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Digital Transformation Can Save the Oil and Gas Industry Billions

If the oil and gas industry used existing technology properly, it could save a staggering $73 billion a year.The oil and gas industry lags behind many others in its use of technology. But if the industry used existing technology properly, it could save a staggering $73 billion a year. So says a report from the Wood Mackenzie (Woodmac) energy consultancy, according to Reuters. The report covers what’s called the “upstream industry” — oil exploration and production.


If the oil and gas industry used existing technology properly, it could save a staggering $73 billion a year.

How Technology Enables Savings for Oil and Gas 

Existing technology could be effectively used in several ways, the report says. Reuters reports, “The consultancy saw big savings from using technology that would make drilling faster, more accurate and less likely to end up with a dry well, and by using applications to predict when maintenance would be needed.”

An estimated $12 billion could be saved on drilling alone, the report found. Significant savings could also be wrought by cloud computing. Beyond that, Reuters says, the report found “average annual exploration spending of $50 billion could be cut to about $35 billion, while still boosting the discovery success rate to 45 percent from about 35 percent now. In addition, it estimated the industry could save as much as $24 billion a year on operating oil producing assets through better use of technology.”


“Average annual exploration spending of $50 billion could be cut to about $35 billion, while still boosting the discovery success rate to 45 percent from about 35 percent now. In addition, it estimated the industry could save as much as $24 billion a year on operating oil producing assets through better use of technology.”

A blog post, “Beyond the Barrel: How Data and Analytics will become the new currency in Oil and Gas” by Brad Bechtold, Cisco’s Canadian National Director of Energy Transformation Oil and Gas and Mining Transformation, expands on the report. Bechtold points out that oil and gas companies have begun digitizing multiple parts of their business and says that edge analytics “has the potential to dramatically change how oil and gas operators manage field operations.” In edge analytics, data isn’t shipped back to a central location to be analyzed. Instead, it’s captured and analyzed in the field.

Edge analytics is important because in oil and gas exploration, data links can be unreliable or unusable. Bechtold writes, “Whether a rig is offshore or operates remotely in northern Canada, moving large amounts of data to a central data centre to apply analytics is simply not practical. The communication link, assuming it’s a satellite connection, would take 12 days to send a single day of data from the rig to the data centre. Additionally, latency is an issue because the usefulness of data is often lost if not used immediately — particularly data related to platform efficiency and safety.”

Mobile devices and technology are vital to edge analytics. They capture data, route it to the proper locations onsite and at the edge and are then used in the field to perform important tasks, including maintenance, troubleshooting, and more. It’s just one more example of how mobile apps are key to the oil and gas industry’s digital transformation.


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What’s the Best Mobile Platform for the Oil industry

To take advantage of digital technologies, the oil and gas industry needs to choose the right tools. Alpha TransForm is ideally suited for spurring the digital transformation of the oil and gas industry. It has the unique ability to rapidly create mobile-optimized forms and field apps that can easily access and integrate with existing databases and web services. It can also exploit built-in role-based security. It builds offline apps, vital for the oil and gas industry, and has frequently been used to write mobile apps for field workers.


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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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