COVID-19 and sustainability will continue to heavily impact the oil and gas industry, according to data and analytics company GlobalData, which has identified the top 20 themes set to have the most influence on the sector.
GlobalData’s report, "Top 20 Oil and Gas Themes, 2021 – Thematic Research," also identifies the other key themes that will shape the industry in 2021, such as renewable energy, hydrogen, electric vehicles, energy storage, liquefied natural gas, and gas flaring.
Ravindra Puranik, oil and gas analyst at GlobalData, said, “Tech themes, such as robotics, industrial internet, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and cybersecurity, will be of paramount importance as the industry looks to become more efficient. Oil and gas companies are likely to take a varied approach concerning different tech themes, depending upon their immediate requirements. Cloud computing and cybersecurity themes will come to the fore with the post-pandemic new normal of remote working.”
Puranik continues, “The COVID-19 pandemic brought a major oil and gas demand shock, delayed projects and raised additional questions about the potential for future oil demand growth. Against this backdrop, the perceived shift towards new energies will affect new crude oil developments, especially ones requiring longer turnaround time.
“Themes, such as shale or integrated refineries, which were flourishing until 2019, came under extreme pressure in 2020 due to the pandemic. Prominent shale drillers such as Chesapeake Energy and Whiting Petroleum went through bankruptcy proceedings, while ace refiners, such as Shell and Marathon Petroleum, announced the permanent closure of some of their refineries to mitigate the downturn.
“Oil majors, such as Total, Shell, BP and Equinor, will be at the forefront in implementing sustainability initiatives at their workplaces. Besides setting net-zero emission targets, these companies have initiated concrete steps to invest in low-carbon projects, including renewables, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage to show their commitment towards the environment.”