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ADNOC CTO calls for digital transformation in energy sector

ADNOC CTO calls for digital transformation in energy sector

Alan Nelson joins other energy IT leaders in AVEVA discussion on digital transformation


Organisations that didn’t take going digital seriously before are doing so now, according to Alan Nelson, chief technology officer at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

Speaking at a recent virtual press panel organised by engineering and industrial software company AVEVA, Nelson advised organisations to focus their technology strategy and investments across a few impactful platforms including new energy technologies, manufacturing processes and materials of the future.

“Technology strategies cannot be considered in isolation and should be developed in collaboration with key global strategic partners. Such strategies also need to support and encourage R&D capabilities to innovate at scale, which is crucial to reducing the risks related to commercialisation of new technologies and giving organisations an edge in this new COVID-19 landscape,” Nelson said.

The panel brought together representatives from energy sector organisations ADNOC, Wood PLC and DCP Midstream participating alongside Craig Hayman, CEO of AVEVA. The participants emphasised how technology is playing a vital role in achieving real-time optimisation and improving decision making, digitally enabling business operations, supported by an often-remote workforce to drive substantial cost reductions.

AVEVA’s Hayman underlined the opportunity for digital transformation for the industrial sector, which has traditionally been underpenetrated by digital technologies.

“Digital Twin, AI and Cloud are improving collaboration and accelerating autonomous projects across the globe. To enable digital resiliency and long-term sustainability, organisations need to bring together the connected workforce with cloud, big data and edge capabilities. There are new pressures and opportunities, but ultimately one digital imperative,” he commented.

Darren Martin, CTO of Wood, cited Digital Twin as a key enabler, to operate, maintain and optimise assets remotely across the globe with precision. While connecting people and workers during the pandemic has been key to business resilience and continuity, AI and automation is facilitating upfront design, allowing people to focus on more complex developments.

“The pandemic forced the industrial sector to embrace digital almost by default with future plans brought forward suddenly and accelerated to be ready and operational, now. Almost overnight there was an increased demand for systems that were smarter, faster, modular, safer, that would minimise scheduling delays in order to reduce OPEX, increase sustainability, lifespan and upskill existing tradecraft professionals to be able to take on new roles,” Martin said.

Bill Johnson, group vice president and chief transformation officer, DCP Midstream, said the company is pursuing digital transformation with a goal to achieving real-time optimisation and decision making. “By utilising real-time data from a variety of sources to make the most strategic business decisions, driving workforce efficiencies through automation as well as creating digital platforms to improve our employees’ quality of life and customer experience and utilising predictive analytics to improve asset maintenance we are confident that we are on a positive path to ensuring that DCP Midstream is equipped to remain agile and competitive even in the most disruptive environments,” he said.

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