Embracing Change: How the oil and gas industry must change to become future-fit?

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

Henri Bergson

Embracing Change

The above quote by Henri Bergson is more than apt for the current scenario of the Oil and Gas Industry. Long gone are the days of easy oil, now it is time for the industry to embrace the future and to adapt to change. The industry in the past few years has seen the demonic side of Petro-Economics which has broken the backs of multitudinous companies not only service providers but also operators. So, how the oil and gas industry must change to become future-fit?

The one major lesson learnt by the industry is to never rely on the stability of commodity prices. Also, companies during the downturn have needed to adapt in order to survive in this cut-throat industry where every penny counts. The major game changers for numerous companies which have survived this bleak cycle have been our machine and computer friends. A trend of being exceedingly dependent on technologies such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Blockchain and most importantly Data Analytics has been observed throughout the industry in the yesteryears. This economic cyclicity of the industry has always been a tender spot which was further accentuated by the recent slump. The brunt of this had to be ultimately faced by the end consumers and the working class which led to skepticism and cynicism about the stability of the industry and of our reliance on the commodities that the industry provides to fulfil our energy demands.

There has been a rising movement that aims to reduce the carbon emissions of the human population by reducing its dependence on conventional fossil fuels as its major source of energy. It is the general consensus that our industry is a major contributor to environmental damage whereas the truth is that our industry has some of the most stringent HSE policies in place which help to reduce problems.

Read More – Oligopolistic Nature of Oil

How the oil and gas industry must change to become future-fit?

The major sources of renewable energy and their interaction with the Oil and Gas Industry are-

The above infographic shows the dependence of the human population moving from conventional energy sources towards renewable and other energy sources. The second infographic informs us about the energy production sources and also about their consumption.

Renewable energy is being used symbiotically along with conventional sources of energy for oilfield applications. This trend shows us that the industry is ready to adapt to the changes that come across and progress with time. Apart from this, companies should start focusing more on renewable energy sources and their incorporation in their operations as it can help in broadening their market insights, improved technology, and excellent community involvement. It can also ease the companies in gaining favor in climate-conscious regions.

Read More – Why Negative Oil Prices Does not Mean Free Gasoline?


Mega companies such as Shell have started calling themselves Energy companies instead of Oil and Gas Companies which just points out the fact that companies are changing their perspective towards the energy industries. We know that crude commodities are finite and we definitely are going to run out of it eventually. Companies need to acknowledge this fact and start moving towards the incorporation of renewable energy sources.

Not only companies but Oil and Gas professionals should also start changing their mindsets towards greener operations. It should be kept in mind that Oil and Gas are here to stay and that its demise is not near but we cannot discount the eventual decline of Oil and Gas so we should start focussing on an all-inclusive growth plan and adapt to the same across the industry.

The whole idea of the theme can be summed up in the following quote given by the famous Irish Playwright George Bernard Shaw.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds can’t change anything.”

Authors:
Rehan Kazi & Ananya Atulya
Department of Petroleum Engineering
MIT-WPU, Pune, India.

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Cover Photo by Vitaly Vlasov from Pexels

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