Middle East oil and gas set for digital transformation

18 November 2021
An exclusive report from MEED in partnership with Maire Tecnimont reveals why industrial producers must increase plant efficiency and reduce carbon footprint to future-proof industrial plants

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The Middle East is the historic heartland of the global oil and gas industry. The region holds almost half of the world’s proven hydrocarbon reserves and, in 2020, it produced nearly one-third of the world’s oil.

But the world’s energy sector is changing fundamentally and the region’s position at the heart of the global oil and gas industry means that the impact of the global decarbonisation and energy transition agenda is likely to be felt more acutely by its governments and national oil companies (NOCs) over coming years.

The global energy transition away from fossil fuels is radically restructuring the world’s oil and gas sector, creating both opportunities and challenges for energy companies.

The ongoing drive to reduce emissions and the environmental damage done by the energy industry will require innovative solutions from companies within the industry that wish to flourish in this era of change.

Many companies that operate across the world in the upstream, downstream and petrochemical sectors are now repositioning themselves for a period of decarbonisation and adaption.

There are still many unanswered questions about what the global energy sector is going to look like in coming decades, but those who are preparing today to meet anticipated future demand trends and adopt the appropriate technologies will fare better than those who fail to acknowledge the need for change or to invest in future-proof technologies.

Trends that are becoming a key focus for investment as companies prepare for the future include advanced digitalisation, extensive connectivity, enhanced automation, artificial intelligence application, renewable energy, carbon capture technology and sustainable hydrogen as an energy carrier.

Choices, policies and strategic plans made today by governments and operators in the region are likely to prove to be fundamental to their successes and failures within the energy sector over coming decades.

Difficult decisions are currently being made. Being an early adopter of cutting-edge technology comes with risks that are sometimes hard to evaluate, but building up the capacity to use pioneering techniques could also give companies a significant advantage over the competition.

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