Technological inventions are disruptive business aspects with substantial prospects and influence in several industries. Over the last three years, technological advancements have sparked various developments in the global business, considering the need for reformation. This assessment investigates the technological developments in the oil and gas sector. The outcomes of this study will present strategies for decision-makers and managers in the domain by presenting guidelines on how technological innovations will impact the commercial operations in the oil and gas industry. This research concludes that the modern technological developments in the petroleum business will boost the functioning in several subdivisions, including trading, management and decision making, supervision, and safety. In addition, this article comprises a noticeable understanding regarding the implementation of technology in some of the petroleum and natural gas corporations, notably Saudi Aramco Company.
Over the past three years, petroleum and natural gas production and distribution have evolved as companies in the sector shift to improve their operations. Oil and natural gas corporations currently focus on adopting technologies to enhance their function (Negi, Verma and Singh, 2021). For instance, the technological transformations in the industry over the last three years have seen changes in management, safety, trading, and supervision. Implementing this technological innovation has helped to boost security and improve transparency.
The primary reason for utilizing the blockchain tools is their effectiveness in eradicating the demand for intermediaries. Furthermore, it has enabled the players within the sector to replace these vendors with a supplied system of online consumers that work cooperatively to authenticate the transactions and safeguard the data’s integrity (Raya et al., 2020). Contrary to the previously centralized networks, the blockchain system has facilitated oil and gas producers to hold a copy of the business proceedings or obtain it from an open cloud (Murty, 2020). The adoption of the blockchain technology was also necessitated by the energy sector utility corporations that declared blockchain networks effective in simplifying operations and presenting resolutions to the previous challenges in the energy and petroleum industry (Mas’ud et al., 2020). Research further states that the petroleum industry players have gained significantly since adopting blockchain systems, notably through boosting their previous functioning and processes (Hamdoun, 2022). Furthermore, it has accelerated the evolution of IoT networks and established inventions in the peer to per petroleum business and devolved generation (Ahmad et al., 2022). Therefore, blockchain innovations have presented significant opportunities in the oil business over the last three years, specifically in four domains: management and policy-establishment, cyber safety, trading, and supervision (Raya et al., 2020). This technology has also presented numerous resolutions for each expense, as discussed in this paper.
Developments that Influenced Adoption of Blockchain Technology
The oil and natural gas sector has experienced noticeable technological changes over the past three years. However, these transformations have presented various challenges and opportunities to energy companies. For instance, the petroleum and energy sector contributes to pollution (Salem, Yakoot and Mahmoud, 2022). Owing to the previous operations in the industry, several agencies have called for ecological conservation transformation. Consequently, petroleum and energy firms have opted to employ blockchain technologies to minimize the environmental burden by reducing carbon emissions (Hamdoun, 2022). Furthermore, the natural energy and oil in the underground are mined through boring shafts and are regarded as the primary reason for all the survey activities. These extraction operations destroy the adjacent environment and instigate destructions to the underlying soil layers (Tönnissen and Teuteberg, 2020). As a result, the shift to blockchain systems has helped assess the integrity of mining operations through robotics. This approach allows the oil and natural gas players to limit their operations in areas adversely affected.
Additionally, the rising instances of blow-out led to the upsurge in the air’s carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. For example, leakages release enormous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, thus polluting the ecological system (Alghamdi et al., 2021). When a spill-out happens in the water masses, such as oceans, it degrades the seashore and exterminates several aquatic animals. The adoption of technological inventions, such as robotics, is currently used to monitor unexpected damages in pipes and unseen leakages.
The logistics revolution is another advancement that has facilitated the adoption of technologies in the petroleum industry. Generally, each oil and natural gas supply chain sector usually experiences inefficiencies. However, companies have developed innovations that make mining more effective by employing automatic injection machiners to restrict hydrate development (Rahmanifard and Plaksina, 2019). The utilization of metallic organic frameworks is also expected to transform the industry by eradicating harmful substances across the supply chain journey. These supply chain advancements are projected to improve the logistics operations of players in the sector.
