How Southeast Asian Upstream Operators Are Digitalizing

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Kuala Lumpur served as the center of the Asia-Pacific upstream digital universe in late February as executives gathered for an SPE forum. JPT took the opportunity to talk about digital transformation strategies with upstream and technology leaders from Petronas, Shell Malaysia, and PTTEP.

Three of Asia’s biggest upstream operators are now in the midst of full-scale digital adoption. The companies are beginning to see results, but none is counting on a “big bang” in development of the technology any time soon.

Over the past couple of years, Malaysia’s Petronas, Shell Malaysia, and Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) have each launched digital programs across their organizations in hopes of improving their exploration, development, and production workflows and results. The change has come with a number of growing pains and lessons learned through trial and error.

The leaders tasked with overseeing implementation, however, want to keep the growing pains to a minimum. For that reason, they are taking a deliberate and methodical approach to digitalization. This is especially true for Petronas, an integrated, state-owned firm that is both Malaysia’s main energy producer and chief revenue generator. Risk is not viewed favorably within the company.

Petronas officially embraced digital transformation in 2017 after Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, president and chief executive officer, made digitalization a key focus in the company’s growth plan.

As part of its implementation efforts, Petronas that year established the Center of Digital Excellence under the stewardship of Wan Shamilah Saidi, chief digital and information officer. With the integration of all digital initiatives under one platform, focusing project development, the company’s different units no longer work in isolation.

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How Southeast Asian Upstream Operators Are Digitalizing

Matt Zborowski, Technology Editor

01 June 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 6