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Oil and gas industry must embrace digital revolution, says Fircroft

To ensure the oil and gas industry continues to progress forward, oil and gas operators must embrace new technology, according to Fircroft, which has produced a new analysis establishing what the impacts of digitalisation will be and what industry operators need to take note of for their own workforce requirements.

The key impacts on the workforce Fircroft highlighted in its analysis are:

  • Rise of new skillsets

The multitude of new technologies coming into force will require workers with skillsets that have previously not been found in the industry. Consequently, oil and gas operators will need to focus on how to source data scientists, machine learning specialists and those who will operate future digital oilfields. However, these individuals are already highly sought after by companies outside the oil and gas sector, which means employers will need to showcase attractive employment opportunities to draw these niche skillsets into the industry.

  • Redefinition of existing roles

While talk of advanced technology can often bring panic around jobs dissolving, digitalisation can bring positive change to empower businesses. Employers incorporating automation can enable workers to make better use of their time and increase productivity: for example, the automation of repetitive technical decisions will free up engineers to focus on more difficult analysis. Automated drilling rigs could also reduce working hours needed to finish a well by over 30%.

  • New ways of managing the workforce

Digitalisation does not just apply directly to oilfield operations, it will also apply to the human resources functions of oil and gas companies. Advanced analytics and business intelligent software is already being used to generate large-data sets about workforces. Which can help HR teams to gain an unparalleled insight into employee motivations, increase engagement and identify the key drivers behind performance and retention for a better workplace environment.

  • Safer workforce

Digitalisation can also lead to safer environments for workers thanks to the automisation of physically dangerous tasks and digital oilfields, meaning fewer workers will be placed at risk. In addition, employers adopting artificial Intelligence can act efficiently in reducing the possibility of human errors and this is a further leap towards safety in the industry and a secure, low-risk workplace.

Dhiren Shantilal, board director at Fircroft, said, “Far from being immune to change, the oil and gas industry is constantly evolving, but now with digitalisation, it has the opportunity to further redefine itself. The likes of artificial intelligence, and automation can offer the efficiency that companies need in order to act receptively to energy demands. By using a structured approach to assess the potential impacts on the workforce, it’s clear through our analysis that if companies can embrace and exploit digital technology for improved performance then they will reap the benefits in the long run.

“Oil and gas industry hiring managers will have to consider the need for new skill sets and talents to match the new technologies. There will also be a need for the existing workforce to consider how they can update their own skill sets in response to technological evolution. Digital technology when implemented correctly, can offer companies a productive workforce, enable growth and revolutionise the oil and gas industry for the better.”

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