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It's no secret oil and gas companies are facing challenging times.  From historically low oil prices to increasing competition and declining energy demand, navigating this kind of environment requires innovation and smart decision-making.  Unsurprisingly, technology is the key - its helping the industry get through today's tough economy and will pave the way for growth as the market recovers.

Recently, I was fortunate to join a number of industry-leading companies at the sixth annual Best Practices for Oil and gas in The Woodlands, TX  where discussions focused on the impact technology is having on all aspects of there business:  from streamlined operations and uncovered supply chain efficiencies to realized cost savings.  Oil and gas leaders also shared their vision for an increasingly connected and automated future where disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) will help position the oil and gas industry as a leader in the digital economy. among so many incredible industry speakers, here are just a few highlights:

  • Anadarko CEO Al Walker talked about the company's use of technology, data and analytics while also empowering employees and service providers to continuously innovate and make improvements.  It's these two factors - technology and people - that have helped the company meet today's challenges and position itself as a stronger enterprise.

  • Murphy Oil discussed the consolidation of 60 different systems into a "single source of truth" that has delivered increased visibility and significant cost savings, and positioned the company for streamlined M&A activity.

  • Valero shared its process for achieving increased accuracy and speed for line-of-sight into crucial operational risk management issues and trends.

  • Shell Oil Company pointed to use cases and results of a solution that helped streamline the company's shutdown/turnaround process.

Regardless of the topic, what was most clearly the common thread is that access to information is - and will continue to be - the competitive differentiator.  Whether through real-time analytics', predictive maintenance systems, or the use of mobility solutions, these companies and so many others are accessing and using real time data to pave the way for a true digital transformation for Oil and Gas.  Despite today's challenges, technology's and innovation are creating endless opportunity for the future of the industry.

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