OEEC: Deep Dive into Digitalization

The tenth edition of Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference held annually in Amsterdam is behind us.

During the event held last week Offshore Energy Today live streamed four talk-shows and one interview for our online viewers both on Facebook and on Offshore Energy Today website, enabling them to feel the vibe of the exhibition floor and maybe even enticing them to join the event at the Amsterdam Rai in October next year.

For those unable to follow the live streams, we’re now posting a video of a rather interesting talk-show titled: “Deep dive into digitalization.”

Held at Community Square, the talk show hosted representatives from Engie E&P, DNV GL Oil & Gas, Siemens, EBN, and Rollos.

The speakers tackled various subjects when it comes to the implementation of the digitization strategy within the oil and gas industry, the best practices of doing it, and the obstacles.

When mentioning digitalization, people tend to imagine only robots, computers, algorithms, lasers, automation that will eventually eradicate the need for the human workforce. However we’re not yet there, if we’re ever going to be.

According to DNV GL’s Rob van der Spek who sees digitization as a critical enabler for the industry to become safer, smarter, and greener, algorithms are great, but in combination with “live” experts.

Commenting on Big Data and the difficulties operators are facing with the overwhelming amount of it, Van der Spek said there were a lot opportunities to explore data with today’s tools from machine learning and advanced statistics.

He feels that combining the power of experts with the power of algorithms and the data driven technologies is the way forward.

“Algorithms should be trained, but the outcomes should be used by experts to make decisions,” Van der Spek said.

Talking about the potential benefits of digitalization in the oil and gas, Thomas Friedman, Head of Project Development and Programs, Siemens sees major opportunities on the operational side – opex side, where technology can help reduce operational downtime, and extend the life cycle times of the products and critical equipment.

Also, he sees the potential for technology to help fill the void and compensate for the knowledge lost by the severe job cuts in the oil and gas industry caused by the drop in oil prices.


Cultural change


As said before, it’s not only about the machines and algorithms. It’s about the people too.

Siemens’ Friedman feels the management should make sure the whole company is working in the same direction when it comes to digitalization.

He feels it’s a cultural change so you have to change the people as well, and need to give them room to experiment

Unni Ulland, Chief Information Officer, ENGIE E&P agrees, adding that the key to success is to start with the smaller steps and build it up, and build the trust as you go along.

This is only a glimpse of what you can expect in the video above. Do offshore platforms have internet? Is there room for experimentation in the heavily regulated sector? What are the safety and cost benefits of going digital? Should the unions be worried? Is it possible to run offshore platforms fully from the shore? Do the operators share data or do they keep it for themselves? Learn the answers to all these questions and more by watching the video above.

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