The changing nature of the oil and gas industry

The oil and gas industry is in a constant state of flux, with changing prices, demand and supply all having a significant impact on how the sector performs overall. In addition, there are a number of technological, legislation and political trends that are shaping the way the oil and gas industry develops.

Big data

One of these trends is the continued emergence of big data and its use within the industry. With new big data technologies and processes changing the way we acquire, store and analyse huge masses of data, along with new devices to track reservoir, machinery and personnel performance within oil and gas, it’s no wonder that this is presenting opportunities for development. Big data can reveal a great number of insights on everything from machinery performance to oil flow rates, and with datasets growing daily, we can expect to see its prominence within the industry expand.

A new wave of operators

Already at the tail end of 2017 we’ve seen the $3.8bn sale of Shell North Sea assets to Chrysador, a move tipped to signal a host of ‘new generation’ independent operators taking over from legacy oil conglomerates, buying assets in a bid to produce oil in more efficient, cost-effective ways. Independents are continuing their success in exploration and unconventional methods, but the major operators continue to dominate with their more traditional, bureaucratic methods of work.

Changing demographics

With millennials set to make up 35% of the global workforce by 2020, it’s clear that a major demographic shift is underway in every industry, including oil and gas. The new generation of workers will expect changes in their working environments and methods, with questions raised over the role of oil and gas companies (and indeed the methods of extraction) in society. Digital natives have different ideas when it comes to the use of technology, collaboration and flexibility than their older counterparts, so we can expect to see a shakeup in terms of ideas and innovation within oil and gas as new workers emerge.

New developments press on

Despite a cautious 2017, there are plenty of oil and gas projects lined up globally to keep an eye on. From the $4.67bn Coral South LNG project in Mozambique to the huge Libra oil field in Brazil – with a projected cost of up to $91bn – we can expect to see ongoing development in the industry regardless of optimism levels.

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