Oil and gas: back to the future

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

Oil and gas: back to the future

Visualise a drilling engineer on a remote platform, equipped with ‘smart glasses’. This wearable device is powered by AR technology and provides live alerts about the position of the drill bit throughout the drilling sequence, step-by-step workflow information and a live link to colleagues and experts around the world through voice command.

According to the Managing Director of Accenture Australia’s Resources practice, Christophe Bourdeau, these technologies are real, and present. But industry needs to move beyond proofs of concept and pilots to implement and scale quickly, or the golden opportunity for Australia’s oil and gas industry to be world-leading will be lost.

“Australia is now the world’s biggest LNG exporter, but we must leverage the current position and take a bold rethink of business and operating models to ensure a successful and sustainable future,” Bourdeau said. “With workers now connected and digitally empowered, there will be a shift in traditional, physical roles, opening up oil and gas jobs to a wider demographic. A more diverse workforce has further benefits — a smarter, more creative, more innovative and more relevant organisation.

“With the industry key to our economy and our nation’s prosperity, oil and gas operators must implement digital technologies to transform performance from reservoir to market, at scale.”

Bourdeau said the 2019 Australasian Oil and Gas conference and exhibition (AOG) event held in Perth provides the perfect platform for industry to shape its future, engaging with our peers and partners to share ideas and innovations, and push the boundaries.

“We are undoubtedly facing a raft of challenges in this digital age, which are redefining the industry’s long-held fundamentals; from talent shortages and demographic/skill shifts to workforce safety, environmental protection and community trust; against constant pressures to achieve sustainable growth, whilst running world-class operations.

“In tackling these complex and ever-evolving challenges, energy companies in Australia must tap into the full power of these disruptive digital technologies.

“The future is now. It’s time for transformation, or industry will lose the golden opportunity we are currently presented with,” he said.

At the core of this transformation are new advances in digital technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) and robotics. When leveraged at scale, combined and fully integrated, oil and gas operators can achieve increased agility, innovation, efficiencies and speed.

“We believe this will result in a ‘connected workforce’ that is more productive, more engaged and most importantly, achieve an unprecedented level of safety,” Bourdeau said.

For Accenture, a connected oil and gas workforce will be enabled by Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, analytics and wearable technologies to enable workers to undertake tasks more securely and effectively.

Sensors and digital connectivity will enable the business to have constant situational awareness of where people are, what they’re doing, how well they’re doing it, and what environmental and operational risks they face in the often hazardous working conditions.

“This connected workforce will in turn transform maintenance processes, shutdown/turnaround, operations and capital projects, whilst forging a more diverse workforce.”

Image: ©stock.adobe.com/au/pichitstocker

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