Fuels sector must innovate to beat recession

Gas and oil production in Bonny Island, Nigeria. File photo

by AKANI CHAUKE 
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – COMPANIES in the beleaguered petroleum industry have been innovative, invest in new technologies and skills to overcome challenges prevailing in the sector.

The sector is facing numerous challenges around infrastructure, revenue, operations, budgets, regulations and shifting market dynamics.

“This sector is facing incredibly complex market demands, difficulties around infrastructure and access to raw materials, and new dynamics around power generation solutions,” said Dr Nkosi Kumalo, Managing Executive of Sales for Mining at BCX.

“It’s an industry that expects companies to juggle everything from compliance to environment to skills to disruption within tight constraints and with increasingly limited budgets.”

As such, Kumalo proposed investments in technology and skills

“Organisations can’t afford to ignore the impact that technology can make on key areas such as operations, cost efficiencies and revenue,” he said.

The executive noted technology could use data and analytics to gain insights into consumption patterns and to provide forecasting that could transform investment and strategy.

“This is critical to any business, but particularly those in the petroleum sector,” Kumalo said.

In a paper developed by the International Business Machines’ (IBM’s) Institute for Business Value on ‘Essential tactics to foster innovation in oil and gas’, industry leaders emphasised the importance of innovation within the sector.

Kumalo noted the sector was expecting companies to juggle everything from compliance to environment to skills to disruption within tight constraints and with increasingly limited budgets.

“There are questions that the sector has to answer, today,” Kumalo said.

He noted the questions were on whether to innovate around power, different types of gas, biofuels or hydrogen or how the petroleum industry could manage the disruption occuring around traditional solutions within the sector.

“The answer to all these questions lies in innovation,” Kumalo emphasised.

In conclusion, he urged partnerships as a strategy to drive the sector into the future.

“This is how the sector can innovate and recreate the narrative that currently limits its potential,” Kumalo concluded.

– CAJ News

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