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Oil industry could save up to $100 billion with tech, automation: Rystad

FILE PHOTO: Western Canadian canola fields surrounding an oil pump jack in rural Alberta

(Reuters) - The global oil and gas industry can save as much as $100 billion through automation and digitalization in the 2020s, energy research firm Rystad said on Tuesday.

The analysis said the efforts could help cut about 10% of the $1 trillion spent last year on operational expenses, wells, facilities and subsea by more than 3,000 producers.

Some efforts are already on. Oil major Chevron Corp and top oilfield services provider Schlumberger NV have partnered with Microsoft Corp to build software that process and analyze data from multiple sources.

"The painful oil market downturn has given upstream operators and service providers a strong incentive to adapt and become more efficient or be forced to close down shop," the company said. (http://bit.ly/2MrPuzV)

Technology could drive savings of 10% to 20% in drilling costs and up to 30% in facility and subsea costs, Rystad said, adding that the adoption will vary across the industry.

"Many key industry players are setting optimistic goals, but the realization of these initiatives largely depends on how freely data is shared amongst companies and how commercial strategies are deployed to drive this development," the firm said.



(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)