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Old friends met up and new connections were being made at EnergyWorld 2021

The first physical event in the oil and gas industry, was about ....

Duncan Irving / October 03, 2021

Belated, and most welcome. That's one way to describe how the participants of EnergyWorld 2021 in Stavanger felt, as old friends met up and new connections were being made across the oil industry.

On the Expo floor, we came across a number of recurring themes, in the presentations as well as in the conversations:

- Enabling collaboration across value chains and organizations

- Re-using and scaling capabilities

- Security and resilience of digital capabilities

- Sustainability 

Each of these themes is a set of challenges for the industry, as well as an opportunity for organizations and individuals to bring value when working together.

As a technology-driven local economy, Stavanger has grown an ecosystem of technology companies around the oil industry, the wider maritime engineering, as well as marine projects. It was great to see smaller and larger organizations represented at EnergyWorld, as the only way to address the abovementioned recurring topics is through utilization of eco systems, new ways of workings, and on new, shared platforms.

This was very much in evidence in the presentation on stage by NOROG’s Yngve Nilsen, who showcased the Virtual Inventory – what could be one of Norway’s most valuable solutions. It is an app (and underlying platform) that allows inventory to be hunted, scraped, analyzed, and procured from the digital warehouses of Norway’s oil and gas supply chain. This drives lower costs for all involved by sharing the information and reduces downtime while searching for critical components to the tune of millions of euros per month. The solution (created by a TietoEVRY team, over the last two years) blends all three of the above themes to achieve this level of value.

One of the most anticipated presentations was the joint presentation by Microsoft and Cognite, both our partners, who were clearing setting out the stall for a cloud-based digital platform for the heavy industries that typically have massive legacy investments in Microsoft technologies and expertise. Cognite's vision has come a long way, and their VP for Marketing, Dr. Paula Doyle, made a strong case for the “big database in the cloud” that has so far eluded the oil industry. The value proposition is good – but it remains to be seen how quickly competencies and capabilities can be developed in operators to exploit this type of environment. Cognite and Microsoft are both investing heavily in lowering the competence barrier to entry, and they are listening to, and working with, many organizations to reach their current level of maturity.

Where organizations lack the internal competence and capacity, they bring in third parties.

The joint presentation between Equinor and Bouvet exemplified how value can be created by bringing in external expertise to create scalable and reusable components for insight generation in the petrophysical domain, building on a long-term R&D initiative grown internally by Equinor.

Underpinning all of these messages was a heightened awareness of the need for stronger behaviors and capabilities around security. Many of the conversations at our booth at site were with Sigrun Bock, our head of Cybersecurity, and it is clear that the industry as a whole has a long way to go in making its digital products and operations more secure in a world of ever-more complex emerging threats.

There was a lot to take in at Energyworld 2021, and the IT domain of this industry is unrecognizable from the one that this geophysicist met when entering oil and gas 20 years ago. There are still massive challenges, not least in the energy transition. I, and my 24 000 colleagues, believe firmly that the IT sector can contribute in many ways when it comes to helping the Oil & Gas industry meet the challenges that lie ahead.

If we did not meet at EnergyWorld already, don't hesitate to reach out, in case you would like to discuss any of your challenges! 


"In other words, allowing the companies to buy each other’s spare parts in a time of crisis could prevent massive amounts of downtime and costs saved."

Yngve Nilsen, Senior advisor at Norwegian Oil & Gas Association

Duncan Irving
Head of Analytics, AI & Automation, and Oil & Gas Consulting Principal


Duncan Irving

Head of Analytics, AI & Automation, and Oil & Gas Consulting Principal

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