The United States’ Oil & Gas Industry has been steadily growing since the 2008 Recession – in large part due to the “Shale Revolution”. A Federal Reserve study showed that the shale industry was responsible for driving “10 percent of the growth in the U.S. economy’s gross domestic product from 2010 to 2015,” significantly aiding the United States’ rebound from the recession. The Shale Revolution has afforded the U.S. the opportunity to be less dependent on overseas oil and to drive growth in stateside natural gas production allowing the U.S. to rise to the top of the Liquified Natural Gas exporters globally.
As the U.S. continues to look away from imports and focus its efforts on domestic production for the future, all eyes are on shale. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, shale accounts for at least 40% of U.S. dry natural gas production.
How have U.S. exports been impacted by COVID-19 as a whole?
Fortunately, the U.S. gas exports are less susceptible to volatile markets because of the nation’s swing supplier status coupled with contracts that allow for scrapped deliveries. World Oil reports that, “American gas exports are rising to fresh records every month as new facilities come online,” but particular attention must be paid to trade relations between the US & China as, “China is the fastest-growing LNG importer, and the U.S. is ramping up exports.”
However, the shale industry has not been entirely immune to the negative impacts of COVID-19, particularly decreased demand. Deloitte’s suggestions for navigating the great compression in shale oil production was for operators to, “work with their vendors to not only automate and digitize operations to realize new savings, but also to shorten value chains and create new pathways for the impending energy transition.” Automating and digitizing to realize savings is critical to the long-term success of the US as a top O&G exporter and, as a relative newcomer on the global O&G stage, the U.S. has the unique opportunity to be on the cutting edge with speed to adoption of digital.
The change in administration, and President Biden’s ambitious efforts on climate change, represent a much bigger risk to U.S. Oil Production than the effects of COVID-19.
With President Biden’s impending plans to cut US oil production, in favor of more environmentally friendly and sustainable energy production, the U.S. O&G Industry must brace for economic and employment impacts. Supply constraints will cause a significant financial issue for producers as a result of President Biden’s suspension of “the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land, where the U.S. gets 10% of its supplies.”
How will producers be able to rebound from this supply and labor constraint?
They must turn to digital in order to extract savings from their existing value chain.
Deloitte reports that more than 70% of global traditional jobs in the O&G market that were lost as a results of COVID-19 may not return by 2021 if the industry does not make changes. According to oil industry leaders, Biden’s policy to decrease drilling activity in offshore federal waters will, “satisfy a few special interest groups [and will ultimately] end up producing more global emissions while killing thousands of high-paying American jobs.”
As we face increasing uncertainty around workforce conditions due to COVID-19, the need for process automation increases drastically. In order to cope with policy change and COVID-19, not just in the U.S. but also the global O&G industry, margin improvement and the future of work must be addressed through the implementation of Artificial Intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence provides an immediate solution to workforce displacement for continued operations while implementing benefits such as downtime reduction and reduced fuel consumption.
Value chain optimization is key for the shale industry’s continued growth and ability to stabilize regardless of the current demand deficit and restrictions from President Biden’s administration. Aside from well-design, a popular area for mid-stream optimization efforts, there are a host of other measures that holistic Artificial Intelligence, like Maestro AI, can address within the mid-stream value chain. Maestro increases profitability in O&G by solving key operational challenges across the value chain through an unrestricted ability to dynamically observe, evaluate, compare and control real-time operational performance, ensuring maximized production that exceeds quality standards, increasing yield while minimizing resource consumption.
To learn more about Maestro and individual case studies in the Oil & Gas sector, please contact us.