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April 23, 2015

Plunging crude prices will not halt oil and gas tech spend

Big data and IoT driving investment.

By CBR Staff Writer

The slump in crude oil prices has had little or no impact technology spend in the oil and gas sector with investment remaining stable or increasing.

The ‘Oil and Gas Digital and Technology Trends Survey 2015’ undertaken by Microsoft and Accenture found 32% are willing to invest the same amount, while around 25% plan to spend more or significantly more in digital technologies during the current low crude price cycle.

The survey covered international oil companies (IOCs), national oil companies (NOCs), independents and oilfield services firms.

44% of the respondents said they plan to spend more on digital technologies in the next three to five years.

Over the next three to five years, big investments are expected in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), big data and automation reflecting moves away from the current focus on mobility, infrastructure and collaboration technologies.

89% of the companies said that leveraging more analytics capabilities are likely to add business value, while 90% voted for mobile technologies and 86% for IIoT.

The industry expects the investments in digital technologies to bring improvements in operational efficiency for more informed decision-making and efficiency in workforce, rather than simply cut cost.

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Physical and cybersecurity, and workflows and processes are bottlenecks, overcoming which is considered to be vital by the oil and gas players.

Accenture energy industry group global head Rich Holsman said: "Oil and gas industry leaders continue to look to digital technologies as a way to address some of the key challenges the industry faces today in this lower crude oil price cycle.

"Making the most of big data, IIoT and automation are indeed the next big opportunities for energy and oilfield services companies, and many are already starting work in these areas.

"They are increasing investments in enabling people and assets, with a growing emphasis on developing data supply chains to support analytics projects that can improve efficiencies, manage cost and provide a competitive edge."

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