In addition, fleet management advancements are also a noticeable development in the oil and gas industry. Monitoring workers and machinery has been challenging for companies due to the industry’s complexity. Currently, oil and gas corporations use GPS tracking to gather vital data and view it immediately, even in remote regions (Zhou et al., 2020). This approach has enabled businesses to know where their expensive tools are located and get instant alerts in the case of theft or malfunctions. Similarly, petroleum corporations usually conduct operations in remote areas where essential communication with the headquarters is challenging. The introduction of X2nSat presents solutions to such challenges since it uses satellites to reach remote regions with data and voice connections (Alkinani et al., 2019). The technology also uses IoT to collect information and exchange vital sensor information.
Finally, the integration of the internet of things (IoT) has also played a significant role in the current developments in the petroleum industry. The interconnection of machines has exposed the companies to present information that can enable them to envisage machinery failure and minimize overall interruption (Brilliantova and Thurner, 2019). Generally, oil and gas pump damage usually impacts these firms’ revenues and production capabilities (Kimani et al., 2020). As a result, IoT helps them get alerts in real time and expedite equipment replacement, hence preventing failures and boosting production (Mukkamala et al., 2018). From the assessment of the developments in the petroleum and natural gas sector that instigated the adoption of blockchain technology, it is evident that there is an urgent need for technological solutions, precisely blockchain, to boost the industry’s operations.
Influence of Blockchain Technology on the Petroleum Industry
An intelligent agreement is a contract in terms of the account using computer dialectal rather than lawful language. Due to the extensive and complicated nature of the petroleum and natural gas sector, cumbersome and lengthy agreements usually arise in the dealings of all participants, and the number of pacts will be substantial (Mukkamala et al., 2018). The smart contract can minimize the paperwork, streamline the procedure, enhance effectiveness, and reduce expenditure. However, smart contracts require auditing when employed (Ahmad et al., 2022). Furthermore, the parties are expected to adhere to intelligent safety advancement protocols since an inappropriate design can significantly lose (Lohmer and Lasch, 2020). From research information on blockchain security principles, brilliant contract safety instances accounted for 6.75 percent (Gu et al., 2019). Despite recording a relatively small ratio, the significant monetary deficits accounted for 44 percent (Gu et al., 2019). Therefore, smart contracts ensure financial safety since they do not require a third-party intervention.
Blockchain is a fundamental solution in the oil and natural gas industry, considering its capabilities to make the trading of such commodities cheaper and transparent. To begin, blockchain operates by authenticating and permanently copying transaction information on a single, secure online ledger by trustworthy dealers (Gurrib, 2019). It establishes a network where parties in the petroleum trade can interact directly without mediators, such as utilities, banks, and brokers. Furthermore, blockchain solutions are beneficial in helping oil and gas companies eliminate post-trade dispensation expenditures (Borowski, 2021). This enables the firms to save approximately 40 percent throughout I.T. and settlements, operations, and accounting (Borowski, 2021). Leading petroleum traders have supported blockchain post-trade initiatives, comprising OneOffice for gas and Vakt for oil, expected to streamline processes and boost income.
In addition, comprehensive peer-to-peer is another implementation being embraced by leading oil and natural gas corporations in the energy-chain initiative. The firms aim to expand large-scale business making the blockchain solution distinctive in size, disruptive prospects, and focus (de Jesús Treviño-Reséndez, Medel and Meas, 2021). Equally, derivatives trading is another fundamental target of blockchain systems. The blockchain solution offers records for business dealings. This is because facilitating enormous productivity improvements for transactions is critical in the sector. Finally, technological innovation ensures trades remain central to power transactions (Zheng, Jia and Wang, 2019). Therefore, blockchain links the wholesale petroleum marketplaces to upcoming local and regional target markets. Blockchain systems are therefore core in ensuring effective trading transactions in the petroleum and natural gas sector.
The petroleum and natural gas industries are similar to other sectors regarding cyber-attacks. Over the years, the industry has encountered various trade fraud and information safety issues. Blockchain systems effectively address business fraud, specifically transaction-based money laundering (Chang, Chen and Wu, 2019). This is usually challenging financial misconduct to monitor and investigate. However, the blockchain’s shared trade records can help oil and gas firms to detect invoice anomalies, strange shipping methods, and carousel dealings (Ahmari and Mufti, 2022). Additionally, in addressing cyber security, blockchain enables corporations to remain safe from attacks (Luo and Choi, 2021). In most cases, petroleum players have complained about their information being leaked to competitors and the public, including their business strategies. This has exposed the businesses to risks involving loss of market share and revenue.
