The Top 5 Executive Challenges in Oil and Gas for 2018

What are the greatest challenges facing executives in the Oil and Gas industry?


Nothing has been more disruptive, from industry to industry, than technology’s impact on the way business is conducted. 

The Oil and Gas industry, though, is arguably one of the slowest industries to apply technology to propel business initiatives.

Given the many challenges that senior executives are facing in 2018, one would think the sector would jump at the opportunity to implement emerging technologies to better accommodate these challenges.

However, as those in the field know—decision-makers can be slow to adapt to change, given the industry’s traditional cultural mindset.

Senior executives across the Oil and Gas industry are faced with various challenges, with the top reported being:

  • Legacy infrastructure and traditional mindset permeates the workforce.
  • Data is not analyzed properly, nor leveraged to its full potential. 
  • Up-and-coming talent is seemingly disinterested in the sector.

This article discusses the challenges that registered delegates will discuss during the upcoming NG Oil & Gas Summit taking place November 7 – 9, 2018 in Texas.

Read on as we present the five focus areas that will dominate the conversation at the upcoming event. 

1. A Stubborn-but-Imminent Digital Transformation

The case for change may seem evident to executives looking at technology’s potential, though this isn’t translating throughout organizations.

Legacy mindsets permeate every level of the industry culture, making adoption difficult. However, getting employees to embrace change—even in this environment—is not impossible.

In a keynote speech, Jim Claunch (VP Operations Excellence, Statoil) explores the industry-polarizing mindset that has thus far hindered tech-related progress of the oil and gas industry.

“There are so many things that are going on around us that we take absolutely for granted. The change has been extremely rapid.

And yet, is technology the challenge we have? It’s people and culture! You know why? Change is great…until it impacts me!”

2. Cost-Cutting Tech: Advanced Oilfields

Executives have discussed drones for years now. While the full potential of the technology is still being explored, there is a long way to go before we completely replace human workers in dangerous locations.

A deluge of available tech claims to solve all executives’ problems, though it has proven difficult for decision-makers to determine which initiatives are worth the investment of time and resources.

Identifying the tech that reduces cost fluctuations in the sector is where executives expect to gain the most, and areas of peak interest with great potential include:

  • Remote Vehicles 
  • Smart Chemistry
  • Geoscience Innovation
  • 3D Printing.

Highlights on Industry Innovation from a previous NG Oil & Gas Summit.

3. Linking Transformational Goals to Business Outcomes

Like ground employees, executives must buy in to these changes and be ready to support them in each area of the business.

There are signs that the unlimited potential of correctly applied technology has reached the c-suite, judging by the ideas shared during the last Keynote speech at last year’s NG Oil & Gas Summit.

  • The End of Dry Wells is just one example of how the application of technology is able to directly impact immediate business goals.

4. Cyber Security in Oil and Gas

One of the fears of moving to cloud based systems is that the level of protection has been, until now, difficult to anticipate.

But as all businesses migrate to the cloud, executives in the Oil & Gas industry will need to quickly wrap their heads around the defence of new cyber systems.

  • Unmanned Rigs is one innovative application with vast potential where a robust network will be critically important.

5. Balancing Needs in Oil and Gas Jobs

The generational divide has never felt so wide. Analogue boomers and digital millennials are joined by a growing number of Gen Xers, whose task is to prepare both for the dramatic changes hitting the industry.

The industry will need to adapt in terms of how it hires, trains, and retains workers if it hopes to gain favor among the up-and-coming top talent.

  • Engineer-Trained AI provides an opportunity for oil and gas to attract emerging talent by transitioning from traditional modes of operation to suit the most technically incline cohort ever.

Charted Territory

As Claunch puts it: Our job, to some extent, is to go boldly where others have already gone.”

The most successful executives in the oil and gas industry have opened their minds to innovations that are activating latent aspects of the industry’s potential. Join the conversation this year as the top talent in Oil & Gas convenes to discuss implementation of disruptive solutions. 

Submit your detail now to register interest for the upcoming O&G Summit, November 7-9 in Texas.

Visit the Oil and gas summit page for details on the event.