by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – A technology expert has encouraged oil and gas companies in the continent to make the most of the proliferation of software to overcome the upheavals afflicting the sector.
Falling crude oil prices have put immense strain on the entire oil value chain, while the increasing availability and affordability of renewable energy sources means oil and gas is no longer the obvious choice for energy generation.
The United States was until recently the largest buyer of African crude oil, with Nigeria the biggest exporter, but exports dropped from a high of 1,8 million barrels a day in 2005 to only 274 000 in 2015.
Amid the gloom, technology has emerged as a answer to companies eager to overcome the downslide, Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director: West Africa at SAP Africa, points out.
He says amid the global oil and gas industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented change and disruption, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers
(PwC), the multinational professional services network, one of the key areas oil and gas companies should focus on if they are to weather the
storm is in exploiting new technology to innovate, minimise costs and extract further value from existing infrastructure.
Of all the emerging technologies, Guerreiro singles out the internet-of-things (IoT) as presenting the greatest benefit to the oil and gas sector.
“The oil and gas industry has long been at the forefront of automation and technological disruption,” says the expert.
He says however, IoT is poised to completely revolutionise the industry, from extraction to operations to customer engagement.
“Connected devices open opportunities for oil and gas companies to improve safety, increase efficiency and ensure visibility across the value chain.”
Guerreiro is encouraged oil and gas companies have taken note of the potential of IoT and are investing vast sums into the technology to achieve improved uptime, ensure predictive maintenance, reduce the cost of compliance, and transform business practices.
For oil and gas companies ready to transform their operations through IoT, the benefits are unquestionable, the SAP executive says.
“Choosing the correct technology partner that has the depth of industry experience and the robust cloud-based in-memory platform needed to bring
the benefits of IoT to life is essential to their success.”
– CAJ News