Digital revolution crucial to oil, gas sector


Huawei Vice President for Enterprise Business Group and President of the Global Energy Business Unit, David Sun

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) THE oil and gas sector must embrace digital transformation to overcome immense challenges emanating from the collapse in demand and price.

These setbacks have been linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts believe the growing imperative for environmental and climate sustainability in particular have underlined how much the sector needed in order to change if it is to survive and thrive going forward.

“Global organisations are facing systemic challenges,” said David Sun, Vice President of Huawei Enterprise Business Group and President of the Global Energy Business Unit.

Speaking at the recent Huawei Connect’s Intelligent Oil and Gas Summit, he said these challenges included extreme weather, inequality and cyber security.

Sun pointed to the power outages faced by Texas earlier this year.

The cyber attack, which took down the US’ Colonial oil pipeline, and the floods which wreaked havoc across parts of Europe are examples of the kind of crisis that are feared to become more common in the energy sector over the next few years.

“To cope with these complications, the industry urgently needs new methodologies,” Sun said.

He added those methodologies should help the sector to transform from information-based to digital and intelligent.

Lu Gongxun, Senior Consultant of Huawei, concurred.

He said the oil and gas industry must come to terms with the fact that its share of the global energy mix is set to shrink even as production volumes remain stable.

Gongxun, Former General Manager of China National Corporation for Exploration and Development of Oil and Gas, mentioned challenges to include producing more energy at lower costs and carbon emissions, complex exploration targets with insufficient proven resources, difficulty in exploiting existing reserves and the fact that sufficient global supplies means a stable median price.

“To deal with these challenges, digital transformation is inevitable,” he said.

“The oil and gas industry needs to further integrate digital technologies to realise digital transformation,” Gongxun added.

As an example of technology in the sector, he mentioned that artificial intelligence (AI) logging could help revive old wells, increasing their lifetimes and viability.

Lai Nenghe, Chief professor, Geophysical Research Institute, BGP, CNPC, pointed out, “New technologies also pose new challenges in terms of computing and storage.”

Edwin Diender, Chief Information Officer, Global Energy Business Unit, Huawei, pointed out, digital transformation would improve productivity in the oil and gas sector as well as make it safer.

He cited the example of drones, which reduce the need for lengthy safety inspections.

Also, inspectors do not have to get into unsafe and awkward positions to be completely thorough.

Li Yangming, Chief Representative, Oil & Gas Industry of Global Energy Business Unit, Huawei, backed this up.

“By using intelligent meters we can avoid unsafe factors,” Yangming said.

Ahtasham Rabbani, Solution Architect of Huawei Cloud, pointed out, “Digital transformation is a journey without an end and digital resilience has no end either.”

More than 50 countries around the world have adopted digital development as a national strategy.

“That will impact every industry. In the process of digital transformation, we believe that cloudification is the only way to go,” said Alex Sun, Vice President, Data Communication Product Line, Huawei.

– CAJ News

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