Similarly, the oil and gas corporations present gaps, such as sophisticated operating networks and manufacturing procedures that hackers used to delay actual time systems and facilitate inconsistency of system protocols within divisions. For instance, despite the intelligent sensors providing actual-time data of offshore oil plant processes, they are vulnerable to cyber-attack (Bazaee, Hassani and Shahmansouri, 2020). The susceptibility of these networks facilitates the leakage of company information to competitors through espionage action. However, when blockchain solutions are incorporated and used to archive corporate data in a distributed method, the threat of system attacks is substantially minimized (Mingaleva, Shironina and Buzmakov, 2020). As a result, the utilization of blockchain solutions has effectively ensured the reduction of operating costs, data privacy, and minimizing liabilities.
Management and Decision-Making
The blockchain is central in management since it simplifies administrative procedures and makes the executive technic more scientific. Oil and natural gas pipeline channels occupy a primary role in the petroleum industry, and the pipeline systems are sophisticated and challenging to handle, specifically in the resource distribution plans (Azieva et al., 2019). However, when the appropriate demand information and logistics records are uploaded to the blockchain and established in an intelligent agreement, petroleum and natural gas distribution can be more practical. Furthermore, when the pertinent data of the piping system are utilized to form a blockchain, the reliability and accountability of the management of the pipeline connection will become successful (El-Masri, 2020). Consequently, blockchain helps ensure that the management function in the petroleum sector is transparent and reliable despite the dynamic processes of the petroleum industry.
Blockchain is a procedure by which managers of petroleum and natural gas companies can utilize an anonymized register to sign, timestamp, and code choices. The administrators can use it to produce contracts that integrate established guidelines that annul and abolish an agreement centered on pre-determined principles (Simonsen, Strand and Øye, 2018). For instance, an energy and natural gas producer can declare openly in a collective ledger that they agree to offer another company a specified amount of money when the banks give the business funds prior (Kim and Lee, 2020). All the businesses involved in the transaction will code the agreement and uphold it if the proof for the dealings happens and are exchanged within the ledger (Nianyin et al., 2021). Blockchain is fundamental in hiring and recruiting personnel since it ensures the recruitment process is effective and non-bias. The data of the selected candidates is usually transferred evenly within a company to realize identification (Weijermars and Al-Shehri, 2022). Blockchain will operate as a channel through which the parties act as others’ controllers. As a result, blockchain processes can enhance the collective results of all managers and decision-makers within the petroleum industry.
Furthermore, the oil and gas corporations have lost trust in the sector intermediaries due to the growing fraudulent activities evident in the petroleum industry. The use of blockchain procedures will enable brokers and banks to regain the trust of companies, hence generating increased payoffs and boosting the universal involvement in cooperative decision-making (Liu et al., 2020). In addition, improving the blockchain protocol while permitting companies to exploit their business objectives will benefit the intermediaries as 3rd-party recipients (Okwu and Nwachukwu, 2019). This will involve appending a representation of the firm’s preferences while remaining within the blockchain protocols. The approach will facilitate inclusive decision-making for all the players in the industry, thus boosting trust and inclusivity (White, Pierce and Acharya, 2018). Therefore, blockchain systems are fundamental in the decision-making and management processes of oil and natural gas producers since it eliminates biases and establishes the level of the field for contribution.
Numerous oil and natural gas commodities are warehoused, purchased, shipped, and supplied through multiple channels, including vendors, companies, contractors, retailers, subcontractors, and refineries. Therefore, suppose there are slips, the efficiency, and manufacturing level will deteriorate, and adverse instances can occur, encompassing the loss of products (Agista, Guo and Yu, 2018). The blockchain tracks the merchandise in the petroleum and gas distribution and review trails of types of machinery employed across the lifecycle ((Norhasyima and Mahlia, 2018). This makes all the elements of the logistics system more apparent, saving supply chain expenditures and enhancing operational effectiveness.
