed within their own time, budget as opposed to making rash decisions purely to remain in the market.

The race is on to see who will be the digitally fittest by first stabilising at the company level, then transforming segments and finally reshaping the sector as a whole.

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