The oil and gas industry is changing rapidly and new ways of thinking is critical to meet or exceed the competition. Global energy demand is on track to double by 2050 when compared to 2000, due to population and economy growth. Businesses can’t afford to be close-minded to tackle the large challenges ahead, which include reducing costs, optimizing performance of assets (operational efficiency), and improving their environmental footprint.
These industry challenges fall on the shoulders of the next generation and its leaders. Here are five ways new oil and gas leaders can create successful operations to keep up with competition and demand:
- Establish sustainability as a business strategy
Strong public awareness of environmental impacts puts an even bigger spotlight on the importance of lowering emissions and delivering cleaner energy to the public. There are numerous voluntary programs and environmental management systems to help address environmental concerns, such as the EPA’s STAR program and OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs. Making sustainable changes with new processes can ease the transition to greener energy so everyone from the manufacturer to the consumer can reap the benefits.
- Create an inclusive company culture that values innovation
Leaders need to be able to manage inevitable change and drive growth by actively engaging and developing employees. Everyone has the ability to bring new skills and perspectives to the industry. Good leadership encourages creative thinking and embraces the strengths of a diverse workforce. Creating a collaborative, adaptive, and resilient workforce will better prepare businesses for growth and change.
- Actively mitigate risks
Economic, political, and environmental risks will always exist, which makes proactive risk management a top priority. Different risks need different types of decision-making processes. Designate teams within the company to defend each category of risk. Prevent breaches, theft, and other external risks with cybersecurity teams. Teams for finance, legal, and health, safety and the environment are necessary to cover all the bases of risk to keep operations and workers safe.
- Embrace digital technologies
Metrics-driven and tech-savvy professionals are in high demand to improve problem solving and efficiency in the industry. According to Deloitte, five key oil and gas industry trends include leveraging digital technologies to help achieve higher capital productivity. Invest in technologies that integrate, collaborate, and automate processes to keep up with competition and maintain efficiency.
Cloud technology now makes it easier than ever; remotely monitor and manage all kinds of assets and processes to reduce human risk and save time. Asset-heavy companies now often adopt agile software to help improve decision making and reduce risk across entire oil fields, refineries, and production lines, according to McKinsey & Company.
- Form an effective asset management strategy
Improve the visibility of valuable assets and protect your bottom line with a holistic asset management strategy. “An effective asset management solution will help a company manage risk and security issues, as well as enable adherence to compliance requirements,” said Chris Niven, research director of the Oil and Gas practice of IDC Energy Insights. Utilize cloud technology to conveniently access data anywhere with remote asset management.
Embracing change and effective team building will be crucial for new leaders in the oil and gas industry as a base for successful operations.
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.