The tracking process usually involves numerous shareholders, who independently maintain their database to monitor the product. For instance, from the production plant to the shipping destination, the goods are tracked, and upon arrival, the freight officers will send the signed details to the smart contract to alert all stakeholders that the goods have arrived (Avvaru et al., 2018). Conversely, when the trade is initiated, it is transmitted to the addressee in an encoded form to certify that the products have been received (Jafarinejad and Jiang, 2019). Through sensors linked to an oil and gas company, the management and technical factions can monitor the movement of oil and gas to refineries and marketplaces. Therefore, blockchain’s tracking capabilities are employed to track petroleum products.
Owing to blockchain solutions’ substantial level of precision, it can enhance compliance in the petroleum and natural gas industry. Blockchain technology accomplishes this by improving the Extractive Sector Transparency Program, the European Union procedures, and the reliability of the Dodd-Frank Regulation (Unimke, Mmuoegbulam and Anika, 2018). The data produced by the blockchain is transmitted across the structure presented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, thus minimizing compliance expenses and boosting speed. Moreover, the management and bidding challenges during gas and oil surveys and expansion are resolved by blockchain (Shiyi and Qiang, 2018). For instance, the issue of illegal orders, the burden of contracting disregard in development calls, and the public problem of declining to sign the agreement after obtaining the offer are usually addressed. Therefore, blockchain technology helps ensure compliance in the petroleum sector, considering the dynamics companies face.
Before undertaking surveys, expansion, and other operations, petroleum and natural gas producers need to acquire land utilization privileges. However, comprehending the origin of the land can be problematic and can present several accounts of proprietorship struggles in a different database (Balasubramanian et al., 2018). In this situation, land dealings are usually susceptible to fraudulent activities. Blockchain systems can develop and constant inspection trajectory of land ownership, flexibility, and worth (Balasubramanian et al., 2018). This will minimize the forfeiture or disparity of license, the instances of ownership conflicts, and present regulatory agencies with the directness of land trades and actual time accounts of precise allocation of value.
Application of Technological Advancements in Business Operations
The technological innovations integration will impact oil and gas companies in various ways. In billing, blockchain with intelligent metering and innovative agreements can offer automated invoicing for consumers and suppliers (Devda et al., 2021). The utility firm will further benefit from micropayments and pay-as-you-go initiatives. Similarly, in marketing and sales, the technology will alter these activities to become designed according to customer profiles (Andersen and Gulbrandsen, 2020). The mixture of artificial intelligence, such as machine learning and blockchain technologies, can identify the target market’s energy patterns. Consequently, this will enable the players in the petroleum industry to tailor services as per the buyers’ needs (Andersen and Gulbrandsen, 2020). Likewise, in automation, blockchain can improve the management of devolved energy networks (Ishutov et al., 2018). Implementing domestic oil and gas markets through permitting peer-to-peer energy dealings will be fundaments in increasing petroleum product self-consumption and production.
In addition, in the imaginative grid uses and information transmission, blockchain tools will certify the security of records transferred and facilitate data regulation in the system. Grid management is another benefit of blockchain, ensuring flexibility and ease of system management in devolved networks (Patel et al., 2020). Blockchain further helps integrate trading websites and augment resources resulting in expensive network updates (Patel et al., 2020). Furthermore, blockchain offers secure trades through cryptographic solutions in the safety and identity organization domain. In the case of resource allocation, the technology helps companies distribute capacities between numerous users in the system (Shiyi and Qiang, 2018). Finally, blockchain with smart contracts helps link and hasten the substituting of oil and natural gas suppliers. These features help boost mobility in the petroleum market, thus increasing competition (Shiyi and Qiang, 2018). Therefore, blockchain technologies are central to improving the business operations within the oil and gas sector and hence should be universally accepted.
Saudi Aramco is one of the leading corporations globally across all sectors and the prominent international Oil and Gas Company by income. Saudi Aramco was established in 1933 after a concession contract between the Saudi Arabian administration and the Standard Oil Company of California (Kavthankar and Perepu, 2021). After the agreement, it commenced drilling activities, beginning its first profitable oil generation in 1938 (Ramady, 2018). The business developed fast across Saudi Arabia over the preceding decades, achieving crude oil manufacture of 550,000 barrels every day in 1949 (Ahmed, Sultana and Khan, 2018). Furthermore, the corporation created its supply pipeline and constructed the Tran-Arabian Pipeline network to uphold the operations. Currently, Saudi Aramco manages the second-largest oil reserves globally and has an expansive filtering activity in Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, the United States, India, and China (Grimaldi, 2020). In 2019, Saudi Aramco’s actual public offering registered a 1.5 percent win on Riyadh’s Tadawul Stock Exchange (Weijermars and Moeller, 2020). Similarly, despite achieving such milestones in the oil and gas industry, the firm is not publicly on the United States stock market (Mehrez et al., 2020). Since its inception, the company has achieved dominance in the global marketplace and substantial profitability by adopting various strategies and policies.
