OTC 2021: Offshore industry must fully embrace digital transition, says Amazon official

Aug. 18, 2021
The offshore industry needs to accelerate the pace of transformation to realize the full value of digitalization, says Arno Van Den Haak of AWS Energy.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – The offshore oil and gas industry has begun to embrace digital technologies in recent years, but it needs to accelerate the pace of transformation to realize the full value of digitalization. These were among the key findings offered by Arno Van Den Haak of AWS Energy (Amazon) at a panel on digitalization at the Offshore Technology Conference on Tuesday.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and application programming interfaces to companies on a metered pay-as-you-go basis.

Van Den Haak, who is head of worldwide business development for AWS Energy, said that these cloud computing web services provide a variety of basic abstract technical infrastructure and distributed computing building blocks and tools, which can be used by the offshore oil and gas industry.

“We are optimistic about the future of the industry,” Van Den Haak said. “It has a long history of innovating in order to address the ever-growing demand for energy in a responsible way. But it will require a change in leadership, behavior, and attitude to embrace digital transformation.” The companies that survive the energy transition, he said, “will be the ones that can quickly change existing paradigms and spur the acceleration that will propel the industry forward.”

To do this, Van Den Haak said that “leaders must recognize that digital technology will shape the form of the company’s future, at the same time the company’s future will shape the form of the digital transformation.” He noted that new technologies have redefined the energy ecosystem, “democratizing access and allowing participants to move away from costly and time-consuming procurement processes toward software-as-a-service offerings. Shifting operations to the cloud can cut costs and improve efficiency, data capture, decision-making, and modeling.”

Van Den Haak provided examples of the ways in which analytics tools for production monitoring and well optimization can be offered to energy companies instantaneously, offering immediate insight without compromising security. He noted that energy companies can have instantaneous access to new micro services that allow them to compare and contrast their own proprietary models with state-of-the-art models. “Full waveform inversion modeling in the upstream domain is a pointer click away on a pay-as-you-go model, without the need to exchange large volumes of data,” Van Den Haak said.

“The time is ripe for innovation and transformation, rather than a minor reset,” Van Den Haak concluded. “We strongly believe that this transformation must be a digital one.”