All Change: COVID-19 and the New Way of Working in Oil and Gas


The current pandemic presents opportunities for those offering the latest tech solutions and services.

Open any industry publication worldwide, and you will be informed that “the way we work has forever changed”. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially increased the speed of change across a whole spectrum of industries, including the beleaguered oil and gas sector.

Once “nice to have” technologies are becoming essential, as operators and manufacturers seek to run their plants with significantly lower staffing levels. Remote access, virtual and augmented reality and digital twins are some of the more popular technologies currently being explored in oil and gas.

This week, two global energy leaders, TechnipFMC and DNV GL announced that they are developing the oil and gas industry’s first methodology for qualifying the integrity of digital twin technology. Read more about this here.

At the same time, geo-data specialist Fugro made public that it has secured a 3-year contract with Well-Safe Solutions, a UK-based offshore well decommissioning company, to provide remotely operated vehicle services, rig positioning and remote operations. Phil Milton, Well-Safe Solutions CEO, emphasised the cost-effectiveness of the deal. In a low oil price environment, lowering costs will prove an important motivating factor in the adoption of remote operations going forward, even as the COVID-19 crisis subsides.

In the US, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), which offers advanced automation and remote operation capabilities for the oil, gas, mining, and petrochemical sectors, has developed a new remote working technology solution, based on its own experiences at its plastics manufacturing facility in Texas. Realising that manufacturers across industry segments are grappling with the same business continuity issues, HPS decided to make the technology available to all its customers under the product name Experion Augmented Remote Operations. Jason Urso, CTO at HPS said: “We found it was possible to assemble remote operations capabilities in a facility within a few hours”.

So, despite gloomy conditions in the sector, it seems that opportunities certainly exist for those service providers who are prepared to champion new technologies and be agile in adapting to new ways of working.  

Is your technology making waves in the oil and gas industry? The Transformative Technology Showcase at Africa Oil Week 2020 will present the very best innovations and upcoming projects in OFS to an audience of global operators.
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