The increasing importance of digital technologies in capital projects is well recognised across the oil and gas sector, particularly as the industry works to deliver Roadmap 2035, drive forward innovative solutions and support its transition to a sustainable future.
The use of digital technologies across capital projects provides operators and suppliers with the capacity to significantly enhance workforce safety, secure valuable efficiencies, improve the predictability of outcomes and reduce risk through reliable performance management information across the asset lifecycle.
However, the application of these technologies within a sector that has traditionally prioritised investment in conventional tools and techniques presents certain challenges. These must be overcome if the industry is to fully take advantage of the opportunities afforded by digital innovations and new technologies.
The plethora of solutions offered by the digital world makes it hard for both operators and suppliers to decide which solutions are the most appropriate and unless carefully planned, investment in digital can be costly, time and resource-intensive, with minimal benefits. This can lead to companies struggling to implement a digital strategy for their capital projects portfolio.
At Deloitte, we have developed a framework to help structure digital transformation to overcome the digital deluge by creating a comprehensive road map for company-wide transformation. This enables businesses to gauge their maturity and plan a way forward.
However, the successful activation of these solutions across the oil and gas industry will require investment in people, as the right skills are vital to ensure digital technologies add value. Whilst disrupting the nature of some traditional jobs, digitalisation across the industry will not replace them, but will instead augment them as there will be a greater need for these roles to work in tandem together. This will free up time for value-added activity and the very human skills of creativity, problem-solving and empathy, as teams make faster and better decisions aided by data-driven technologies.
Meanwhile, increased collaboration between operators and suppliers across the sector provides the opportunity to share ideas and knowledge that can accelerate innovations and industry benefits. These moves are a necessary challenge to the traditional commercial structure if digitalisation is to truly become embedded across the design, construction and operation of a project. While the journey can be complex, the successful deployment of digital technologies has the potential to add value throughout a project’s lifecycle, and those who invest with a data from day one approach can realise significant benefits.