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Resourcing Talent In Digital Oil And Gas

Read Time: 4 mins

Candice Ragnes, E&P Consulting, Houston, US, reports on resourcing talent in digital oil and gas, and why the industry has been slow to fully embrace the digital oilfield space.

Over the years, digitalization of the oil and gas sector has delivered overwhelming benefits and value for organizations across many areas of the business. From more streamlined processes and cost efficiencies, to overcoming challenging problems and realizing new opportunities, digital technologies are now integral to company operations within the oil and gas arena.

Despite the obvious benefits, many organizations within the sector have been slow to fully implement the transformation and technical advancements needed to fully enter the digital oilfield space. This could be due to cost implications, the shift in oil prices, a lack of digital talent in the sector, or even time constraints.

For some organizations, the digital field will be an entirely new arena. When resourcing for digital professionals, identifying the required skills will be an interesting and exciting road to explore – but it can also be a challenging task.

Digital transformation strategies need to consider the flexibility and scalability needs of the company. To achieve long-term scalability, it is important for oil and gas companies to identify what digital resources are required and what level of investment is needed to accommodate current and future digital ambitions. For those that are new to digitalization, this is not always straightforward or easy to do.

Organizations typically start with trying to train existing personnel to provide the non-traditional skills required to successfully morph into an entirely digital organization. However, resourcing the right talent in digital oil and gas requires an understanding of what is important to the organization, as well as identifying the benefits of investing in digital resourcing.

As oil and gas begins to realize value from the Agile principles and DevOps practices, one area that has lagged in many organizations is a resourcing and skills strategy that supports these key ways of working. As part of the digital transformation process, it is essential to include the Agile/DevOps approach.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business operations and workforce behavior has undoubtedly put a spotlight on this. The way we work has changed, and in today’s world, it is paramount to consider supporting a remote workforce concept to guarantee flexible and continuous service in response to the new working environment.

The need to hire the right talent to support digital maturity in the industry has also changed the way that oil and gas organizations recruit. The pandemic has necessitated a heavy reliance on virtual interviewing, with most organizations now adopting remote operation services.

Whilst virtual recruitment has its challenges, it has also allowed organizations to reduce overall costs, promote scalability and flexibility in how people work, and deploy resources on a shorter time scale. Increased remote working and access to online video platforms has also created opportunities for companies to recruit from previously unconsidered talent pools that are no longer constrained by the normal geographic boundaries.

As a result of the pandemic, there has also been a shift towards remote oilfield operations across all business areas and units. This has highlighted a need to better understand the agility required when sourcing digital oil and gas talent. It isn’t practical, nor considered safe, for all personnel to be based in one centralized location. More organizations are also now moving towards hybrid working models.

To drive profitable growth, the oil and gas sector must continue to promote change and transformation in the digital space across all business areas, as well as consider new ways of working and resourcing. This may mean moving to cloud-based platforms and using emerging technology. It may also mean investing in relevant digital resource to rapidly upscale operations and access specialist domain expertise to take advantage of new opportunities.

With capabilities in digital technologies supporting the full oil and gas value chain, E&P is leading the way in the provision of digital domain expertise to ensure oil and gas organizations get this right and repeatedly realize clear value from their digital transformation strategies.

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