Technology is enabling the transformation of manufacturing – and nowhere is that more evident than oil and gas. From supplying real-time data everywhere in the world to overhauling processes to ensure more efficient projects and operations, technology is changing the way the industry succeeds in the market.

At CERAWeek by IHS Markit, Emerson experts shared their perspectives on the crucial next steps to propel the industry forward from its current efficiency era to the digital workforce of the future.

  • Emerson Chief Technology Officer Peter Zornio emphasized the need to start with the solutions that will provide the biggest business value, on a panel discussion about how the “innovation tsunami” will change the energy sector. Many companies are overwhelmed and uncertain about where to start with the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT). Zornio noted that starting with the big issues – reliability, energy efficiency, safer operations – will enable companies to not only solve business problems, but to do so in a way that is intuitive for the people working with the technology.
  • Mike Train, executive president of Emerson Automation Solutions, discussed the efficiency and profitability opportunities that the industry allows to languish in a panel discussion on “Driving Upstream Cost Improvements.” Train noted that leveraging technology advances would help the industry improve project performance – bucking the trend of than 65 percent of projects over $1 billion coming in late and over budget – and operational performance, with 2/3 fewer safety incidents and two weeks more additional production with 20 percent fewer costs, and 30 percent fewer carbon emissions and energy use.
  • As the industry begins to rebound to a higher price per barrel, capital projects are making a comeback. Jim Nyquist, group president of Systems and Solutions at Emerson, shared his perspective on what it takes to restore capital project confidence. He elaborated on Emerson’s Project Certainty, built on four pillars—backed up by more than 50 technology enablers—of eliminating costs, eliminating complexity, expert partnering and accommodating late project changes.
  • While the industry talks about digitalization, there’s still room to define what that looks like in practice. Arshad Matin, president of Emerson’s Exploration and Production Software business, joined a panel to discuss “Digitization and Oil & Gas: What’s Next?” Matin noted the importance of subsurface and its role in making the value work across the supply chain, as the subsurface knowledge can be integrated to connect with information at the well surface to better optimize the flow from the reservoir and maximize its lifespan.
  • The growth of alternative energy sources and storage technologies has inspired the industry to take a closer look at petrochemicals as a future pillar of growth for hydrocarbons. Jamie Froedge, president of Emerson’s Process Systems and Solutions, shared his perspective on the common need for increased flexibility to respond to quick demand changes and shifting economic conditions—a need that refiners and petrochemical producers are noting as well. Digital technologies are playing a significant role in capital projects as well as reliable and safe operations.
  • As the industry increases technology, data will increase – exponentially – alongside. Claudio Fayad, Emerson’s systems and solutions business technology vice president, joined fellow digital experts to discuss “The Cloud, the Edge and future of connectivity.” Fayad highlighted energy industries’ opportunity to use a cloud-based architecture to integrate across the hydrocarbon supply chain—from exploration and production through to refining and petrochemical production—to create value across the entire process.
  • Bob Yeager, president of Power & Water Solutions for Emerson, offered his perspective on power trends and upcoming changes in two panel sessions. Renewable energy sources were a big focus of conversation, and Yeager discussed the need to balance the base and intermittent sources to keep the power grid operating reliability, even as it cycles between renewable and traditional energy sources. Yeager also discussed the emergence of block chain technology and what it will mean for the power industry.