Industry profile

Digital has been the big buzzword in the industry for a few years now. Nearly every oil major in the world is looking at the technology stack. Some are already making remarkable progress. Over the past two years, spurred by resurgent oil prices, digital pilots have flourished across the value chain, promising an exciting future.

Globuc took a closer look at some of the latest technological and project developments in the oil & gas industry in the Middle East.

Kuwait

Kuwait 2035’s digital roadmap is driving digital innovation
  • Kuwait Petroleum Corp. is reassessing plans to spend about $500 billion in capital investment and may decide this year to combine its eight business units into four to streamline the company.¹
  • The Kuwait National Development Plan’s objectives include positioning Kuwait as a global hub for the petrochemical industry and increasing foreign direct investment by 300%²
  • Honeywell opened Kuwait’s first in-country manufacturing and testing centre for oil and gas technologies in 2019. The center customises industrial software and IoT solutions, and designs and assembles (DCS) platforms and other systems³
  • The largest active projects in Kuwait in terms of the total value of packages under execution are the $24billion Clean Fuels Project and the $20billion New Refinery Project4
  • With the rollout and expansion of almost 1,200 wells as part of Kuwait Integrated Digital Field (KwIDF) phase 1 completed in 2017, KOC’s focus is now on recent industry advancements in subsurface measurements and surveillance, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT)5

Sources:

  • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-10/kuwait-petroleum-said-to-reassess-500-billion-investment-plan
  • http://www.newkuwait.gov.kw/image/NewKuwait_CampaignLaunchEvent.pdf
  • http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/559589/BUSINESS/Kuwaits-first-in-country-manufacturing-amp-testing-center-for-oil-and-gas
  • https://www.offshore-technology.com/comment/middle-east-oil-and-gas-2019/
  • https://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-116/issue-7/special-report-applied-analytics/koc-s-digital-oil-field-initiative-increases-north-kuwait-production.html

Saudi Arabia

Largest single spender in the regional oil & gas sector
  • Saudi Arabia is undertaking the largest and most ambitious economic reform and transformation program in its history. A broad range of initiatives is being rolled out to realize the objectives of Vision 2030. Digitization and artificial intelligence (AI) are key enablers of these wide-ranging reforms4
  • Saudi Aramco is the largest single spender in the regional oil & gas sector, with more than $31billion-worth of contracts under execution1
  • Saudi Aramco has more than 80 active oil and gas contracts under execution, including nine projects worth more than $1billion in value. Two of the largest active projects are the $16billion Jizan refinery project and $6.5billion Fadhili gas plant1
  • In 2016, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed ibn Salman announced his intent to IPO 5% of the country’s national oil company (Saudi Aramco)2
  • Saudi Aramco and other major oil & gas producers have been taking drastic measures to contain costs and reduce spending. Saudi Aramco is looking towards digital technologies to cut costs and increase operational and production efficiencies to ensure long-term sustainability2
  • In May 2019, Saudi Aramco has created the 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) Center. The center is designed to support the conception of new ideas, prototyping, piloting, and full-scale deployment3

SOURCES:

  1. https://www.offshore-technology.com/comment/middle-east-oil-and-gas-2019/
  2. https://digit.hbs.org/submission/saudi-aramcos-transformational-journey-from-bytes-to-barrels/
  3. https://www.offshore-mag.com/business-briefs/company-news/article/16790412/aramco-unveils-digitalai-center/
  4. https://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2018/05/article_0002.html

UAE

One of the most advanced digital economies in the world
  • The UAE is one of the most advanced digital economies in the world, landing in the top 20 globally and first in the Arab world1
  • In September 2017, the UAE Government launched the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
  • Cost efficiency is one of the three strategic foundations for ADNOC’s 2030 Strategy4
  • In April 2019, ADNOC, in collaboration with IBM, created a blockchain-based production quantities accounting system in its value chain. The plan for the next few years is to cover all of its assets, not only in production but including its customers too2
  • The Predictive Maintenance project has been selected as one of the flagship initiatives of the ADNOC Digital Transformation Strategy the company had set in 2018. The aim of this project is to reduce the cost of maintenance by 10 to 25% and to redesign and revisit the maintenance and inspection processes2
  • In 2018, ADNOC announced plans to invest $45 billion over the next five years to become a leading global downstream player. ADNOC will create the world’s largest and most advanced integrated refining and petrochemicals complex3

SOURCES:

  1. https://gulfnews.com/technology/uae-most-digitally-advanced-in-arab-world-1.2239034
  2. https://emtechmena.com/how-adnoc-upgraded-to-blockchain-and-ai-systems/
  3. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180513005054/en/ADNOC-Announces-45-Billion-Investment-Plan-Leading
  4. https://www.adnoc.ae/en/strategy2030/our-strategic-foundations

OMAN

Plan to invest more than $20bn in exploration and production
  • Due to the current industry landscape in Oman, companies are increasingly interested in technology that will optimize production capacity at lower costs.
  • State-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is planning to invest more than $20bn in exploration and production activities by 2021 with the objective of sustaining its long-term hydrocarbon output1In March 2019, Shell Oman has signed an agreement with Oman Liquefied Natural Gas LLC (Oman LNG) to explore the benefits of how digital technologies and data analytics can optimize LNG production and improve safety2

SOURCES:

  1. https://www.meed.com/oman-plans-20bn-investment/
  2. http://www.omanobserver.om/shell-oman-and-oman-lng-ink-pact-on-digitalisation/

BAHRAIN

Actively developing its infrastructure for digital economy
  • In June 2019, Bahrain announced that the country will allow foreign companies to take 100% stakes in oil, natural gas extraction projects1
  • Oil and gas projects worth about $6 billion are underway or in pre-execution in Bahrain. The projects include the multi-billion dollar Bapco revamp programme, Bahrain LNG Import Terminal, and Bahrain National Gas Expansion Company’s third gas plant. The country is also looking for more partners to develop the Bahrain oilfield2Bahrain is actively developing its infrastructure to increase its readiness for a digital economy. The country is consistently ranked among the top in the region in ICT preparedness3

SOURCES:

  • https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bahrain-oil/bahrain-to-allow-foreign-companies-to-take-100-stakes-in-oil-natural-gas-extraction-projects-news-agency-idUSKCN1T30OU
  • https://www.hydrocarbonprocessing.com/news/2018/01/bahrain-gets-a-boost-of-6-billion-in-oil-and-gas-projects
  • https://bahrainedb.com/bahrain-pulse/bahrain-digital-globalisation-fourth-industrial-revolution/