Forty per cent of companies believe that digitalization can save 16 per cent or more of operating expenses (opex), according to a new study by Aspen Technology, a leading asset optimization software company.
To achieve greater asset availability and utilization, organizations are undertaking digital transformation initiatives that use advanced analytics and machine learning to drive significant increases in asset reliability and performance, added the report, which surveyed over 400 energy industry managers and executives about the impact of analytics and big data on the energy business in the next 24 months.
Improving reliability is the key objective for upstream and downstream companies as well as the engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) firms that serve them, it said.
The potential to achieve high returns on assets with a relentless focus on operational excellence, a holistic asset optimization strategy and a pragmatic execution roadmap is attractive to an industry at the threshold of business and technology disruption.
Other key findings include:
Analytics adoption is growing rapidly, with 51 per cent of upstream/midstream firms and 40 per cent of downstream companies currently using or testing data analytics.
• Maximizing uptime is the top benefit seen from analytics, 72 per cent of respondents agree, followed by equipment monitoring (68 per cent), reduced maintenance costs (68 per cent); automated operations (62 per cent); expanded remote operations (61 per cent); flow assurance/safety (60 per cent) and reduced capital expenses, or capex (58 per cent).
However, getting started with advanced analytics is a challenge:
• Lack of expertise is cited as the top barrier to adopting data analytics, with over a third of respondents reporting no data scientist personnel in the organization. Almost half – 49 per cent of EPCs and 45 per cent of upstream/midstream companies – say lack of in-house expertise is their top barrier to realizing the benefits of analytics.
John Hague, senior vice president and general manager, AspenTech APM Business Unit said: “Digitalization is not new – oil and gas companies have been capturing production, equipment and other data for over 35 years. What is new are the performance improvements made possible by advanced analytics enabled by machine learning in combination with rich process knowledge and the application of these transformative technologies to asset optimization – without employing an army of data scientists. This is how digital transformation achieves results today.”