Aramco VP: Upstream oil & gas must "rise to challenge" of digital transformation

"After coming through the downturn, the petroleum industry is on the verge of a technological revolution," said Khaled A. Al-Buraik, vice president, Southern Area Oil Operations for Saudi Aramco

New technology like artificial intelligence is already being used in various upstream functions.
Newsline Media
New technology like artificial intelligence is already being used in various upstream functions.

The oil & gas industry is rapidly changing. There is no better indication of this than the inaugural SPE ENGenious event, a global symposium focused on digital transformation in the upstream industry. 

"After coming through the downturn, the petroleum industry is on the verge of a technological revolution," said keynote speaker Khaled A. Al-Buraik, vice president of Southern Area Oil Operations for Saudi Aramco. “However, we must also tackle two main issues. We need to see a behavioural change as there can be apprehension when adopting new technology. Cyber security is the other main challenge for us as the energy industry is one of the top three targets across the world."

The symposium has four main topics: Automation & Control Systems, Data Analytics, Robotics and Smart Communications. Companies such as BP, SVP and Baker Hughes are at the conference.

As the upstream industry reaches for oil in more challenging environments under more difficult circumstances than before, digital technology has come into focus as a way to increase efficiency in production and exploration. The establishment of such a symposium points to the upstream industry's increased interest in leveraging new technology.

“We’ve seen before that this industry, due to the ingenuity of our people and the adoption of new technology, the oil and gas industry always rises to a challenge,” said Al-Buraik.More than 90 presenters will participate over the three days.

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