Systems Management Theory
The systems management theory effectively assesses strategies that Saudi Aramco’s administrators can adopt. This model states that companies comprise several components that should operate cohesively for the core structure to function effectively (Devda et al., 2021). Therefore, the productivity of a business relies on independence, relations, and collaboration between the subdivisions (Zelt et al., 2018). According to this concept, the executive should evaluate sequences and occurrences within the firm to establish a successful organizational strategy (Ferreira, Mueller and Papa, 2018). The leaders are expected to work collaboratively on operations to certify success. Therefore, this framework is effective in the case of Saudi Aramco since the petroleum industry encompasses various activities that impact the overall outcome of a corporation.
Application of Systems Management Theory
According to the systems management theory, companies comprises various divisions that require proper management to operate effectively. The Saudi Aramco is an example of such company, considering the diversity of the operations within the petroleum sector. Therefore, the form should employ technological innovations to make its oil and gas refining cleaners greener, thus facilitating cost-efficient operations. For instance, adopting blockchain solutions will help the company’s management store and track details of petroleum processes from the drilling location, storage, and refining to delivery to consumers (Chang, Chen and Lu, 2019). Furthermore, the firm should utilize novel ultrasound technology to develop 3D pictures of the inner parts of oil wells, thus allowing the management to make informed and cost-efficient production choices (Masiko et al., 2022). Finally, analytics automation through IIOT and advanced robotics programs boost the corporation’s ability to identify and eradicate operational ineffectiveness (Filimonau and Naumova, 2020). Therefore, the application of systems management model will ensure Saudi Aramco generates a similar quantity but with condensed cost and energy expenses through cohesive functioning.
Establishing Independent Company Domains
Systems management theory expects that each sector should operate independently to achieve success. Therefore, the creation of digital oilfields is another strategy that can impact Saudi Aramco’s success in the changing oil and gas industry dynamics. The adoption of technological innovations in the petroleum sector will facilitate the creation of independent automated oilfields (Zhu et al., 2020). This will be achieved through the employment big data that will track the operations of these oil fields, assess them, and utilize the information in actual time (Kozhanov, 2019). As a result, adopting this strategy will help Saudi Aramco boost its success owing to the ndependence and sustainability of the division decision-making activities.
Improved Utilization of Data
Currently, there is a performance gap in the oil and gas industry owing to the ineffective use of data. According to research, the productivity gap is estimated at $200 billion, and global platforms operate at 77 percent of the ceiling production prospect (ALSANEA and ALFAIFI, 2018). However, the systems management theory proposes the importance of assessment of company operations. In this case, the Aramco’s management should use analytics networks and tools like blockchain to assess the business processes (Akter et al., 2020). Implementing this strategy will enable the corporation to rapidly generate more than 30 times the actual investment and reduce environmental impacts by regulating accidents, wastage, and bottlenecks (Liu et al., 2020). Therefore, the theory is effective since its aims to ensure Saudi Aramco improves its profitability by evaluating its production expenses and minimizing wastages.
Petroleum and gas corporations should concentrate on technological inventions to enable them to scout energy reserves and advance the capabilities for efficiently accessing such plants. Technological advancements can offer various oil and gas businesses opportunities to reduce operational expenditure and improve civil accessibility. Conversely, the innovation still encounters numerous drawbacks and different regulatory and technical challenges that should be handled effectively. The system management theory can also be applied into each step of the production process to ensure effectiveness and overall success. This concept is essential since it will improve transparency within the industry. Finally, applying the concept in management strategies will ensure oil and gas firms use technology to achieve sustainability and success in the global marketplace. Therefore, technological innovations in the petroleum sector will advance drilling activities, management and decision making, trading activities, cyber security, and surveillance.
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